Basketball coaches build teams each year and the skills required to be an excellent leader are most prevalent in the coaches that take the time to develop their team. These posts include some of the best ideas from coaches sharing ideas on building a solid team regardless of sport.

Raising Basketball IQ Part 3 – What Causes Player Stupidity?

Raising Basketball IQ Part 3

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Have you ever wondered why some players just do not seem to be able to grasp any concept that you teach, why do they always look dumbfounded when you are talking to them and end up doing the complete opposite of what you told them to do? Or better yet, the exact same thing they did last time that you just told them not do do????? This can cause a ton of frustration for both the player and the coach. As the coach you can become frustrated or angry with the player, give up on teaching that kid and move on to those “who listen”, “who follow instructions” and “who are coachable”. For the player they can lose self-confidence, get defeated, stop trying and eventually they will quit if only in spirit.

I have experienced all of the above as a player and as a coach. From a coaching stand point continually trying to teach someone who “just can’t get it” can push us over to a point where we now get out of teaching and into the use of punishment (which we can term as discipline), we can use force with our voices hoping that it “gets through to them”. Yet neither really seem to fully resolve what we are running into and the problem, yet less, continues to rear its ugly head throughout the course of the year.


So what is it? What is the actual cause of a player’s stupidity? You may think this answer is too simple and so not correct. You may insist that there has to be something wrong with that particular player mentally. But the continued stupidity in any subject is simply caused by not knowing the nomenclature or the terminology being used in that subject or an associated subject. When one continues to read, hear or use words they do not know the meaning of the student becomes dull to the subject and then they get dissociation from that subject. They stop having an ability to observe that subject, to learn it and they eventually do not want anything to do with it (which is when they quit). These are all proven facts and apply to any subject in life. Shutterstock_psychology-brain-wheels-1280x960


Now that the real reason has been identified it can then be handled very simply. You start by having the players learn the meanings of the terminology and the words used in that subject. And you make sure they can apply each of the words not just memorize the meaning and robotically spit it back to you. They need to be able to do the action, find the area on the court etc. For example one of the terms we have them learn is a “rip move”. They would have to be able to tell me what it is, when they would use it and demonstrate the proper technique and be able to use it in a live situation.


Does this take time? Yes. We spend the first days of our workouts strictly on our terms. But what your players will get from doing this is astounding. They become more certain, they begin to communicate more with you and one another about the game, the offense, the defense, their abilities or lack their of. See now they can talk about the subject in an educated fashion and that alone will increase their IQ in that subject. If you don’t do the above you will continue to run into a lack of execution or no execution, players won’t get better, players will not seem coachable they will seem “stupid” and they will quit on you if only in spirit. Yet they are not stupid they just have not been properly educated in the field. So now knowing the above don’t be the stupid one.


The amount of slang used in basketball is astounding and the words and their meanings change from camp to camp. Sometimes the same words can mean very different things to different coaches. This really can put a player (who is trying to impress the coach) in a difficult situation. Show some compassion and teach them your language. A great example is going to a foreign country where they use different terms for money. Say England, there they have a Pound, a Quid, and a Pence. Not only are the terms different the values are different, a Pound being worth around 2 Dollars but is constantly changing, who knows what a Quid is worth?? The point is, what effect does that have on you? Do you just drop into apathy eventually and just put your money on the table and let the clerk take any amount they want? That is not how we want our players to act out on the floor is it?


Post Game Processing Sheet

Post Game Processing Sheet by Erick Blasing

Post game processing or the time period immediately following the game is an important window of opportunity for players to learn. Coach Erick Blasing shares a simple tool that he uses with his team to utilize this teaching time.

I mentioned in my last post that one of the best decisions I ever made as a coach in Sparta was to research “Train to Be Clutch” by Josh Metcalf and Jamie Gilbert. Their process is directing people to transformational leadership and increasing mental preparation for life. I am currently reading through their book, Burn Your Goals and it is fantastic. I highly recommend it. Please check out their site for more information on everything clutch as well as a lot of free resources:

As a team we spent time pre-game as a team with no noise and used a simple visualization process to prepare for that night’s games.  While we used the pre-game routine every game we never rolled out the post game processing sheet. As I mentioned before, our pre-game went fantastic and made us a better team. The post-game form is very similar and something that I wish I would have utilized. I plan to implement this fully in the future.

I think a major piece that is often missing from teams is the ability to comprehend the ending of the game.

Often players will either internalize the responsibility for the game’s outcome or place blame on others around them to an extreme that is not proportional with reality.

Using the processing sheets, players can attempt to bring their emotions in check and understand what can be improved upon.

Game 2 of the Western Conference’s 2nd Round, San Antonio and Oklahoma City is a prime example of a game where post game processing could help the team improve. In a crazy ending that saw multiple missed calls against San Antonio, the Spurs still had a shot for the win in the end but did not prevail. While everyone is focusing on that high pressure ending with miscues and sloppy execution, processing sheets can help the players understand that in a 1 point loss, a turnover in the first half could have made the actual difference in the game. If you encounter a similar scenario, the processing sheet can help players look at the game with a clearer vision and understanding.

Coach Sherri Coale of the University of Oklahoma shared something very similar that they do every post game.

The post-game is a little more in-depth and would be very useful to have players complete immediately after the game or on the bus ride home.  These sheets would be a great help for the players during film study. I hope these help you and your team improve down the road!

Check out this link for your Post Game Processing Sheet

Enjoy the journey,


[Video] Golden State Warriors Keys to 73

How the Golden State Warriors Made History

Coach Michael Asiffo shares his take on the historic run by the Golden State Warriors and the keys to their success.

[bctt tweet=”The success of the Golden State Warriors can be attributed to these 3 keys” via=”no”]

The Golden State Warriors had a historic season of 73-9. The focus was centered on the magic of two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the more the helpful editions of Klay Thompson as well as the revelation that is Draymond Green. This is true, however, there is much more than just three guys dominating the league on display here. Everyone one of the Warriors 73 wins have come due to team effort and just plain good basketball. Here are some reasons why the Warriors are so good:

1. They Shoot and Make Threes

The Warriors shoot threes and other NBA teams try to emulate that. The NBA is a copycat league and there is the growing philosophy that you need to shoot threes. Even if you make less than half, shoot threes because three is better than two and mathematically it makes sense.

[content_box box_type=”e.g. normal, confirm, warning, info, alert” title=”Title”]For example, player A takes 10 threes and makes 4, he scored 12 points on 40% shooting: 4/10= 0.4 (40%)
Player B takes 10 shots inside the three point line and makes 5, he has scored 10 points on 50% shooting
5/10= 0.5 (50%)

Which means that with a lower percentage on the same amount of shots player A has scored more than player B. With that being said, I think a lot of believers of this philosophy lose the fact that you still need to make the threes to the tune of 40% because 45% from two is the magic number to break even with a team that shoots 30% from three. In the 2015-2016 season, every team in the NBA shot well over 45% from 2. Even the bad teams shot over 45%. In fact, only the Los Angeles Lakers are the only team to shoot under 46%, as they shot 45.4%. Also, just for fun, here is the most interesting part. 10 teams in the league shot 50% or higher. The Warriors obviously lead the league in attempts, but they were the only team that shot 40% from three. Meaning the Golden State Warriors shot a lot of threes, however, made enough threes to beat a team that shot 50% from two; if they were to go shot for shot.

2. Out of Bounds Play Execution

One thing that is not really focused on enough in mainstream basketball proper is defending out of bounds plays. Many times it is not how good or bad the defender is, but the position that person is in. Fortunately, NBA coaches and players are smart enough to defend out of bounds plays. However, the Warriors have a team that is different (obviously). Most players on the team can shoot the three, or have been shooting well from three this season. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes all shoot 38% from three or higher. Meaning that you as a coach have to instill in your team that you have to guard the three. The Warriors take advantage of this and will get a lot of easy layups on out of bounds plays, in particular the sidelines. They are ruthless in this aspect.

Coach Nic from BBall Breakdown touched on this advantage months ago:

Getting easy baskets is a staple in basketball and the warriors do that to perfection.

3. Assists

The Golden State Warriors lead the lead in total assists for the season at 2373, which is 273 more than the Atlanta Hawks. While I have always been a firm believer in “assists do not tell the full story” for a number of reasons I will not get into now, it is an indication that teams move the ball. Yes the golden state warriors have offensive talent on their team and yes the warriors can shoot the lights out. With that being said, that offensive talent is accentuated so much more because they pass to each other when they are in good spots. How many times does Draymond Green bring the ball up in transition to find Steph Curry or Klay Thompson trailing for an open three? How many times are Steph Curry and Draymond Green run that strong side screen roll to merciless effect? How many off ball screens lead to that player who came off that screen get the ball, who then dumps it off the roll man on the screen? If you answered a lot then congrats, you watch Golden State Warriors basketball and realize that the Warriors pass the ball.

There are a lot of things that make the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors special. However, from a coaching perspective these three things are very teachable to your team. Running out of bounds plays, passing the ball and shooting shots that you can make are essential in basketball.

Coaching Basketball: Intentionally Creating Your Culture

Intentionally Create Your Culture

How do great teams create culture? Have you ever been part of a great team? What made it that way? Was there a special bond among teammates? Was it a place of high energy and strong trust?  Did you win a lot? For most of us who have been on some great teams in our lives, the answer to those questions is usually a resounding “Yes!” Often the next question is, “Why don’t all teams end up being great?” It can’t be only about winning because not all great teams win all the time.  Of all the questions listed above, the concept of winning a lot is not necessarily at the top of the list when it comes to memories of being on a great team. Many people will look back on some of the teams they considered as being great and realize that they didn’t win a championship or even win a lot of games.  Some of the greatest teams in the true concept of a “great team” were teams that did not win a lot of games.

So, if winning a lot of contests is not the only pre-requisite for a team being great, why don’t “great teams” happen more often? I believe everything starts with the leadership.  In sports, that person is the coach. That may seem like a lot of pressure to put on one person, especially given the fact that when we are talking about youth/school teams, we are talking about the skill levels, mental capacities, behaviors, mood swings, etc. of children and teenagers. How can we put all the blame/praise on the coach when there are so many variables in any given team situation?

It all starts with the coach because if the coach is intentional about trying to create a great team culture and experience for the kids, the chances are much greater that it will end up that way. Coaches who are intentional about what they want to see happen have more success at seeing their goals come true. That does not mean that it is a guarantee, but they certainly create a situation that is much more apt to come true if they are intentional about it.

Unfortunately, most teams in the world happen by accident. The culture and the experience is left to chance.  There is no vision, no plan, no roadmap for getting to wherever they are seeking to get.  They wander through the season hoping that it will be a good experience. They let the ups and downs and the ebb and flow of the season dictate whether or not the experience is a positive one. Oh sure, many coaches (and team leaders and team members) will talk about wanting to win whatever championship is the ultimate for their team and set that as their goal. However, goals like that create a focus on a result – a result that has many variables that could create that result or keep it from happening. Focusing only on results creates a lot more pressure. While it is at least giving them a direction to go, focusing on a result means that there is only one way to succeed – achieve that one result.

The better method is to focus on creating the culture that you would like to have in your program. Focus on your team’s standards, your guiding principles. Bruce Brown of Proactive Coaching calls these a team’s “Core Covenants.” In his booklet and presentation, “First Steps to Successful Teams” – Coach Brown says a covenant is “a binding agreement where action is physically visible. This takes the agreement beyond words to an actual vision of performance. It says, ‘This is what we believe, so therefore, this is what you will see.’”  The best covenants are focused on behavioral characteristics. When a team sets up covenants for behavior within the program, they are creating the culture that they seek. By focusing on behavioral characteristics, these teams are zeroing in on things they have control over – not results and outcomes that have all kinds of variables that influence them. For example, if a team establishes “Team-First Attitude” as a covenant, everyone on that team can make the choice to be committed to being a great teammate.  There is no pre-requisite skill, training, education, physical attribute, etc. necessary to be able to display a team-first attitude. Every single person in the program can have a team-first attitude. The same goes for work ethic, teachable spirit, discipline, mental toughness, integrity, and any other behavioral characteristic one can think of. Every player in a program can commit and live every single one of those kinds of characteristics with nothing more than acting and behaving in the proper way.

If a coach is intentional about establishing covenants, s/he creates a much more favorable chance of having them be lived in her or his program. But it takes work. Developing covenants with the leadership of the team, explaining them to the entire team, taking time to discuss them and work on them throughout the year, and doing all that they can to live the covenants must be intentionally and purposefully developed by the coach. It is a process, and the process takes time and effort. But if a great team is the goal, there is no clearer, better, more consistent and predictable way to achieve it than to work through this process with determination and purpose.  Coaches who do this in an intentional fashion create a team environment of success and excellence.

One major by-product of intentionally focusing on creating this type of culture is that these teams also have a much better chance of creating scoreboard success, too. And they are on their way to intentionally creating the “great team” experience that everyone wants to be a part of. For an in-depth look at creating an outstanding team culture, check out Proactive Coaching’s DVD Captains & Coaches’ Workshop, or better yet, have one of us out to do a Captains & Coaches’ Workshop for your teams. For more information go to

Do you intentionally create a culture in your program? If so, I would love to hear the kinds of things you do?  You can contact me through my website – or by email at [email protected]. Scott is also on Twitter @scottrosberg

About the Author of this Article

Scott Rosberg has been a coach (basketball, soccer, & football) at the high school level for 30 years, an English teacher for 18 years, and an athletic director for 12 years. He has published seven booklets on coaching and youth/school athletics, two books of inspirational messages and quotes for graduates, and a newsletter for athletic directors and coaches. He also speaks to schools, teams, and businesses on a variety of team-building, leadership, and coaching topics. Scott has a blog and a variety of other materials about coaching and athletic topics on his website – He can be reached by email at [email protected].

Scott is also a member of the Proactive Coaching speaking team. Proactive Coaching is dedicated to helping organizations create character and education-based team cultures, while providing a blueprint for team leadership. They help develop confident, tough-minded, fearless competitors and train coaches and leaders for excellence and significance. Proactive Coaching can be found on the web at Also, you can join the 200,000+ people who have “Liked” Proactive Coaching’s Facebook page at Scott can also be reached through Proactive Coaching at [email protected].


My Name is Coach

My Name is Coach…

Coach is a title we all love to be called, but here Scott Rosberg shares his most important title and how John Wooden impacted his life.

Scott Rosberg – 2015

My son, Morgan, calls me, “Dad.” It is my favorite name that I am called.

I love hearing him call me “Dad.” I also realize that it is the most important name that I am called. While to just about everyone else in the world my name is “Scott,” I am “Dad” to Morgan, and I take the responsibility that comes with that name very seriously.

Other than “Scott,” “Dad,” and probably a few choice names people have called me through the years, the other name that I am most often called is “Coach.”  Many years ago John Wooden wrote a great book called They Call Me Coach. The book is filled with many lessons that he learned throughout his life that made their way into his teaching and coaching of young people. The title, They Call Me Coach, is a good title, for it makes the reader zero in on the concept of who he is and how the title that people called him shaped his life. While this post is titled “My Name is Coach,” I am not claiming to be able to make John Wooden’s title or his ideas better or even add to them. Rather, this is my response to a thought that hit me numerous times over my career, and it has hit me hard recently. A few months ago, I was told by our school’s athletic director that I would not be re-hired as the varsity boys’ basketball coach. This post is about one of the thoughts I had as I realized that, for the time being, I am an “ex-coach”

As this new reality hit me, I realized that there is no such thing as an “ex-coach.” Once you are a coach, you are always a coach. This has been made clear to me at other points in my life when I stepped away from coaching for short periods of time. I started coaching at age 20, and for over thirty years, there have only been a few years where I have not coached in some fashion. Each time I stepped away from coaching for a while, I never felt like I was out of coaching. I was constantly watching sports with a coach’s eye, reading books by coaches, watching videos, and even attending coaching clinics. So the fact that I wasn’t coaching at those particular times didn’t make me feel that I wasn’t a coach.

But there is something even more powerful that hammers home the concept of “once a coach, always a coach.” People call me “Coach” whenever they greet me. Other coaches, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and of course players who I have coached through the years all address me as “Coach.” When I talk to former players, the greeting is always, “Hey, Coach.” This happens often with players who have graduated. To them, I am not “Scott,” I am “Coach.” I have only had a few ex-players in my life ever address me by my first name, even those who are in their 30’s and 40’s now. I would have no problem with them calling me “Scott” – it is my name that everybody else calls me. However, just about every one of my players still calls me “Coach.” There are a few reasons why this happens. One is that they are uncomfortable calling me anything but “Coach” due to the respect that they have for me. Another is that they also have a level of respect for the title of “Coach.” Finally, one of the main reasons players still call me “Coach,” is that is my name to them. That is all they have known me as, and that is all they would ever consider calling me.

I still remember the first time I was ever called “Coach.” I imagine the young man who called me “Coach” for the first time doesn’t even remember me, but I have never forgotten the moment it happened, and I even remember the young man’s name – Matt Schuning – because of how powerful the moment was for me. I was student-teaching, and I was helping coach the freshmen boys’ basketball team. Matt was on the freshman team, and he was in my freshman English class. It was the day after our first practice, and Matt walked into the room and said, “Hey, Coach.” I was stunned. Here was a kid calling me, “Coach,” after one day of me being his coach. I thought, “That’s cool! I’m a Coach!” And then it hit me – “Whoa! I’m a Coach. These kids are looking up to me. They are taking their cues from me. They are listening to what I have to say and watching how I act. Holy Cow! I better do things the right way. I better behave properly. I better be a good role model. I better not screw this up!” I was 20-years-old, and the concept of “responsibility” had just hit me in the face with one 15-year-old boy calling me “Coach.”

That was 1981. For 34 years, I have never taken the title, the responsibility, or the importance of what I do for kids as a teacher and coach lightly. I have never taken the name that I am known by to so many people – “Coach” – for granted. Whether or not I ever coach again, I know that my name is “Coach” to thousands of people out there, and I have a huge responsibility to live up to being called “Coach.” Other than “Dad,” there is no greater name that I will be called. I have always loved and will always love being called “Coach,” and I will always keep in mind the great responsibility that I owe to that name. I hope any of you who are called “Coach” love being called “Coach” as much as I do. I also hope that you, too, will treat the name “Coach” with the dignity and responsibility that it deserves.

Do you remember the first time you were called “Coach”? Do you remember how that made you feel? I would love to hear from you in the comments section here or below this post on my website –

About the Author of this Article

Scott Rosberg has been a coach (basketball, soccer, & football) at the high school level for 30 years, an English teacher for 18 years, and an athletic director for 12 years. He has published seven booklets on coaching and youth/school athletics, two books of inspirational messages and quotes for graduates, and a newsletter for athletic directors and coaches. He also speaks to schools, teams, and businesses on a variety of team-building, leadership, and coaching topics. Scott has a blog and a variety of other materials about coaching and athletic topics on his website – He can be reached by email at [email protected].

Scott is also a member of the Proactive Coaching speaking team. Proactive Coaching is dedicated to helping organizations create character and education-based team cultures, while providing a blueprint for team leadership. They help develop confident, tough-minded, fearless competitors and train coaches and leaders for excellence and significance. Proactive Coaching can be found on the web at Also, you can join the 200,000+ people who have “Liked” Proactive Coaching’s Facebook page at Scott can also be reached through Proactive Coaching at [email protected].