3 Tips for Early Season Basketball Success

Highschool Basketball Game

As a basketball coach, you probably find the beginning of the season the most stressful. You have to deal with kids not being physically or mentally prepared for the season, along with weekly practice and game planning. Because of this, most teams start the season out with sloppy performances and don’t start to hit their stride until conference play begins. The teams that can hit their midseason form quicker can get some much needed nonconference wins and, more importantly, superior confidence heading into conference play. Here are 3 tips to setting your team up for early season success:


Tailor Your Playbook to Your Personnel

If you have a good idea of who is going to be on your roster, take a good look at each player’s individual strengths and weaknesses. Then determine how all of those traits fit together for the team as a whole. Instead of making your players fit into your system, adjust your system to fit your players. If you’re used to running a slow-tempo half court offense, but have a smaller and quicker team this year, try adjusting to a more motion-heavy offense with better pace. Playing to your players’ strengths early in the season will reduce their adjustment time to your playbook, giving you a better chance to pick up some important early season victories!


Confide in Your Players

Once you have your playbook and team identity in mind, it’s time to start planning your team’s weekly schedule. This includes everything from practice time and games to recovery periods. Sharing this schedule with your team can have many benefits. Every season is a journey, and showing your players the roadmap will give them an idea of what needs to be done to reach their destination. This will also give leaders the opportunity to step up within the team to keep everyone else accountable. The best sports teams are typically governed by team leaders, with the coach overseeing it all.


Offseason Conditioning

 The most difficult thing to adjust to in the beginning of the season is the conditioning it takes to play at game speed. Basketball is a unique sport that requires full body strength as well as both endurance and quick speed. No other sport can accurately simulate the conditioning needed for basketball. Even if your players are involved in other sports, they likely will need time to get back into game speed. Getting your players to buy into an offseason conditioning routine is perhaps the most important key to early season success. If your team can keep its intensity high throughout the entire game, you will immediately have the advantage over less conditioned teams early in the year, no matter the skill level.

How do you like to get your team prepared for basketball season? Let us know in the comments below!




Leave a Reply