Non-Traditional Stats to Motivate your Players

On the heels of our last article, NBA Hustle Stats, we’d like to offer some additional stats to consider tracking for your program-if you already don’t use some or all.  Of course, not all coaches are stat oriented but for those who are, any stats have value that can be used as teaching tools, motivators or simply additional methods to view and understand one’s team better.  Let’s take a look at a few:


  1. Second Assists- Borrowed from hockey- the pass that leads to the assist.  As with most “other” stats, this second assists can serve to reward and/or motivate role and chemistry players.
  2. Drawn Fouls- These can be lost before the bonus kicks in.  Let’s say Player A gets fouled 4 times before bonus but none after the bonus or in the act of shooting, it appears that Player A’s value is less than Player B who gets fouled after the bonus.
  3. Passes that lead to FT’s- If Player A passes to Player B who gets fouled and doesn’t score an FG, there is no credited assist.  But if Player B makes FT’s, the result is the same as an FG.  Theoretically, credit should be given.
  4. Passes that should have been assists.  If Player B doesn’t finish on Player A’s pass, that pass gets “lost”.
  5. Saves- Any time the ball is going out-of- bounds off Team A and a Team A player “saves” it.  (On defense, this might be regarded as a steal).

Defense: Also see –> “Do You Have a System for Evaluating Your Players’ Defense”


  1. Neutralize the Drive- Any time an offensive player makes an obvious aggressive attempt at driving to the hole and defender makes him pick up his dribble with no damage.
  2. Help that prevents a score- When a player steps in and the offensive player doesn’t charge and no FG or FT’s are given up.
  3. Helps for the helper- When a player rotates and prevents an interior pass or offensive rebound because of an initial threat to the basket.
  4. Altered Shots- Blocked Shots are easier to detect but altered shots might be more prevalent and just as valuable.
  5. Discouraged Shots- Difficult to detect except for the coach who knows his team.  Sneaky good stat.

Obviously all or most of these stats are difficult to track in-game but can be analyzed in film work.  A by-product of having players cognizant of these stats is that they can focus on them in practice.  If they’re not “lost” in games, they stand a lesser chance of being “lost” in practice.



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