As the calendar turns over, basketball coaches begin conference play, and hope to have the answer to how their team can win. Through the experiences gained from October to December, most teams have had an opportunity to be challenged, learn from adversity, and establish an identity. Below are three questions that you had better know the answer to, if you want a chance to win your league:
✔ What does your team do better than anyone else in your league?
✔ What is your team’s biggest weakness, and how can you help your team overcome it?
✔ Do your players know and accept their roles?
These three questions are guiding thoughts, which will give your team a chance to play their best basketball. We hope this helps your coaching staff evaluate where your team is at, as you prepare for the most important stretch of the season.
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The article by Dan Shaughnessy, “Basketball coaches are a society of borrowers,” talks about how coaches are constantly sharing and borrowing to make each other better. Here are my two favorite quotes from Brad Stevens:
“And I’ve always thought — and I got this from my boss at Butler — there’s not a monopoly of great coaches at any one level. It’s all over the map. I think that’s one of our responsibilities in coaching is to open our doors if people are interested in watching and talking about any of that stuff.’’
“I spend my whole offseason going to clinics,’’ the Celtics coach added. “Even when we plan something as a family on vacation, I try to figure out where coaches are in that area and go and stop by and pick their brains on what they are doing.”
The last sentence of the article sums it up:
The good coaches are the ones who never think they have the whole thing figured out.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE
Episode 4 of the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast features Coach Greg White, the Head Coach of West High School (Northwest Arkansas). Coach White is also a speaker for USA Basketball, at their Coaches Academy. His topics include building a program, as well as offensive systems. Coach White also has a website, www.3fromthecorner.com
Coach White spent time talking to us about his ball screen offensive system, the foundations of building a program, establishing a culture, and the impact of AAU basketball on the future of our game. There were countless takeaways from our conversation, but here are a few of them.
3 C’s of a Program
Foundations of Building a Program
- CULTURE = Blueprint
- IMPACT = Thumb Print
- Must DEFINE SUCCESS
Program > Team > Player
You can reach Coach White via Twitter:
You can also find great resources at his website:
Coaches like Buzz Williams and Tom Izzo regularly reference the way that Football coaches do things. They also credit football coaches for making a positive impact on their programs. All basketball coaches should be looking around for great ideas, and other sports offer some opportunities to learn and grow. Below are three ideas, which basketball coaches should steal from their football programs.
1 – Script your first few possessions of the game
A great way to help your team find a rhythm offensively, is to script the first few half court possessions. The number of possessions is dependent on your teams ability to retain information and then execute. We like to script our first three possessions, as well as our first baseline out of bounds play. By scripting it, we are able to put our players into a comfortable position. We can select the set, based on something that we scouted on film. The players that are in a position to make a decision, or take a shot, have practiced that specific scenario the day before the game. This builds confidence. Furthermore, this is especially successful in hostile road environments, as you try to take the crowd out of the game.
2 – Put an Assistant Coach over both sides of the ball
As a Head Coach, one of the hardest things to do is to give up control. In reality, we need to recognize that we have all of the power, but no control at all. We can work on things, but it is up to our players to execute. We can ask our Assistant Coaches to be engaged, to buy in, and to help develop our team. Football coaches make the ultimate decisions, but they also hire an Offensive and Defensive Coordinator that they can trust. These Assistant Coaches play a major role in the success of the team. It also allows the Head Coach to focus on a specific side of the ball, without the other side feeling neglected. In practice, we might want to focus on the defensive side of the floor. Who is holding the offensive players accountable to do things the right way? Assigning an Assistant Coach to each side of the floor, will allow the Head Coach to focus on specific aspects of the team development, while also ensuring that nothing is neglected.
3 – Stress the importance of Special Teams
Football coaches make a huge deal about the impact the Special Teams have on the game. What are Special Teams in Basketball? We view Special Teams as baseline out of bounds plays and sideline out of bounds plays. Other coaches will add factors, such as points off of turnovers, second chance points, or free throws made. Simply using the out of bounds plays are very easy to track within the game. If your team is able to find an advantage within the “Special Teams,” it can be especially important in close games. Look back at last year’s numbers and see what impact the “Special Teams” had on your team.
For more ideas, feel free to contact us via e-mail INFO@dynamiccoachingtools.com
or on Social Media: @DynamicCoaching