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Value each possession and the basketball with your team

When you know you may face an opponent that has skill, speed, strength and plays a relentless trapping defense, you worry more in the preparation of your team in practice to get them prepared. Why is that? Do you get them prepared in that week or should you get them prepared in the preseason? Should you place a great deal of expectations early and not in the week leading to "the big game"? What should I emphasize to my players?

I have run into these scenarios many times and with each year I try to set up practice plans that will deal with on a consistent basis the need to value the ball and to get many possessions. I look at five aspects of our team's play and I try to start as early as I can in the preseason if possible.

1. TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1a.Consistently work on ball handling not just dribbling but gripping the ball, passing the ball, catching the ball and moving the body with the ball.

2.Put in an offensive set that can be used for all types of defenses and allows the coach to expand the playbook in the middle of the season. The sets need to have quick hitters, floor balance and lead into a continuity offense when all else fails.

3. Practice drills that emphasize valuing the ball.

4. Teach pressure defense as a staple in your schemes. Regardless of your players physical development, you should be able to find a type of trapping - high pressured defense that you can use in a game.

5. Teach the players to score with contact. Can be very difficult to get non- physical players to become physical.

If you work to stay consistent and put the TIME into it, than these five concepts will be basis for success.

Any comments or additional ideas, I look forward to hearing from you.

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