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?


Raising Basketball IQ Part 1 – Habits

Basketball Habits by Coach Julia Allender

Habits can either make or break players and ultimately decide the outcome of a basketball game. Coach Julia Allender shares her thoughts on developing a basketball IQ.

[bctt tweet=”My intent is to raise the Basketball IQ of the player…then let them play the game.” username=”juliaallender”]

basketball coaching habits

Basketball IQ

There has been a phrase around sports training for a long time, maybe you have heard it? “Developing good habits” It has been used when coaches have been discussing training female basketball players and, in fact, it is used in the entire sporting world. Coaches have proclaimed that they want to “break their girls down, strip them of what they do wrong and then create and develop good habits”. You hear and see this at all levels and all ages. From Youth Leagues, AAU programs, High School, Junior College, Division I’s, II’s and III’s, the WNBA and NBA. It’s everywhere.

You have to ask yourself do you want to be (or even need to be) broken down? I don’t know about you but that sounds rather unappealing.

So what is a habit?

A habit is something that you do unconsciously or a way that you act in certain circumstances and situations. It is always something you do, at least partially unknowingly.

One example of a bad habit I have seen a lot of is a players traveling with the ball. There are as many different ways to do this as there are players. But what is interesting is how unaware they are of what their body is doing when they travel. This is a habit, they are doing it without deciding to do it and they are for the most part unaware that they are doing it.

With that understanding of what a habit is, then the real question is: Are there actually any “good” habits? Do you really want to unconsciously have to act a certain way because of some unknown and unseen force? Or would you rather be the one playing the game?

My view of this is, you don’t need habits. You need to understand the game of basketball well enough to respond and react to each situation as it occurs and you need to have practiced and learned well enough each of the fundamental basketball moves so that you can respond.

You need to understand basketball well enough so that as the action occurs and the defenses change you know instantly what you need to do and can do it.

When I coach a player I do not want to create habits, I want the player to have an increased awareness of what is happening around her on the court and to have the skill to respond to it, I want to train players to knowingly act! I want actions, which are based off of their knowledge I want them to use their judgment. There is another term for this it is called Basketball IQ.

My intent as a coach is to raise the Basketball IQ of the player and the physical skill then let them play the game.