January 13, 2014 • From the BenchWinning Hoops

It’s time for a season in review

by Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director

I love lists. Everyone who knows me accepts this as fact. Even as I write this, I’m flanked by lists of today’s tasks and sources I need to speak with for upcoming stories.

Organization keeps me sane.

At this time of the year, most programs — depending on state or level — are putting the most recent season to bed. Tournaments are coming to an end, and some coaches have already begun looking ahead to the offseason.

Doesn’t that sound like the perfect time to compose a list?

I’m sure some of you have read the goofy studies that claim by writing down your goals and tasks, you are much more likely to achieve and complete them. Part of it is our overwhelming desire to finish a job, but another part is having a plan. By putting your mission in ink, the road becomes clear.

At these early stages in the offseason, as you reflect upon what took place over the last four months, a lot of different ideas will come to mind. Regardless of whether your season was a success, you will likely want to adjust, tinker, revise and overhaul certain aspects of your program.

Before you take that first step, sit down with your staff and write. I know this sounds like some silly exercise straight out of a third-grade classroom, but at the foundation of every successful venture is a plan. And behind every plan was an individual or a group who began scribbling down ideas.

Set aside a day with your staff and begin to evaluate everything from beginning to end. Talk about what worked within each aspect of your season, what didn’t and what you can do in the future to make improvements.

Most importantly, write it down. You’re going to want to reflect upon it at some point to determine whether you’re following the script.

Here are just a few recommendations for your review:

  • Tryouts: Did we effectively identify the best talent? What should or shouldn’t we change?
  • Practice: Did we efficiently manage our time? Should we make adjustments? Did we dedicate enough time toward scrimmages, drills and skill development?
  • Staff: Did each coach do a satisfactory job managing their responsibilities? What are our new goals? Did we connect with the athletes?
  • Competition: What caused us to fail or succeed on the court? How can we improve? Were athletes properly prepared for games?
  • Xs and Os: Did we work better with a zone or man defense? Should we work more through the post or on the perimeter? Do we need to re-evaluate or revise our playbook?

This is merely a fraction of what you can review. Feel free to add the postseason banquet, midseason evaluations or tournament play to that list. Breaking down every aspect of your program and considering alternatives is not an easy task, but the best teams in the nation don’t get there by taking the easy route. They go above and beyond.

It’s possible that at the end of the day you only make a few adjustments, and that’s OK. The overall purpose here is to look within your program and analyze its inner workings. In this case, it starts with a pen and paper.