Why It is Good to be a Salesman When Coaching Basketball

By Joe Haefner

If you have ever coached, you know that if the team doesn’t believe in what you’re trying to teach them, you’ll never be successful.

You have to convince your team and SELL to your team the coaching tactics and philosophies that you are trying to incorporate.

For example, I’m a big believer in rebounding and lowering turnovers. When trying to stress the importance of rebounding and lowering turnovers, I take my players to chalk board.

First, I put up on the board.

44 to 38.

Assume all shots are worth two points.

Team A – 35% Field Goal Percentage.

Team B – 45% Field Goal Percentage.

Then, I ask the team, “Which team do you think won?”

Usually, the team will respond with Team B. Some may say Team A. I don’t reveal my answer yet and continue on.

Next, I write on the board:

Team A – 15 offensive rebounds & 9 turnovers

Team B – 3 offensive rebounds & 17 turnovers

Team A – 32 extra possessions (15 offensive rebounds & 17 forced turnovers)

Team B – 12 extra possessions (3 offensive rebounds & 9 forced turnovers)

I pause for a second, then write on the board: “32 – 12 = 20 extra possessions for Team A in which they got a shot.” Then, I begin to write the following.

Team A took 62 shots.

Team B took 42 shots.

Team A – 62 shots X 35% FG = 22 made shots & 22 x 2 points = 44

Team B – 42 shots X 45% FG = 19 made shots & 19 x 2 points = 38

Then, I circle Team A and say, “Even on a bad shooting night, Team A won the game, because they rebounded the ball and took care of the ball.

Of course, there are other factors such as fouling, 3-point shooting, free throw shooting, and so on, but you want to simplify things to get the point across to your players.

If you can use examples like this and sell your tactics and philosophies to your players, they will be more like to work hard at the things you focus on, because they understand why you emphasize the things you do.