Coaching a European Club – Week 32: Finals

After our win on Saturday, our opponent did not know the date of the third game. They had scheduled the game for Tuesday originally, but its women’s team made the finals as well, and played away on Tuesday, so they asked to change the game. We agreed to change the game to Wednesday. After they won the first game, they expected to win game 2, and they never booked a gym for Wednesday. Throughout Sunday, the clubs went back and fort about the game. Despite the minor ankle injury to my best player, which should have meant that we would be happy to push back the game as far as possible, our American point guard was having a baby in the States this week, and we wanted him to get home for the birth, which is why we pushed for the game to be as early in the week as possible.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 31: Finals

The guys were beat up on Monday. This was the toughest stretch of the season: play Thursday, practice Friday, play Saturday on the road (home after 1 A.M.), off Sunday, practice Monday, play Tuesday on the road (home after 3 A.M.). Compared to an NBA schedule, or even some high school schedules, it does not seem so bad, but players here are accustomed to playing one game per week.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 30: Semifinals

We entered the week down 1-0 to the top seed (21-1 in regular season). We had two practices to prepare after a 14-point loss. Nobody in the club gave us much of a chance; the club manager stopped me Thursday before our game and asked if we were going to practice on Friday. He was implying that we would lose Thursday night, and our season would be over. I said, “Of course we’re practicing. We’re not losing at home,” and walked away. He told me over the Christmas break that reaching the play-offs would be a good accomplishment, but not reaching them wouldn’t be the end of the world. The club hadn’t beaten our semifinal opponent in four seasons or  been past the semifinals, and nobody believed that would change now. […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 29: Semifinals

After sweeping our first-round play-off series, we had to wait until Wednesday night to find out our next opponent. I structured the week to focus on general things on Monday, our offense on Wednesday, and our defense on Friday, after we knew our opponent.

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Coaching a European Club – Week 28: Play-offs

Play-offs. We ended the regular season as the #5 seed, which meant an opening game on the road. The game was scheduled on Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. 4.5 hours away from our town. Far from the ideal, and about the worst case scenario of all the possibilities going into the final week of play.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 27

This was a difficult week. It was kind of like coaching high school or college teams during mid-terms: tough to get the players to concentrate when they are worried about their exams and aren’t sleeping very much. That’s how we behaved this week in practice. I don’t know why. […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 26

We had a short week of practice to compare for a tough team. Our u20s played on Thursday, which meant no Thursday practice, and our starting PF and C and another player missed Wednesday’s practice because of school, work, and military testing. On top of the short week of preparation, the team that we played had joined together with another team since our last game against them, and I had no idea who would be on their team or how they would play with the different personnel.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 25

After last week’s game, I focused more on individual defense. From an offensive perspective, I prefer to play 2v2 or 3v3 because it incorporates a more realistic situation, as the pass is an option, and the player must account for potential help defense. However, in my inclination to play more 2v2 and 3v3, our individual defense may have been sacrificed.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 24

After last week’s game, I went back to the basics this week: we focused on basic movements. We worked on shuffling, quick sprints, hockey stops: basic simple movements. We aren’t quick enough – in our feet or in our minds. I added a change-of-direction speed (CODS) component to our finishing drills, as we have done previously. I wanted to focus on getting into a better stance and moving better and quicker. […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 23

We had two games this week, and only two full practices. In our Monday practice, we prepared for our Wednesday game, as we had played our opponent 10 days earlier. We knew they would trap our point guard and force other guys to make plays. With two of our five post players injured, the post Read more about Coaching a European Club – Week 23[…]