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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Well-coached Team: What Is It?

Mike Neighbors shares an eponymous newsletter and has written extensively on what constitutes a "well-coached team." Coach George Raveling remarks, "what is not learned has not been taught." A well-coached team has what hallmarks? 

An incident arose in our game yesterday where a player had no idea whom she was covering. It wasn't the first time I've seen that but I want it to be the last. I burned a timeout to discuss this with my team. "Everyone must know their assignment. You don't owe that to me; <pointing to teammates> you owe that to them. You might be fortunate enough to play in a (championship) game someday where one missed assignment decides winning or losing." I cannot claim quality or even adequate coaching when players don't know their assignments. Extreme ownership means owning everything in our world, missed assignments and missed layups. 

Well-coached teams leave the gym better than they found it, without water bottles, gear adrift, trash, tape balls, or puddles. 

Well-coached teams communicate - verbally, nonverbally, and with touches...a fist bump or an arm on a teammate's shoulder.  

Well-coached teams compete. They win more than their share of fifty-fifty balls and go to the floor instinctively not reluctantly. 

Well-coached teams radiate joy. Before the game, I asked the girls to play joyfully, to perform for and to entertain their families. 

Well-coached teams prepare consistently, with commitment, discipline, and engagement. They translate practice knowledge and experience into game play. They don't "cheat the drills" and see practice as opportunity not drudgery. 

Well-coached teams execute fundamental individual and team plays. They execute pick-and-roll, give-and-go, backdoor cuts, and reading off-the-ball screens at high levels. 

Well-coached teams have specific plans to inform quality scoring chances and a plan to limit their opponents' preferred means of scoring. They take good shots, not "my turn" shots. 

When we see well-coached teams, we know their intent, but we may struggle because of the detail of their execution. They set up cuts, help teammates with precision screens, cut hard, drive to score, and share the ball willingly and crisply. 

Well-coached teams pressure the ball, deny the paint and the post, disallow cuts to the ball, contest shots without fouling, and use position and toughness to control the defensive boards. 

Well-coached teams don't deliver cheap shots or disrespect teammates, coaches, opponents, and officials. 

Well-coached teams constantly find ways to help each other. They treat each other kindly. They have intangible qualities of excellence and no agendas beyond winning. 

Well-coached teams have an indomitable spirit. 


Ralph Miller, 1-4 high, early options

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