Strategies to Improve Players Basketball IQ

A player's Basketball IQ can be and should be improved by all coaches at all levels (Photo Source: Hey Paul Studios)
A player’s Basketball IQ can be and should be improved by all coaches at all levels (Photo Source: Hey Paul Studios)

Developing the Basketball IQ of individual players, helps build capacity and competence for the team to achieve more. Too often the focus on player ability is initially confined to the athletic attributes and skill set. Effort and an individual’s Basketball IQ can make up for a lot, especially if this becomes mentality of a team, not just a single player.


The best source of information for a player to gain access to and improve their Basketball IQ is for them to spend time with the coach and support staff. Coach’s often overlook their role as a focus point for players in understanding and learning about the sport of basketball off the court. There are many people who will express their opinions to players that in time will alter the athlete’s perceptions (sometimes not in a positive way) if not also receiving feedback and guidance from their coach. Put simply, if the coach does not provide this information there is always someone present and willing to be the stopgap in a player’s basketball education. These varied opinions are not always beneficial to the player.


Provide detailed Scouting Reports


One of the most obvious strategies is for a coach to provide their players with detailed scouting information. This information, if provided and followed up with players during the days leading up to a game will help them understand what to look for when assessing their opposition as well as the counter tactics utilised to exploit weaknesses.


Regular Video Sessions


Another good opportunity to improve a player’s Basketball IQ is to undertake regular video sessions. This helps players see themselves and their opposition from a very different perspective and even simple concepts which are often missed can be identified and addressed in these sessions to help a player understand their importance while evaluating their own performance.


During this opportunity, a coach should be very focused on employing active questioning to ensure players are engaged and interacting. Posing questions in regards to tactics while help promote discussion and allow players to put forward their views is highly desirable.


 Undertake Goal Setting


The third point of note to help improve a player’s Basketball IQ is to utilise goal setting. Goals setting helps focus a player’s attention on a few key points for them to work towards during a training session or game. As part of the natural evolution for creating individual goals, a player will need to reflect on their own performance and receive feedback. A coach can use this opportunity to develop the Basketball IQ of a player around their development and areas of improvement in how they play the game.


Have an Open Door Policy


To help promote discussion between a player and their coach an “Open Door Policy” in regards to players asking questions of their coach or staff is desirable. It is not uncommon for players to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with asking their coach a question at the risk of seeming stupid in their coach’s eyes. A coach should explain that it is important for them to develop their Basketball IQ through sport specific discussions. These conversations do not necessarily have to be about a players own development, but technical and tactical strategies in general.


Basketball IQ helps make a player more efficient and effective on the court. This can result in better play and shot selection or reads in help defence. Taking the time to implement some of these strategies will help develop players faster and with the right types on input.

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Coach Riches has been working within the sport, business and education industries for many years. During this time he has built an extensive number of formal and informal qualifications. A firm believer in training and development designed to help people reach their full potential, relevant o their needs and functional to their industry environment.

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