What is on the clipboard of basketball coaches? That’s hard to break down into a single answer.
It’s very hard actually. Let’s think bigger, broader, and more generalized.
Basketball coaches clipboards range in organization, detail, and with philosophies.
What may work for one coach or what one coach believes in may mean something totally different for another coach.
Still, basketball coaches’ clipboards contain some similar concepts and ideologies. Here’s a quick run down of a basketball coaches clipboard:
“Practice Makes Perfect”
Yes, it’s a cliché and yes I hate to use it – but it’s true. Well, somewhat. Practice will never make perfect, because perfect is humanely impossible. But practice will make players and teams better. That is a fact.
You cannot expect to show up on game day and win.
Practice is the only way to preach fundamentals, improve individual skills, work on defense, and teach new plays.
Throughout a season, players and coaches spend much more time on the practice floor then they do in games.
Because of that, practice is very important. Any wasted moment, and you are throwing a chance of growing and improving out the window.
Great coaches start with practice and worry about games later.
In fact, John Wooden, one of the greatest and most dominant coaches of all-time once stated that he makes practices ten times harder than actual games. He would demand more, yell more, and punish his team more for mistakes. The result was a game situation that appeared nothing in retrospect to a practice and ten NCAA Championships.
“Defense wins championships”
…Again cliché, and again true.
Defense is where all great teams grow from. Like I’ve said a number of times before, you have to score to win but scoring alone will not win games. Defense is something that is much more mental than it is physical. Not the same with offense. Either you are physically talented or you are not. Some teams are very physically talented offensively, but lack a defensive mindset or consistency and the end result is a good team but not a champion.
Because offense is physically demanding and defense is mentally demanding, defense is much more consistent. On any given night, a team can shoot poorly from the field but a strong and sound defense will keep the offense in the game. A poor defense equals a lot of pressure on the offense nightly to score.
“Beat You Up and Down Mentality”
The above statement may sound more suitable for a boxing match, but it holds very true for basketball as well.
I was once told by a great coach that every game you should view the opponent guarding you as an obstacle in the way.
Stay respectful and always play with sportsmanship, but inside, it’s a whole different story.
On the inside you should firmly believe that you will beat your opponent anytime you want to drive to the basket. You will make any shot he or she challenges, you will outrebound him or her, and you will not allow him or her to steal the ball.
Last but not least, your mentality should really stand out on the defensive end. My same coach once said that you do not do the team any good if you score 20 points but allow the player you are guarding to score 22 points.
You should consider it a challenge not to allow your opponent to score all night.
But what if you are guarding the star player?
Okay, completely shutting him or her down is nearly impossible but that mentality should mean no easy baskets. Contest every shot and make him or her work their butt off to score every single basket. Commit hard fouls if they get an easy lay-up. Make them earn it at the free-throw line.
If the coach displayed enough trust to match you up on the star player, return the trust with a 100% effort.