As coaches we want our players to understand late game situations. It's a must in good coaching. But how do we do it? There are a lot of ways, but one way I like is having a "Greatest NCAA Tournament Games Day" to teach late game situations, and basketball history.
This is a really simple concept. On a bunch of notecards, write down situations from great NCAA games or great NCAA comebacks. One team picks a card (they are the team that is behind). They play out the last 30s-3 min of the game. The length of time depends on the game that you are playing out. The players go on the floor and play the game as the two teams. After they play it out, you show them the video clip (if available), or tell them really happened. Below is an example of one we've used.
UNC vs. Georgetown 1982
- Gerogetown Up 62-61
- Georgetown playing a packed in 1-3-1
- 35 seconds left.
Have the players play the game out. Then after they are done, show them what really happened. Then use it to address some specific late game situations.
- Opponent is playing zone - what shots and how to attack it to get a shot.
- How to handle the other team scoring to go ahead late.
- How to handle us scoring a basket to go up late.
Last year when I did this it was the BEST thing we did all year. The players loved it and BEGGED to do it again. It was well worth the half of practice we invested. This year I might do one every day over a few weeks, to keep the excitement. Either way I hope you can use it to add value and excitement to your practices.