Midwest Elite Basketball » Pregame Preparation

Pregame Preparation

Pregame Preparation

My name is Adam Hocking and I am an Assistant Coach at Clarke University (IA), a HAAC school at the NAIA level. As coaching staff, we take a lot of pride in preparing our players as best we can prior to a game. Between myself and our Head Coach, Courtney Boyd, we feel that our players are well prepared before every game through our attention to detail in practice, film preparation, video breakdown, and scouting reports. Our conference uses Syngery for all our video exchanges and breakdown. We also use Just Play for sharing playbooks, scouting reports, player quizzes, and video. At the 30-minute mark during our pregame warm up, our team will meet for our pregame talk. At this time, nearly everything in our pregame talk is review of what we have been working on in practice, as well as in our scout sessions for on our opponent.

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What We Review…

  • PERSONNEL – A review of their top 7-8 players including height, points per game, shooting percentages, as well as our starting matchups. With our matchups, we like to review player tendencies as well as point out some important individual strengths and weaknesses. Example – “#22 Johnson – 5’10 SG, 44% FG, 38% 3PT, strong/physical player, driver, likes to stay on her right side, loves the spin move going to the lane. #1 option in all BLOBs (double screen/fades)”
  • X’S AND O’S – A review of opponent’s base offenses, top quick hitters, what defenses they play (concepts, trapping areas, and where we will look to exploit their weaknesses). We also discuss what presses we may see, and discuss how we will break them.
  • GAME PLAN – We discuss and go over what offenses we will look to use depending on their defenses we have reviewed. We will let our team know which offense we will start the game in and what areas/concepts to focus on. Example – Hi/low, short corner/dives, pick & roll reads off different defensive coverages, etc.
  • GOALS – We like to give our team three different goals each game (realistic, challenging, achievable):
  1. Team goal for the entire game (Example – under 10 turnovers for the entire game)
  2. Team goal that is half specific (Example – Get to the free throw line 10 or more times each half)
  3. Defensive individual goal (Example – Contain #23 off the dribble, hold her under 10 points”)
  • MOTIVATION – Our program is really big into quotes. We often use motivational videos on our TV’s in the locker room as well as a quote of the day. Our quote of the day in today’s pregame meeting is “Come in Together, Stay Together, and Come out Together!”, which is a universal term used by firemen when accomplishing any task.

As a team, in game, we strive on breaking the game down into segments. We use media timeouts, coach’s timeouts, 5-minute segments, and quarters. Each segment, we focus on trying to narrow our focus on what needs to be done at that moment to impact winning. As coaches, keep track of shot charts, points in each segment, number of possessions, and turnovers. Our staff works to continue to remind our players of the game keys.

At the end of the day, each scouting report is different, but how we prepare in terms of our staff’s message, our focus on details, and executing in ways to win remains the same. Your staff can value whatever details/areas of focus that you want. We have come to find that what we prioritize is where we find our success.

Adam Hocking is a college coach and clinician with Midwest Elite Basketball. To have coaches such as Coach Hocking come to your gym to work with your program, check out our Satellite Camps.