Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Night Before Christmas, Only Better! we are, the evening before the first day of practice. For me, basketball season is better than Christmas for sure! I always think to that scene from Wedding Crashers when Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) asks John (Owen Wilson) which he likes better, Christmas or Wedding Season to which John Answers "WEDDING SEASON"! That's how I feel, except for me it's "BASKETBALL SEASON!"

I always get the jitters before that first day of practice. There is nothing else in the world like it, even sitting in my deer stand that frosty opening morning doesn't come close. I just can't wait to get out on that court and get to work.

Unfortunately, I won't be at the first few days of practice, as I am wrapping up my student teaching in good old Bagley. Steve Donohoe will fill in just fine - likely better! BUT, I will be there on Friday ready to go. I've got practice plans ready up until our first game on December 6th - which is way to soon!! I PERSONALLY like to script everything up to that point so that I can get things into the big picture context and make sure I accomplish everything I need to in the preseason. I think I should have a VERY solid freshmen team and they will be a LOT OF FUN TO WORK WITH!

My philsophies on early season practice have changed from when I first started, which was only three years ago! I used to always think that you started with all fundamentals and slowly added things in as the season went on - offense, defense, presses, press breaks, etc. But, after talking to Coach Finck from Bertha-Hewitt, I changed my ideas slightly. He said that it's better to get everything in early so that your kids aren't suprised and losing early....there is nothing that ruins a season faster than a string of early losses. Now, I like to get everything in before the first game - although with me that isn't a lot of Xs and Os. I just get our base motion offense in (for man and zone), our man defense, one zone defense (just as a tempo change), our press, our pressbreak, and our transition game. I just make sure we are ready for whatever we see so we don't lose confidence early. Then I can concentrate on fundamentals more, which is what I like to do. This is especially true when you only have 8 practices until your first game. After that first game it's just tweaking a what you have a very little each day - hopefully!

So, with that, the season begins. I would like to wish everyone that reads this blog (all 4 of you), the very best Thanksgiving and more importantly a GREAT BASKETBALL SEASON!!

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