Saturday, September 29, 2012


Here is your chance to help other coaches by providing your own ideas, philosophy, and opinions.  Saturday Coaches Share is a way for YOU to help other coaches.  Each Saturday this blog gives you an opportunity to comment on a different basketball related topic so our readers can learn from your opinions, philosophies, and experiences.

If you are interested in commenting on this week's Saturday Coaches Share all you have to do is email your response to before 8:00 AM (CST) Sunday, September 30.  Then look for your response to be posted on Sunday's blog.

Today's Coaches Share question:  Here is your chance to honor a coach you had during your playing career.  Who influenced you in a positive way? How was that coach able to make that positive impact on you?

Remember coaches learn from each other.  Share your thoughts on today's question and see it in Sunday's blog post. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


Think.  Today's blog post will be keeping it simple.  Simple, but potentially powerful if you take action.  The following is a list of random questions that coaches should think about from time to time.  This particular blog post doesn't give answers or suggestions, it's to get you to think,  Enjoy!

*If you are a head coach have you done anything lately for your assistant coaches?
*If you are an assistant coach have you done something lately for another coach on your staff?
*When is the last time you met with your captain(s) to talk leadership?
*When is the last time you let your youth coaches know you appreciate them?
*How often do you sit down and share thoughts and ideas with your A.D.?
*When is the last time your staff got together to talk about your program?
*Do your players know your core coaching beliefs well enough to the point where they could run a practice effectively without you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This set play will give you a quick and easy look off of a lob pass.

1 starts with the ball at the top of the key.  4 and 5 are post type players and will start at each elbow.  2 and 3 will start in the corners beyond the three point line.  You will want to have your best three point shooter start on the same side as 1 will initially dribble the ball to make the play look like you are setting that player up for a three point shot.

5 steps out to set a ball screen for 1.  1 dribbles hard off the screen.  At the same time 4 sprints to set a screen for 2.  2 comes off the screen hard and then stops at the free throw line (about a step off the ball side elbow) and sets a back screen for 5.  5 uses the screen and looks for the lob pass over the top from 1. 

3 will have to read the defense to decide where they will go. If there defense is giving too much help in the lane they will want to fill cut up the three point line.  If they are not over helping in the lane 3 will stay in the corner.


The BATTLE DRILL is a three person post player drill that focuses on scoring in the post.  The drill also includes a game-like situation and promotes physical/aggressive play with the ball.

The drill starts with the coach starting on the right wing with a basketball.  The offensive player starts on the left block, which is the opposite side as the ball.  A defender guards the offensive post player.  The third player starts on the baseline underneath the basket.

The offensive player must score twice before they are out.

The offensive player must cut across the lane and gain post position.  The coach can dribble to get a better passing angle.  The defensive player must play "live" defense.  When the offensive player is open the coach will pass them the ball and they will attempt to score.

After the offensive player scores or the defensive player gets a rebound, the ball is passed back out to the coach.  The defensive player steps off and the next player steps in to play defense on the same offensive player and the drill is repeated.  The defensive players keep rotating after each possession until offensive player scores twice.

The offensive player is finished with their rep when they score twice.   Having a fresh defensive player defend each possession forces the offensive player to keep a focus while they are getting tired.

Monday, September 24, 2012


The start of the season is still weeks away.  Coaches have all kinds of ideas for their offense, defense, and special teams.  Some of the things that the players will be taught will be a repeat from previous years, but chances are there are some new wrinkles added to the team's X and O inventory.  Regardless if something is new or old to the players TIME will be needed to implement it into your team's arsenal before the first game of the season.

How do you know when to put everything in?  The answer to that is to create an INVENTORY PUT-IN CHART.  This chart is a pacing guide for you as you map out the start of your season.  Coaches must have a plan well in advance to figure out when to put in each of their X's and O's.  You can't fly by the seat of your pants and do things on a whim as you start your season...plan it out!

What is an Inventory Put-In Chart?  What you need to do is create a calendar that starts with your first day of practice through your first game of the season.  On another piece of paper you will need to write down all the of the X's, O's, and special teams you need to have in before the first game of the season.

Prioritize.  You need to decide which is the most important for your team to focus on before the first game.  This will become your top priority and you will want to make sure that is put in first.  Continue from there through each practice leading up to your first game.  You can't do it all early in the season.  Coaches must realize that you don't need to have every single set play, BLOB, SLOB, or defense in prior to your first game.  Start small and work your way up to adding more as the season progresses.

One thing to consider is to add one or two new things a day for the first few weeks.  Doing this will allow you to focus part of your practice in implementing X's and O's, while using the remainder of your practice to review X's and O's already put in and skill work.  If you decide to spend an entire practice implementing a bunch of different X's and O's you are wasting time.  The result of doing this would be too much standing around by the players as they listen to the coach talk, and an overload of information for the players.

Below is an example of a two week "Put-In" chart.  Listed are only the new things being put in.  Obviously you will be reviewing others X's and O's you have already put in throughout the two weeks leading up to the first game.

Nov. 12                Nov. 13                    Nov. 14                   Nov. 15                     Nov. 16
5 Defense            Transition O            Wildcat Zone O       Set Play 4 vs Zone    121 Press
Flex Offense       Press O                     55 Defense                                                BLOB 1
                            Set Play 1 vs Man

Nov. 19                     Nov. 20              Nov. 21                          Nov. 22              Nov. 23

Set Play 2 vs Man    BLOB 3             Set Play 5 vs Zone         Jump Ball          SLOB 1
BLOB 2                   121 Soft Press    Full Court :04 seconds  Free Throw D    Pre-Game
                                                                                                                             BLOB 3

Nov. 26                       Nov. 27
SLOB 2                      GAME #1
Set Play 3 vs Man

Sunday, September 23, 2012


"Thanks" goes out to the coaches who responded to this week's Coaches Share.  Your input helps us all.  All coaches are invited to help with the share each week.

This week's Coaches Share question:  Coaches are always making changes with their teams/programs during the off-season; some big, some small.  Some changes are philosophical, some relate to practice, and some with X's and O's.  Which changes are you most excited about with your team/program for this season?

"I am mostly excited about the new roster we will have this year."
~Coach Roberts

"We made a program-wide decision to make some changes to our man-to-man defense.  We are now going to be more of a pressure team in the passing lanes.  We had been more of a gap control team, and it worked fine for us.  But we are going to take more of an aggressive philosophy in hopes of creating more turnovers.  We need to speed up the game."
~Coach R.T. (TN)

"We are going to be making an effort to shoot more in our practices.  Trying to incorporate as much shooting with drills that have other focuses to it.  Our biggest question mark coming into the season is our ability to score so hopefully this will help."
~Coach Mark T. (TX)

"Our coaching staff added another coach.  I am very excited at the options we will now have with having another coach in the gym."
~Coach Lori

"The biggest changes we are making this year are with our side out of bounds plays.  We have a series of them we are going to use that will give us more quick scoring options."
~Coach B (IL)