April 23, 2004, Newsletter Issue #159: EVALUATE YOUR SEASON

Tip of the Week

Statistics can help you evaluate your teams ballhandling execution, shooting results (including from the 3 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 cue you to spend more time on that, or try different players as your primary ballhandlers. 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. 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 offseason and an emphasis on defense at practice is all it will take. Or maybe a zone defense designed to prevent penetration is in order.

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 teams 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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