Get our exclusive report. Download the iSport360 Club Switching Report Here – For Club Admins, Rec Leaders and Coaches.

They Do It The Right Way

A phrase you hear in the basketball world constantly, “they do it the right way” But, what does that actually entail? I’m here to break it down.

This can apply to a wide range of topics in the basketball world, including coaching, style of play, recruiting, treatment of staff and players, etc.

Funny enough, you can’t really find any articles or information on the subject either, it seems to exist only in conversation amongst current basketball heads or the older generation that is still holding onto the Bob Cousy NBA days. *Old man yells at cloud*

Image for post
Michael Jordan & Phil Jackson

Insert obligatory Matthew McConaughey clip.

Let’s start with the Basketball side of things:

Offensively, teams are largely better respected when they play fast, they get up and down and run good actions whether in transition/secondary or in the half-court. A huge part of this is ball movement and the team playing unselfishly. For example, although James Harden is entertaining to watch, I’m sure a poll would show most people would rather play for the Warriors than the Rockets.

Defensively, teams are usually more respected with they play man-to-man and not zone, especially at the youth level. This isn’t to say a zone defense is not effective or “good” basketball, but universally there is a stigma with playing zone.

The object is to make your teammates better. To make sacrifices. To make the extra pass. Think about defending. Maybe sacrifice yourself a little bit for somebody else. — Larry Brown

I called coaches across the country to get their opinion on this and although they all had great ideas, a lot of them struggled to articulate exactly what it means to play the right way. It’s one of those omnipresent things that is particularly hard to explain but you know it right away when you encounter it.

Below are some universal truths that all coaches agreed with:


Eye contact with coaches and players when they’re talking or listening, players huddle up during the game // they are constantly high-fiving, congratulating each other, and encouraging each other.


Players hustle on and off the court, and play with a lot of energy and passion. They take no plays off, the bench is engaged in the game, and teammates are supportive regardless of how they are playing.


Players are coachable, mentally tough, have the fortitude to bounce back, play each game like it’s their last, and have a hard-nosed blue-collar attitude about themselves. Nothing better than coaching fundamentally sound players who limit making mental mistakes and try to control the controllable at all times.

At the end of the day, the ultimate right way to play is consistency.

Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the best way it can be done, and do it that way every time — Bobby Knight

I think an ever harder question for coaches is how do you instill this type of culture into your program? Coaches that have had success for a long time make it look easy, but those early days and years were a struggle.

I’m interested to know, what small, daily habits you instill into your program to be labeled as a team that “plays the right way” Want to learn more about iSport360, we have ways to help deliver practice assignments so your players can continue to improve on their consistency.

WRITTEN BY Paul O’Connor


Basketball @ Pro Skills Basketball | Podcasting @ The Green Light

Learn more or request a demo of our youth sports software that is helping teams improve communication, organization and player development.

January 18, 2021

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

youth lacrosse