Tips and Tools For Off Season Ways to Improve Basketball Playing, Officiating and Coaching Skills

Now is the time to plan for methods and ways to improve individual  basketball skills during the off season for players, officials and coaches.


Let me suggest that players at all levels need to work on the following:

1. Individual Shooting Techniques and Skills. Usually officiating 500 games a season I see all kinds of improper shooting techniques. especially at the foul line.Eastern Maine  Tournament Shooting Statistics bear this out for all types of shooting

2. Developing Individual Quickness, Agility, Strength and Flexibility

3. How to Develop a higher Basketball IQ’s to make better basketball decisions

4. How to reduce individual turnovers

5. Learn rules pertaining to individual rule violations so players will not break them or get upset because they actually don’t know the rules.

Players can do these by the following in the order of effectiveness.

1. Take individual lessons on the above five mentioned areas.

2. Attend a shooting Camp

3. Attend an Individual Basketball Camp

4. Buy a text on Improving Shooting Skills

5. Buy a Shooting Aid That Gives the Correct Target to aim at while shooting.


 IAABO Boards should make the following part of their mechanics for all throw ins and free throwl shots when they are being administrated. Many times when officials are administraing a throw in, especially underneath the offensive basket’s endline, Clock operators and the players cannot see if the ball has been put at the disposal of the thrower in because the players are in their line of vision to the official handling the throwin.. Thus, many times substitutes do not get into a game when they should because the timer cannot see if the official has given the ball to the player making the throw in.

If officials would hold the ball over their head with an arm extended with the ball sitting on their hand, then the timer could see if it was alright to buzz the horn for the subsitution. Also, teams would not start their offensive out-of-bounds plays before the official put the ball at the dispoal of the thrower in for the throw in.

Also, while adminstrating a free throw by having the ball extended with a straight arm and holdn g the ball in the palm of the hand also lrets the timer know that they can buzz the buzzer for a legal substitution.

Also, this technique shows that the official is in control of the throw in and free throw as everyone in the gym can see that the ball is not ready to be put at the disposal of a thower in or a free throw shooter.

Why this mechanic technique is not a required mechanic is really quite interesting as aren’t officials to be in complete control of the game they are officiating. The game is for the players, and when we don’t get substitutes into the game when we should, then there should be an addition in the throw in mechanic.

The second thing an offical can do is go to an officiating camp. Eastern Maine board 111 has such a camp connected to the Husson University Team Camp in late June.

The third thing that they can do is officiate in your local high school summer basketball games. This helps with conditioning and also the more you work the better you should improve your officiating games.

Practice jumnp ball toss… Go under a basket and practice throwing the ball up thru to the rim. Better to get too much height (never can be too high) then not enough height.


Coaches should reduce the number of summer games they play and spend more time on basic basketball fundamentals. Such things as drills to improve basic fundamental skills that should be developed so that players can develop a higher Basketball IQ to make better basketball decisions.

Bring in an official to go over all the rules that the officals knows that most players and coaches do not know so that they will not get upset when these rules are enforced. A good way to do this is to have a clinic camp early in the summer program for all basketball players in the schools district.

Bring in coaches or former coaches to help teams and players work on their individual shooting skills, special drills to improve turnover to assist ratios and improve defensoive team and individual skills.

Plan on attending a fall coaches clinic for you and your staff members.

Hold summer coaches staff meetings to go over what is currently happening with the summer programs.

Call a coaching friend and meet and discuss basketball to exchange ideas.

If players, officials or coaches would like some further information for resources for the things mentioned to improve their abilities then give me a call at 207-356-6787 or e-mail me at and I can put you in contact with resources that will help you improve in the areas you would like to.