The First Step to a Successful Season - Preseason Basketball Meetings

I think having preseason coaching meetings are a great way to start out the year. It helps develop a continuity through the program, come up with new ideas, and decide exactly what we want to do offensively and defensively. And we also cover administrative procedures.

We had three meetings.

Meeting #1 - Administrative (held at my house)

When I had the coaching staff over to my house, we had a little BBQ, watched some football and then talked about all the little things that are important. (more of a fun get together)

Here are some things we typically discussed:
  • School & district rules.
  • Care of uniform and equipment.
  • Academic eligibility rules.
  • NOT allowing any player to try out without the permission slip from the AD.
  • Practice schedule for the year (which I had already set up).
  • Game schedules (If the lower levels needed a game or two, I would allow them to schedule. that on their own. That way they could play someone they wanted to play).
  • Scouting schedule.
  • Blue - white game & parent meeting.
Then we talked about any needs or concerns they might have. I asked them to keep me informed of any problems that might come up so I can help them deal with them right away. The AD or myself didn't want any surprises.

Meeting #2 - Offense (held at school)

This was offensively oriented. We talked about what offense(s) we were going to run and what I wanted taught and the basketball fundamentals necessary for the program. I welcomed their input as to how we wanted to do things. We talked about our press offense, offensive sets and inbounds plays. I did allow them to run any set or inbound plays they wanted to put in.

We discussed the importance of teaching fundamentals every day, both offensively and defensively. We also talked about the importance of having a sound continuity beginning with the Freshman level - that's where it all starts.

Meeting #3 - Defense (also held at school)

This was all about defense - our base defense being m2m, on/up the line.

We discussed the way we wanted things taught and any adjustments we made at the Varsity level that might be the way we wanted things done on all levels. Man to man defense was the only defense I wanted them to play on the lower levels. Even though, I gave them some leeway after the Christmas break meaning that they could use a little zone defense here and there to win a game if need be. I just didn't want them using that as a crutch, and I watched every game so I knew what they were doing.

We talked about the 1-2-2 press that I wanted them to teach also. That was a whole system that could start with a man on the ball. They could use this at any point they felt it would work against the team they were playing. I liked to float and trap at half court, but that was me. We also ran a m2m full court press.

In all of our meetings we had some give and take, I wanted their input, you never know when someone will bring something up that might make the difference in what you are doing. Of course as the head coach I had to make the final decision - but there were many times during the season that we made adjustments to fit our personnel.

Please share your experiences, thoughts, ideas, and comments below.


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francis mwangi says:
4/6/2011 at 11:52:13 AM

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Coach Edwards says:
9/13/2010 at 6:41:11 PM

I really like your program with the newsletters and information. This is so much better than other basketball information. Do you take donations because I would like to donate to your great program.


Monte Moire says:
9/11/2010 at 8:06:52 PM

Some really great points, thanks guys and gals.


Ken Sartini says:
9/11/2010 at 2:28:20 PM

Marko -

I coached Varsity boys so they had a good idea as to how we ran our sets.... but we didn't teach those from Day 1..... we were all about teaching fundamentals of our offense and defense, especially the first week.
We had some days we had double sessions and we used those times for sets and special situations along with anything new we wanted to install.

I wouldn't suggest teaching plays at the beginning. Use that time to teach your defense and offense. (m2m I hope) If you just teach sets/plays thats what your kids will know. They wont know how to play the game and that is more important than any set/play.

You have plenty of time to put that in.... think of your inbounds plays.... reverse those and run them from the top if possible.


marko says:
9/10/2010 at 12:55:43 AM

would you teach plays at the beginning (5 on 0 etc) start of season and then just do breakdown drills for training?


Chris Denker says:
9/9/2010 at 12:04:47 PM

Great idea to have a rather informal first meeting where you incorporate some of the administrative items into the agenda. Those tend to be things a lot of us don't want to deal with so to take care of them first, while enthusiasm is high, is smart.

I like to incorporate technology into my pre-season as well through the use of video or playbooks etc.

Have a great year!
Managing Partner & Director of Scouting
NetScouts Basketball

Head Boys Basketball Coach
Springfield HS


Mike Nichols says:
9/9/2010 at 5:29:07 AM

Having these meetings allows you as coach to share your thoughts and plans for the season, bringing everyone onto the same page which is important in team chemistry and therefore team consistancy on the court. Allowing the players to have input empowers the players and ensures you gain their respect as you are willing to amend things if it fits.

Going through fundamentals every training session is something i feel is important as fundamentals are the foundations in which a player can grow.

Good luck for the season.


Ariel Rabe says:
9/9/2010 at 4:50:37 AM

Indeed, those "little things" clarified and talked about in a "fun" atmosphere can surely help the Head Coach or the coaching staff. One can consider that team-building in an informal setting. Most important of all is that the team mind-set is focused on one thing or whatever the Head Coach gives priority to.


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