Pat Coons coaching philosophy

Our game continues to evolve outward. Three-pointers have taken over and, not surprisingly, Cleveland and the Houston Rockets led last NBA season in 3-pointers made. Your players see this, want to mimic it and spend their gym hours hoisting shots behind the line, how should this impact on your coaching philosophy.

A while back I spoke with a couple of my coaching peers about this. Justin Duke, the head girls coach at Wilsonville High (Ore.) says, “If I can get a player to shoot 33 percent from 3, that’s nearly the equivalent of a post shooting it at 45 percent.”

Pat Coons, the head boys coach at Westview High, Beaverton, Oregon. says a lot of his philosophy comes down to three principles.

Pat Coons coaching philosophy

  1. Get layups since they are high-percentage shots
  2. Work on shooting 3-pointers for the extra point
  3. Get to the free-throw line on the drive, since most free-throw shooters are around 70 percent.

“Bigs (forwards and centers) certainly help you get buckets at key times but if they are below average free-throw shooters, then it negates the higher-percentage look,” Coons says.

Duke adds he knows players are going to shoot 3s, so he encourages them to do so to build confidence. “I encourage most of our players to shoot the 3 when they are open and in transition. Especially for girls, this creates a new level of confidence that the coach believes in me to take this shot.”

If this is an area you want to work on with your team keep an eye out for my upcoming coaching manual 3 Point Plays, email for info on my upcoming manuals or to be added to our early order list.

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