Observe Another Team's Practice - A Great Complement to Coaching Clinics

Benjamin Franklin once said...

"When you're finished changing, you're finished."

And I think that's especially relevant for basketball coaches...

Because nearly every aspect of the game is constantly evolving.

From the X's and O's... to insights on skills training and athletic development... even how to handle broader cultural or technological changes (think, smartphones and social media).

Virtually every facet of coaching is always evolving.

And one of the best ways to stay on the cutting-edge of these changes is to attend the practice of a college coach who's system or style you admire.

Attending these practices are a fantastic way to complement coaching clinics.

Don't get me wrong, clinics are great for getting exposure to a lot of different ideas... and for digging into the details of what certain concepts are...

But attending practices are invaluable for seeing how a concept gets taught and implemented.

If you've never attended a college practice before, I'd recommend...

Settling on a few D3 coaches (or NAIA coaches) who've had some success lately, and reach out to them via email... asking if it's Ok for you to observe practice.

(if no coach comes to mind, ask someone in your coaching network about who they'd recommend observing)

Most coaches will be receptive... and some may even allow a brief Q&A after practice.

Ideally, you'll find a coach with an offense or defense similar to yours to see how they teach and implement certain concepts.

But even if they run a completely different system... there's still so much value you can take away from observing practice.

For example...

  • What's their coaching culture and coaching style?
  • How do they interact with players?
  • How do they use their assistant coaches during practice?
  • How do they structure practice?
  • What kind of drills are they using?
  • How are they teaching skills?
  • Are they teaching 1-on-1 moves?

Even if you take just one ball screen drill, or one shooting drill...

Borrowing bits and pieces like these from successful coaches can make the difference in getting your team to the next level!

With that in mind...

I'd encourage you to start reaching out to a few coaches right now.

Most NAIA teams will start practices in September... and most D3 NCAA teams will begin in November.

So it's smart to make contact now, well in advance of the start of the season.

If you have any questions, or if there's any way I can be of assistance don't hesitate to let me know!

And when you add in preseason parent meetings, this will help you quickly defuse conflicts and have a more enjoyable season!




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