Do your players understand the X's and O's? Do they understand shot selection? Do they understand how you want them to defend ball screens? Do they understand your philosophy on clock management? Do they understand what you want them to do in transition defense? These are just a few questions to consider as the list of questions could be much longer. The fact of the matter is: The better your team understands, the better chance you have of success.
PLAYERS TEACHING PLAYERSOne activity coaches can have their players do to show an understanding of what is expected is to have your players teach your players. Here is a format you can use to do this:
1. Each player has a notebook. This notebook is theirs for the season. Players use the notebook to take notes during meetings, diagram X-O material the coach goes over on the whiteboard, inspirational quotes, reminders of important team information, or to even write down their own ideas. Players should have their notebook in hand for every team meeting.
2. Partner up your players.
3. Tell your players you want them to diagram a particular offensive set to each other. One player goes at a time. One player will draw out the offensive set and all the options out of it in the notebook while their partner listens and watches. When they are finished then their partner repeats the same.
4. The coach should walk around the meeting room listening and watching for things the players are saying and doing. After the activity is completed the coach needs to share with the team some of the important and/or interesting things they heard or saw as they walked around the meeting room during the activity.
5. To complete the activity have one player draw out the offensive set on the whiteboard in front of the team.
What this activity does is it gets your players to think about what everyone is doing on the court, not just their own job. It is getting them to think the game and show how much they understand what the coach is teaching. It also gives the coach a chance to see how well their players actually do understand. The coach may learn that their team understands the concept very well. Or they may see that they need to focus more time on it because the understanding isn't at a high enough level.
As stated earlier in this article, you can do this many different topics relating to your team.