What Gets Charted Gets Done

In Arizona our basketball season starts this week with tryouts.  I have been prepping for the past two weeks on material for our annual lock-in where our student-athletes stay in the gym overnight to become immersed in our culture, parent meeting information and the other admin tasks that go along with coaching.  In addition, my wife implored me to clean up our office as my stuff, mainly basketball related, is in stacks everywhere.  While cleaning up the office I came across an article by Jim Burson – Solution Based Basketball about offense.  The biggest takeaway for me was “things that get charted, get done”.

This season, we will value offensive rebounding, defensive rebounding and steals/deflections.  All three categories do have variables that affect the outcome, such as sometimes a player is great at blocking out, but doesn’t get a lot of rebounds.  However, one thing that is consistent with all three stats is an aggressive, attack mindset.  We believe an attack mindset is paramount for our success.  Here is how we plan to track categories this season:

  • We will chart offensive and defensive rebounds and steals/deflections every day in training.  In the past, we talked about them and made a big deal when they happened, but these methods are inconsistent.  The game moves too fast and too much happens to go off of memory.  We will chart everyday in training and share at the end of training.
  • Competitiveness is one intangible we need to improve on.  In the summer we experimented with the “Competitive Cauldron“.  This season we will chart leading offensive and defensive rebounders and steals/deflections and start the leaders in our games.  The other two starting spots will be the leaders of the “Competitive Cauldron”.  I believe rewarding the student-athletes for what we value will increase the aggressiveness of our entire team.
  • In the past, I was never a fan of assistants taking stats during the game.  I always felt they should be coaching.  However, when I would watch game film, I was mad that we didn’t rotate in our press, didn’t make contact on defense, etc. and discussed during our film session the next day.  This process did not allow us to provide instant and accurate feedback during the game.  I would get upset if we missed a blockout and the other team scored.  However, I may not have seen the missed blockout if they didn’t score as I may have been watching something else.  This year, we are fortunate to have  four coaches and 1 good manager at our disposal for games.  One coach will be in charge of offensive rebounding effort, one will be in charge of our pressure defense and our manager will be in charge of our defensive rebounding effort.  By placing one coach in charge of each aspect, we can provide instant and accurate feedback to our team.

Today there are tons of stats programs that can give you stats on numerous items.  However, how useful are the stats if you only utilize them during the game?  In addition, the game of basketball is so quick, it is hard to get every stat during the game, which is why it is essential to simplify and chart what helps your team have success.  I believe charting and rewarding our student-athletes for what we believe will make us successful will put us in a great position this season.

Brian Hutchins
Campo Verde High School Head Girls Basketball Coach

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