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Hunting Hills High School Senior Boys Basketball Team. Coach Stephen Pottage Hunting Hills Gymnasium 1 East (Half Gym – three hoops) 1. The boys are in grade 11 and 12 meaning that they range in age from 16-18. Pottage is in his second year as the coach of the senior boys’ team and was previously the coach of the junior boys’ team for 4 years. He has been running the Red Deer Heat club program for 5 years and previously played for Red Deer College. The players range in experience from approximately 1 – 5 years of experience and are in their first week of practice for this season. 2. The drills are laid out by the coach on a practice planning sheet that is at the end of this review. Notice that the practice was not completed the same way that the coach had laid out because some players had to leave part way through his practice in order to leave for a school function. Pre-Practice Meeting Stephen performs administration duties, such as reminding the players of the parent meeting end telling them that he needs the permission forms in. He also talks about the mistakes they made the previous day in practice and how they need to work at not committing those same mistakes. One on One Full Court The athletes pair up and the offensive player zig zags back and forth in the half court while his partner defensive slides in order to keep in front of him and try to make him turn more often. Once the pair reach half court zig zagging ceases and the players play live with the offensive player trying to score. If the offensive player succeeds in getting a lay-up the defender has to do 10 push-ups and if the offensive player misses a lay-up he has to do 10 push-ups. Before the beginning of this drill the coach runs a demo of what he wants from the athletes. He shows them the distance he wants the defender to be from the ball handler and asks the athletes questions in order to get there input and show that they are listening and understand. A part of the way through the drill Pottage introduces a variation of the drill where the ball handler picks up the ball at some point in the back court so that the defender has to close out and put on extreme ball pressure. This team is at the beginning of the season and the coach has a lot of input for his team, they have regular stops in the drill so that Pottage can show his players what he does and doesn’t like with what they are doing. This drill works on one on one defensive principles and gets the athletes warm.


Three on Three Full Court A variation of the one on one full court drill, this drill has a focus on defending from an inbound instead of individual defence. The coach has the player who would be defending the inbounder, doubling the primary ball handler to influence the offensive team to put the ball into the hands of the secondary ball handler. Once the ball is inbounded, the team plays live offence and defence. During this drill the coach is positioned at the baseline behind the athletes and comes out to correct them or offer a teaching point after almost every possession. This drill is the very basics of working on traps and full court presses. Coach informs me that he intends to have a lot of full court pressure throughout his season. Shell Defence This is a basic defensive drill. In this case the coach splits the athletes into three teams of four and has two teams playing at one hoop at once and the other team standing out of bounds. The offensive team sets up three players outside of the three point line and one player in the post. The players then go about working the ball around the outside while the player in the post sets screens and the perimeter players make cuts. The emphasis is on the defence and how they rotate and position themselves against the offence. The offensive team is looking to get good position, but not to shoot, and the defensive team is subbed out at the coaches’ discretion once they have gotten the rotations correct. The coach is standing a few meters outside of the three point line in this drill and providing lots of verbal feedback on what he wants. He stops the drill a couple of times to show the players how he wants them to set screens, and where to go once they are not generating any offence. 1-2-1-1 Zone Defence Again it is evident that the coach has a strong desire to work on zone full court defence, as he is already working on one in the second day of practice. The athletes are going through rotations and playing full court in how to try and aggressively trap the ball at ž court, get deflections on the ball and ultimately have the players behind them get steals. The main thing that the coach focuses on teaching in this drill is having the players force sideline so that they can funnel the ball handler into the teeth of their press. The coach is at the baseline watching the drill so that he can see and provide input often. 5 ball 3 Shot A drill designed for the kids to get up and down the court while performing lay-ups, getting shots up, and passing the width of the court. Three athletes pass the ball from one baseline to the other, with one player doing a lay-up at the other end and the other two receiving passes from the baseline in order to do jump shots, they rebound their balls and pass them to the next player in line. The ball that does a lay-up is rebounded, and passed to the next player in line and they go down the other way. During this drill the coach is angry when players are not filling the three spots on the baseline. He also gives them a


goal to reach of 90 baskets made in 9 minutes. When they do not reach it they run sidelines, and he communicates with them about their lacklustre effort and miss-steps while they run. This drill allows athletes to work on individual skills following a slow and more technical defensive strategy drill. After this drill the players are given a chance to go get water and a break. Wing to Post Entry As the players have a tournament the weekend after this practice, Pottage informs the players that the next drill will be one of their warm up drills. The drill has 4 players line up under the basket and run out into different positions on the floor. Two players are on offence and two on defence, with two of those running out to the three point line and two players posting up in the paint. The perimeter player passes into the post player, who then looks to score on his defensive partner. Pottage has this drill going at all three hoops inside of the gym, so that all 12 players are involved, and he moves from basket to basket telling the athletes how to post up and where to run. Motion Offence This drill is similar to the shell defence they were doing previously, just with a higher concentration on offence than of defence. The players are running through their motions offence which is just a way a setting of screens and cuts that they will perform quite often when they come down the floor, in order to keep the players moving and give opportunities to get open from the defence. Post Practice Talk Coach first talks about the role of the post players, and that is to set a lot of good solid screens in order to get looks for the rest of the team and start the motion offence. He tells the players that they only have three more practices before their first game and that they have a lot to work on before that time. He wants to have their zone press in place before the first game begins, so that they can get easy baskets from forcing turnovers. The boys have a cheer and the practice is over. 3. Coaching Style From our coaches’ personality handout, Stephen can be most likened to the “BusinessLike� Coach. He is very technical in his approach and is always searching for more basketball knowledge. He is liked by the players, but does not become overly close to them, instead keeping a very steady emotional detachment. He has focused his team already on running in depth and advanced zone presses, because he feels that is the way that his team can win. He is also very well organized for his practices.


4. Coaches Objectives and Effectiveness of Practice Unfortunately for the coach, the objective of practice this week is to get a few things ready for the tournament on the weekend which is coming entirely too quickly. The coach wants to get a zone defence in place to force turnovers that can turn into easy buckets, because he understands that he has a lot of athletes on his team without very many players who have been playing basketball for a while and are very skilled at the game. They have a lot of ability to become a good team defensively but are lacking and have a long way to come on the defensive end which is why you see a lot of focus on the defensive drills for now. 5. Personal Evaluation As a senior coach I think there is too much push for coach to see results. Pottage has only entered his first week of practice, and has only 4 practices before his first competition. Pottage recognizes that he has a group of young men who lack a lot of the necessary fundamentals, and thinks of his players as athletes instead of basketball players. The fact that he is already working on so much systems and very little skills is proof of that. This may provide more success for the team, but will not help the athletes out in the long run. In terms of managing athletes stress and focus, I think he is doing a very good job in providing ways to do that and keep his athletes calm. He is very prepared for his practice, which is a positive, and the athletes will continue to learn throughout the season, because they have a coach that is very technically sound.


Hunting Hills High School Junior Girls Basketball Team Coach Scott Doan Hunting Hills Gymnasium 1 West (Half Gym- 3 Hoops) 1. The athletes are in grades 10-11 meaning that they range in age from 15-17. Scott coached the gr. 9 girls last year and has a lot of players returning to play for him this year. He has just moved into the girls’ basketball program and was previously coaching men’s basketball for around twenty years. He has experience at Hunting Hills High School, Notre Dame High School, and Camille J. Lerouge, when it used to be a high school. 2. Summary of Drills X-out Lay-ups Coaching at start of the season is focused on basics, like this drill. The girls are using heavier balls that the school has purchased in order to strengthen their muscles in performing tasks that involve muscle memory, such as lay-ups. The athletes do lay-ups from the elbow as a warm up. Piggy in the Middle Closeouts Athletes get into groups of three and pass the ball to one end with the girl in the middle closing out on the person with the ball. The girl with the ball then passes the ball to the other side, and becomes the girl in the middle and performs a close- out going the other way. The majority of the girls are already very familiar with this drill from the year before with Scott and are able to help the few who are unfamiliar quite easily. Scott stops the drill once in order to get the girls to talk more while they are performing the drill. Talking is important to good defence. Zig Zag Defensive Slides The girls are becoming used to being in a defensive stance by going up and down the full court in a defensive slide with a focus on being loud calling out that they have the ball. These first three drills are all well known to the majority of the athletes, and after they are


completed he informs them that they are the first thing they are to do every day first thing when they show up to practice. Three Man Passing Three lines are set up on the baseline with a ball on the two outside lines. The player in the middle calls for a pass from one of the two outside lines, and then passes it back to her while running down the court. She then receives a pass for the other side and passes it back until the three athletes go down and back which is when the next group goes. Variation – the girls in the outside lines are dribbling the ball with their outside hand while they are running down the floor instead of travelling. Coach is communicating for athletes to focus on keeping their head up and to use the proper hand when dribbling. Eight Minute Drill This drill consists of 1 minute segments where the athletes dribble from sideline to sideline for twenty seconds (using the heavy balls once again), perform a task for thirty seconds, and then rest for ten seconds before beginning again. The tasks are as follows. 1. knee to chest jumps 2. heel to bum jumps 3. push ups with both hands on the basketball 4. Laying down on your back and raising your feet 6 inches off the ground with straight legs. 5. burpees 6. right foot hopping over a line in the gym 7. star jumps 8. left foot hopping The whole time the coach is pacing the sideline providing verbal encouragement. He says things like who wants to win, or asks the girls What is It? And they respond Hustle! This drill is largely a conditioning drill, but with the special tasks, it works on coordination and balance, and with the heavy balls it also works on dribbling skills. Shell Drill Much the same as in the previous practice, however he is teaching the rotations differently in order to better suit junior girls basketball. The rotations are much more elementary, and while they will help the team have success now, may not necessarily help the athletes in the long run. Coach is on the baseline and often comes in and does demos himself in this drill. Scott spends almost half of his practice on this one drill and is providing a lot of feed back, such as telling the girls to keep their hands back so as not to pick up cheap fouls, telling them to jump to the ball when it is passed, and to be on the balls of their feet. End of Practice


Girls come into the center and chant WIN! Which stands for: Work Hard Intensity No Excuses

3. Coaching Personality It is very obvious that Coach Doan is the hard nosed authoritarian coach. He focuses a lot on physical conditioning in his drills. He has a very simplistic but hard working defensive system. He expects maximum effort from his athletes and focuses a lot on fundamentals, as opposed to new techniques. Pleasantly, however, he does not fit a lot of the down sides of the hard nosed coach. He is not cruel, sadistic, or cold. He is not bigoted or prejudiced, and from what I see the girls actually really respect and like him as a coach. 4. Coaches Objectives and Effectiveness of Practice Scott is focused on a skill development which is wonderful for these girls at the start of their year. He has them working a lot on lay-ups, dribbling, muscle memory, conditioning, and basic man to man defensive principles. His objective is to increase his teams` abilities in this area and he felt quite positive about having achieved that after his practice. 5. Personal Evaluation I think Scott is coaching these young women very well. He is giving them exactly what they need at the start of the season, and that is skills and conditioning. He designs the drills so that they are high intensity and watches the athletes closely to hold them accountable and keep their intensity up, without singling people out or berating them. He also teaches the girls to focus when they are shooting their free throws by making them run a down and back for each free throw they miss. Girls basketball in Red Deer is only beginning to pick up, and he has had girls who are just beginning to play basketball and need a lot of fundamentals and basics and he is providing that. He had success as a coach last year with the grade 9 girls without running much for systems, which is perfect for where these athletes are in their development. The one thing that I would say that can be improved on would be to remove just running, and replace it with aerobic conditioning that also involves skills, so that the girls are constantly growing. The practice was an hour and a half and that is solely because that is the time-slot given by the school because they have 6 basketball teams but it is very appropriate. Scott is able to make his athletes run and condition without feeling that they are being punished or treated poorly, which can be a tough thing to accomplish.


5.

Comparison

The two coaches are fairly opposite in the way that they approach coaching the way of basketball. Scott has never ran much for systems in basketball, but instead has always had a team that is run and gun, in very good shape, and can shoot well. Pottage`s teams are very structured, very technical, but maybe not as skilled. Neither coach is wrong, and both coaches pull positive things out of their athletes. It is visible within 90 minutes of observing their practices that both coaches are respected by their athletes. Scott`s instruction and feedback often has to do with effort, and getting to spots quicker, or working harder, where Pottage will talk about the mechanics and strategy of his drills more often.


Practice Observations Adam Glover 191686 Keith Hansen Kinesiology 260


Coaching Practice Observations  

Two basketball practices were attended and an evaluation was completed for my intro to coaching class

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