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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2016, 14:24 

Posts: 6
Hello all,

I had a question for the coaches on this forum. I have been coaching middle school basketball 5- grade boys, for 8 seasons. We have had tough seasons and successful ones. This season has been the toughest of all. Our school district is the second smallest in our conference. I took over the head coaching job four seasons ago. Prior to that time the team had been very weak. Since, we have really beefed up our fundamentals and worked hard on playing the right way. We have had some very successful seasons as a result. However, this season we are currently 0-12 and haven't been competitive yet. We are routinely being beaten by 20-30 points a game. Parents have been positive, at least to my knowledge, and the boy's are putting in good effort during games and practices. We face a very real task of potentially being 0-22 or 1-21, however I believe that our best days are in front of us. Just curious how other coaches have dealt with losing seasons, what things did you do to help the players and the parents? I'm not looking for strategy, more team building/character building ideas. Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2016, 14:38 
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Set small attainable goals. Could be limiting to certain # of turnovers, rebounds, out rebound other team, # of connected passes, hold team under certain # of points, etc. Then celebrate that success when reaching it. Takes lots of small victories to eventually have a game victory you are losing by that much.

I always like focusing on teamwork and effort. Celebrate those things. So many things can come out of that... communication, the golden rule, working hard to get better, giving out high fives, being proactive, resilience, defense, offense, how to be a better teammate -- eat healthy, practice at home, hustle after rebounds during shooting drills, etc.

Set some measurable team goals. Use questions to get players to come up with the goals themselves -- so it's their idea.

Make sure to demonstrate and point out improvement. Sometimes kids don't realize it. Maybe measure certain things. I think just knowing you're improving is motivation.

Those are a few ideas that come to mind.

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Jeff Haefner
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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2016, 14:48 

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Jeff,

Thanks for the response. I plan on implementing all of these starting tonight.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2016, 22:38 

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In total agreement with Jeff here. Break it down into doable chunks.

If you can pinpoint a few areas that are causing you problems, it's a double bonus. You're stopping the bleeding and working on something practical.

My 7th grade coaching year, we ended up playing in a more competitive division. Teams would destroy other teams by pressing. We couldn't break a press to save our lives. I dedicated a good chunk of a few practices to figure it out. We scrimmaged against tougher teams and I asked the coach to press us, we'd stop the practice and talk about the do's and don'ts, the why's and how's. By the end of the season, we were not only breaking presses and making them pay, but my boys were bringing their own deadly press.

As far as the pep talks, those get tough loss after loss. You can only say, "This is building your character" so many times. I focused on the positive, anything I could find in those small goals they were going right. Set small goals and when you achieve them, make a big deal out of it.

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2016, 08:34 

Posts: 6
Coach Rob, thanks for the response. My post game after a loss has always been short and sweet. Two positives and one thing to work on then get out of there. No reason to dwell. I appreciate the response.


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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2017, 10:21 

Posts: 6
Just wanted to give an update....

Unfortunately we have not won anymore games, however we have increased our competitiveness tremendously. Last night we played a game against one of the top teams in our conference and were able to hold their two major scorers to under 10 points. Both of these kids have been putting up 25-30 points per game. We lost by 15, but after the game I had a lot of parents praising the progress we have made this season. I feel like we are close to breaking through and becoming the team we could be. I appreciate the comments made on this thread, they really helped me make some tough choices about the teams direction and focus.


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PostPosted: 04 Jan 2017, 17:39 

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dlerch1 wrote:
We lost by 15, but after the game I had a lot of parents praising the progress we have made this season. I feel like we are close to breaking through and becoming the team we could be. I appreciate the comments made on this thread, they really helped me make some tough choices about the teams direction and focus.
There you go, that's a HUGE victory! Seeing progress and having parents making positive comments has to be encouraging.

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