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Evaluate Your Team

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Evaluate Your Team

Should your team look to fast break or run a slower, patterned offense? Should you pressure man-to-man defense or a safer zone defense? Full-court or half-court? When evaluating your season, it's important to determine how you performed against the teams that you need to beat. If your goal is to win your league, conference, division, section, or state, then figure out how you did (and what you need to do) against the teams that contend at that level. Most everything that you do will work against the teams that you are SUPPOSED to beat; the hard part is coming up with a game plan to defeat the teams that you NEED to beat.

Statistics can help you evaluate your team's ball-handling execution, shooting results (including from the three-point line and the free throw line), and rebounding performance. Examining your opponents' results will tell you about your defense.

The type of turnovers will speak to your offensive performance. Dribbling violations will cue you to spend more time on that or try different players as your primary ball-handlers. It is important to put players in positions where they can succeed. Maybe the passing turnovers are a result of forcing too quick a tempo or not being able to get open in the half-court. Slow down or work on various methods to get open.

Are your opponents getting too many second chance points on offensive rebounds? In this case, block out drills are prescribed. Fast break points? Transition defensive drills are in order. You may be taking too many outside shots. Charles Barkley calls bad outside shots "fast break starters." Maybe you don't have good defensive balance built into your offense. Develop a transition defense plan.

Are you quick and athletic enough to play pressure defense? We'd all like to play that way, but can you do that against the better teams? Maybe quickness and agility training in the off-season and an emphasis on defense at practice is all it will take. Or, maybe a zone defense designed to prevent penetration is in order.

As for shooting statistics, are you getting to the free throw line? Many coaches feel that getting fouled is the best thing that can happen on a possession. Jump-shooting teams don't get fouled often. Should you dribble-drive or go inside more? Is the team's field goal percentage poor? Do you need more practice, better shot selection, or an offense that will get you better (or at least different) shots? Maybe all of the above!

Finally, do you need to adjust the type of schedule that you play? Is it too tough to compete in, or do you need to "schedule up" and prepare for your tougher opponents? Maybe the teams you play early are primarily zone teams and you need to prepare for the man-to-man pressure from your league rival, or vice versa. Your pre-league and tournament games can usually be controlled. Schedule smart.



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