Ideas from the Basketball Super Coaching Clinic

The Canada Basketball Super Clinic brings together top coaches and technical experts to share their ideas on coaching basketball. The clinic covers all aspects of coaching development and these are some of ideas from the super coaching clinic.


Three times in a game defense is in scramble:

  1. Transition
  2. Offensive rebound
  3. Can create double team or rotation

Mike Mackay Quote

Transition Concepts

  • Wanted to run and find first action, find open player.
  • Use your advantage.
  • Action means to create.

Offensive Rebounds

  • Want players to get to hot spot, they track it in practice and games. Also get to clean up and short spot.
  • Want to compete on boards.
  • If you are below foul line on offense you need to get to hot spot, clean up or short spot.
  • Other two players get to short and long safety.

Spacing on the Floor

  • Double and single gaps.
  • Drive into double.
  • Back cut against all defenses at rim to put pressure.
  • If you have an offense that does the above you are not able to be scouted because there is always a read to make.
  • Exit cuts need to be flat so you can see floor.

Rules of Defense

  • Protect basket.
  • Pressure the ball because it takes away vision.
  • Want offense to catch ball outside where they want to.
  • Guard one and a half.
  • David Blatt said to try to ‘gain a meter’ on defense.

Jack Armstrong

Importance of Relationships

  • Rules without relationships = rebellion.
  • X’s and 0’s don’t mean you know people, you must connect with them.
  • Kids see trees – As coach you are trying to get them through he forest to the other side.

Coaching with Emotion

  • Can’t coach offense with emotion.
  • Learned from Al McGuire to coach offense with a limp wrist and defense by being firm.
    Live with a bad shot and show the film after.
  • As his own coaching career went on he started to sit down when his team was on offense, so players would be more relaxed.


  • See the end product before you begin.
  • You are in sales as a coach so you must make a connection.

Four Quadrants of Team

(Adapted from Nick Nurse – Toronto Raptors Assistant Coach)

Team Building

  • Is it important to be liked?
  • Always times of conflict.
  • Get them to respect you, connect with them on human level.
  • Daily maintenance concept from Chuck Daly: Connect with each player each day. He had a chart and kept record of it.


How do you build team unity?

  • Find a theme during the team building phase that grounds the players and coaching staff throughout the process.
  • The less questions your players have the more you can teach.

How to deal with a short time frame to prepare a team for international competition?

  • The job is to prepare players individually and also as a team.
  • The goal is to chip away and build a relationship with players.
  • Philosophy was to find a way and make it work.
  • When dealing with difficult players you must figure out the critical people in their life.
  • You must learn as much as possible about them.

What is your preparation for coaching in a high level environment?

  • Figure out and scout players you are getting.
  • Who are you connected with?
  • The more you know on the front end helps.
  • Don’t want to find out something about a player for the first time in a timeout.
  • Want kids to have trust in the process.

Roy Rana Quote

Role Card Concept

  • In addition to having individual meetings with players and staff,  he gives each person a role card.
  • A role card outlines what role a member of the team can fulfil for the team to be successful.
  • For example when he coached Andrew Wiggins, on the front of the role care was the phrase “Selfless Star.” Below this phrase it outlined some ideas about how Wiggins could do this; take charges, be first on bus, communicate. On the back of the card it reminded him to not be afraid to take shots and be aggressive.
  • Role can give trust, and can be referenced throughout a season.


Use your leadership voice – Reminded players to speak loud when they wanted to answer something.
Shyness is the enemy of elite athletes.

Sefu Bernard Quote

Youth Sport Goals

  1. Sweat
  2. Smiles
  3. Shining eyes

Shooting Emphasis

  1. Up
  2. On
  3. Out
  • Shooting is a hard skill not a soft skill.
  • Had players stand along three-point line with ball between feet to check form.
  • Generate force.
  • Ball towards hoop.
  • Leave and land on balance.


Application of John Wooden Teaching to Individual Skill Development

  • Demonstrate
  • Copy
  • Correct – Pick one skill a day
  • Reps

Basic Practice Plan

  1. Fundamentals with communication and basketballs
  2. New Ideas
    – Put new things in early, can give handout night before, and walk through before warm-up starts.
  3. Old Ideas and repetitions
  4. Overload Drills
    – Numbers advantage/disadvantage.
  5. Smile drills
    – Relays, contests, scrimmage, competitive, winner/loser.

75% Rule

  • Want as much work in each drill as possible. Want at least 75% of your players involved at all times in each drill.


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