I was helping out a coaching friend the other day and his freshman squad with some troubleshooting work on their man-to-man defense. We were doing some up-the-line/on-the-line team defense concepts and what I realized about half-way through was that the kids really didn't have a clue what I was talking about because they had no idea what an open stance, closed stance, ear to chest, help side, free-throw line extended meant. After more prodding, it turns out the kids didn't really know what any of the stuff their coach had been teaching them the past 2 months, and of course they never bothered to ask anyone because, well they're kids and they don't want to look dumb in front of their friends.

In thinking about this situation, I thought of one of the things coaches must develop early on with players at the beginning of the season is basic basketball vocab. It doesn't have to be the exact terminology that us coaches use, but when you say on-the-line (or red, or pressure, or deny, whatever you want to use), they need to know that they should be in deny 1 pass away. They need to know what a hedge is, but better yet how to execute one properly. Assume that all players come into the season with zero knowledge. Go through and demonstrate everything (me, we, you), and make them demonstrate it back to you so that you can assess whether they've retained what you've told them.

You can't teach players your M2M base, a zone offense scheme, etc... if they don't have the basic terminology down. And it needs to be done early on in the season because you don't want to get to January with players still wondering what you're talking about, especially as you make adjustments heading towards the playoffs.

Anyways, that's my rant for the day. If you're looking for a headstart on basketball vocab terms, you can start with the FIBA version. It's pretty comprehensive, but maybe there are some other terms that you use which you should include.