Basketball Coaching Questions: What is the number one thing that you are struggling with right now?

basketball coaching questions

Written by Coach Peterman

I have coached at the NCAA Division 2 (Southwestern Oklahoma State University), NAIA (USAO), and JUCO Levels (Blinn College and Carl Albert State College) as well as high school. I just felt that fellow coaches especially young coaches need to constantly work on their “game”. Just like the basketball players that we coach. We as coaches need to improve ourselves. That is my story and why I do this blog.

January 28, 2018

Basketball Coaching Questions: What is the number one thing that you are struggling with right now?

Coaches, I got overwhelmed by the questions from this simple email that I sent out on Saturday. I am just looking to help you out. I will do my best to answer all the questions in a couple of blog posts.

Basketball Coaching Questions: We’ve been working for weeks on the simplest of things, and the team just can’t seem to put it together for a full game. They can do it here or there but not an entire game. What can I do to get them to put it together form the full game?

Answer: I had a JUCO team that had the same problem once. Here is what I did. I had 3-4 “mini” games built into practice at different parts. I was significant about the winner receiving something tangible like a water break or no sprints. Coach Vance Walberg made would track all their stats and give validation at the end of practice.

It’s going to take your team coming together, but over 4-5 practices of having mini-games in practice at different times where you have a winner and loser. It will provide competition. I hope that gives you an idea.

Basketball Coaching Questions: Right now we are struggling with shooting in games. We try to make practice as game-like as possible, but we are still struggling with the shooting.
Any suggestions?

Answer: I was always proud that my teams were good at shooting. I never had shooting drills that didn’t involve some conditioning. I wanted my players to be shooting when they were tired, so they knew what it was like. I didn’t want them to have fresh legs when they did shooting.

There are no easy solutions to that problem except to mix up the competitive shooting drills, so they have no clue what is coming.

Here are some competitive shooting drills. Click this link.

Basketball Coaching Questions:

1. We play a very aggressive 1-3-1 defense. Our main weakness is letting up wing (FT line extended) 3’s.

2. We are having a good season 9-4, but we have only made 13 3’s. The upcoming game, we will see a packed in 2-3 its 1-3-1 zone. Besides transition, his do we score?


I have never coached a 1-3-1 zone defense, but my good friend: Herb Welling swears by it right now. He is using it right now and having tremendous success. I think that it’s because coaches haven’t used it a lot lately.

I am going to give you several links to some basketball coaching clinic notes on the 1-3-1 zone defense to help you out.

Steve Klaas 1-3-1 Zone Defense and Adjustments 

Dennis Felton 1-3-1 Zone Defense 

John Beilein West Virginia Zone Defense 

Your second question: Your team has only made 13 three-point shots this season. It’s my opinion that you keep going to your strength. I have never been a fan of shooting threes to get them out of the zone. The purpose of the zone is to clog the lane and make you shoot it from deep.

I don’t know what zone offense that you are using, but I would love to see that answer. I believe in overload the zone or using high-low to attack a zone. Short corners are great to stretch that zone too.

I am going to give you a couple of my favorite zone offenses for you to check out.

Mike Brey Zone Offense 

Gregg Marshall Zone Offense

(I am HUGE on screening a zone!)

1-4 Zone Offense 

Basketball Coaching Questions:

I am looking for Backdoor drills and team shooting drills.

Here is the Pete Carril BackDoor Princeton Offense.

Eddie Jordan Princeton Offense

I never ran the Princeton offense, but I have a ton of stuff on it. Let me know if you need more drills on it.

Basketball Coaching Questions:

Commitment in the offseason. We are struggling the last two years after graduating a class that went to the state tournament twice within two years. We have since won 4 games in the last two seasons since that class graduated. The frustration of losing is at an all-time high.

Coach, I have no answers for you. All I can tell you is to keep fighting the good fight. I need more information about that class that graduated and the ones that you have right now. Email me some details, and I will do my best to give you some guidance.

Basketball Coaching Questions:

Playing vs a junk defense … triangle and 2

This question might be the most straightforward question of the day. I have a ton of junk offense that I can share with you. Let me know how it works for you.

Junk Offense vs. triangle and two 

Junk Offense 1 

Junk Offense 2 

Basketball Coaching Questions:

We are having a hard time scoring one zone defenses especially the point zone and the 3-2 zone.

I am going to give you a selection of zone offenses. If you don’t like them, then let me know. I will send you more.

Horns X Zone Offense 

Jerry Krause Zone Offense 

Zak Boisvert 2014 Zone Offenses

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