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6 Questions Basketball Coaches Should Ask Themselves

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Great coaches understand the fact that year after year their team is going to change. Regardless if you lose two players or half of your team it is going to impact your program's success in one form or another. 

The one question that constantly lingers on every coach's mind from the end of one season to the start of the next is "How are we going to win more games?"The answer to this question can often be found while considering six crucial areas. 

Before even contemplating next year's offensive or defensive game plans you should first take in account  WHO is going to make up your team's core? Realizing who is probably going to be your team's leaders, scorers, rebounders, and defensive anchors will then allow you to start narrowing down your options for schemes. 

After you have initially determined who your core group of players will probably be and have narrowed your offensive and defensive options, the next thing to consider is  WHAT are you must comfortable teaching? Every coach has more experience with certain aspects of the game over another. Determining what you are most comfortable teaching is going to help you with the next question. 

Perhaps the most import question to ask yourself is  HOW are you going to connect with your players? Every great coach will agree that it's not what they know that counts but it's what the players know that matters! Your ability to connect with your players and discover the best way to teach and coach them will go a long way in keeping your program moving in the right direction. 

The fourth question you must ask yourself is  WHY will or won't this work for you team? The quickest way to figure this out is to simply write out a pro and con list on a piece a paper. Write down every possible reason why you believe this to be a good offense or defense for your team. Then list every possible reason why this won't work for your team. Put this sheet of paper someplace safe and leave it there for several days to a week. After this time has passed pull out the paper and review it with another coach or mentor and add anything else that you didn't think of originally. 

Most coaches, regardless of the level, are faced with the difficult task of preparing their teams for their first game in a limited amount of time. This could be two, four or maybe even six weeks at the far end of the continuum. Knowing this, you need to decide  WHEN are you going to implement what? Some things are obviously going to be more important than others. Some things, even though they may not be as crucially important, are going to take more time to develop than others as well. Deciding what is going to have the biggest impact on your team before you actually start practice is going to help you make the most of your limited time. Remember the things that matter the most should never be at the mercy of things that matter the least. 

The last thing to consider is  WHERE can your team be at the end of the season? We all want to set a goal of winning our league or state championship but sometimes that's just not realistic. (Of course, sometimes it is!) Look at it this way - if you are a C student then you should always strive for B's but should never, ever settle for a D. However, if you are an A student then get A's! The same holds true for your team. Determine where you might realistically be able to finish and then strive to finish higher but never, ever settle for finishing lower! 

It's inevitable that your team is going to be different next year. How you adjust to those changes will largely determine your level of success and so the sooner you start planning the better!

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