Suggestions for basketball-related Christmas gifts

It is better to give than to receive.
So, with Christmas only two days away, here are some “gift” suggestions for basketball players, coaches, officials, assigners, athletic directors, Maine Principals’ Association officials and fans.
These three tips will increase basketball IQ’s and make for better basketball decisions.
1. Don’t leave your feet unless you are going to shoot the ball. This reduces turnovers and player-control fouls.
2. Never leave your feet when guarding a player with the ball until he/she leaves their feet. This reduces fouls and getting faked out on the shot.
3. When trying to block an opponent’s shot, don’t block the ball until it leaves the shooter’s hands. This will reduce fouling.
1. To build and keep players’ trust, coaches at any level shouldn’t blame or criticize players in the print, radio or TV media. Coaches should tell their players that if they do what the coaches ask them to do, and it doesn’t work, then it is the coach’s fault. If they don’t do what the coaches tell them, then it is still the coach’s fault. Make sure you give the players all the credit when your team wins. Criticism should be a team thing and done in games or practices.
2. Coaches who are going to allow a lot of 3-point attempts need to use a specific offensive formation such as 1 high/3 mid-high/1 low block and 2 high/2 mid-high/1 low block that has great player spacing, which makes it harder to defend the low block and forces double-teams on the block.
Three-point shooting percentages are higher on inside-outside passes from the post than on dribble-penetration kick-outs and perimeter passes.
It is easy to school players to get the ball inside. Tell players not to shoot any shot, unless it is a layup, until a player on the low block touches the ball once. If a player breaks this rule, even if he or she makes a shot, they should be benched temporarily.
Coaching legend John Wooden said, “A coach’s best friend is the bench.”
Watch how fast players get the message and how quick they get the ball inside.
1. It is better to be a little late on calls than early. That hesitation may allow an official to not make a call that was anticipated. Put a wrist lanyard in their stocking that allows them not to have to keep the whistle in their mouth. The whistle is kept in the hand and is attached around a wrist, so when they make a call they can bring the whistle up to their mouth with their hand to make the call. This extra time will give the official extra time to decide not to blow the whistle.
Assigners of Officials
Assigners need more officials to help cover all the games that they have to staff, especially on big schedule or make up days.
Athletic Directors
These folks need the gift of few postponements and more days to play makeup games, maybe even Sundays in emergencies. Some states play on Sundays.
Maine Principals’ Association
The MPA needs a five-classification proposal that identifies classes as LLL, LL, L, M and S. Everyone is just like a T-shirt, different sizes. A, B, C and D are signify letter grades with A being the best. With LLL, there is no super class, just the biggest t-shirt. All classes should be looked at the same.
Fans are anticipating exciting games, lots of 3-point shots, consistent officiating and good luck for their favorite teams.
Here is hoping that all of the above enjoy a Merrier Christmas and a Happier New Year as part of your basketball season.