Over the next several months numerous coaching clinics will be conducted in various parts of the country. These clinics are going to present dozens if not hundreds of ideas on nearly every aspect of the game and are going to encourage coaches to "start" doing something different if they want to ensure a successful season.
The purpose of this article couldn't be any more different than those clinics because here we are going to discuss things you should "stop" doing in order to improve your overall program.
1. STOP running without the ball.
It feels like punishment no matter when you do it; there's very little carry over; it doesn't improve any basketball skills, and players don't like it. If you absolutely must run "suicides," "ladders," "lines," or any other similar drills then simply add a ball and call it a relay. Dribble down right handed and dribble back left handed. Run three and five lane drills while passing. Be creative and find ways to incorporate skill work into your running.
2. STOP using offenses that don't fit your personnel.
The Flex, High-Low, Motion, and Dribble Drive are all examples of offenses that took the country by storm at one time or another. Coaches would watch big time teams run these offenses and then would immediately run out and teach them to their own teams. Today it's the high ball screen - I wish I had a dollar for every middle school, high school, or club team that runs that offense just because they saw Duke, or Kansas, or Kentucky run it. If you don't have the necessary personnel with the proper skill sets to run a certain offense - then don't run it!
3. STOP stalking the sidelines.
Whatever happened to sitting on the bench and coaching your players? Now coaches pace back in forth along the sideline like they are a caged tiger. Who started this anyway? John Wooden never stalked the sideline. Neither did Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith or Bobby Knight. In fact, no one did until most college teams started having the majority of their games televised. If you are coaching in the Final Four then go ahead and constantly walk back and forth and get some air time on TV, but if you are coaching your daughter's 6th grade team then stay seated and talk to your players.
4. STOP playing 80 games a summer.
I haven't seen your team play but I am willing to bet they need more practice than game competition. Playing game after game after game does not do much in terms of individual skill development and if you are losing game after game after game then your players could lose all their confidence as well. I still like the old school adage that says teams are made in the season and players are made in the offseason. If you are playing 80 games a summer then there really isn't an offseason. Cut your summer games back a little and spend more time doing individual skill work.
5. STOP waiting until you score before you call time out.
It seems that more and more coaches are doing this. When I asked one coach "Why?" he told me that he wants the time out to start on a positive note. That's great in theory but what happens if you absolutely need a time out and your team goes four possessions with scoring? Do you eventually pull them all together and say "Hey remember three minutes ago. . . ." Call time outs when you need them - not a minute sooner and definitely not a minute (or more) later!
I'm sure that if we all take a closer look at our programs we can find a few more things that we could STOP doing and be better off because of it. Remember, there should always be a reason (and preferably a good reason) why we do just about everything!
by Dave Stricklin
Back to basketball articles main page
Please feel free to comment: