Coaching

New Year: Is your team ready to win?

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

Leadership Development

It is becoming obvious that all Championship teams have a clear understanding of the importance of great leadership. This past year, we were able to see it across all levels of basketball.


COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP COACH:


WNBA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYER:


NBA CHAMPIONSHIP COACH:


At the end of most seasons, coaches will talk about their leadership, and their season, in a similar tone. If leadership is an important factor in the success of a team, then why are coaches ignoring it? Here is one of the most ridiculous statements that you will hear from people about leadership:

“He/She is a born leader.”

Nobody is a “born leader.” People are a reflection of their experiences, the people around them, and their vision for the future. The purpose of this post is to challenge coaches to formulate a LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PLAN.

Here are five suggestions, to improve the leadership in your program:

  1. Start a group chat with your leaders.
    • This sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference. This off-season, I used the GroupMe App to start a group chat with our Captains. In this chat, I constantly share leadership articles, quotes, and ask questions. This has created a clear understanding of my expectations, and allows me to control the messaging that our leaders are receiving. The questions allow for a better understanding of what our leaders know, and areas for growth and development.
  2. Launch a Leadership Development Program at your school:
    • We had our first Leadership Development Program at our school this fall. We took our Athletics Department theme, and designed a program to spread this down to our student-athlete leaders. This included an introduction to our theme (Servant Leadership) from our Athletic Director, a college coaches panel, four break out sessions, and a varsity coaches panel. By the end of the program, we had a clear understanding of our standard, expectations, and how we could work with our athletes to ensure success.
  3. Spend an entire practice silent or only whispering:
    • This idea was first put on display, years ago, by Geno Auriemma. He spent an entire practice whispering his instructions. This meant that the players had to listen, communicate, and execute. All coaches agree that the best teams are player led, and so it only makes sense for coaches to take a step back. Record the practice that you are quiet, and then watch it with your staff to learn about the leadership and communication dynamics of your team.
  4. Clearly communicate your expectations at your parent meeting:
    • At the high school level, the most underrated aspect of the “buy-in” in your program is the parents. Programs who struggle are constantly complaining about the parents. In reality, the percentages tend to show that great players are driven by overly involved parents. If you embrace the power of these parents, and work to control the messaging, then it can work in your favor. If the parents understand what you are trying to accomplish, then they are more likely to express these things on the drive home.
  5. Your best tool is former players/leaders:
    • The best tool that you have in your program are your former leaders. Those former players are going to be able to connect with your current leaders, in a different way. As coaches, we can not always get on the same level as our leaders. Our former players have the ability to do that, but once again, we can control the messaging. If you are not utilizing your former players, to help support your current leaders, then it is time to get started.

These are just five of the ideas that we recommend for coaches, as you try to develop leaders in your program. In six months, you are going to be talking about the leadership on your team. There is a strong chance that you will talk about your team, the same way that you discuss your leadership. Start pouring into those leaders now, so that you can maximize the potential of your current roster.

You can reach us for more information on Leadership Development by e-mailing us at:

INFO@DynamicCoachingTools.com

You can also find us on Social Media: @DynamicCoaches

DCT Podcast – Episode 3 – Coach Thomas

Episode 3 of the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast features Coach Ryan Thomas, the Founder and Director of Player Development for HoopGrind Basketball. Coach Thomas spent time talking to us about the role of a Player Development Coach, balancing the job of an Assistant Coach and the individual development of players, what high school coaches can be doing better, and the different plans for HoopGrind Basketball. Below are just a couple of the takeaways from this episode.


THREE KEYS TO A GOOD DRILL

  1. Level Appropriate
  2. Translates to the game
  3. Can be layered up or down

 

STEPS TO GETTING PLAYERS TO BUY INTO A ROLE

  1. Embrace the role
  2. Star in the role
  3. Grow the role

 

You can reach Coach Thomas via Twitter and Instagram.

Coaches should also check out HoopGrind Basketball.

www.hoopgrind.com

Social Media is @HoopGrind

 

 

PREVIOUS EPISODES OF DCT PODCAST

EPISODE 2 – Coach Ethan Leasher (Davenport University)

EPISODE 1 – Coach Doug Brotherton (Dynamic Coaching Tools)

WNBA Finals Preview – Xs and Os

After two highly competitive five game series, we now have our WNBA Finals match-up. Game 1 tips off tonight and features the Seattle Storm against the Washington Mystics. Coaches should be tuning in, as both teams run some tremendous stuff offensively. Below is a breakdown of three sets to look for, which have been highly successful for both teams. Thank you to Ben Dull, from SplitThePost.com for providing all of the videos for this preview.

 

Storm – Flex Action (BLOB set)

This BLOB set involves Bird setting a flex screen for Stewart, then receiving a down screen.

Storm – “Horns Down”

The Storm have different Horns looks, but this ball screen that flows into a down screen is tough to guard in transition.

Storm – Empty side / Two Man Action

The Storm love to include Stewart in a “two man game,” on an empty side. They use DHOs, ball screens, and slips.

 

Mystics “Stagger Split Rip”

This set shows a double stagger, before a split, into a rip (rescreen) for the back cutter. Great counter to a traditional double stagger!

 

Mystics – “Zipper 15”

The Mystics use a zipper cut, to trigger this backscreen action with Toliver and Delle Donne. This is just one of the ways that the Mystics use a backscreen to get the basketball inside.

 

Mystics – “Drag Back STS”

This set uses a drag screen and throw back, to set up the screen-the-screener. Toliver shows a screen for Delle Donne, before she actually receives the screen for an open three.

 

Two actions that will be critical for both teams to figure out are the two-man game, with Stewart on the empty side. The Storm lead the WNBA in three point shooting, and that action puts the defense in a scramble situation. The Storm must be ready to guard the screening actions involving Toliver and Delle Donne. They use back screens, ball screens, and screen the screener actions to free up both players.

This blog will be re-posted on www.FastModelSports.com, with all set plays being diagrammed and available for download in the playbank. Look for this repost before Game 3.

Go follow @splitthepost and @DynamicCoaches on twitter.

You can also catch our most recent Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast by clicking here.

ARTICLE: Women’s college athletes don’t need another coddling parent. They need a coach.

This article touches on one of the real challenges in coaching. How can coaches demand respect and accountability, when that environment is not mirrored in the world around the athletes? How does a coach establish reality, without damaging feelings? Here are some interesting numbers from the article.

“According to a 2016 NCAA survey, 76 percent of all Division I female athletes said they would like to go home to their moms and dads more often, and 64 percent said they communicate with their parents at least once a day, a number that rises to 73 percent among women’s basketball players. And nearly a third reported feeling overwhelmed.”

“At the same time, accompanying this anxiety, iGens have unrealistic expectations and exaggerated opinions of themselves. Nearly 60 percent of high school students say they expect to get a graduate degree — when just 9 to 10 percent actually will. And 47 percent of Division I women’s basketball players think it’s at least “somewhat likely” they will play professional or Olympic ball, but the reality? The WNBA drafts just 36 players, 0.9 percent.”

This is a fantastic article, which references this Geno Auriemma video, and also how Pat Summit would fit into modern day coaching.

CLICK HERE for the full article

ARTICLE: Basketball coaches are a society of borrowers

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

Jay Bilas Skills Camp: Top 5 Takeaways for Coaches

The article, “Jay Bilas Skills Camp: Top 5 Takeaways for Coaches,” was first published on FastModel Sports.

The 2018 edition of the Jay Bilas Skills Camp continued to provide both coaches and players exceptional opportunities to improve.

The Jay Bilas Skills Camp is quickly becoming one of the best basketball camps in the entire country. At the camp, players are split into teams, which are each led by a full coaching staff. The Head Coach of each camp team is a current college head coach. The three Assistant Coaches are a part of the camp’s Coaching Development Program.

Coaches in the Coaching Development Program range from College Head Coaches, to Graduate Assistants, Student Managers, and High School Coaches. The Coaching Development Program featured a tremendous lineup of speakers, including Don Showalter, Alan Stein, John Shulman, Jeff Lebo, Kevin Eastman, Mike Dunlap, Paul Biancardi, Bart Lundy, Grant Leonard, Bob Richey and, of course, Jay Bilas himself. I was also lucky enough and honored to give a short presentation to the coaches on how to maximize FastDraw to not only enhance your playbook, but your overall program as well (photo above).

By far the most impressive part of the Jay Bilas Skills Camp is the quality of on-court teaching that takes place. Players are treated to a crash course of “how to play basketball,” which featured skill development work, progressions, and special situations. The key however was that this section moved at a pace that resembles a college basketball practice. The progressions included different ball screen actions, off-ball screening actions, post splits, and more, and was all geared towards ensuring that the competitive games segment of camp featured high quality basketball.


MY 5 FAVORITE TAKEAWAYS FROM JBSC
DfB7mrmVMAAfTHX.jpg-large

1 – “If you think that a task is below you, then leadership will be beyond you.”

Jay Bilas Skills Camp staff featured former NBA coaches, College Head Coaches, and yet there were absolutely no egos. Everyone bought into the example that was set by Bilas, which was to serve others and pour everything into making the camp a tremendous experience for all involved. I felt like this phenomenal quote by Bilas had to be shared.

2 – “Relationships are the life blood.” 

This was a line that was shared by Alan Stein, but it was a theme that was echoed by all of the speakers in the Coaching Development Program. You you want to maximize your impact as a coach, then you had better learn to connect with your players.

3 – Two Types of People: ‘Know-it-alls or Learn-it-alls’

Kevin Eastman dropped this knowledge during his presentation, while Mike Dunlap was a living example of a “Learn-it-all.” Coach Dunlap is the Head Coach at Loyola Marymount, and has been an NBA Head Coach as well. He is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent basketball minds in the business, and he chose to be a part of the Coaching Development Program. This example, from an extremely successful coach, just hammered home Eastman’s point about being a “learn-it-all.”

4 – Communication Circle

Coach Showalter shared this pre-practice exercise, in which players must hold hands, look each other in the eye, address a teammate by name, and then share information. This focus on communication builds team chemistry, teaches communication, and has countless other positive impacts on a team. Check out this video that demonstrates how Coach Showalter uses the “Communication Circle” with his teams.

5 – Do NOT delay gratitude.” 

Bilas gets a second mention in this top five list, and not just because his name is on the camp. This was a line that he used multiple times, but it was also a theme for the staff. Everyone was excited and thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow. This “attitude of gratitude” fostered a fantastic environment and atmosphere, and we all got better in our time spent at the camp.


It was truly an honor to present to the Coaching Development Program at the Jay Bilas Skills Camp. On the last day, I wrote a hand written note to thank John Searby (Camp Director). That note was written on the cardboard backing to my note pad. In all of my years of attending practices, camps, and clinics, it was the first time that I went through an entire note pad at one event. The amount of quality information that was shared by the speakers was incredible, and I am already looking forward to being a part of next year’s camp!

If you want to get involved, you can find information about the Jay Bilas Skills Camp via its website, and follow on Twitter at @JayBilasCamp.

Plays YOU Can Use: Elbow Series

“Plays YOU Can Use: Elbow Series” by Coach Doug Brotherton was originally published by FastModel Sports

When building your playbook for next season, some things to consider:

  • Do your sets have anything that make them easy to scout?
  • Do they all start from different formations?
  • Is it difficult to flow from the base offense into the sets?
  • Do they all use the same action? Do the sets lack versatility?

These are all challenges that coaches must consider, and do not realize until they face the best teams on their schedule. The “Elbow Series” below is an example of some sets that check all of the necessary boxes, which make them a solid addition to your playbook.

Do the sets all start from different formations?
The Elbow Series always starts from a box set. Guards at the elbows, with the bigs on the blocks. This makes it difficult to defend, as there is no immediate giveaways for the defense. Below is the basic Elbow Action;

Elbow

Is it difficult to flow from the base offense, into the sets?

The Elbow series is very easy to flow into, from any base offensive formation. Below is an example, using a 3-out, 4-out, and 5-out system.

Elbow

Do the sets all use the same actions?
The Elbow Series uses multiple actions. Some of these actions include back cuts, flare screens, screen-the-screener actions, Iverson cuts, screens for post-ups, and elevator screens.

Do the sets lack versatility?

The Elbow Series includes options to get a post touch, open 3-point shots, back door cuts, isolations, ball screens, and even a lob play.

The Elbow Series includes six set plays, with multiple options.


Elbow

Elbow


Elbow Bang

Elbow Bang


Elbow Chase

Elbow Chase


Elbow Double

Elbow Double


Elbow Muscle

Elbow Muscle


Elbow Triple

Elbow Triple


Let us know what you think about the Elbow Series. Contact us on twitter or in the comments below.

@DynamicCoaches

@CoachBrotherton

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