Thursday, August 23, 2012

In More Depth: Three Things on a Note Card

I got a comment on my first "Three Things on a Note Card"  post asking to go a little bit more in depth with what we would put on the note cards. So what I am going to do below is give different player types and what we would put on the note card. I will then put some "team" concepts we might put on a note card for everyone for a given game.

Individual Players

Player Who Drives Out of Control and Takes Bad Shots or Makes Bad Decisions
For the player who loves to get to the lane and throw garbage up at the rim I would write the following things:

1. Find the open teammates on the drive.
2. Use the jump stop when you get to the lane.
3. Pressure on defense

-As you can see, we are trying to use the note card to help guide our player. If he has a talent for getting to the lane we need  him to utilize that skill, but we do want him to take it in a different direction. So this will serve as a reminder (along with some conversations) for what we need him to do. If he isn't doing it, we talk about what was on his card.

Untalented Offensive Player
This is your defensive stopper. This is the player who plays hard, does it the right way, but just isn't offensively skilled. We all love this type of player and know they can get frustrated when they are not scoring. I would go with something such as the following (depending on skill set):

1. Move the ball on offense
2. Be in great help position on defense
3. Pursue every rebound

-Here we are giving the player roles that he can accomplish without having to shoot the ball. We hope that this takes the pressure to score off of him. Doesn't mean that he doesn't shoot (never put that on a card) and if he's open in his range he shoots it, but it's giving him other things to do. If he can do those things then hopefully he feels more successful even if he isn't scoring.

Best Player By Far
When your best player is by far your best player you need to walk that fine line between him being a ball hog and scoring for the good of the team.

1. Find your shot
2. Get other's involved on offense when the defense keys on you
3. Be a leader by being the hardest worker on defense and the boards

With this we are trying to let him know that it's OK to score, but don't force it. We are also conveying the importance of worrying about the defensive end of the floor as well.

Player Who Doesn't Want to Shoot
We all have seen that player who's good but doesn't want to shoot the ball. When that happens it hurts the team. So what we would put is the following:

1. Shoot the ball
2. Shoot the ball
3. Shoot the ball

We would get a chuckle out of it, but it also makes the point that we want the player to shoot!

Bench Player
The worst one to fill out many times is the player who you know probably won't play. I've tried a lot of different things, but I think giving them realistic goals is better. If you give them all game things and if they don't get in the game it becomes a sore spot for them. They need to understand their role and feel important with what they are doing. So what we would put on the card is:

1. Be a great teammate
2. Coach your teammates on the floor
3. When you get your opportunity work hard and take advantage of it

It might sting the ego a little bit, but I think they deserve your honesty. You aren't completely shutting them out either though. I would also put more game situations in there if it's a game you know they have a good chance of playing.

Including Team Goals

There are times when I will use one of the parts of the note card (or add one) to address a team issue. It might have to do with a specific opponent or something that we are not doing well enough. For instance, if we are not rebounding well I'll add that to the card. Or if we are playing a pressure team I'll add in there "backcut against pressure" to remind them to backcut.

What to NOT Put on the Card

In my opinion I don't put stats on the card. There is nothing worse than putting get 10 rebounds and your guy gets 9 and is pissed because he didn't get the goal. You can put team goals such as "win the rebounding battle" but it's hard to put a quantity on there. I would also caution against phrases such as "be a scorer" unless the player won't shoot. If you are telling a player to be a scorer who doesn't need a push it gives the green light to be a ball hog. Also, don't tell player what they can't do, tell them what they can do. As an example, you don't want them to shoot use something such as "move the ball" or "find open teammates". Telling players what to do is far more helpful.

In Closing

Hopefully that helps to better illustrate what I was talking about. I just think that note cards are a great way to reinforce the roles that you have talked about with players and can be a valuable asset to your players.


GeekCyclist said...

Fantastic examples, and a couple of them match exactly one or two of our kids. Thanks.

Jared Matson said...

Great post here coach! This is my first time reading your blog and I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. This is an idea a plan on presenting to my staff tomorrow about doing. I really like how it is honest and helps define the roles for the players. Like GeekCyclist said, some of these match a few of our guy's to a tee! We have our individual player meeting's later this week and I think this would be a great tool to use. Hope you have a great first week of practice! Thanks again!