Facing the Unseen Fouls

Addressing unseen challenges in basketball: ‘invisible’ injuries, sudden role changes, and burnout. Off-season focus can turn trials into triumphs


Watching the ANGT in Kaunas prior to the 2023 Euroleague Final Four hearing tons of feedback and seeing things first hand made me think of the following:

Overcoming Uncommon Adversities in Basketball

Basketball players regularly face an array of adversities, such as injuries, performance slumps, or team dynamics, but there are also some uncommon challenges they encounter during the season. Identifying these less-recognized hurdles is the first step to overcoming them. As an expert in player development and sport psychology, I will shed light on these adversities and provide strategies to conquer them during the off-season.

  1. Coping with Invisible Injuries:

One such adversity is dealing with “invisible” injuries, such as mental health issues or concussions. These aren’t as noticeable as a sprained ankle or a broken wrist, but they can be just as debilitating.

For instance, Kevin Love, NBA star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, opened up about his struggles with panic attacks, a conversation that sparked a broader discussion about mental health in professional sports.

Off-season Solution: Incorporating mental health support into off-season training is essential. Players could benefit from regular sessions with sport psychologists, learning coping mechanisms, and building mental resilience.

  1. Dealing with Unexpected Role Changes:

Often, a player’s role can change unexpectedly due to trade, new coaching strategies, or team dynamics. Such a shift can leave the player feeling lost and unsure of their contribution.

Off-season Solution: Players can work with a coach or a sport psychologist to understand their new roles better. They can work on specific skills that are required for their new role during the off-season.

  1. Struggling with Burnout:

Burnout, a state of chronic physical and mental exhaustion, can creep up on players during a grueling season. They may lose their passion for the game, which can be devastating for a player’s performance and wellbeing.

Off-season Solution: To tackle burnout, it’s essential to focus on self-care in the off-season. This could include rest, hobbies outside of basketball, and mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation.

  1. Overcoming Media Pressure:

Media scrutiny can be intense, and negative coverage can affect a player’s morale and performance. For instance, Jeremy Lin faced tremendous pressure and expectations during his “Linsanity” period with the New York Knicks.

Off-season Solution: Players can use the off-season to develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with media pressure. This could involve media training, social media detoxes, or counseling to develop mental resilience.

  1. Adjusting to Geographic Transitions:

Player trades often involve relocating to a new city or even a different country. This sudden geographic transition can be challenging, as the player must adapt to a new culture, climate, and possibly language, while maintaining their performance level.

Off-season Solution: Players can use the off-season to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings, building a local support network, and learning about the local culture. Language lessons can also be beneficial if needed.

  1. Dealing with Inconsistent Playing Time:

Inconsistent playing time can be another uncommon adversity. A player might be a starter in one game and benched in the next, leading to frustration and a hit to their confidence.

Off-season Solution: Mental toughness training can help players to stay motivated and maintain their performance level, regardless of playing time. They can also work with their coach to better understand their role and how they can contribute to the team’s success in various scenarios.

  1. Managing Family Expectations and Pressures:

The pressure and expectations from family can be immense. Whether it’s living up to a family legacy in the sport or dealing with the financial expectations that come with a professional contract, these pressures can create significant stress.

Off-season Solution: Professional counseling can help players navigate family pressures and expectations. It’s also helpful to set clear boundaries and engage in open conversations with family members about the pressures they’re facing.

In conclusion, while these adversities may not be as discussed as often, they have a profound impact on a player’s performance and wellbeing. By acknowledging these challenges and providing targeted solutions, we can better support players on and off the court. Remember, success in basketball isn’t just about physical prowess – it’s about mental strength too.

If you’d like to find out how I support players book a Free 1 hour consult with me here:


Contextualizing Data: A Guide for Basketball Coaches

Basketball coaches can contextualize data by analyzing performance metrics, setting benchmarks, and considering opponent strength. They can also merge data with the mental aspects of basketball.


Basketball coaches are always looking for ways to improve player and team performance. One tool that is increasingly being used is data analytics. By analyzing data on player and team performance, coaches can gain insights into areas of strength and weakness, and make data-driven decisions about training programs, lineups, and strategies. However, data is only meaningful when it is contextualized. In this post, we’ll explore how coaches can contextualize data to gain a deeper understanding of player and team performance, and ultimately improve their performance on the court.

Explaining Performance Metrics

One way that coaches can contextualize data is by explaining performance metrics to players and staff. For example, coaches can explain how field goal percentage (FG%) is calculated, and why it is an important metric for measuring a player’s shooting accuracy. Coaches can also explain other important metrics, such as assists, rebounds, and turnovers, and how they contribute to the team’s success.

Providing Historical Context (In Season)

Another way that coaches can contextualize data is by providing historical context. Coaches can analyze data from previous seasons to identify trends and patterns in player and team performance. For example, coaches can compare a player’s current performance to their performance in previous seasons or even during one specific past performance of the same season to see if they are improving or declining. Coaches can also compare the team’s current performance to previous games to identify areas of improvement or decline.

Setting Benchmarks

Coaches can contextualize data by setting benchmarks for specific metrics and comparing the team’s performance to those benchmarks. For example, coaches can set a benchmark for team rebounding and track the team’s performance against that benchmark. Coaches can also set benchmarks for individual players, such as shooting percentage, and track their performance against those benchmarks.

Considering Opponent Strength

Coaches can contextualize data by considering the strength of the opponent. For example, a player’s shooting percentage against a weaker opponent may not be as meaningful as their shooting percentage against a stronger opponent. Coaches can analyze data on opponent strength to gain a better understanding of how their team is performing against different levels of competition.

Balancing Multiple Metrics

Finally, coaches should contextualize data by considering multiple performance metrics and how they relate to each other. For example, a player may have a high shooting percentage, but if they are not contributing in other areas, such as rebounding or assists, their overall contribution to the team may be limited. Coaches can analyze multiple metrics to gain a more complete understanding of player and team performance.

The Intersection of Data and Mental Aspects of Basketball

While data analytics is a powerful tool for improving player and team performance, it is only one part of the equation. The mental aspect of basketball is also critical. Coaches can use data to gain insights into player and team performance, but they also need to understand the mental aspects of the game, such as motivation, confidence, and focus. Coaches can use data to identify areas of mental weakness and create training programs that address those weaknesses. For example, if a player is struggling with confidence, coaches can use data to identify areas of strength and focus on building on those strengths to boost the player’s confidence.


Contextualizing data is essential for basketball coaches who want to improve player and team performance. Coaches can use historical data, set benchmarks, consider opponent strength, and balance multiple metrics to gain a more complete understanding of player and team performance. By using data in conjunction with the mental aspects of basketball, coaches can create a comprehensive training program that addresses both physical and mental weaknesses, leading to better performance on the court.

The Power of Self-Talk in Basketball: Unlock Your Full Potential this Off-Season

Elevate your basketball performance by harnessing the power of self-talk. Master these six key techniques to unlock your full potential this off-season.


As a basketball player first very early on I caught on that this aspect of the game was definitive in developing a mindset that could make a difference. Back in the 90s when watching players like Karl Malone at the free-throw line and going through the routine he had brought made me think more of it. Nowadays as a basketball development guy myself assisting players and coaches alike, I’m excited to share my insights on the power of self-talk and how it can be an integral part of your off-season training plan.

Self-talk is often overlooked, but it plays a significant role in building confidence, maintaining focus, and ultimately, enhancing your performance on the court. So, let’s dive into the world of self-talk and explore how you can harness its power to elevate your game to new heights.

  1. Master Your Self-Talk

The journey to effective self-talk begins with self-awareness. Pay attention to your internal dialogue and recognize when it is positive or negative. Take note of the words and tone you use, and remember that the way you speak to yourself can significantly impact your performance.

In-Game Example: You’ve just missed a critical shot, and thoughts of doubt begin to creep in. Instead of letting negativity take over, pay attention to your self-talk and consciously shift your thoughts to something like, “I’ve made difficult shots before, and I’ll make the next one.”

  1. Turn Negativity into Positivity

It’s crucial to reframe negative self-talk into positive statements. If you catch yourself thinking, “I can’t make this shot,” rephrase it as, “I’ve practiced this shot countless times, and I know I can make it.” This shift in perspective can make all the difference in your confidence and performance.

In-Game Example: Your team is trailing by several points, and you feel the pressure mounting. Instead of telling yourself, “We’re going to lose,” reframe your thoughts as, “We can make a comeback if we stay focused and work together as a team.”

  1. Embrace the Power of Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are your secret weapon in the battle against self-doubt. Choose short, powerful statements like, “I am a force to be reckoned with,” or “I have what it takes to succeed.” Incorporate these affirmations into your daily routine, and you’ll notice a significant boost in your confidence and focus.

In-Game Example: You’re about to shoot free throws with the game on the line. To calm your nerves and boost your confidence, repeat positive affirmations to yourself, such as, “I’m a great free throw shooter” or “I’ve practiced this countless times, and I’m ready.”

  1. Focus on the Journey, Not the Destination

It’s easy to get caught up in the outcome, but process goals are the key to success. Instead of fixating on winning or losing, concentrate on the steps needed to achieve your desired results. By breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, you’ll find it easier to stay focused and motivated throughout the off-season.

In-Game Example: Your team is in a tight match, and you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of winning or losing. Instead of concentrating on the outcome, shift your focus to executing specific plays or strategies, like running effective pick and rolls, boxing out for rebounds, or communicating well on defense.

  1. Stay in the Zone with Cue Words

Cue words are powerful tools that help you maintain your mental state during games and practices. They serve as quick reminders to keep you grounded and focused on the task at hand. Choose words or phrases that resonate with you, such as “play with heart,” “stay present,” or “trust your instincts.”

In-Game Example: You’re on defense, and your opponent is a talented scorer. To maintain focus and keep your mind sharp, use cue words like “lockdown” or “pressure” to remind yourself of the defensive mindset you need to succeed.

  1. Visualize Your Success

Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you mentally prepare for any situation on the court. By imagining yourself executing specific skills or strategies flawlessly, you create a mental blueprint for success. Regular visualization practice will not only boost your confidence but also improve your performance when it counts.

In-Game Example: During a timeout or break in the game, close your eyes and visualize yourself making the game-winning shot or executing a perfect play. By mentally rehearsing these positive scenarios, you’ll boost your confidence and prepare yourself for success when it’s time to step back onto the court.

In conclusion, self-talk is an essential component of any basketball player’s off-season training plan. By mastering your self-talk, embracing positive affirmations, focusing on process goals, using cue words, and practicing visualization, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking your full potential on the court. Remember that the mind is a powerful ally, and when you harness its power through effective self-talk, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Happy training, Ubuntu Basketball family!

Beyond Talent – Unlocking Success: 5 Underrated Intangible Qualities in Basketball and Off-Season Development Strategies

In the world of basketball, physical skills and tangible statistics often overshadow the importance of intangible qualities. Explore the top 5 intangible qualities that make a basketball player successful and learn how players can develop these attributes during the off-season to maximize their potential.


Intangible qualities in basketball play a crucial role in a player’s success on and off the court, but they are often overshadowed by more quantifiable attributes like scoring, rebounding, and assists. As a basketball player or coach, understanding and developing these intangible qualities can be the key to unlocking true potential and achieving long-term success.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the top 5 underrated intangible qualities of basketball players and provide practical off-season development strategies for both players and coaches.

1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s emotions and empathize with the emotions of teammates, coaches, and opponents. High EQ players maintain composure under pressure, handle adversity, and make better decisions on and off the court. (I will dig more into this aspect of intangibles in the coming posts! If you are interested in it already check out my ebooks for further insight where I discuss this in detail)

Off-Season Development Strategies:

  • Practice mindfulness and meditation.
  • Engage in team-building activities or group exercises.
  • Attend workshops or courses on emotional intelligence.

2. Coachability

Coachability is a player’s willingness to learn, accept feedback, and adapt to new strategies or techniques. Coachable players improve their skills, contribute positively to the team, and build strong relationships with coaches and teammates.

Off-Season Development Strategies:

  • Set clear, achievable goals and discuss them with your coach or mentor.
  • Actively seek feedback from coaches, teammates, and trainers.
  • Cultivate a growth mindset.

3. Spatial Awareness

Spatial awareness is the ability to perceive and interpret spatial relationships on the court. Players with strong spatial awareness can anticipate plays, make quick decisions, and position themselves effectively on both offense and defense.

Off-Season Development Strategies:

  • Study game film to analyze team and individual performances.
  • Participate in pick-up games or scrimmage situations.
  • Work on agility and reaction time drills.

4. Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from failures or adversity. Resilient players maintain a positive attitude, stay focused on their goals, and keep working hard to improve their skills and contribute to the team’s success.

Off-Season Development Strategies:

  • Establish a consistent routine for physical conditioning, skill development, and mental training.
  • Reflect on past setbacks and learn from those experiences.
  • Engage in activities that challenge you both physically and mentally.

5. Leadership

Leadership is about leading by example, demonstrating a strong work ethic, and communicating effectively with teammates. Even if not every player is a vocal leader, displaying leadership qualities on the court can significantly impact the team’s performance.

Off-Season Development Strategies:

  • Strengthen communication skills through public speaking workshops or courses.
  • Volunteer for leadership roles in your community or on your team.
  • Seek guidance from coaches, mentors, or other leaders.

By focusing on these intangible qualities in basketball and implementing the suggested off-season development strategies, players and coaches can unlock new levels of success and create well-rounded athletes who contribute positively to their team’s achievements. Remember that personal growth takes time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts as you strive

for greatness in the upcoming season.

In conclusion, the importance of intangible qualities in basketball cannot be overstated. As players and coaches, dedicating time and effort to develop these attributes during the off-season will not only help maximize potential but also foster a winning culture and strong team chemistry. So, as you prepare for the next season, remember to prioritize these often-overlooked qualities and embrace the journey towards becoming the best version of yourself, both on and off the court.

Don’t forget to share this blog post with your fellow basketball enthusiasts, players, and coaches to spread the knowledge and inspire growth within the basketball community. Together, we can elevate the game by focusing on the intangible qualities that truly make a difference in the world of basketball.

If you are interested in finding out about Big Data and how to incorporate that too into your pre-existing structure check that out here:

For a more data-centric approach to scouting check out FullField Basketball here

Mastering the Art of Momentum Timeouts

Master the art of momentum timeouts with this guide for basketball coaches, highlighting the five essential moments to call a timeout during a game to maximize your team’s success.


Timeouts are a crucial part of a basketball game, often making the difference between a win or a loss. Every coach must learn the optimal stages of the game to call timeouts for the best impact on their team’s success. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of momentum timeouts and the five essential moments during a game when coaches should call a timeout. We’ll also delve into the role of timeouts in stopping negative momentum and improving short-term performance.

The 5 Critical Moments to Call a Timeout:

  1. Halt the Opponent’s Momentum and Crowd Energy:

Teams often experience scoring runs during games, and it’s essential to stop the opponent’s momentum as soon as possible. Calling a timeout can calm the crowd, refocus your players, and disrupt the opposing team’s confidence. This strategic move is especially vital when playing on the road.

  1. Shift Your Game Strategy:

Call a timeout when you need to make significant changes in your game plan, such as switching from a zone-press to a man-to-man defense or doubling up on post defense. Timeouts allow you to communicate these changes to your players without distractions, ensuring smooth execution.

  1. Draw Up a Specific Play:

Timeouts are crucial during the last few minutes of a close game, giving coaches the opportunity to diagram new plays and create open looks for their players. Calling a timeout can make a significant difference in the game’s outcome.

  1. Rest Your Players Without Substitution:

Timeouts offer a chance for your key players to rest without substituting them out of the game, especially during crucial moments when their presence is indispensable.

  1. Fire Up Your Team:

Timeouts can also serve to re-energize a sluggish team. By calling a timeout, coaches can refocus and motivate their players, ensuring they’re mentally prepared to face the challenges ahead.

Mastering the art of momentum timeouts is essential for basketball coaches aiming to achieve success on the court. By understanding the importance of timeouts in stopping negative momentum and knowing when to call them strategically, coaches can effectively manage the game and increase their chances of victory. By incorporating these five critical moments to call a timeout, coaches can make better decisions, ultimately leading to improved overall performance and game outcomes.

Check this link out for a masterclass session you can take part in that will soon take place: https://gamma.app/public/a82r3pxmt0jdemh

Mastering the Art of Momentum Timeouts: The Secrets Behind Coaches’ Timeout Strategies

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Aggrivated Assult or Hard Foul? Mental preparation in basketball

In this blog post, we delve into the significance of mental preparation and sportsmanship in basketball, drawing from an unfortunate incident in a TKBL playoff match. As a basketball scout and player development advisor, I highlight three key areas to improve mental preparation: emotional management, emphasizing sportsmanship, and enhancing referee training. By addressing these aspects, we can foster an environment of respect, fair play, and sportsmanship, ensuring players are better equipped to face the challenges on the court.


This is a two part post for me rolled into one.

Its been ages since I translated a full text like this from Turkish but here goes:

The following is a direct translation from this news piece: https://basketfaul.com/haber?haber=107537

First the video:

all rights reserved to TBF and the TKBL league!

Location: Elazığ. A TKBL playoff match. Minute 27

The visiting team, having come from behind, is now leading by 12 points. They won the first match as well.

If the team coming from behind loses this match, their season will end there.

The player who received the blow had been on the court for 23 minutes and was the top scorer of the game with 22 points.

After taking the direct hit to the face in mid-air, the player was forced to leave the game due to trauma. They were taken to the hospital for examination after the match.

The player who struck the blow is not inexperienced.

31 years old. Married. Moreover, their spouse is also working as a coach in the basketball sector.

When you watch the footage more than once, you can see that the blow was made directly to the face, not to the ball.

It was not an involuntary or uncontrollable move.

Far beyond the definition of an Unsportsmanlike Foul. In legal terms, it is an aggravated assault. 

For those not familiar with legal jargon, to briefly define aggravated assault.

aggravated assault: is an action that causes physical harm to someone, damages their physical integrity and health, harms their mental predisposition, and requires punishment.

Let me also note; I am not giving names on purpose.

Tomorrow, this blow could be made by any other player to another player.

Everyone is at risk.

After watching the position a few times, it is understood that:

After the first half, the trailing team’s locker room discussion emphasized the importance and necessity of stopping (!) the player who received the blow.

It might be possible. It may be within the rules of the sport.

If you can stop them within the rules on the court, then do it. Let’s all watch together. Applaud.

However, here we have a “strike to kill” situation.

What saddened me the most was that the experienced 31-year-old player who struck the blow did not even look back at the “younger brother” writhing on the ground, who was 10 years younger.

Not only this season, but in the weeks since the playoffs began.

For a long time in the TKBL, especially in matches played outside major cities, we have seen referees struggle to maintain control of the matches.

In the past, I wrote about this issue, emphasizing the importance and necessity of assigning experienced referees to critical matches, and my warning was published here.

A fracture in facial bones or a brain trauma could have occurred after such a mid-air blow.

I had said that referees should control the game;

Often, it is not possible. Flops are not understood. Blows are missed.

The main reason for this is that the players on the court are much more experienced than the referees.

In this position, the home team player who directly struck the opponent’s face, causing them to leave the game, was penalized with an unsportsmanlike foul by the referees.

However, the common opinion of experienced referees I shared the footage with and asked for their evaluations was that, due to the deliberate targeting of the face, a direct disqualification decision should have been made.

There is consensus that the TBF Disciplinary Board should open a file ex officio. I share the same opinion.

It is evident;

Situations where control is occasionally lost on the court are frequently experienced.

If Turkey’s basketball regulatory and supervisory boards do not assert their authority and remain silent on such actions, we may face much more severe consequences in unexpected matches in the future.

TBF officials are well aware of the different problems that TKBL urgently needs to resolve and

prevent from spreading further.

If these different problems combine with the aggravated assault. discussed in this article, we may reach a point where those in authority today will not easily escape responsibility for future incidents.

now my take on the matter!

The Importance of Mental Preparation and Sportsmanship in Basketball

As a basketball scout and player development advisor, I’ve witnessed countless games and worked with a myriad of talented athletes. However, I’ve also seen unfortunate incidents that stem from a lack of mental preparation and poor sportsmanship. In this blog post, I want to address a recent situation that highlights the need for better mental preparation, both for players and referees, and share my thoughts on how we can improve in this area.

Recently, I came across a distressing incident that took place in a TKBL playoff match in Elazığ. A player committed an aggravated assault on their opponent, causing severe injury and forcing them to leave the game. The player who struck the blow was experienced, and the attack was deliberate, far beyond the definition of an unsportsmanlike foul. This incident left me concerned about the mental preparation of the players and the inability of the referees to manage such situations effectively.

In my experience, similar yet less troubling fouling incidents have occurred in Dutch Basketball competitions at lower levels it really does happen due to the whole refeeree system being very unusually run by the clubs and the competitions of the NBB, often due to inconsistent officiating and the subjective nature of inexperienced referees. Home or away, if a player also has to do referee work and blow whistles on a game day the same day he has to play, the mental capacity asked of such people is at a point of integrity that deteriorates and this is simply overlooked. As a professional it is my duty to question why on earth still in this day and age a federation can not create a totally unbias pool of referees to call games is beyond me! Not everything is about money! It can’t be.

It is evident that both players and referees must be better prepared mentally to handle high-pressure situations. But never are.

As a player development advisor, I believe there are three key areas we should focus on to improve mental preparation for basketball:

Emotional Management: Coaches should incorporate emotional management techniques into their training regimens. Players should learn to recognize and manage their emotions effectively, preventing them from reacting negatively during high-pressure situations. Techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and mindfulness practices can help players stay composed on the court.

Emphasize Sportsmanship: Coaches should instill the importance of sportsmanship and fair play in their players. Regular discussions about handling pressure and the consequences of unsportsmanlike actions should be an integral part of a player’s development. Drills that promote self-control and respect for opponents should be incorporated into practice sessions.

Enhance Referee Training: The governing bodies of basketball should provide better training and resources for referees, especially in amateur competitions where consistency is often lacking. This can include mentorship programs, workshops, and ongoing education to help referees improve their skills and maintain control of games more effectively.

While the incident in Elazığ was extreme, it serves as a reminder of the importance of mental preparation in basketball. We must work together – players, coaches, and governing bodies – to create an environment of sportsmanship, fair play, and respect. By focusing on emotional management, emphasizing sportsmanship, and enhancing referee training, we can ensure that players are better prepared mentally for the challenges they face on the court and help prevent future unfortunate outcomes.

3 Powerful Ways Visualization Can Enhance Your Basketball Performance

Visualization is a powerful mental training tool that can help basketball players improve their skills, boost confidence, and manage stress. By using techniques like mental rehearsal, game scenario visualization, and relaxation exercises, you can enhance your basketball performance and take your game to the next level. In this post, we’ll explore the top 3 ways to implement visualization in basketball training, with examples and tips to help you get started.


Visualization is a powerful tool that can be used to improve basketball performance. Over the last 6-7 months thanks in major part to the NBPA and NCSA I have had the luck to dig into heavy research and create expertise in the mental aspect of basketball more and more. Here are three ways to implement visualization in basketball training:

Visualization for basketball performance

  1. Mental rehearsal: Mental rehearsal involves using your imagination to create a vivid mental image of yourself successfully performing a skill or task on the court. This technique can be used to improve muscle memory and boost confidence. Here are some examples of how to use mental rehearsal in basketball training:

Shooting: Visualize yourself hitting shots from different areas of the court, focusing on form, release, and follow-through. Imagine the ball going through the hoop and the sound it makes when it hits the net.

Ball handling: Visualize yourself dribbling the ball with speed and control, avoiding defenders and executing moves like crossovers and behind-the-back dribbles. Imagine the ball moving smoothly between your hands and the floor.

Defense: Visualize yourself playing tight defense on an opponent, staying low and mirroring their movements. Imagine yourself getting in the passing lanes and anticipating the next move of your opponent.

  1. Game scenarios: Visualization can also be used to prepare for specific game scenarios that you may encounter on the court. This technique can help you anticipate and react to situations more quickly, making you a more effective player. Here are some examples of how to use game scenario visualization in basketball training:

End of game situations: Visualize yourself hitting a game-winning shot or making a crucial defensive stop in the closing seconds of a game. Imagine the excitement and pressure of the moment and how you would react to it.

Pick and roll: Visualize yourself executing the pick-and-roll play with a teammate,

making the right read and delivering the perfect pass or scoring opportunity.

Imagine the movements and timing involved in executing the play successfully.

Zone defense: Visualize yourself playing in a zone defense, moving with your teammates to cut off passing lanes and protect the basket. Imagine the different movements and responsibilities of each player in the zone.

  1. Relaxation and stress management: Visualization can also be used as a relaxation technique to reduce stress and anxiety before or during a game. This technique can help you stay focused and calm under pressure. Here are some examples of how to use visualization for relaxation and stress management in basketball training:

Deep breathing: Visualize yourself taking slow, deep breaths and exhaling slowly to calm your mind and body. Imagine yourself feeling more relaxed and focused with each breath.

Positive self-talk: Visualize yourself repeating positive affirmations, such as “I am confident in my abilities” or “I am in control of the game.” Imagine yourself feeling more self-assured and empowered with each affirmation.

Visualizing success: Visualize yourself successfully executing skills and plays on the court, and imagine the positive emotions and feelings associated with that success, such as pride, confidence, and joy.

To get the most out of visualization in basketball training, it is important to practice regularly and make it a part of your overall training routine. Try to visualize yourself in a variety of scenarios and focus on the details of each visualization, including the sights, sounds, and sensations associated with each skill or scenario. With regular practice, visualization can become a valuable tool for improving your basketball performance.

If you want to also take part in and find out more please check this out: https://gamma.app/public/a82r3pxmt0jdemh

Embracing the Mental Side of Basketball: Attributes, Traits, and New Classifications

Uncover the crucial role of mental attributes in modern basketball positions, and learn how embracing the mental side of the sport can unlock players’ full potential.


As the game of basketball evolves, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the mental aspect of the sport is just as crucial as physical skills and attributes. Understanding and adapting to modern positions like Floor General, High Usage Guard, Elite Shooting Wing, Versatile Role Player, Skilled Forward, Modern Center, Traditional Center, and Offensive Engine requires a deep understanding of how the mental side of basketball influences these roles. In this blog post, we will explore the attributes and traits associated with these new classifications and delve into the mental aspects that players must embody to excel in the modern game.

The Mental Side of Basketball Attributes and Traits:

Attributes and traits are not only limited to physical skills and abilities; they also encompass the mental aspects of the game. This includes qualities such as focus, adaptability, resilience, and leadership. These mental attributes are especially important when considering the roles and responsibilities of the modern positions in basketball.

For instance, a Floor General (FLG) must possess a high basketball IQ and the ability to lead and communicate effectively with teammates. This requires mental fortitude, quick decision-making, and the ability to analyze and adjust to game situations on the fly. Similarly, a High Usage Guard (HUG) must be able to maintain their focus and composure under pressure, as they often carry a significant scoring burden and are required to make crucial plays during high-stakes moments.

An Elite Shooting Wing (ESW) must demonstrate mental resilience, as shooting can be a streaky aspect of the game that relies heavily on confidence and self-belief. This resilience is crucial in maintaining a positive mindset and bouncing back from missed shots or poor shooting performances. Versatile Role Players (VRP) must be adaptable and willing to embrace different roles on the team, which requires a strong sense of selflessness and commitment to the team’s success.

Skilled Forwards (SKF) and Modern Centers (MC) must have a deep understanding of the game and the ability to make quick decisions on both ends of the floor. They must be able to read defensive and offensive schemes and adjust their play accordingly, which demands a high level of mental agility and focus. Traditional Centers (TC) must remain mentally engaged in the game, as their role often involves setting screens, securing rebounds, and protecting the rim, which may not always be as glamorous as other positions but are crucial to the team’s success.

Finally, an Offensive Engine (OE) is often the focal point of a team’s offense and must possess exceptional mental strength to handle the pressure of being the primary offensive option. They must be able to maintain confidence in their abilities and make critical decisions during high-pressure situations, which requires a strong mental foundation.

The Role of Mental Aspects in Embodying Modern Basketball Positions:

The mental side of basketball plays a significant role in the success of players in the modern game. As teams and coaches adapt to the new positional classifications, it is essential to recognize and develop the mental attributes that complement and enhance the physical skills required for each position.

To truly excel in modern basketball positions, players must develop mental resilience, focus, adaptability, and leadership skills alongside their physical attributes and talents. By understanding and embracing the mental side of the sport, coaches and players can unlock their full potential, leading to more successful and competitive teams in the evolving world of basketball.

One thing I do want to note is that the new classifications or positions were originally dubbed by Eric Stang in his book Basketball Scouting Techniques. I am just playing off of his wording and further providing insight on to the mental aspect of the game.

The Secret Sauce of Winning Teams: 8 Keys on Celebrating the “Glue-Guys” in Basketball

Uncover the secret sauce behind winning basketball teams: the Glue-Guys. These unsung heroes prioritize teamwork, master their roles, and lead by example. Dive into the world of Glue-Guys and learn how their unique traits create a winning environment.


In the world of basketball, there’s a special breed of player that often goes unnoticed, yet they are the backbone of any successful team. These individuals are known as “Glue-Guys” – players who excel at bringing teams together and doing whatever it takes to secure a victory. With over 15 years of experience as a basketball coaching and player advisor, working with Euroleague, NBA, and G-League players, I’ve seen firsthand how invaluable these glue-guys are to a team’s success. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the essential traits of these unsung heroes and why it’s crucial to recognize and celebrate their contributions to the game.

  1. The Team-First Mentality

Glue-guys embody the philosophy of putting the team above individual success. They prioritize winning above all else and are willing to make personal sacrifices to achieve collective goals. This selflessness helps create a cohesive team environment where every player thrives.

  1. Role Mastery

These players have a keen understanding of their role within the team and are versatile enough to adapt to changing circumstances. They serve as a “toolbox” of skills and willingly contribute their talents to support the team’s objectives.

  1. The Winning Attitude

A glue-guy’s primary focus is always on securing the win. They forgo personal glory and limelight in favor of doing whatever it takes to help their team achieve victory.

  1. Ego-Free Zone

Glue-guys are devoid of ego and prioritize the team’s success over their own. This attitude positively influences the team dynamic and fosters an environment where every player can thrive.

  1. Mastering the Details

Glue-guys excel at doing the little things that make a difference in tight games. From securing loose balls to drawing charges, they demonstrate that paying attention to the details can be the key to winning championships.

  1. The Connectors

These players serve as the connective tissue that binds the team together. Their team-first mentality and genuine concern for their teammates make them crucial in forging strong relationships on and off the court.

  1. Natural Leaders

Glue-guys lead by example, demonstrating the importance of doing the little things that contribute to winning. Their actions inspire their teammates to adopt a similar approach, often making them the team’s unofficial leaders.

  1. Embracing Their Identity

Glue-guys are self-aware and embrace their unique role on the team. They take pride in their ability to make a difference without seeking recognition and understand the impact they have on their team’s success.

Coaches and teammates alike must recognize the invaluable contributions glue-guys make to their teams. By celebrating and applauding these selfless players, we can foster a culture of teamwork, unity, and winning that benefits everyone involved. So, the next time you see a glue-guy in action, take a moment to appreciate the secret sauce that makes your team truly exceptional.

I’m excited to share that I’ll be hosting a “Mastering the Mental Game” masterclass in early May (FREE OF CHARGE), offering invaluable insights to coaches, players, and basketball aficionados interested in exploring the psychological components of the sport. In conjunction with the masterclass, my eBook “The Journey to Coaching Greatness” delves into the various facets of becoming a glue-guy, providing practical guidance and techniques to help athletes unlock their full potential. Don’t miss this incredible chance to deepen your knowledge of the mental game and learn from a seasoned coach with a history of success. Keep an eye out for more details and registration information coming soon!

Data, Data Integrity & European Basketball

insight into european basketball, data and data integrity


Data is extremely important in European basketball, as it is in any sport. Data helps teams to make informed decisions about player recruitment, game strategy, and training methods and so much more. In European basketball, data is used to analyze player performance, track team statistics, and evaluate opponent strengths and weaknesses.

Data integrity is also critical in European basketball. If data is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent, it can lead to incorrect decisions and flawed strategies. Without naming names, even though there are a few systems that allow data to be compiled as libraries they lack even the 95% data integrity to be established which means there is a 5% error rate that needs to be accounted for. In terms of player performance, strategy building and various areas this takes on a worm-hole effect on its own.

For example, if player performance data is not accurately recorded, a coach may make decisions about playing time or substitution that are not based inaccurate performance levels. This can have negative consequences for both the team and individual players.

To ensure data integrity, teams across the board from the Euroleague to most domestic leagues around Europe employ a variety of tools and methods, yet not all of them have capacity or time to be able to utilize this to its full extent. These may include specialized software and analytics tools, data validation procedures, and quality control measures. Again names I will refrain from mentioning. Teams may also employ data analysts or statisticians to help ensure that data is accurate and reliable.

Overall, data and data integrity are essential to the success of European basketball teams. By using accurate and reliable data, teams can make better decisions, improve player performance, and ultimately achieve their goals on the court.

Common issues that can arise in data collection and analysis, some potential flaws of data integrity in European basketball could include:

All in all bare one thing in mind, most play by play insight is recorded on-site by either volunteers during games or even when they are recorded by officials at games errors and flaws do arise due to a lack of know-how in statistical and data tracking.

Inaccurate data collection:

This can occur if the data is not collected correctly or is based on subjective observations that are prone to error. For example, if a player’s height or weight is not accurately recorded, this can skew data analysis.

Incomplete data sets:

Data sets that are incomplete can lead to incorrect conclusions being drawn. For instance, if game statistics are missing or not recorded for all players, this can lead to biased or inaccurate analysis.

Data manipulation or fabrication:

Unfortunately, data manipulation or fabrication can occur in any sport, including European basketball. This can be done deliberately to support a particular agenda or outcome, or it can occur unintentionally due to errors or oversights in data collection.

Lack of standardization:

If data is not collected in a standardized way, this can lead to inconsistencies that can impact analysis. For example, if different teams use different methods to record and report statistics, this can lead to inaccuracies when comparing data across teams.

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