Practice What You Preach

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I remember my first year coaching at the high school level.  I was a JV girls coach and my tallest player was maybe 5’7″.  I knew our only chance was to play pressure defense and play fast.  We spent a lot of practice time on transition offense and taking care of the ball because I knew if we were going to turn over other teams, we couldn’t just give it right back to them.  We didn’t spend a lot of time on boxing out.  And yet, that’s all I heard from the stands.

Parents were shouting ‘box out’ on every shot that went up.  And over the course of the game, they sounded more frustrated – never mind that we were up about a dozen in the third quarter.  The players never heard me shout about it from the sideline.  After the game, I had a parent come up and ask me about it.  My response was simple, we don’t work on it in practice so I don’t yell about in the game.  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to get rebounds but as undersized as we were, I just didn’t think boxing out was going to be the key for that team.  Since I didn’t spend time on it in practice, I didn’t get upset when it wasn’t there in the games.

Everyone is at least a couple of weeks into practice and games are just around the corner!  You spent the offseason thinking about your roster and how to get better.  You read some of these blog entries to try and figure out what stats may be relevant to you.  And now here you are.  So before you get too far down the road, ask yourself the question: are you spending time in practice on the things you spend time telling your players are important to you?

If you are, then that’s a good thing and you should see the results very soon.  If there’s a disconnect, take a step back and start to make that connection and you’ll start to see the results on the floor.  More importantly, keep all of that in mind so you’re not screaming about these things you never work on, leave that to the parents and fans.