While attending a clinic many years ago as a young coach I heard the coaching phrase understanding and teaching the

“Value of Time, Score, and Momentum.”

As coaches, our job is to prepare our players, assistant coaches, and point guards how to play and how to teach the game.  These 3 components are so important in teaching a larger concept:

Basketball IQ or ABCs


How many times as a coach do you see your point guard, most importantly, or other players make a play without consideration of time, score, and momentum?  In fact Basketball IQ might nearly be defined by the ideas of knowing and understanding the value of time, score, and momentum.

On that day, at that clinic, I found this to be one of the most “profound nuggets” of teaching and coaching the game of basketball and I found that by making this an emphasis DAILY in our practice we became better players, making smarter decisions, and in fact winning close games that we might not have won in the past. In essence, our Basketball IQ was being built daily with daily emphasis.

Here are some tips on each part of the concept to emphasize:

A. Time

  1. Use the clock and the shot clock EVERY day in practice!
  2. Create situations involving time DAILY.  Ex: Down 2 with 1 minute to play etc.
  3. Run offense with shot clock every day.  Get a coach or a manager and train them.
  4. Use situations like need a 2, 3, or need to get to the FT line to score with clock stopped.
  5. Play one possession games for 3:00 minutes with both man, zone, press attack situations.
  6. Do the math! Teach your players and point guard Basketball Math.  2:10 remaining in the game there are roughly 3 possessions left if all 35 on the clock is used.  (30 for girls).
  7. Practice 2 for 1 situations. Shoot early score and get last shot after opponent shoots

B. Score

  1. Knowing the score at all times is vital in maintaining, stretching, or building the lead.
  2. The score should ALWAYS dictates how you play and define shot selection as well.
  3. Create these situations in practice playing mini scenarios or games of 30 sec. 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 5 minute, and quarter games with various up by ? or down by ? situations.

B. Momentum

  1. How do you play when you are up?
  2. How do you play when you are down?
  3. How do you keep or stretch leads?
  4. How do you catch up? Scoring with the clock stopped?
  5. How is shot selection influenced by momentum? or being down?

If you want to build Basketball IQ, the key is to teach TIME, SCORE, and MOMENTUM understanding DAILY.  In addition, create accountability in these scenarios for winners and losers.

Christian Aurand,

Blueprint Basketball