30 second time outs

Friday, February 27, 2009

Leave Footprints

When I see the emotion on Senior Nights, or after the final game of the season, it reminds me that one day the ball stops bouncing for the players and how precious the time really is.

It's our responsibility as coaches to value that time and provide the best experience possible. We get those kids that are sometimes like the fresh sand in our SoCal coastline... and we leave footprints. Every once in a while we get players that could be like the late-night beaches... they might need some cleaning up first. It's our job to help inspire them to keep going during that process. Sometimes that's with a "chest-bump", a pat on the back, or a kick a little lower. Figuratively, of course. Sometimes we inspire with a well-placed comment, a little concern and compassion, or simply setting a good example.

I asked some coaches in Fort Wayne, Indiana this past fall, "What is your programs mission?" Dan Kline, retired athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Indiana Tech had a great one.

He said, "We want great people to graduate with great memories"

Think about it. No matter where we coach, if we *graduate* players that are *great people* and they have *great memories*... we've done a pretty good job.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Free Throw Ladder/Free Throw Pyramid

The topic of Free Throw Shooting is always a hot one as the games become more and more important at the end of the season. There are a bunch of great ideas out there to help. Here is one we used. One year created a "free throw ladder" for the team.

Each player shot 100 FTs (during our FT-a-thon) and we placed their name on our roster board next to the scoreboard in the order of finish. The practice before a game we would lower the roster board and shoot 25 ft's. Players would pair off starting at the top. If they beat the person above them they would go to the board and the winner would switch the order of the names. We would raise the roster board and on game day the names were not in numerical order or alphabetical order, but in order of our top free throw shooters. I always worried that opponents would catch on and figure out who to foul at the end of games ! hopefully we became good enough free throw shooters as a team that it wouldn't matter !:?)
Here is a sample of a ladder. In this example, Here Sebastian beats Andy and Marat beats Tim, so they swap places. If Sebastian has lost to Andy, they would both have stayed in the same place.
Another rule is that you can only challenge players who are within a certain amount of places of you (see page 1 – your position determines how many places you can challenge above). Here 10th placed Robby could challenge 3 places above, meaning he could challenge Lleyton but not Guillermo.

During many seasons we emphasized Coach Wooden's "Pyramid of Success"(if you scroll to the very bottom of the page there is a great photo you can steal). If I were to do this again I'd use a "Free Throw Pyramid". Pyramid competitions are similar to ladders. They enable players to challenge each other to a match,just with a bit of variety. The winners move up and the losers move down. The aim is to get to the top of the Pyramid.Here is an example of that:

We've carried out the Pyramid Theme in many ways before. I like this team photo we took one year.

Lok's Ledger