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Managing the Game: Recommendations for Coaches on the Basketball Sideline

Chad Seifried, Ph.D., RAA, Louisiana State University and Tim Casey, Upper Arlington High School (Columbus, OH)

PowerBasketball would like to thank Chad Siegfried and Tim Casey for providing our latest series helping coaches and providing insight into what it takes to really "Manage the Game". We will be posting the 5 part series on a weekly basis every Saturday. Thanks, guys!


Halftime Adjustments and Your Responsibilities

Halftime is your one opportunity to speak with your team for an extended period of time but even this is limited (e.g. 10-15 minutes). Interestingly, we suggest you meet with your clock manager and ask him/her to start the halftime clock once your team is off the floor to allow you a few more precious moments. We also advocate having one of your extended staff members (e.g. JV players, family members, former players, etc…) watch the clock and let you know when you have 3-4 minutes remaining. Players, like the timeout situation, should hurry to the locker room/meeting room to wait your instruction and take care of any personal needs (e.g. injuries, refreshment, and restroom) in the few minutes they have before you meet them. As the head coach, you should meet with your staff and gather the information they and others collected before you join the team. We recommend taking 2-3 minutes. In this time, we advise you to identify problems and determine the status on your predetermined points of victory. We further advocate for you to establish a hierarchy or rank those concerns which you need to address with your team. Be careful though not to address too many problems; only those which are really affecting your team. Asking the team to focus on too many items might prevent them from really appreciating one more than another and from remembering a specific instruction which might be critical to the outcome or 2nd half performance. Talk to the team, like the timeout, should remain positive but critical to elucidate confidence and improve concentration and effort. Essentially, you should review how your solutions will lead to victory. At this time, you should not be afraid to challenge the kids or ask for their input toward your 2nd half strategy. This practice should help empower and motivate them toward your collective effort. We also propose for you to slightly change your keys to success for the 2nd half versus the 1st based on this conversation to also help retain focus and encourage motivation and effort toward a high level.

Finally, we advise you to identify any changes to your 2nd half starting line-up and only support this change of personnel based on a critical evaluation of match-ups and other extenuating circumstances (e.g. injury and foul trouble). We recommend that you get the team out of the locker room and on the floor with at least 3 minutes left. This should allow them plenty of time to get a few shots up on the opposite basket and practice some ballhandling. It also should allow you the opportunity to get to the floor and talk with the referees regarding any questions you might have asked prior to halftime or to simply remind them how to do their job. This time also allows you and your staff to double check their records against those of the official scorer to make certain of items like timeouts, player fouls, and some shooting statistics.

Continue to Part IV of Managing the Game





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