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Jason Mejeur

Coaching and Visualization (Imagery): See the Coach You Want to Be.

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football


This article was originally written by Wayne Goldsmith with WG Coaching. Wayne has 25 years of experience with olympic and professional level teams. Visualization is used by many athletes to optimize their performance and coaches should be doing the same. 


Many athletes incorporate visualisation (imagery) into their training programs and their preparation for competition.

Usually visualisation involves athletes using their minds to “imagine” (visualise) situations and how they would or should manage those situations when faced with them in real life.

For example, an athlete training for the Olympic Games might visualise the sights and sounds of the Olympic final so that they become familiar with that performance setting.

Visualization can be a powerful tool in athlete preparation but what about using Visualization to improve your coaching?

Coaching and Visualization….See the Coach You Want to Be.


So what is Visualization (or Imagery)?


Every body dreams.

Everyone has an imagination.

Everyone has laid back in their bed and dreamed about becoming a “Jedi-Knight” or a Formula One racing driver or a world famous actor or of scoring the winning goal in the World Cup Final or winning the lottery. Dreaming and imagining what could be is something all us humans do.

Visualisation is using the power of your own imagination to see, feel and experience something in your mind without actually experiencing it.


So why is this important?


Success or failure in sport is often determined by experience.

Experience is prized above all other things by recruitment agencies, HR departments and other sporting leaders who hire and fire coaches.

Experience, i.e. having proven that you can do the job is what job interviews, job descriptions and sports recruitment is all about.

The problem is that often you don’t get the actual experience you need until after you need it!

How many times have you coached athletes who have failed at their first attempt to win an important race due to their lack of experience at that level of competition?

How many times have you seen teams fall at the final hurdle due to a lack of experience of performing at their best in important games.

Experience is a determining factor of success in every sport and every field of endeavor.

Yet, for many athletes, coaches and teams, you only get one chance: only one opportunity to realise your dreams.

What is needed is a way to live the experience, to feel the experience, to “see” the experience without actually doing it so that you are prepared to manage the emotion of moment when it comes for real.

And that’s where visualization comes in. You can see it before you have to be it.


Visualization – how to do it: Making it real.


First of all, learning to visualize is not a big deal. You don’t need to spend a lot of time and money learning how to do it: after all, it is just tapping into the power of imagination that we all have but have lost touch with.

But, the key to doing it effectively is making it real, i.e. making it seem and feel real.

Mastering visualization means arriving at the big game or the big race or the major event with the calm, composed, confidence that only experience can provide.

Before you commence your visualization session, do your homework. Talk to people who have experienced the event or game you are targeting and which will be the focus of your visualization practice.

If possible, get a video of other games, other races and other events held in the competition venue where you and your athletes will be performing. If you can, go to the competition venue, look around, sit in the change-rooms, walk around the warm-up area etc. Take some deep breaths and immerse yourself in the environment where you and your athletes will be facing the pressures of performance.

The more real, the more accurate, the more you can experiencevisualisation (i.e. as opposed to just seeing a vague image in your mind) the better.


Visualization: Relaxation and Breathing.


Visualization is a simple mental skill to learn and master.

Find a nice quiet place and relax. A simple way to relax is to concentrate on deep, slow breathing. A great guide for relaxing breathing is to aim for 5 breaths in one minute by breathing in for a four count, breathing out for a four count and just remaining still and relaxed for a four count before breathing in again (i.e. 12 seconds per breath cycle).

After one minute (i.e. 5 in and an out breaths), begin imagining the situation, the settings, the sights, the sounds and the smells of the target of your visualisation.

Imagine every aspect of the event. The noise. The competition arena. The crowd. Experience the entire experience in your mind.


Here are some practical Coaching Visualization Exercises for you to try:


  1. If you are in a competition with a “finals” series and your team is knocked out and doesn’t make the finals, use Coaching Visualization to imagine what you would do if your team had actually made the finals. How would you plan your week ? How would you select your players? How would prepare for each training session? How would you address the players before they run out for the big game? Spend time visualizing how you would coach at your best during the finals series and then next season, when you have to do it for real, you will have no surprises and perform magnificently;
  2. If you have a big event coming up and you need to be calm, composed, clear and confident for your athletes, try some visualization. Imagine yourself on the sideline or in the coaching box. See yourself as being calm and composed. Feel your body language as being positive and powerful. See your athletes performing and imagine how you will respond, i.e. with clarity and confidence.




  1. Experience is such a precious commodity in sport, that it make sense to try and find ways of fast tracking it and gaining the experience you need before you actually need it;
  2. Visualization (imagery) has long been a tool that athletes have used to help them see and feel the competition environment prior to the actual competition to help them deal with the stress and anxiety which often undermines successful performance;
  3. However, visualization (imagery) is just as effective with coaches who, with a little patience and a little practice can use visualization techniques and their imaginations to learn, grow and win when they need to win.


So give Coaching by Visualization a Try: See the Coach You Want to Be.


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6 Tips for Teaching Tackling

By | Coaches Resources, Football


  This article was originally posted by Ryne Dennis with FNF Coaches. Tackling form, or lack thereof, can make or break the effectiveness of a defense. Here are 6 tips to help your team become better tacklers.


6 Tackling Tips


PREP KIDS FOR CONTACT EARLY IN THE SEASON. Stallbaumer likes to use the first contact day of the season to get his kids prepared. “We’ll do Oklahoma drills and that sort of stuff and try to get them into it and used to contact,” Stallbaumer said. “I think there’s just as much getting in shape and dealing with contact more than anything else.”

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CLINICS. Stallbaumer flew to Orlando, Fla. over the summer to learn some of the finer points of safe tackling from USA Football. The clinic preaches Heads Up Football, a program that focuses on players tackling in a safe manner. “There’s nothing specific we teach really about the neck, but that’s something we always preach is keeping your head up and eyes up and see what you hit,” Stallbaumer said.

TEACH THE TECHNIQUES. Even without contact, players can learn the proper way to tackle an opponent simply by practicing correct fundamentals. Through USA Football, Stallbaumer has become an advocate of teaching its way of shoulder tackling instead of leading with the head. “We’ve really bought into the shoulder tackling stuff,” Stallbaumer said. “We sat down as a staff this spring and went through videos and came up with five different full-team circuits we now use to practice tackling.”

FOOTWORK IS KEY. The entire Basehor-Linwood coaching staff constantly relays the footwork message to their players. Often times kids will get lazy and not move their feet, which only leads to more injuries, according to Stallbaumer. “I think that’s where a lot of kids get neck injuries is because they’re dropping their heads while lunging and diving,” Stallbaumer said. “If you get the footwork taught, I think that’s going to help with keeping the head up.”

VIEW NON-CONTACT AS AN ADVANTAGE. Stallbaumer likes his kids to believe that contact only wears them down for Friday nights. He doesn’t mind his team not going full out every day of the week. “We’ve been a thud team for a long time,” Stallbaumer said. “We don’t go full contact a lot in our scrimmage periods. In the state of Kansas, we get summer contact camps that you can go to, so our kids are used to that “thud” contact at this point.”

THINK HEALTHY OVER HURTING. There’s a balance to be found when it comes to contact. There’s also a different opinion about limited contact from nearly every coach you speak to. Some believe you have to hit every day of the week leading up to Friday to become a strong and physical team. Others believe less contact equals more repetitions a team can get in during practice. Either way, the best scenario for any coach is to have a healthy team on Friday night. Stallbaumer believes to do that, you must keep your kids healthy during the week. “I think a lot of that is balancing that injury factor,” Stallbaumer said. “We might not be as good a tackling team as some, but we have a lot of healthy guys out there playing.”

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7 Tips to Improving Mental Performance

By | Football


This article was originally posted by Dan Guttenplan with FNF Coaches. Any successful football team needs players that are mentally sharp. Here are 7 helpful tips to increase your teams mental performance this upcoming season. 


7 Mental Tips

A team that is focused from the opening kickoff to the final whistle has the best chance of maximizing the time it spends training in the weight room and on the field.

SportStrata (N.Y.) mental performance coach Ben Oliva offers seven tips for coaches who are looking to maximize their players’ mental performance.

Goal setting: Focus on process rather than outcome. When coaches are setting goals for the team during the preseason, it’s important to focus on the steps the players will need to take to achieve a particular outcome. “Break down the process of what will lead to those team goals,” Oliva said. “Show up on time, make sure you know the playbook, run crisp routes, communicate on the field.”

Game plan: Set expectations while introducing the game plan. Don’t try to spin every matchup as a positive. “One common mistake I see coaches make is that – by trying to be positive and boost guys up – they end up talking their players into thinking the other team is not that good. While it’s helpful to boost egos and help them feel prepared, you want to set the expectation that the other team is extremely talented.”

Film review: Mix positive and negative feedback. Don’t allow the outcome of the game to influence how much positive or negative feedback you provide the players. Every game – even lopsided outcomes – will offer opportunities to emphasize positives and areas for improvement. “The better the player, the more you can lean toward critical feedback. For the players on the back of the roster, it might be smart to emphasize positive plays.”

Pregame: Go through a mental rehearsal. Oliva is quick to note a mental rehearsal is not the same as visualization. “If you can bring all of the senses into the experience, it will be more effective. First, you should mentally rehearse the way you want things to go in a realistic way. What would you see? What would you hear? How would it feel?”

Rehearsal: Contingency planning. If you only rehearse positive moments, you won’t be prepared when your team experiences adversity. “All football teams have predictable challenges. You might go for it on fourth down and not get it. People are reluctant to mentally rehearse those moments. How will they respond when it happens? By going on the sideline and sulking? Or being supportive of the defense and keeping the energy up?

Mindfulness strategies: Breathing and body language. A player can positively impact his teammates by maintaining a powerful posture and remaining calm through deep breathing. “You can practice using the power of deep breaths to calm yourself and focus in high-pressure situations. Emphasize one thing that you have control over, which is body language. If you stand in a confident way, your hormones are affected by that powerful position.”

Mindfulness strategies: Self-massaging. Be mindful that your inner voice is helping your performance rather than hindering it. “When you make a mistake, it’s natural to say, ‘You suck,’ and find negative ways to respond to your inner critic. It can be helpful in terms of turning around a negative pattern to flip the negativity. Adaptive self-talk can be helpful to performance.”

Read Original Article Here


M1 Announces Long-Term Strategic
Partnership with Anthony Tolliver

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling


                                                                                                                                                                 Detroit, September 22

Tolliver and MaxOne a Perfect Fit 

NBA veteran Anthony Tolliver is known league wide as the ultimate team player. With that said, it should come as no surprise that the ultimate team player, Tolliver, has teamed up with the ultimate team platform, MaxOne for a long-term partnership.



MaxOne and Detroit Forward Anthony Tolliver are extremely excited to announce a partnership focused on growing the game of basketball and providing motivated athletes and coaches access to NBA quality workouts and training.

I have always had a passion for helping players develop both on and off the court. MaxOne shares that passion and is a phenomenal platform designed to build stronger teams. I’m extremely excited about what we can do together to grow the game of basketball

A leader and influencer amongst his peers, Tolliver was elected as Vice President of the NBA Players Association. More than a strong leader on the court and in the locker room, Tolliver also prides himself on his business acumen and has brought his high energy approach to other partnerships that have matched his interests and values.

Upon hearing about MaxOne, Tolliver wanted to try it for himself.  After using the skill and strength features of the MaxOne app Tolliver immediately became a believer.

I wish I would have had a tool like this coming up.  It makes training so simple and allows me to track the work that I’m putting in.  MaxOne should be used from the lowest levels to the highest.  I plan to use MaxOne with my trainers and find ways to help young athletes improve their games.

Stay tuned for new and exciting initiatives from MaxOne and Anthony Tolliver.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling


This article was written by Amy Morin as a preview of her book: “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do”. This article isn’t sports specific, but discusses principles that can be applied to anyone’s sports program.


 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Mentally strong people have healthy habits. They manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in ways that set them up for success in life. Check out these things that mentally strong people don’t do so that you too can become more mentally strong.

1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves

Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.

2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power

They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change

Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.

4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control

You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.

5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone

Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.

6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks

They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.

7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past

Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over

They accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success

Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.

10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure

They don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time

Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.

12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything

They don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.

13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results

Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.

The 5 Stages of a Coach’s Career

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track, Volleyball

The following post was written by Coach Dawn Redd-Kelly and originally published on her coaching blog, Coach Dawn Writes.


Let me tell you what I think about coaches: we’re crazy in our preparation and dedication, we work long hours and love it, we give up our nights and weekends, we mentor our student-athletes, we demand big things from them and even more from ourselves, we’re passionate in our belief in our team and our love for our sport, we believe in the power of sport to have a positive and long-lasting impact in our athlete’s lives.  So when I saw “The 5 Stages of Your Career” over at Bob Starkey’s blog, I wanted to expand on it over here.  It’s interesting to figure out what stage you’re in and those that you’ve already gone through…or have you circled back around to some you thought you were finished with?  Check them out and see what you think.

The 5 Stages of Your Career

1.   Survival: Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Coaches, you remember what this stage felt like don’t you?   Or maybe you’re in the middle of this stage now and feel like you’re flailing.  I remember being beyond clueless…that’s back when I thought I just needed to know volleyball to be a volleyball coach!  Turns out also I needed to formulate a recruiting plan, balance a budget, create practice plans, order equipment, manage assistant coaches, and make in-game adjustments.  Color me unprepared, but thank goodness for a veteran coach who took me under his wing.

2.   Striving for Success: You Want Folks to Recognize You Can Coach
Your motivation?  Winning, plain and simple.  You’re obsessed with conquering the competition and put in hours and hours of your time to make it happen.  Being the best is what drives you and to be the best, you need the tangible accolades that go along with that:  lots of W’s in the win column, all-league awards for your team, and maybe a coach of the year for you.

3.   Satisfaction: You Relax, Set Another Goal, & Want To Get Better
Now that you’ve achieved a few of your goals, you can relax and know that you’re a good coach and you have the respect of your peers.  You attend conferences to network and visit with old friends as much as you do to learn some new things…you’re getting established.  Each year you set new goals to accomplish that will push you and your team forward…you’re focused.

4.   Significance: Changing Lives For The Good
At this stage you’re more concerned with how you impact your teams and your legacy than you are with personal glory…after all, you’ve already accomplished a lot.  Now you want to make sure your teams understand the value of sport and hope that you’re teaching them how to be better people, not just better players.  With all of your experience and years in the game, you’re very knowledgeable.  And because of the success you’ve had in your career, this is the stage where people solicit your opinion and ask for your help with their coaching conundrums.

5.   Spent: No Juice Left, Can’t Do It Any More
The busses, the trips, preseason, recruiting, the hustle, the grind…you’re over it.  You’re ready to hang with the family and actually make it home before nine o’clock at night.  And your weekends?  You want them back.  Not even the prospect of that super sweet and talented recruiting class that you just brought in is enough to bring you back into the fold.  As much as you love your sport, you’re just not that fired up about the season this year…it’s time to hang it up.

So what stage are YOU at?

The Game Needs More Fans
(Rules for Basketball Parents)

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources


This article by Marke Freeman was originally posted by our partners at PGC Basketball. It’s a great article that discusses different ways parents can aid in their athlete’s development.  

First, a Story

As a basketball teacher, trainer and mentor, I have the privilege of attending a lot of basketball games to watch my athletes play. Sitting in the stands of a high school girls’ basketball game late January, the hair on my neck began to stand up. Do I say something now or wait and find a better time? I was fighting myself as I watched a player fall apart both mentally and physically as she was scolded and criticized for her performance from an individual in the stands sitting just two rows behind me. Her coach was doing his best to encourage her but was drowned out by the inappropriate remarks being made by who I found out was the player’s own father.

Extremely uncomfortable, I looked back and saw he was recording the game. I couldn’t imagine why he was recording (considering both teams are provided a copy after the game), but overheard him tell another parent that he and his daughter watch film together regularly. It pained me to know she would hear his commentation and disgust with her performance during their private film sessions. Between his verbal attacks at his daughter, he would question the coach’s’ ability to make in-game decisions and blatantly disrespect the referees as if they were entitled to his opinion.

I quickly realized this guy probably would not be receptive to anything I had to say about his ridiculous antics, especially considering his daughter’s team was losing. Because of that, I held my tongue and found myself cheering for his daughter. After the game, he rushed out of the stands to catch his daughter right as she was leaving the locker room. I prayed he wouldn’t say a word but just give her a huge smile and hug. Instead, she avoided eye contact as she spoke with her teammates and friends. He grabbed her gym bag and walked out the door as she followed.

Sadly, this is not the first or second time I have seen these behaviors from parents. I have come across this dozens of times in varying degrees. In fact, we have all seen that parent who seems to be a bit overzealous, and we probably have had a bit of that parent in us at one time or another. My hope is that by reading this, we all will find better ways to contribute to our child’s playing environment and overall success.

An estimated 30 million children played on youth league teams this past year. Most athletes quit sports by the time they enter middle and high school, experts say. This not only puts kids at risk of gaining weight and becoming sedentary adults, but robs them of one of the great joys of living, which is an active lifestyle. Why does this happen? Some blame goes to overzealous parents–those who are too fervent, too intense and overinvolved in their child’s playing careers.

This mindset typically causes the parent to not only make unfair and unnecessary remarks at their own child, but also at their child’s teammates, players on the opposing team, referees, coaches and other parents with different opinions. The game needs more fans and less critics posing as coaches and referees in the stands.


“The Game Needs More Fans and Less Critics”

One thing I loved about my mother while I was a player was that she knew very little about basketball when I first began. Because of her limited basketball knowledge, she could not scold me after games, she couldn’t force me into a gym to train and she couldn’t sit in the stands and talk badly about my coach’s’ philosophy. She demanded only two things: hard work and respect for all.

She never coached my performance, only my character and things that were 100% within my control. This allowed me to easily find peace after a bad performance, become intrinsically motivated to fine-tune my craft and learn from others without the confliction of a parent’s biased opinion. It made me better, allowed me to figure things out on my own and didn’t tarnish the relationship between me and my mother.


As a basketball teacher, coach and mentor, I have been asked to mediate a number of relationships between players and parents and coaches and parents. The common question asked is, “How can I contribute to my child’s playing experience and not contaminate it?” Here are four actions that have proven to work for my athletes, parents and coaches.


As a parent, you have every right to give your child instructions. But it’s very important to know when the message will be helpful and when it will be hurtful. It can be very confusing for a player who is forced to choose between listening to their coach or their parent sitting in the stands. This frustration negatively affects their experience and performance.

Trust that the coach will give the necessary feedback. Not even the best coaches in the world always make all the correct game-time decisions, but trust that they have the best interest of each individual player and the team. Trust that the officials are doing their absolute best with what they know–not even the top official in professional leagues get every call right.

Channel your energy to the controllable. Celebrate the players for their effort.


The pressure of wins and losses is coming to players at too young of an age. This is provoked by societal attitudes that encourage winning at all costs and by parents who seem to be living vicariously through their child. Remember, winning isn’t everything. What’s most important is the character of the athlete being developed. There are so many positive character traits developed through sports. If we define success and failures in terms of winning and losing, we are playing a losing game with the child. Remember what is most important.

sports characteristics


Following a game, most participants are mentally and physically exhausted, which in turn can make players, coaches and officials less receptive to feedback. Refrain from game feedback or constructive criticism of players and/or coaches for at least 24-48 hours after a game (unless asked sooner). This has proven to work very well as it allows everyone involved to calm down, assess the game, self-assess and self correct where needed. Allowing time also makes it more probable the player and/or coach will be receptive to feedback and not become defensive or question one’s intentions.


The most important six words one can tell an athlete following a game is, “I love to watch you play.” The pressure of wins and losses has many athletes feeling as if their value to the world is determined by their performance. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Following a tough performance, remind them of how special they are and of the things they did well. They should know you support them and are proud of them regardless of the final score.

As parents/fans, our opinion is often the most valued, but we sometimes forget the power our opinion, words and mannerisms hold. We control both the type of energy and level of energy in the gym which affects the performance of players, coaches and referees. We can contribute to the playing environment, or we can contaminate the playing environment. Contribute by shouting praises! Remember, character building is what’s most important. Respect player’s peace of mind and trust the intentions of coaches and referees. Make the sport world a better place. Don’t be another critic. Be their #1 fan.

The Four T’s Of International Offense

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

The Four T’s Of International Offense – Four “automatics” to help your team create an advantage. This article was originally published by our partners at Radius Athletics. 

The Four T’s

When watching International offenses one often sees reoccurring reads. Not plays. Not calls, but reads.

Against a neutral and organized defense, offenses need to use an action to create an advantage. There are four such actions: ball screen, dribble handoff (DHO), off-ball screen and penetration.

The defense’s goal is to neutralize these actions and stay organized. Therefore when attempting to create an advantage it’s imperative to have simple, quick reads in place to counter the defense.

Here are four such reads known as “The Four T’s Of International Offense.”


The “twist” is a ball screen read used when the on-ball defender goes under the ball screen and no advantage is present.











In the diagram above, X1 goes under 5’s ball screen. 5 recognizes this and “twists” into a rescreen for 1. Now 5 can get a better angle and X1 will be induced to go over the top giving the offense an advantage. The ball handler must recognize this situation as well and use the twisting screener.

In the clip below, Pau Gasol reads that a “twist” is needed and sets a rescreen for the ball handler.

Only after the second screen is an advantage created and a second defender engaged.

Basketball GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY










The “twist” concept can be applied to DHOs as well. The “automatic” is the same – if the defender goes under and no advantage is gained, twist.



The “turn” is a read applied to the off-ball screen such as a downscreen. The theme is the same – the screen did not create an advantage so the screener “turns” into a rescreen.












When the cutter (2) gets the catch after using the downscreen, he/she finds themselves with no advantage. The screener recognizes that the cutter’s defender matched on the catch and immediately “turns” to ball screen for the cutter.

Basketball GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY










Above we see ASVEL set a staggered downscreen. The cutter is matched on the catch and the second screener “turns” into the ball screen.


The “take” is subtly different from a DHO in that the deliverer of the handoff is not dribbling.

In International offense you often see a guard pass to a big on the perimeter and burst into a cut to “take” the ball back. It often, but not always, comes after a guard has killed their dribble.

Basketball GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY










The big gets a wide base and “puts the ball on a platter” for the guard to “take.” Sprinting into the cut can create a small advantage.












In the diagram above, 1 passes to 5 and cuts to “take” the ball. 1 and 5 are reading X1. If X1 trails around the “take” then 1 would curl and drive (as seen in the video clip above from Iberostar Tenerife).

The “twist” can be applied to the “take” when the defender goes under the handoff. Take the ball from the big, the big then “twists” into the ball screen.


The ball screen may create a temporary small advantage for the ball handler that is neutralized by a secondary defender.

For example, a ball screen is set, the screener rolls and the ball handler attacks.

The ball handler cannot get down the lane line to put pressure on the rim due to drop coverage by the screener’s defender or a guard helping in.












Player 1, unable to get down the lane line, bounces the dribble back out to the perimeter. 5 sprints into the ball screen, thus he/she screens “twice” in an attempt to create an advantage.

Basketball GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY










Above ASVEL demonstrates the “twice” concept. The ball handler coming out of the ball screen cannot get down the lane line. The screener who rolled, comes back and screens “twice” to create the small advantage.

  • The purpose of actions is to create an advantage that can be used, maintained and increased.
  • The “Four T’s” prominent in International offense demonstrate the idea that if no advantage has been created, then no advantage has been created! Read the situation and make a second attempt.

10 Areas for Coaching Growth

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

10 Areas for Coaching Growth” by Brandon Rosenthal was originally published by our partners at Fastmodel Sports. With the arrival of July, we’re still in the heart of summer with plenty of time to study and find ways to improve our teams for next season. In the coming months, if you’re looking for some different areas for coaching growth that would be worth your investment for the betterment of your program, consider adding a couple or all of these areas of practice into your program. 


1 – Lifestyle

Living a healthy and balanced lifestyle off the court makes for a better player on the court. The average athlete knows about hydration, eating right, and getting 8-9 hours of sleep. By the time athletes have entered college they’ve heard about the effects of alcohol and anabolic steroids. How much time are you spending with your athletes talking about their off the court habits? They may know, but are they following the small but priceless pieces of advice they’re getting about a healthy lifestyle.

It’s vital for athletes to have a plan when they’re on the court and it’s just as important off the court. For example, are your athletes eating breakfast every day and planning their food intake around individual workouts, lifts, and team practices? When the athletes in your program go to the grocery store, do they know what items to purchase and what to avoid? To provide their bodies the best potential to develop, perform, and recover, they need to take the necessary steps with their diet to do so!

Supplements have become a popular portion of an athlete’s diet. However, it’s pivotal to not let supplements dominate a diet. Thus, are the athletes in your program knowledgeable about avoiding letting supplements become the primary source for their key daily nutrients?

Educate your program on a healthy lifestyle so players can be at their best when needed. Design and implement a plan for each athlete. Even consider asking a sports nutritionist to come in and speak with your team. Many sports nutritionists love helping young people and might be willing to speak for free or at a discounted rate. The value might be invaluable for your team next season!

2 – Mental Training

Arguably one of the greatest untapped areas of player development is in the mental side of the game. Mental training can exceedingly take the athletes in your program and ultimately your team to the next level! We know basketball is a complex game and to excel athletes need to operate in a free, focused, and flow state of mind.

We’ve heard the phrase “peak performance.” However, how do we get our team to be operating at their peak performance?  How can we eliminate some of the performance gaps? It’s empowering for an athlete that understands what it feels like for him or her to perform at their highest level and have awareness of how to get there.

Many times, athletes aren’t aware of the different stressors that occur in a game or throughout a season that take away from their confidence. Take time to feed your athletes with a routine and strategies to be aware of stressors and ultimately defeat them. When players are in control of their mind, they can truly begin to take control of their games!  This summer, figure out ways to not only develop the physical skills of your athletes, but their mental skills as well.

3 – Recovery

One area athletes, especially young athletes are susceptible to skipping steps in their training and development is with their recovery.  Another element to creating a healthy lifestyle is making sure to incorporate a quality recovery plan, especially in season.  An enormous amount of research has gone into athlete recovery systems.  Without an effective recovery program, muscle growth, quality of performance, and injury prevention is limited.  For athletes that go on to play collegiately and professionally, taking their recovery system seriously can play the single biggest factor in the length of their career.

This is a great area to empower your trainers and strength and conditioning coaches.  Build the habit of stretching after practice, rolling out, hydrating, and getting proper nutrition. Some facilities also have access to cold tubs, saunas and other equipment that is designed for athlete recovery.  Make the decision to incorporate a recovery system into your post practices and post games.  Then encourage your athletes to take advantage of these different resources and maximize their use throughout the season.  The results will be eye opening and long lasting.

4 – Yoga

Another great resource that fits into your recovery system is Yoga. Yoga has become a staple of many player development programs. Is it time for you to get your team involved? The benefits seem endless. Some of the benefits are obvious, like increased flexibility, injury prevention and blood flow. Studies also show how slow breathing induces tranquility. Yoga can help develop breathing tactics needed in a high intense workout and within competition. While other benefits like mental and physical awareness can go a long way towards improving the whole player on and off the court.

5 – Guest Speakers

Sometimes your team needs to hear from a different voice. Maybe your team has a theme or phrase for the upcoming season that could be complimented by a guest speaker. Former players, a local hero, leaders from other professions, often times make for great guest speakers. Seek out great storytellers, people that can motivate your team and provide your team with direction and focus. Other great speakers are those that make your team think. Military, police, and firefighters also deliver a powerful message that can provide your team with perspective about values that every great team must have.

6 – Teaching – Digital

Athletes learn from a variety of mediums. Some players need to see action drawn in a diagram, some players need to see the action in video and many need to see both. Either in a team setting, on an iPad, or phone, providing your athletes the opportunity to study the game from diagrams and film can be a total game changer. Even with limited resources a 30-second to 10-minute edit with a playbook, can help your athletes have a better comprehension of what, how, and why.

Start by evaluating from all ends of your program. From your defensive system to your skill development program, would putting together a film edit or diagramming specifics enhance the opportunity for your players to have a clearer understanding of what you’re teaching them?  Sometimes the best way to start or finish teaching a topic is to complement it with film. Use NBA players to create a level of credibility or even better, use game or practice film featuring your athletes.

(editor’s note: If you don’t have FastDraw, now would be about the right time to get it!)

7 – Individual Routines

Think back to your practices. Do your players arrive early? They should. What do they do before practice officially starts? How many shots do your players take during practice? Do your players have any serious areas of need for improvement this season to be able to contribute or have the type of impact you expect them to have?

Many of those questions can be answered with a 10-minute to 20-minute routine that is planned out, taught, and practiced in the pre-season. Often times, players walk into a gym before practice with no purpose. Provide them a daily plan. Help them get their daily basketball vitamins and watch them improve. Getting a solid 20-minute workout in before practice can also help your team take the hit if your practice is being cut short or there isn’t a lot of skill work involved for the day. Make your players and ultimately your team better by creating individual routines for your players.

8 – Organize Your Program

Better prepare yourself and your team. When it comes to game planning are you prepared to make adjustments on the fly? Why wait for the pressure and speed of the season to make decisions when you can make some of those decisions now? One of the best tactics in the off-season is to evaluate your program A-Z. From the managers to the travel itinerary. Where can your team get better this off-season? Randy Sherman wrote a great post about this subject “Self Scout – Asking Tough Questions” read it!

9 – Connect with Your Players

As a coach, you’re going to work with athletes from all different backgrounds and experiences. Read, listen to podcasts, and watch documentaries on different topics outside of your comfort zone. Pick a couple different topics that you know your athletes know a great deal more than you do! For example, if you’re of the “old school” spend some time figuring out how to use social media. Maybe one of your athletes is from overseas. Learn about an important custom from his or her country.

Sometimes the best way to connect with your players is away from the gym. Spend some time this summer building a schedule for the pre-season to do lunch with every athlete on your team. Avoid talking basketball or the season and focus on him or her as a person. Create that 1-on-1 bond, and more importantly trust. Even if it’s just a little time spent on a completely different topic or making time, it can go a long way to strengthening your relationships with your athletes.

10 – Study How the Game is Evolving

The game is always evolving and it’s important as a coach you evolve with it. Coaching improves, players get stronger, more athletic, and they style of play changes. Think back to your strengths and weaknesses from the season. Was there anything on the court that gave your team problems. Maybe it was attacking ball screen coverages where the opponent was switching. Maybe your team saw a lot of match-up zone this past season and you felt like your team didn’t execute well against it. As you watched the NBA playoffs, you may have saw a concept you really liked and think it might fit your personnel well this upcoming season. Take time this summer to reflect on areas of the game your team can get better at as the game continues to evolve.

Summer School for Coaches?

By | Coaches Resources, Football


The beauty and brilliance of football is that is always changing. These changes come from the desire to innovate and out of a desire to win more games.  The sport of football is insanely complex when we look at the number of movements not only with the ball, but also away from the ball.

Timing, execution, and adjustments are necessary characteristics of teams who excel and succeed in the greatest sport ever designed.

Popularity of the RPO

Half of all programs are running the Run Pass Option in high schools across America.  This is a highly complex offense with a great amount of trust and confidence placed in the quarterback at the helm of the operations on field.


MaxOne decided to test the demand for better education, knowledge and study of this dynamic offense by teaming up with X&O Labs – a Football Research Company. Together they administered a Coaches Summer School and the response was FANTASTIC.


“I want to share all this content with my staff so I filled up 2 whole notebooks taking down all the play diagrams and good verbiage to show my staff.”

-Ron Norman – Offensive Coordinator


How Summer School Worked

This RPO SUMMER SCHOOL delivered 2 RPO reports each day for five days to dedicated football coaches around the country.  Every day, more and more coaches signed up and devoured the reports, they could not get enough.


By week’s end over 1,000 coaches had ripped through 10 RPO reports broken down segment by segment.  Usage rates were nearly shutting down the MaxOne servers.

Strategies and concepts covered:

  • The best drills to simulate RPO reads
  • How to train your QB’s eyes
  • Develop your QB’s rhythm and delivery
  • Designing RPO off box count
  • RPO Organization and implementation
  • Training OL in RPOs
  • Using RPOs to beat man coverage


At the end of the course MaxOne delivered the best 13 drills to train QB’s in the RPO. Coaches immediately began sharing these drills with their fellow coaches and, more importantly, with their QB’s.

Get Access

With over 1,000 coaches participating – it’s proof that there are masses of coaches all over the country scheming on the RPO this summer.


“This is where Football is headed, is less classroom learning film time and film review and more assignment based learning for game film with athletes accessing it on their own.”

                                    -Jason Fuller, Head Coach


To meet this demand MaxOne is offering the FREE TRIAL that includes the 10 RPO reports and 13 QB drills.


Get Access Here