Tips from John Wooden

1. The key is Conditioning and Fundamentals.
2. We try to out perform and out last the opposition.
3. We spend over one-half of practice on basic fundamentals.
4. Conditioning is essential to success in basketball.
5. All Fundamentals drills emphasize conditioning in one way or the other.
6. Jumping and stretching drills to increase jumping ability.
7. Try to incorporate all fundamentals in early practice drill.
8. Want all players to dribble well.
9. Change of pace and direction to improve footwork and balance. Use a defense on this also.
10. Every drill is as competitive as possible.
11. Game condition shooting drills with teams in competitive groups.
12. Most games will be won by your ability to hit the medium distance shot.
13. Position shooting is also useful.
14. Be quick without hurrying.
15. No offense at all without good ball handlers.
16. First pass is key to the fast break.
17. No loss of time in practice.
18. Setting the defense (press, etc.) and transition are keys.


Good basketball is nothing more than the ability to properly and quickly excecute the fundamentals of the game for the welfare of the team. Individual technique and maneuvers that have been practiced over and over again must now be second nature. If you are not in good condition, you can not execute the fundamentals properly nor can you execute them quickly for any extended length of time. You must not spend so much time on developing the teamwork athat you forget the individual fundamentals. A team that is sound fundamentally but does not have a strong team offense or defense will still be hard to beat; but a team that has a very difficult offense or defense will be easily beaten if they are not sound fundamentally. The better conditioned team will probably win in the long run. It is a game of fundamentals. Many people have been surprised to find out that at UCLA we work more than half of every practice on our fundamental drills, even the last practice of the season…Coach John Wooden.