Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player.” (or a writer, or a reader) ~ Bill Gates

Writing is like playing basketball. Rebound- LOTS.

My friend, Helen Stanphill, who wrote for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. Magazine,was a guest author in one of my elementary& middle school-aged writing classes. She told the students that writing is like basketball. REBOUND.

How? Well, writing is a process; it takes time and practice. Basketball has a process too, but the most important part of basketball is the rebound. I think rebounding in life and writing is important too. Just do it again & again until you achieve. In basketball, you have to get off the bench and keep playing to get better at playing. So it is with writing.

I know that often times parents and teachers forgo writing or writing lessons for many reasons.  One of the many reasons that I hear is that they don’t have time, but I believe the writing process is invaluable. When you make the time, you will see results. Promise.

I also know from my own experience that sometimes it is just easier to forgo writing. My children complained so much bucking and snorting that I passed on our writing time more often that I should have simply because I didn’t want to deal with the conflict.

Whatever your reason is for not writing, please just rebound. Pick it up and do it again and again. Soon, you and your children/students will make writing gains. One must write to get better at writing just like one must get off the bench, play the game, and rebound in basketball.

writing tips

Here is the writing process related to basketball:

  1. Pre-write- In basketball, the coach scrawls the plays on a whiteboard. These are the ideas of what to do on the court. This is the draft of plays for the players. Similarly, in writing, you just get your ideas on the paper.  Graphic organizers are a wonderful way to organize your thoughts.

  1. Draft- Write- In basketball, the players go out and run the drafted plays to ensure they work. They organize themselves on the court according to the chart the coach drew out in the draft. The coach needs to see if each player suits each position. In writing, one just gets all the ideas from the pre-write organized and on the paper. Just write. Don’t get hung up on correct punctuation or spelling; just get all your thoughts onto the paper.

  1. Revise, Edit- The coach moves players around after viewing them play the drafted moves to make the plays more effective. In the same way, writers move their writing around to make more sense; they may delete some items, add some items, and correct some items. They check for what I call CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, & Spelling) errors. They make corrections to have a winning paper just like the coach moves the players around and tweaks the plays to have a winning team.

  1. Rewrite– In basketball, the team runs through the plays that have been revised making corrections. In writing, the writer rewrites the paper with all the corrections. This is the rebound. Do it again and again until it is good, a score.

  1. Publish – The scoreboard shows off the basketball team’s points. When they are playing well, they score. The scoreboard is a wonderful way to reinforce their good work. Likewise, in writing, publishing your work is a way to show off and reinforce your hard work or your student’s hard work. See the 5th bullet of independent writing to get publishing ideas such as having children sit in a special author’s chair, display their work, type up their work, create a powerpoint, make into a book, etc. Publishing is also as easy as verbally sharing. This step is important because it creates a purpose to complete the work AND it celebrates success of the finished work. It’s a win.

Writing process

Writing is an art that takes practice.  Writing is a process.  Whether you are writing or teaching writing, remember to rebound. Lots! 🙂

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer. 🙂

To learn more about Literate For Life, see the welcome post.

Also, if you’d like to get more helpful posts like this delivered to your e-mail, please be sure to subscribe to the list. See the blue box labeled “subscribe” on the top of the right side bar. This is free, and I promise not to send spam. I look forward to you becoming part of our community.

Photo Credit: 1. pixabay.com  2.  unknown  3.  oncoursesystems.com