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Basketball Strategies – October 2011

HoopTactics Newsletter

Pre-season Organization
Try-outs, Player Evaluation and Squad Selection
Creating Breakdown Drills
Building Your Defense First

Coaching Strategies: Pre-Season Organization

Off season, pre-season, regular season, and post season, one thing for certain is that the basketball seasons keep changing. With each new season the plan or process for success should focus on the player knowledge, skills, or abilities that need to be honed. The pre-season is the time of the year that coaches love most. It is the time of the season for teaching and preparation. The things coaches enjoy doing the most.

Pre-season preparation and organization entails planting the seeds for a highly successful season. This involves careful thought and planning. Pre-season practices should be designed with the objective of preparing a team physically, technically, and mentally for game competition. It is imperative to start building correct habits and techniques from the start. Physical habits do not change in a game. Motivate players to become better “students” of the game. It will give them a greater understanding that games are won or lost for the most part during preparation. Learn more about Coaching Prerequisites & Practice Guidelines:

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Try-Outs, Player Evaluation and Squad Selection

Do you give Try-Outs “Lip Service” or do you take them seriously? In most cases, squads are pretty much pre-determined and try-outs amount to just scrimmaging. However, there is much more involved. In conducting a highly organized try-out, it does not only allows for fair and objective player evaluations; but, more importantly, it will provide coaches with a valuable understanding of the team’s overall skill level which is a great benefit and head start in planning pre-season practices.

Since player skill development on the lower levels is of the utmost importance, player evaluation is irrelevant. With players capable of improving daily, if at all possible, coaches should not cut players. However, on the professional level, player evaluation is a high stake endeavor with millions of dollars involved. Learn more:

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 Coaching Strategies: Creating Breakdown Drills

Be creative and design your own break down drills to fit your needs and player abilities. Creating drills and plays are one of the enjoyments of coaching basketball. Break down drills not only teach proper execution and footwork, but they are also great for conditioning players. Every drill must be an intregral part of your own offensive or defensive system, not for good looks or because you saw it during a basketball clinic or a major program uses it. During the season, review the breakdown drills as needed.

Quick Tip: Teaching & Learning

Whenever possible introduce and demonstrate a skill or drill one day, and then refine it in the ensuing practices. Do not attempt to introduce and refine at the same time. Use positive reinforcement and point out successful performances rather than negative ones.

Coaching Strategies – Defense: The Key to Building a Solid Offense

Pre-Season build your defense first. You can add offense at any time. However, pre-season training is the only time during the season that provides ample time to build a fundamentally sound defense. Once the season starts, it is very difficult or impossible to install a solid defense.

In installing your defense first, it also provides offensive benefits since you want to practice against good defense. Practicing against poor or “dummy” defense will not adequately prepare players for games. To be successful, players need to practice against good, hard nose defense. Your offense will most likely struggle at first. However, players will soon learn to adjust to creating good leads, making crisp, accurate passes, etc.

Coaching Tip: When working offensively, have the defense switch to offense only after making 5 or 6 defensive stops (combination of defensive rebounds and turnovers). Requiring 5 or 6 defensive stops, will encourage and motivate the defense to play harder. As a result it will definitely help the offense better prepare for actual games.

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SOS Pressure Defense: Free Area  – Click Here
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Get the Book: Advanced Basketball Defense – Click Here

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