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October 15, 2014     Newsletter #48

Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Today's Quotes
"I'm not allowed to comment on lousy officiating." - Jim Finks, New Orleans GM when asked after a loss what he thought of the refs

"There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves." - Will Rogers

Today's theme is Coaches Preseason Checklist

This article was provided by Clint Daly of Championship Basketball Academy.

First off let me say that it is always an excellent idea to do a coaches retreat with your coaching staff. Set up a date and time that you can spend a day going over every scenario that you could encounter with your staff. It will pay off with every level of your program.

Review all terminology and concepts that you will use during the season.
Just because you know your terms does not mean that every member of your staff will. Be sure that when you use a term like "checking out" everyone on staff knows that you are referring to a defensive player making contact with an offensive player and then boxing them out. It will save time and confusion later.

One of the most overlooked areas of a basketball program is your total program communication system. Be sure that every coach will be teaching every player the same terminology and the same methods. Communication is the glue to your entire program.

Review all drills that you will utilize during your season.
Make sure that you take time to review how you will teach each drill, why you will teach the ones you have selected and if they will suit the needs of your team. Be aware of how each drill will translate to game situations. You do not want to be wasting time on drills that don't transfer to success during pressures of game competition.

Review man to man and zone quick hitters
Understand whether your system will depend on quick hitting plays and in what situations will you utilize them? All quick hitters should always include three options or counters to attack the multiple defenses that you may encounter.

One on one player evaluations.
Successful basketball coaches understand the importance of building one-on-one relationships with their players. Fall evaluations provide you the perfect time to build a foundation of trust with your players. Topics should always include goals and aspirations and may not always be limited to just basketball but also life situations.

Develop your master practice plan
When you are developing long range plans start with an end point in mind. How do you want your team to be playing when the crunch and pressure of crucial conference games and state playoffs are encountered? We recommend that you start at the end and then work backward turning your focus to monthly, weekly, and daily practice plans to cover all areas that need to be addressed.

Understand what you DON'T know but you need to know.
In conjunction with your long range planning, indentify areas where you, your staff, and your players may be lacking confidence when they are encountered. Look at situations that your players may be intimidated by or even afraid of and be sure that you have a plan to address those issues. This may be difficult but will be critical to your program's success. DON'T run from your problems-address them head on.

In-Season weightlifting and conditioning plan
As you wrap up your fall strength and conditioning program be sure to prepare for your teams in-season weightlifting and fitness levels. Maintaining core levels of upper body strength and lower body explosion are vital to your teams' success. You will also enhance the confidence level of each player. Understand that over training can result in your team losing its stamina or even worse you may encounter injuries.

Be sure your tryout and cut process in place
A very important component to your programs credibility is a well thought out and communicated tryout system. Your tryout system should be easy to implement, fair to all players, and flexible enough to be utilized under all variables that you may encounter. We recommend that all players and parents sign off on policies regarding the tryout process. This will protect you from issues later in your season.

Preseason scrimmage and scouting schedule
Before you are too busy with practices and player issues now is the time to look at your opponents' schedules and film to identify optimal times for scouting and preparing for future games.

Plan for your player/parent preseason meetings
It is important to head off many problems that you will face by conducting a player/parent meeting. Now is the time to sell your vision and the importance of your program to those that will be supporting you. Feel free to invite all pertinent school personnel to this meeting. We recommend that all policies, procedures, and rules are communicated, printed, and signed by all parties. This will prevent misunderstandings as your season progresses.

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Till next time...
Best wishes,
Dr. Jim Gels, aka "Coach Gels"
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