Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Scoring at a High Level

Basketball is a game that has and always will be won by the team who scores the most points. As defensive minded coaches, my husband Kevin and I have always taught our players to commit to defending people so we can take the ball back to go score! It's fun for players and fans to be apart of a high scoring game. 

*San Jacinto College ranked #2 in the nation in scoring points per game (86.4).

Our team broke several records this past season but one that really stood out is points per game that our team averaged 86.4 which is the best in San Jac's history. In our second game of the season our team broke the single game record in scoring 134 points.  Since our team scored so fast and fluently, teams really had to either try to slow us down or attempt to outscore us - which was hard to do with this group.  We had 4 players average 10 or more points and several others between 6-9 points per game. We truly were a team by committee.  With the new rules being passed by the NCAA, the game is moving towards a more offensively inclined format so we had to adjust our approach as coaches.  Here are some techniques that we used to increase our scoring which fueled us to the fastest turn around in the country from 3-27 to 23-9 and a nationally ranked team all season.  Our team drew large crowds and faithful fans who enjoyed watching our team play.

• Teach fundamentals and skills starting on the catch of the ball so players are trained to be in triple threat position: Ready to shoot first, pass second and dribble third.  This also cuts down on turnovers and increases our percentages to score.

• Encourage ALL players to be an option at all times even if we are running a play, each person has got to be an option.  If someone is not an option, they come out the game for forcing us to play 4 on 5. We need everybody to contribute!

• Make practices uptempo, fast, energetic and engaging to simulate a game. Players should be talking the game, cheering for their teammates, counting together and being responsive to coaching in each drill in order to create a positive and necessary habit.

• Find out which plays/drills get your team going! You can ask them or just observe for yourself and use them. People naturally get more engaged the more you involve them.  It might be an Out of Bounds under play they love because your team always scores. Or maybe your posts are going hard running in transition so we want to reward them by feeding them the ball on the next play. 

• Set a specific goal and time on every drill and challenge your team to overcome the goals.  Never have a drill without a goal or time limit. Players need to understand that they don't have all day to reach their goals. They have a short window of opportunity and they need to have a sense of urgency and work together to reach their goals.

• Always give direction and motivation to keep their confidence and intensity level high. This matters a lot with coaching women because we tend to get down on ourselves easier when not performing to a certain expectation. Keep the focus on improving and getting better and the results will come.

• Make offensive rebounding apart of every drill! Even rhythm shooting or just working on free throws - get obsessed with offensive rebounding. Even on a bad shooting night, offensive rebounding and put backs can win you a game! My favorite measuring tool if we are crashing quick enough is if rebounds are hitting the floor. I don't care what drill it is, if rebounds keep hitting the floor, we are going to get beat! Force the issue and get them habitually focused on rebounds!

Our philosophy started on the defensive end by getting steals and defensive rebounds so we could start the break. The more we have to get the ball out of the net, the slower transition will be. We probably spent 50% of practice on conversion from steals and defensive rebounds.  This set the tone on what kind of team we were going to be and we needed to be in really good shape to play this style of basketball for 40 minutes.