Communication is critical in basketball

How to teach communication through drills

When coaching a basketball player, you will often recognize that they will think about what skills they would like to acquire. Whether that means to be a great passer, shooter, slasher or all three, each person fails to miss one important aspect of basketball. While wanting to shoot like Steph Curry or pass like Steve Nash is admirable, there is one thing that many players miss. That one important thing is communication on the court. Communicating on the basketball court is something ALL good teams do on every possession. Whether on offense or on defense “communication is key” in basketball and that’s something any reasonable coach can see.

No offense can function without a guard communicating properly to his teammates but it goes so much deeper than that. Screens cannot be set, players who are open will not be found and even worse that means players will play “Hero Ball” and go in a crowd to shoot a low percentage shot. This also contributes to turnovers as passes can go awry if players are not on the same page. As a result, the offensive execution of a team depends on communication of some sort. As important as communication is on offense, it is perhaps even more important on defense.

Coaches, how many times did you look on with anger in your heart as you saw your own team get mercilessly destroyed by an opposing team’s player cutting to the rim? How many times did you want to throw the poor clipboard to the ground as your team’s rotation was not properly executed and a player was wide open for an easy layup or jump shot? Now how many times did you think in that instance “They gotta talk!!”? If your answer to all three questions was “a lot” then you do not need me to tell you what not communicating on defense can do. The result of a team not talking on defense is catastrophic.

“So how do I get them to communicate?” you now ask?

Unless you are coaching a team of telekinetics, you have to get them to talk while on the court to one another. Luckily there are some drills for that. Here are a couple that are paramount to having your team communicate.

Teach Communication in Offensive Drills

There are actually quite a bit of drills that a coach can use to get a team to talk. A coach can even modify simply drills like a “3 man weave” or a “2 on 1 fast break” drill into a communication drills by making players call ball. However, personally the best way to get a team prepared to communicating on the court is to have the team run through the offensive sets or plays but to have them talk about their jobs during the run through. This sounds silly for every experience basketball player and coach, however, if a team calls out what they do on a play during their run-through of the play in practice then more often than not they will execute on offense in a game better.

Teach Communication in Defensive Drills

There is one drill that I particularly like and that is the 3 on 4 contest drill. Here is a video of a version of that drill courtesy of Championship Productions:

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkNFXkStuk
This drill emphasizes the important of team defense rotating and talking while doing it.

Trust me, communication on the court will make your team better. Take a look at how important communication is to Team USA.[/fusion_text][/one_full]

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