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Basketball Books & Reviews


Coaching Basketball by Jerry Krause.
This is an excellent book edited by Jerry Krause. It covers every facet of the game, including the fundamentals of shooting, rebounding, basic offensive motion, ballhandling, individual offensive moves, and defensive skills. Team offenses and defenses, including half-court, full-court and transition are covered. Man-to-man and zone defenses and a few "junk" defenses are described. In addition, there are chapters on the background of the game, coaching philosophy, planning your program, psychological and psychosocial aspects of the game, and scouting and recruiting. These topics are discussed by the many of the greatest coaches in the history of the game... John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Ralph Miller, Bob Knight, Chuck Daly, John Thompson, Rick Pitino, Denny Crum, Dean Smith, Jud Heathcote, Lute Olson, Al McGuire, Jim Valvano, Rick Majerus, Fred Taylor, Morgan Wooten, Hubie Brown, and many others.

If you could only own two basketball books, buy this one and Jerry Krause's Basketball Skills and Drills (below).
Coaching High School Basketball by Bill Kuchar.
From a 40-year veteran, the only book available devoted to coaching high school basketball. In "Coaching High School Basketball", Hall of Famer Bill Kuchar presents an indispensable instruction manual for experienced and rookie coaches alike. A combination of classic tactics and new, cutting-edge strategies, this one-of-a-kind handbook provides easyto- read diagrams and instructions, plus dozens of practice drills to reinforce fundamentals and teach innovative moves. Readers will learn how to master Kuchar's "double motion offense", locate, protect, and infiltrate zones, defend against the fast break, use last-second plays for when the game is on the line, make the most of out-of-bounds plays, scout and evaluate junior high school talent, and get college coaches to scout their games.
Basketball: Steps to Success by Hal Wissel.
Coach Wissel is a highly regarded teacher of the game, being an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, and owner of Basketball World, where he runs many camps and clinics. This book is excellent for players and for coaches who want to become better teachers of the fundamentals. Chapters include "Balance and Quickness", "Passing and Catching", "Dribbling", "Shooting", "Rebounding", "Offensive Moves with the Ball", "Moving Without the Ball", "Fast Break", "Team Offense", and "Team Defense". I find myself referring back to this easy to read, well-illustrated book quite often.

From Hubie Brown, longtime NBA coach, analyst and basketball guru... "Hal Wissel demonstrates to the world why he is recognized as one of America's top-rated basketball clinicians. A must-read for players and coaches at all levels of play."
Becoming a Basketball Player by Hal Wissel.
Coach Wissel is a highly regarded teacher of the game, being an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies, and owner of Basketball World, where he runs many camps and clinics.

From Mike Krzyzewski, Head Basketball Coach, Duke University: "Hal Wissel is an outstanding teacher. In his book, "Becoming A Basketball Player" he gives the player a sound plan on how to become better. It is well conceived and easy to follow. I recommend it to players and coaches at all levels."
Basketball Skills and Drills by Jerry Krause, Don Meyer and Jerry Meyer. Second Edition.
This is an excellent book for learning and teaching the game. Each chapter discusses one of the fundamental skills (example: ballhandling), and then provides the drills needed to develop those skills. The fundamentals covered include body control, cutting, screens, ballhandling including passing and catching and dribbling, shooting, outside moves, post moves, defensive skills, rebounding, and team offense and defense. A practice planning guide is included. In addition, my copy included a two disk CD-ROM version, but you can save money by getting a copy without the CD-ROM's.

If you could own only two basketball books, buy Jerry Krause's Coaching Basketball (above), and this one (or Garfinkel's Five-Star Basketball Drills - see below).

Five-Star Basketball Drills by Howard Garfinkel, revised edition.
This is a really excellent book on developing fundamental skills in your players. This book is full of the drills that are taught in the elite Five-Star Basketball Camps, a program whose graduates include over 100 NBA players (Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Patrick Ewing, Moses Malone, Mark Aguirre, Jim Paxson, Dominique Wilkins, Kelly Tripucka, Jeff Ruland, and others), and over 5000 college "scholarship" players. So obviously these are the drills to use! This book and Krause's Skills and Drills book (above) are both excellent resources for drills.

I highly recommend this book for your coaching library and regular use. It has something for everyone, including beginners, high-school, college and professional players. If you could own only two basketball books, buy Jerry Krause's Coaching Basketball (above), and this one (or Krause's Basketball Skills and Drills- see above).

Wooden by Steve Jamison.
This little book is a gem! -- I just love it. It's not a book about X's and O's, drills, plays, etc. It is a book for everyone, not just the basketball coach. John Wooden was not only a great coach, but a philosopher. This book is about his views of life, how to treat and get along with others, values, principles, setting goals, his maxims, and heart-warming anecdotes from his coaching career and life. It is subtitled "A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court". It's a quick read... you'll love it!
Coaching Basketball Successfully (2nd Edition) by Morgan Wootten.
Building a high school program? Coach Wootten is one of the most successful high school coaches ever with a coaching record of 1,274-192 during his 46-year career at DeMatha High School. With a winning percentage of .869, he won 5 national championships. He was inducted in the National Basketball Hall of Fame, and has coached hundreds of high-achieving student-athletes. In this book, he shares his keys to success.
Basketball: Multiple Offense and Defense by Dean Smith.
An excellent book with sections on the free-lance passing offense, 1-4 offense, "T-game", basic cut-movement game, 4-corners offense, fast break offense, press-breakers, special situations and the shuffle offense. Defenses include pressure man defense, the run and jump defense, the "40"and the "50" defenses.
Building a Man-to-Man Defense (the Art and Science of Coaching Series) by Bob Huggins.
This is an excellent booklet for teaching all the details of man-to-man defense. This includes not only the usual "on the line, up the line" descriptions, deny, helpside, etc., but also how to bump the cutters, handle screens, etc. Numerous breakdown drills are provided for teaching each important aspect.
Basketball for Women by Nancy Lieberman-Cline, Pat Summitt, Robin Roberts, Kevin Warneke.
This is an excellent book for players (especially girls) and is focused on player development. This is not an X's and O's book on coaching strategy, but an excellent source for teaching kids how to become good players.
Complete Conditioning for Basketball by Greg Brittenham, Patrick Ewing.
For a basketball conditioning program, exercises, drills, etc.
101 conditioning exercises 101 Strength and Conditioning Exercises & Drills for Basketball by Thomas Emma.
This is a great booklet that contains all of those exercises and drills that basketball coaches need for conditioning and training. Tom Emma is a graduate of Duke University, where he was a three-year basketball starter and captain his senior year, and was later drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1983. He holds a Masters degree from Columbia University, and is specialized in this area and has several other books available, including "Peak Conditioning Training for Basketball" and "Peak Conditioning Training for Young Athletes".
Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success by Mike Krzyzewski and Jamie K. Spatola.
A great gift idea for the coach who already has every book on X's and O's. There are very few American coaching heroes better known than Coach K. The long-time head coach at Duke University is at the top of the class when it comes to those who believe in doing the right thing and who stress leadership, accountability, responsibility, and academics to his players. Now, in this powerful collection of essays, written with one of his daughters, Jamie K. Spatola, readers will discover this incredible leader's personal philosophy on winning, losing, and sportsmanship, as well as dozens of everyday lessons that apply to life on and off the court.
Maravich by Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill.
This is an excellent biography of the great "Pistol Pete" Maravich, one of the greatest players to ever play the game. His ball-handling and scoring skills are legendary. Marshall Terrill is a proven master biographer and this book is very detailed and well-researched, with collaboration from wife Jackie Maravich and two sons. Although one of the greatest players ever, Pete was troubled, unfulfilled and unhappy. He was an intense, compulsive "basketball android" (his self-description), wanting to please his father. He eventually found inner peace in Christianity and his home life. He died at age 40 of a congenital heart defect. This biography touches all aspects of his enigmatic life, as well as his stats and his "best 25 games"... an excellent read!
Ralph Miller's Pressure Basketball (Video Tape) and the book, A System of Game Execution (Observations of Ralph Miller's Pressure Basketball) by Steve Seidler.
This is an excellent video tape and book put forth by Steve Seidler, assistant coach to the legendary Ralph Miller of Oregon State University, one of the most successful coaches in the history of the game and famous for his system of "pressure basketball".

The tape is excellent, with Coach Miller explaining all the important aspects of his basketball system. Each important point is discussed in detail by Coach Miller, and then demonstrated with game or practice video clips highlighting his OSU team. Not only does the coach point out "good things" on the video clips, but also is quick to criticize when his players dribble too much, or do something else not quite up to his standards. It is a real pleasure to listen to this legendary coach explain his system and concepts, and keys to the success that he has had over the years. I would highly recommend this tape. The book is a good complement to the tape. Click here for a review.
Prof Blood and the Wonder Teams, the True Story of Basketball's First Great Coach by Dr. Charles "Chic" Hess.
Before Phog Allen, Adolf Rupp and John Wooden there was Professor Ernest Blood of Passaic, N.J., whose "Wonder Teams" still hold records. Prof Blood was the first great coach, but is largely overlooked by history. He changed the game from a dribble-oriented game to a team passing game. Dr. Hess has researched and extensively studied this first great coach and has written this wonderful, detailed book. This is not an X's and O's, or "how-to" book, but a great read and a must for anyone interested in the history of the game. But, caution! -- this is a difficult book to put down! See a detailed review from the Honolulu Advertiser. Read what Dick Vitale and other coaches have to say.
The Basketball Coach's Bible by Sidney Goldstein.
This is a unique and very good book on teaching basketball. All the basic fundamentals are covered with drills needed to develop those skills. Goldstein's method of teaching stresses breaking down every skill into its parts, or components, and teaching and developing those skills with the proper drills. This book will help you to plan and run practices. There are appendices for preseason planning, pregame and game psychology, lesson tables, statistics, warmdown and more.
Attacking Zone Defenses (the Art and Science of Coaching Series) by John Kresse, Richard Jablonski, and Lou Carnesecca.
A very helpful book in understanding how to attack zone defenses. General principles of attacking any zone are described, and then several continuity zone offenses are detailed, as well as set plays, quick hitters, special situations and out-of-bounds plays to use against the zone.
A Coach's Life by Dean Smith.
This book is an autobiography of one of the greatest coaches, and real gentlemen, of all time. Coach Smith talks about his life beginning with his simple Kansas childhood, his upbringing and how he got started in the coaching profession, and his 40-year career in college coaching, up through his NCAA championships. He discusses the evolution of his offensive and defensive strategies, including the four-corner offense. Many familiar basketball names (players and coaches) pop up along the way and Coach Smith talks of his relationships with them. Smith also relates some of the political issues of the day (including race), the evolution of and some of the problems associated with the game today, and puts forth his personal beliefs, his life fundamentals and faith in God. This is an interesting book, especially for coaches, and especially for Carolina fans.
Basketball Basics by Howard Marcus.
This is a good book covering basic stuff. I think this is a good book for a novice coach, especially coaching at the youth level. It covers all the various aspects of the game with some drills. It has some coaching-specific chapters on "Why Are You Doing This (coaching basketball)?", "Coaching Techniques", "The Basic Coaching Sequence", "Season Starts-Tryouts", "Organizing Practices and Setting Priorities", "Game-Day Coaching", "Coaching Junior High and Recreational League Teams", and "Parents and Children". Although the book is somewhat out-dated (copyright 1991), the fundamentals still hold true today.

A very good book for Junior-High and youth recreational basketball coaches.
Practical Modern Basketball by John R. Wooden.
This is more of an X's and O's book by the coaching legend himself. There is a lot of excellent material in this book, but I must admit, I don't actually use this book a lot, favoring Jerry Krause's "Coaching Basketball" and the "Five-Star Basketball Drills" by Howard Garfinkel.
The Complete Guide to Girls' Basketball by Michael Mullaney.
This is a very well-written, easy to read and comprehensive book (400 pages) for coaches and players. It is intended to benefit girls of all ages and skill levels, from elementary school through high school, and gives detailed instructions covering: The fundamentals of basketball · Offensive strategies · Fast break offense and defense · Man-to-man and zone defenses · How to play the post · Full, three-quarters, and half-court presses · Out-of-bounds plays · Over 200 drills · Sample practice plans · Coaching strategies · Tips on communicating with players and parents · Excerpts from official rules of the game, basketball definitions, references to other basketball books and web sites, and more.
You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned - John Wooden's Teaching Principles and Practices by Swen Nater and Ronald Gallimore.
Former player under Coach Wooden, Swen Nater and Ronald Gallimore detail the teaching methods and practice philosophy of the great John Wooden, perhaps the greatest coach and teacher of all time. This book teaches the coach and teacher how to become a good teacher, highlighting respect, motivation, knowledge, self-improvement, preparation, and transferring information. These principles apply to every aspect of life, not just basketball. This is not an X's and O's book, but a guide to Coach Wooden's teaching methods.
Basketball Sport Psychology by Dale Brown and Kevin Burke.
Dale Brown of Louisiana State University and sport psychologist Kevin Burke co-author this book that discusses the mental side of basketball. As coaches, we know there is much more to the game than just physical skills. As an example, making clutch shots and free-throws is mental as much as physical. This book gives coaches and players the tools and methods needed to stay focused and overcome negative thinking. Gaining and maintaining confidence are important. Avoiding "burn-out" and keeping the game fun are discussed. Ways to deal with slumps, injuries, trash-talking, officiating, opposing fans, off the court situations are presented. Parents will find this book helpful too. This book is full of a lot of really good ideas to an important side of the game that is seldom discussed.

For more sports psychology titles and information, see www.fitinfotech.com the principle publishing division of the International Center for Performance Excellence, School of Physical Education, West Virginia University.






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