Coach's Clipboard Newsletter #111
June 1, 2017
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Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quotes:

"Winning is overemphasized. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war." - Al McGuire

"If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you're going to have problems. You'll be dead a lot." - Dean Smith

Today's Theme - Game Coaching and Strategies

First of all, realize that most games are won and lost by your players executing the fundamentals and plays that you have taught them in practice.  But courtside coaching can greatly influence the outcome of a game, especially a close game.  Below are a number of game aspects to consider.

Game Plan.  Scout your opponent's strength's and weaknesses.  Plan your defensive and offensive schemes.

Game Tempo.  Try to control the speed of the game to best suit your team's strengths.  If you are a running, pressing team, and your opponent is a slow-down team, push the ball.  If just the opposite is the case, slow things down.

Type of Defense.   Man-to-man, zones, junk defenses, press, etc.  Oftentimes you have to make defensive adjustments during a game.  For example, if your zone is getting killed by 3-pointers, switch to man defense.  If dribble-peneration is killing your man defense, go 2-3 zone.

When to Press, when to Stop Pressing.  Are you going to press the whole game?  Or just as a "surprise tactic"?  Are you going to stop pressing if they are getting too many easy baskets?

Using Time-outs.  Use time-outs wisely.  In close games, if possible, try to save two time-outs for the last few minutes of the game, when you may need to stop the clock, set up a play, discuss your team's strategy, etc.  But sometimes it doesn't work out that way and you need your time-outs earlier.  Keep it simple. Players often only remember one thing you tell them in a time-out... usually the last thing.

.  Be aware of fatigue, player fouls (your assistants can help), etc.  Always try to have a couple scorer's and a ball-handler on the floor.  If you are coaching youth basketball, where everyone is supposed to play, I have your assistant coach to help with the substituting.

Yelling at Players.  I think it is counter-productive to yell negative stuff at kids in front of their parents, friends and the fans. I think it is OK to get on them in practice, in the privacy of your gym. But games are for the players and should be fun.

Talking to Officials.  Most refs will talk and respond to you if you treat them with respect and sometimes you can even throw in a little humor. But you may be in for a really long night if you have a ref who believes you are trying to "show him up".

End of Quarter/Period Strategy
.  If you have the lead, and there is only 20 seconds left in the quarter, you may want to hold the ball for the last shot, so that you may increase your lead, and at worse, maintain your present lead without allowing the opponent a last second chance.  Things also depend on whether you are using a shot clock.

Late Game Strategy
.  There are a number of important scenarios you should understand, depending on whether you are ahead or behind and how much time is left.  See this page for details about this and further in-depth discussion of all the above pointers... Game Strategy

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