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.
You can follow Dynamic Coaching Tools on Twitter at @DynamicCoaches
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By Doug Brotherton — 2 years ago
In Episode 5 of our “Chalk Talk” series, we show an example of SEQUENCING. This is a tool that coaches can use, to set up their team for success on back-to-back possessions. When using sequencing, a coach is running a set or action. On the very next possession, the coach calls for a similar set or action, but uses the defenses response to generate another scoring opportunity. Below is Episode 5 of “Chalk Talk,” as well as the sets that are featured being used in an actual game.
The sets in Episode 5 of Chalk Talk were used to open the fourth quarter of a close game. Here are the video clips of the SEQUENCE, which created a 4-0 run.#XsAndOs#ChalkTalk#GrowTheGame🏀 pic.twitter.com/1hSriV2rV8
— Dynamic Coaching Tools (@DynamicCoaches) December 14, 2019
By Doug Brotherton — 1 year ago
Every off-season, coaches spent countless hours researching and studying different ways to improve. Too often, this leads to coaches completely hitting the reset button on their program’s offensive plans. Here are a few simple ways to instantly improve your offense!
Offense starts the moment your team gains possession. TEACH the game this way.
- When teaching our half court offense, we stress things like spacing, player movement, ball movement, and we provide structure to help players read the game. Why not teach transition the same way?
- SPACING | There two ways to stretch the defense. Vertically and horizontally. If we can get multiple bodies in front of the ball, we will stretch the defense vertically. If we can get our wings to run wide, we are now stretching the defense horizontally. This should be an instant reaction, the moment your team gains possession of the ball.
- PLAYER MOVEMENT | Win the first three steps! If your players will sprint the first three steps, you will get players in front of the ball. When you throw the ball ahead, have you taught your team how and where to space around the ball? Do wings run to the corner and spot up or bounce off of the baseline and lift to free throw line extended? Transition offense includes player movement and should be taught.
- BALL MOVEMENT | One of our favorite phrases is that we want “two early shares” in transition. If we can get two direct passes in transition, we are likely to have tremendous flow and rhythm on that offensive possession.
- PROVIDING STRUCTURE | We want to provide spacing rules, simple secondary actions, and then teach our kids to flow seamlessly into our half court offense.
REMOVE “set it up” from your vocabulary
- One of the most under taught parts of an offensive attack is “FLOW.”
- Teaching FLOW requires a coach to get creative in practice, abandon static starting points, and requires teaching players HOW TO PLAY.
- The benefit is that the defense is unable to use the “setup time,” to also get themselves organized.
Create an ATTACKING mentality, with an understanding of IF/THEN responses.
- The easiest way to create an attacking mentality in your players is to view mistakes in practice as teachable moments.
- The best teams are confidently attacking, as opposed to having “paralysis by analysis.” In simple terms, they are too busy playing basketball, to stop and think about what is next.
- If you can create aggressive basketball players, you will see improvements in your offense.
- To learn more about IF/THEN responses, check out THIS BLOG POST.
Lastly, what does this look like? Here is a video of our team putting these three simple concepts on display.
By Doug Brotherton — 2 years ago
We all want our players to be great teammates. We are constantly telling our players to put the team first, but are we intentional about teaching players how to do it? If you are teaching players how to be a great teammate, then it should be explained, players should learn how it sounds, as well as what it looks like to put the team first. Below are five steps to create great teammates in your program.
EXPLAIN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A GOOD TEAMMATE
If this is important to your program, then it needs to be outlined within your core values. For example, two of our core values connect to being a great teammate. The first is RELATIONSHIPS. We talk about what it means to develop relationships and how it connects everyone within our program. The second is SERVANT LEADERSHIP. The purpose is to seek ways to serve others, which includes our teammates. By connecting being a great teammate to two of our core values, it empowers the fact that being a great teammate is more than an expectation. It is who we are and what we do.
TEACH PLAYERS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE TO BE A GREAT TEAMMATE
One of our favorite activities to do is the “Rock, Paper, Scissors Challenge.” In this activity, players do a best of three series of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winner finds another teammate to play against. The loser becomes a “HYPE GUY” for the winner. You continue this until you have two players remaining in the Championship. At that point, they have a team of “HYPE GUYS” behind them. It creates a fun environment. At the conclusion of the Championship, we let our players know that we expect our bench to be full of “HYPE GUYS.” Now that we have taught our players what it sounds like to be a great teammate, it can be an expectation for the players.
Is your bench quiet/lacks enthusiasm? Stop complaing & TEACH THEM!
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) June 10, 2017
TEACH PLAYERS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO BE A GREAT TEAMMATE
Similar to teaching players what it sounds like to be a great teammate, this lesson allows us to hold players accountable. The best tool for teaching players what it looks like to be a great teammate is film. We will use clips from other teams at the beginning of the season. As the season continues, we will use clips of our own team. It could be all four players sprinting to help up a teammate who has gotten on the floor. It might be our bench celebrating a positive play. It could be a teammate giving positive reinforcement to a frustrated teammate. Too many coaches want to point out the negative behavior on the bench. While this is a form of accountability, it is also highlighting the behavior that we do not want. It can be much more powerful to show positive examples, and then find a way to reward that behavior. Another way to teach players what it looks like to be a great teammate is to meet them on their level. In this case, we are talking about social media. A tweet or instagram post that promotes being a good teammate will reach some of your players better than a lecture. A social media post is a great way to utilize messaging that players want to absorb.
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) November 18, 2014
SHARPEN THE SWORD
Like a fundamental skill, being a great teammate requires repetition. If you want your players to be great teammates, you must continue to “sharpen the sword,” to avoid the message becoming dull. Like any fundamental skill that we teach, you should be constantly looking for positive examples to reinforce your expectations.
After you have taken the steps to teach and reinforce the expectations of being a great teammate, it is time to hold your players accountable. One common mistake is that coaches hold their bench players more accountable for this behavior. While all players must be held accountable, your best players must be held to the highest standard. This will resonate with your players and it highlights the importance of being a great teammate.
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