Offseason is a time for professional development By Kevin Hoffman, Editorial Director

If there’s one thing successful basketball coaches have in common, it’s their relentless pursuit of information. They’re at the clinics, they’re reading the books and they’re networking to build a library of basketball strategies they can employ within their own systems.

Now that we’re deep into the offseason for college and high school programs, you have an opportunity to strengthen your coaching IQ. If you subscribe to Winning Hoops, you’re already the type of coach who actively seeks improvement. Coaches should be sponges, soaking up strategies and concepts wherever they’re available. That’s how you reach the top.

One of the beautiful things about basketball is it’s as much a mind game as it is a physical game. You deploy your offensive scheme to which your opposition presents its best counter attack. You then adjust or disguise certain sets and plays to nullify the effectiveness of the defense. This chess match is made possible by preparation, and preparation is at its best when coaches take initiative and constantly improve their knowledge of the game.

Take this time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and address them accordingly. Watch film and study opposing coaches. Read books to learn innovative plays and drills coaches have dreamed up. Contact a colleague and pick their brain about anything from defensive schemes to motivational tactics. The best coaches are the ones never satisfied with their own abilities. They understand there is always room for improvement.

Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino in his book Rebound Rules talks about the necessity for preparation in all walks of life.

“Thorough preparation is vital when performing under pressure,” he says. “I’ve always said pressure is your ally; it is your best friend. When you’ve done the work to get ready and then you apply pressure to yourself, it brings out the best in you in every step along the way. That’s the positive momentum that spurs you to excel.”

The season may be miles away, but your desire to improve and prepare must start now. Use this time to take the next step forward. Here are a few quick resources to get you started:





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