Sunday, July 1, 2012


What do you think coaches are full of?  You guessed it, coaches are full of...knowledge.  Whether a coach is in their third year or twentieth year they have probably been exposed to many different offenses, set plays, defenses, schemes, philosophies, etc.  Like all sports basketball is evolving as there are new ideas being formed by coaches all the time.  Coaches are looking to learn about the new trendy offense, defense, or concept so the information out there for coaches is multiplies daily.  This new information gets stored in a filing cabinet, a file on a computer, and some of it is stored in the back of a coach's mind.  The coach never knows when they will need to reach into one of these files to use with their team.

Coaches have to be careful NOT to overload their players with too much information.  A coach has to have a good idea as to how much information their team can handle.  Some years you will be able to have more in your X & O arsenal while other years you may have to use far less.  Whatever the situation is the coach still needs to be careful not to overload their players.  Is it really necessary for your team to have 10 baseline out-of-bounds plays?  5 man-to-man offenses?  5 zone offenses?  10 set plays?  4 different full court presses?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Coaches need to remember "It's not what you know that counts, it's what your players know."  Give your players only what they can handle.  Givng players too many X's and O's will cause them to be hesitent on the court.  Players will be too concerned about where they are "supposed to be" rather than just reacting and playing. Giving your players a few things to know well allows them to play more free and aggressively.

One of the challenges of coaching is to take this knowledge that has been acquired over time and figure out which pieces of it can be or should be applied to your team.  There are two times of the year when coaches can add to what their teams do, off-season and in-season.

ADDING DURING THE OFF-SEASONEach coach has a general philosophy as to how their teams play (if they don't they better establish one).  Each coach needs to look at their returning roster and see if what they are doing in terms of style of play fits the ability of their players.  The off-season is the time when a coach can make a bigger change in style of play because the off-season gives the coach time to learn all the ins and outs of whatever their new X or O is.  Bigger changes during the off-season makes sense.

Changes made while the season is in progress should be more subtle than the off-season changes. Coaches need to be careful not to revamp everything they do in mid-season.  Keep the changes small. One example would be to add a set play to your offense that is a counter to your regular man-to-man or zone offense.  If you run the Flex Offense, a good idea would be to add a set play that starts out of your Flex set.

To review...
1. Gather as much knowledge as you can.
2. Decide what you can use with your team.
3. Do not overload your players with too much.
4. Bigger changes are made in the off-season.
5. In-season changes need to be subtle.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. I think that every player is going to learn at a different level so it is important for the coach to spend more time with individual players and make sure that they understand the offense and defense.


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