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Coaching Athletes To Play Aggressive

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

"This year I've just been aggressive. I still have the mindset of passing the ball, and being aggressive and attacking the basket is going to draw more attention, and that way I can find my teammates. Being in attack mode is something I try to bring into every single game, and that's what's making me be so successful."

- James Harden

Coaches often wonder how to teach their athletes to be more aggressive.

Here are tips to create a more aggressive and competitive mindset:

a. Create effort based goals to teach your athletes to play more aggressive. Playing aggressive doesn’t mean teaching athletes to go hurt others. Instead it’s teaching them to be proactive, assertive, and forceful.

b. During warmups, activate their bodies by raising their level of intensity. Make their movements more deliberate in warm up drills. It could be as little as having basketball players attack the basket at full speed during layup drills.

c. Create high intensity cue words to activate their minds. Some examples, “Let’s go,” “Play hard, play fast,” “Bring it,” or “Time to turn it on!” What you say and how you say it can activate an athlete’s mind and body to get excited and come out aggressive.

d. Have your athletes imagine themselves playing aggressive or watch highlight videos of athletes playing hard and aggressive. Imagining it in their head or seeing it on a video helps them to feel, think, and focus on playing aggressive.

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