The Psychology of Hoops

Good players and coaches understand the other guy. What do we mean by that? Well, good coaches know how the other guy (their opponent) thinks during the course of a game, and therefore has advantage. Sensing momentum and which team has confidence has a direct impact on strategy.

Part of being a good player is to know why your skills have an impact. A shot fake, for example, isn’t always effective because the defender assumes a shot, but because the defender is naturally reacting to a sudden movement. They feel the need to retreat, to protect, and they are not attacking. When they are not attacking, they are vulnerable.

When we teach pivots and rips, dribble attacks (straight at the defender), or something like the Rondo fake, we are teaching offensive moves that cause defensive reactions. A defender who is constantly reacting gets anxious and plays “not to lose”, giving the offensive player the psychological advantage of being in control of their opponent.

Win that part of the game….win the game.


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