Court Sense: Winning Basketball’s Mental Game

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The best basketball players and coaches are known not only for their success in the sport but for the manner in which they manifest their knowledge and abilities in playing, coaching, and teaching the game.

Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Steve Nash, Diana Taurasi, and other great players past and present share a special grasp of what is needed in every situation on the court and how to maximize their own effectiveness as well as that of their team. Teams coached by John Wooden, Phil Jackson, Pat Summitt, and Mike Krzyzewski won many championships because of their coaches’ amazing ability to teach, motivate, discipline, and unite players to perform to their potential individually and as a group.

Court Sense highlights all those qualities that make players and teams great, and it provides practical ways to improve any intangibles that might be lacking. The first half of the book covers all the basics a player must have in place, on and off the court, in order to excel. The second half features the six Cs that are crucial to on-court performance: coachability, communication, cohesion, capacity to lead, competitiveness, and concentration.

Author John Giannini brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the subject as a former collegiate player and veteran coach who has earned a PhD in sport psychology. His insights and advice are combined with real-life examples and supported by stories shared by these top coaches:
John Beilein, Tony Bennett, Tom Crean, Jamie Dixon, Steve Donahue, Joanne P. McCallie, Sean Miller, Oliver Purnell, Bo Ryan, Tubby Smith, Sharon Versyp, and Jay Wright.

Playing like a winner first requires preparing like one. Use Court Sense to your advantage and you’ll be one step closer to cutting down the nets.

Table of Contents

Part I. Fundamentals for a Winning Focus

Chapter 1. Evaluation of Abilities
Bo Ryan: Player Assets

Chapter 2. Commitment to Goals
Steve Donahue: Goals for Growth

Chapter 3. Expectations of Success
John Beilein: Individual Motivation

Chapter 4. Off-Season Work Ethic
Sean Miller: Off-Season Development

Chapter 5. In-Season Accountability
Joanne P. McCallie: Team-First Mentality

Chapter 6. Off-Court Conduct
Oliver Purnell: Good Habits

Part II. The Six Cs of On-Court Success

Chapter 7. Coachability
Tubby Smith: Player Responsibility, in Writing

Chapter 8. Communication
Jay Wright: Shooting Straight

Chapter 9. Cohesion
Sharon Versyp: Team Building

Chapter 10. Capacity to Lead
Tony Bennett: Leadership Values

Chapter 11. Competitiveness
Tom Crean: Developing Competitors

Chapter 12. Concentration
Jamie Dixon: Upperclassmen Focus


John Giannini, PhD, is the head men’s basketball coach at La Salle University, which competes at the Division I level in the Atlantic 10 Conference. He has led La Salle to its best Atlantic 10 record in school history. Giannini accepted the job at the Philadelphia-based school in 2004 after a successful eight-year stint at the University of Maine, where he became the winningest men’s basketball coach in the school’s history and turned the Black Bears into a perennial force in the America East Conference. Prior to that, Giannini amassed a remarkable 168-38 record in 7 seasons as head coach at Rowan University. He also brought a Division III national championship to the Glassboro, New Jersey, school and was named Coach of the Year.

Giannini’s collegiate basketball career began as a player at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. He continued his education through graduate school and in 1992 earned a doctorate in kinesiology with a specialization in sport psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at Illinois he served as a graduate assistant coach for two years, including the 1989 season when the Fighting Illini made it all the way to the Final Four.

Coach Giannini applies many innovative motivational, communication, and instructional techniques with his players. As a result, his teams have been known for their effort, teamwork, and attention to the fundamentals.

Giannini, his wife, Donna, and their two daughters reside in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.

Product Details

Publisher: Human Kinetics

ISBN: 9781492573425


Page Count: 256

Book Format: eBook, PDF

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