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
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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.
The NCAAW Sweet 16 Project started off with eight great matchups. Our video contributors did a tremendous job of selecting sets from each of the teams.
Below are the sets from the first two days of the project.
It is an unprecedented time in the world. The global pandemic of 2020 has led coaches to jump into clinics, zoom calls, books, and social media. With the infinite number of resources, there is a strong chance that coaches are flooded with ideas, in a year that we will all see a smaller window to prepare our teams. This issue brings us back to a quote from Bob Richey, the head coach at Furman, who said, “coaches today need to have more conviction.” These seven words from Coach Richey have never been more true. As coaches are flooded with information, it is important that we have a clear understanding of our convictions. This will help coaches filter the information, to get to what is relevant to their programs, and it can help identify the areas for growth. So, what is CONVICTION:
A firmly held belief or opinion
Having a firmly held belief or opinion is something that coaches do very well. In a lot of cases, this becomes apparent as coaches debate different points. There is a balance that is required between being open-minded and having conviction. There is a simple way that coaches can effectively jump into the conversations about our beliefs. Ask the question, “can you prove it?”
“There is a simple way that coaches can effectively jump into the conversations about our beliefs. Ask the question, “can you prove it?”
Asking coaches to prove their convictions will make these discussions more productive. It will lead to challenging our beliefs with unbiased information, which will ultimately change or confirm our convictions. Regardless of the outcome, we will know that we are improving as a coach, as we gain the necessary knowledge to create CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS. To confirm is to establish the truth or correctness of something previously believed, suspected, or feared to be the case. Convictions are an opinion, but CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS are the truth. This should be the goal of all coaches.
DEALING WITH KNOW-IT-ALLS
What do you do if you are in a situation where a coach stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the proof you are providing, or will not prove their own convictions? The answer is simple to say, but hard to do, and that is to just walk away. The moment that you get into one of these situations, you are dealing with someone who is either a KNOW-IT-ALL or a person who is not interested in other people’s opinions. Any coach who is a know-it-all is not interested in learning, growing, and improving. As coaches, we strive to be what Kevin Eastman refers to as a LEARN-IT-ALL, who never stops learning, evolving, improving, and growing. Here is an example of a conversation with a coach who is not interested in CONFIRMING CONVICTIONS.
I’m cool with it: Got to her spot with three dribbles. She probably makes that a high percentage of the time. https://t.co/PxA71We9j3
— Chireno High School (@CoachLoverson) July 26, 2020
Following this clip, we provided the coach with the following information.
WNBA teams shot 34% from mid range shots, outside the lane.
This player shot 27% on jump shots off the dribble last year.
Follow up questions:
How often do you think she works on shooting from here?
Does the defense want her to take this shot? pic.twitter.com/ot5prhmaPE
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) July 26, 2020
The response was to ignore the proof and provide more opinions.
Smooth&comfortable shooting it: She works on that shot daily: She is a pro. I’m sure she plays overseas. Hoops is her life. The defense didn’t have a choice. Came to the ball. Ball faked defender off balance now defender is chasing. Plenty of space missed the shot. https://t.co/makXlKSpmD
— Chireno High School (@CoachLoverson) July 26, 2020
I do not believe that this coach automatically falls into the KNOW-IT-ALL category, but it was very apparent that the coach was not interested in moving past an opinion and into unbiased proof on the topic.
As we said earlier, it is time to walk away.
In our upcoming PILOT PROGRAM, our eight month coaching development program, we will constantly search for CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS. A constant theme of the program will be to search for opportunities to ask coaches, “can you prove it?” In creating these CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS, we will help coaches develop an identity, confidence, and a program with elite buy-in. In conclusion, the next time you disagree with a coach, avoid the urge to debate your opinion, and start searching for unbiased proof on the topic.
Are you a Head Coach, within your first three years of taking over a varsity program? Be on the lookout for our PILOT PROGRAM, which launches on September 1st, and will be a wonderful resources to take your program to new heights!