1. Practice makes permanent, which may improve or worsen the present skill level of your players. Insist that your players understand the only perfect practice makes perfect.
2. Continuous learning and progress depend primarily on each player's interest, motivation, and attitude. Help them take charge of their attitude, actions, and reactions.
3. Mistakes made in practice provide an excellent teaching tool. Your players' mistakes should be used as feedback or status reports, because success comes through being aware of and learning from mistakes. Work to reduce the number of similar mistakes. Also teach players to analyze and forget mistakes and not let those mistakes affect the next play.
4. Problems should be viewed as opportunities. Successfully meeting challenges can result in your players becoming better people and better players.
5. Teammates should be encourage. Your players should inform each other when outstanding team plays are made -- pass assists, screen assist, rebounds, and defensive players, for example. Have them let a teammate know verbally and physically when they have done well.
6. Develop balance and emotional control. Basketball is a game of finesse and reasoning, so players need to be taught to be spirited without being temperamental.
7. Motivation is possibly the most important factor in determining learning progress. Players should take primary responsibility for their motivational levels. A coach serves as only one resource to improve motivation.
8. Feedback is necessary for effective learning. Each player should develop many channels of feedback concerning both effort and performance of fundamental skills. Coaches should make every effort to provide feedback about what is being done right as well as what is being done wrong. Give them information, not just emotion.
9. Practice must be active and purposeful for maximum learning to occur. After a skill has been learned correctly, players should practice game moves at game speeds. Players should be constantly reminded to do it right (first), and then do it quickly (second).
10. Mental practice can be as effective as physical practice for learning fundamental skills. The subconscious can't tell the different between a real experience and a vividly imagined experience. The skill must be heard, felt and seen. To paint complete mental pictures, players should shut out all mistakes and concentrate on seeing perfect performances in their mind, then "just do it."
11. A final note is directed to both players and coaches. Players should expect constructive criticism from coaches and should make every effort to accept and learn from such feedback. Both groups can expect both justified and unjustified criticism and should develop mental toughness to accept and learn from the best and the worst.