The number one factor to winning games is TALENT. While this might not be a popular reality, because some aspects of talent are out of the control of a coach, it is the truth. Without talent, it is hard to win games. Talent is made up of three main categories; athleticism, skill, and depth.
Culture is defined as “how we do things here.” Every person around a program has an impact on the culture of a program. Culture is the easiest area to impact, but the hardest thing to control. Sustainable success can be directly attributed to good program culture.
Coaches have all of the power, but very little control. The best coaches recognize that their role must shift from driving force to quality control. The sooner that this can happen, the quicker a program has the opportunity to become an elite program.
The word ELITE is thrown around too frequently, but there is no denying that the definition of elite describes what every program is striving to achieve.
Want to know how you can become the driving force to making your program elite? Be on the look out for our next blog post, which will talk about the first three areas that a program must improve!
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Throughout this season, I have come across multiple coaches who are not filming games. Every time this happens, I respond with an e-mail, encouraging coaches to stop ignoring the opportunity to improve their coaching staff, team, and individual players. It is our belief that all varsity coaches should be filming every game. This is part of your job, and you owe it to your players. Furthermore, filming practices can also be very beneficial. Below are the reasons that we believe that Film is a coach’s best friend:
1- It is the best teaching tool!
As the saying goes, “the eye in the sky don’t lie.” Film allows players to watch their mistakes and these teaching moments are very beneficial to player development. Film can help a team better understand areas for improvement, challenges from opponents, and it provides clarity for everyone in the program. There is no better teaching tool than an organized, well planned film session.
2- Players need film for college coaches.
Most high school coaches have players that are interested in playing at the college level. Your players will need film, so college coaches can evaluate them. By providing film to college coaches, you are doing your part to help your players have an opportunity to continue their careers.
3- You can exchange film to scout opponents
One of the worst phrases that coaches say is, “We don’t scout, because we are just worried about us.” This is code for, “I am too lazy to prepare my team to win.” As a varsity basketball coach, you should be scouting your opponents. This is especially important in league play. Scouting provides an opportunity to steal points for your team. It is very impactful, against good teams, if you can prevent 4-6 points for your opponent, and generate 4-6 easy points for your team. If you are not filming and sharing film, other coaches will be less likely to help you with film.
4- Film helps ensure accurate stats
Filming games will help your staff ensure that you have accurate stats. Depending on a student manager to take stats during the game is fine, but there is a strong chance that those stats are not accurate. Film can be used with services like Krossover or Hudl, which will provide statistical breakdowns of your team. Stats are also important for recognizing and rewarding your players for big achievements. It might be scoring 1,000 career points, or providing proof that a player should receive all-league or all-state honors. The stats also allow coaches to provide a program record book, which is a great way to honor the best players throughout the history of your program.
5- What you see during games is only part of the picture. Film fills in the gaps.
When you see post game interviews with the best coaches, you will regularly hear them answer questions with, “it is hard to answer that without looking at the film.” This is because the best coaches know that the film will provide valuable information. You can look at a box score and see the results. It might be a lack of offensive rebounding, too many turnovers, or poor shooting. Film fills in the gaps, and answers the question of WHY those results happened. If you do not watch film, then you are taking an educated guess, as opposed to finding the undeniable answers that can help your team improve.
If you are a high school coach, make sure that you are filming games. Film is your best friend, and will help you maximize the development of your team.
You can follow Dynamic Coaching Tools on Twitter or Instagram at @DynamicCoaches
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
Coach Ethan Leasher, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Davenport University, joined us on the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast. Coach Leasher is in his fourth year at Davenport (D2 in Michigan). In this episode we talked about offense, analytics that can be measured within the game, and what it is like to be a young college basketball coach. Below is information for Coach Leasher, as well as a few other items from this episode.
Coach Leasher Bio
Ethan Leasher enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Panthers. He will be the co-offensive coordinator and the recruiting coordinator this season. Leasher will also be handling all compliance tasks and alumni relations.
Leasher is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting/finance. He played one year of college basketball at Adrian College in 2009-2010 under Mark White. Leasher served as head student manager of the CMU Men’s Basketball team under Ernie Ziegler in 2010-2011 and also coached the junior varsity boys basketball team at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 compiling a 35-5 record. Leasher coached AAU basketball for Hoopgrind Michigan from 2011-2014 and saw seven athletes sign collegiate athletic scholarships. He spent the 2014-2015 season as a coaching assistant at Chadron State College (Neb.) and was responsible for recruiting, opponent scouting, film breakdown and team travel arrangements.
Coach Paddock said, “Ethan is a tremendous addition to our program. People sometimes say it is better to be lucky than good. In the case of Coach Leasher we are lucky and he is very good. Coach E is a basketball junkie. He spends tireless hours at his craft: studying tape, relationship building with our players, recruiting, etc. He loves the game, our program and is a tremendous asset to the DU community. There is no doubt he will help us continue to get better as a program as we move forward!”
WHAT WE DISCUSSED IN EPISODE 2:
- Offensive Concepts
- Analytics – In game measurable stats
- Life as a young College Coach
“Success lies in simplicity, confusion lies in sophistication.” -Kevin Eastman
Offensive Keys to Success at Davenport:
1 – Play fast
2 – Get to the free throw line
3 – Room for improvement: Take care of the ball, without taking players’ aggressiveness
“What are we going to hang our hat on? How do you measure it?”
“Players do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
“How do you manage being a “go to person” for them (players)?… You have to behave in a way that you are not their best buddy or pal… There is a big difference between being someone’s friend, and being someone that they look up to and respect.”