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12 Fundamentals Your Basketball Coach Should've Taught You

Make sure you do some film study this year during the basketball games. Just remember that Reese's and Coke Zero are fundamental to any viewing party, so make sure you stock up at Target.

1. Passing is just as important as shooting.

BuzzFeed / John Urquhart

It's easy to get caught up in the fun of draining 3-pointers, but the court is an ecosystem, not an EGOsystem. You should spend as much time developing your court awareness and passing speed as you do with turnaround jump shots.

2. Play BIG.

FOX / X-Men: The Last Stand / Via

This isn't just a note for power forwards and centers, everyone on the court should be playing bigger than they are. When you're on defense, extend your arms to take up more space. Throw your weight around when you drive to the hoop. There's nothing scarier to an opposing team than aggressiveness.

3. Learn how to talk to the refs.


Referees are either your biggest enemy or your greatest asset. Don't make the game harder to win than it needs to be. Do yourself a huge favor and learn how to disagree with calls in a respectful way.

4. Be vocal.


It's amazing how quiet some teams are when they play. The court should sound like the trading floor of Wall Street. Have an open conversation with your teammates, and listen for key details. You should call out everything from screens to potential shooters.

5. Learn how to draw a foul.


Basketball is not a sport for the faint of heart. Seek the contact, relish the contact. If you're not sore the day after the game, you didn't do your job.

6. Do a little bit of everything.


It's important to keep the opposing team guessing. When they figure out your defense, try another formation. If you spend the first quarter driving and dishing, try focusing on the perimeter game. If you're a power forward, learn how to shoot 3-pointers. Do anything that you can do to make yourself an unsolvable puzzle.

7. Make your opponents uncomfortable.

BuzzFeed / Ben Rosen

Be a physical presence without intentionally fouling the opposing team. Get in their faces, yell for the ball, stick your hands in their faces, charge the shooters, and generally cause as much mayhem as you can. They should be begging to ride the bench.

8. Respect the almighty "hot hand."

Universal Pictures / Along Came Polly / Via

Sometimes it's just your day. If one of your teammates is zoned in, don't feel like you have to balance the shot attempts. Rack up some assists on the sheet, and buy him a snow cone after you win by 100 points.

9. Know who to talk trash to and who not to.

Warner Bros. / The Campaign / Via

Trash-talking can be a very effective tool to get inside the heads of your opponents. That said, there are some players who thrive on the negative energy coming out of your face. Tread lightly with your words, young ballers.

10. Situational awareness. / Via

Surprisingly, situational awareness isn't a staple of basketball 101. Try your best to play out the recurring scenarios so you can react quickly in live games. Know when you need to press, when you should burn clock, when you're looking to foul, etc.

11. Play with focus and have fun.


It's easy to take the game too seriously. Don't put more pressure on yourself than you need. Play loose and have a good time while you're out there. The less you press yourself to succeed, the more success you'll have.

12. Watch basketball with your teammates to pick up other tricks.


You can learn so much from watching. Try to zero in on what teams are doing well and what they aren't doing well. It's easy to do and, quite honestly, it's a lot of fun.

There's nothing more fundamental than watching the action live.

That said, having a viewing party without Reese's and Coke Zero is a fundamental mistake. Stop by Target to make sure your party game is as strong as your basketball game.