Had the first player meeting for our sophomore boys team last night. I’m excited because we agreed on a really good strategy for the season and the players are on board! In fact, they are the ones that came up with the entire strategy (with just a little guidance from me).
To me, this first player meeting is critical!
This meeting sets a foundation and a precedence for our entire season. It’s a very laid back and informal meeting. But the information we discuss is really important for our success.
And this is probably the only time all year I will talk to the players about WINNING.
Here’s a rough agenda of what we discussed and why it’s so important for our success…
Just gave them a little info about me. Very brief.
2) Practice & Other Logistics
Quickly explained practice situation, opportunities for freshman to move up, gave them my contact info, etc. Also gathered contact info from each player, had them sign code of conduct, and take care of misc paperwork.
3) Discussed Core Values
Explained the importance of our core values. This is the basis of everything we do. You can see our core values and the document we reviewed together here. This is absolute priority for us! We need to emphasize these core values and refine our character skills every single day.
4) Open Door Policy
Let the players know I’m also available for them. And they can talk to me about anything… basketball, school, home, life, etc.
5) Team Rules
Shared our team rules and gave them a few examples of violations and what I might do for punishment. Our team rules are:
– Don’t do anything detrimental to the team.
– Follow the “team core values” on and off the court.
That’s it. We don’t need any other rules because that covers everything I can imagine.
6) How to Win / Strategy
Finally, we’re getting into our strategy for the season. Normally I don’t talk about winning. Instead we focus on the process, character skills, and the fundamentals. Winning is a by-product of focusing on those things.
However, to develop a good strategy players need to understand what it takes to win. Surprisingly I’ve never heard anyone talk about winning in the way we discussed it last night. I’m not sure why.
My first question for the players…. “How do you win?”
Answer: “Score more points than the opponent.”
Ok, “How do you score more points than the opponent?”
This question took a while and required a little guidance. It’s interesting that 10th graders are unable to answer such a simple question and get to the bottom of how precisely you can score more points.
Eventually they figured it out and came up with:
A) Take more shots than the opponent.
B) Shoot a higher percentage than the opponent.
Once we established that, we went through an exercise figuring out how to do those two things.
Lots of great ideas came out of the discussion. I wrote down the ideas on the white board as the players came up with the ideas.
Eventually, the players agreed on the following 4 things as being the most important…
3) Ball security (minimize turnovers)
4) Offensive scoring skills and fundamentals (shooting, finishing, post moves, screening, etc)
I could not have come up with a better list. This is perfect!
Our plan is to focus on those 4 things and become the absolute best we can be in those 4 areas. The players agree. And we now have a strategy for our season.
Know Who Two Starters Will Be
I told the players that after going through this exercise, it’s obvious who two of our starters will be for this year. This of course gets their attention.
I told them one starter will be the best defensive player on the team (thing #1 on our list). The second starter will be the best rebounder on our team.
The precedence has been set and I think the message has been received. Defense and rebounding is really important to me and our team.
Lastly, I told the players I will be following up with them to give them the stats we will look at to determine if we are doing a good job in those 4 areas. Because if you want to be really good, you have to measure your performance. Otherwise, how do you know if you’re doing a good job?
Good meeting. I’m excited for practice to start!