As much as players take the break from basketball during the off–season, so as their coaches. In the off–season, every member has the chance to rest and cool down. You see, coaches have the most tiring job in the entire team. He does all the mental work, and so he is very much predisposed to psychological forms of stress. Imagine how exhausting his work is. He is like a chess master. He continuously thinks of moves to checkmate his opponents. In times that his system is not working, he pulls himself and analyzes everything. He is the mind of the team.

The off–season is the best time for the coach to make a holistic analysis and observation of the team’s performance. He can start a new plan depending on the evaluation he has made. His plan will be centered on improving his team.

Before going any further, let us try to understand what organization is all about. The website,, presented their definitions of the term organization which are described as follows:

  • Non-random arrangement of components or parts interconnected in a manner as to constitute a system identifiable as a unit.
  • Sequential or spatial (or both) form in which a body of knowledge, data, people, things, or other elements, is purposefully arranged.
  • Social unit of people systematically arranged and managed to meet a need or to pursue collective goals on a continuing basis. All organizations have a management structure that determines relationships between functions and positions, and subdivides and delegates roles, responsibilities, and authority to carry out defined tasks. Organizations are open systems in that they affect and are affected by the environment beyond their boundaries.

The definitions are clear in presenting what an organization is. Try to utilize these information in understanding and visualizing how coaches will do these organizational things in the off–season. The organizational things referred in the latter means that the coach has to work on how to systematically arrange his team, starting from planning and modifying team plays up to executing such modifications, to attain a common goal.

Let us try to break these down into pieces to have a better picture about what I am talking about. The best thing you can do as a coach is to start organizing things which would include the following:

1. Give yourself a break
Before going back to business, relax your mind from the stresses of basketball. Spend your time to enjoy with your friends and families. This can give you the much needed rest in order to formulate another organizational planning in the next season.

2. Evaluate the team’s performance during the earlier season

See the team’s ranking and stats in the past season. Look over the details such as percentage of shooting, turnovers, fouls; and how far the team has limited its opponents. In addition, watch the recorded videos of your games wherein your team has been very successful. Consider also those videos wherein your team had experience devastating losses. This is a way of observing your team at its very best, and at its very worst. This can help the coach focus on areas that need to be maintained such as the team’s strength, and areas that needs to be improved such as their weaknesses.

3. Evaluate your system
As what I have explained awhile ago, watch the team’s recorded videos of successes and failures. You can review how your system suited the different types of games of your opponents. Run through the system and take down notes. Observe the execution of your man – to – man defense, and zone defense; back – court and full court presses; inbound plays, and offensive plays. Review everything and make necessary adjustments to correct and improve previous season’s shortcomings.

4. Involve other members of the coaching staff
The coaching staff consists of other talented and brilliant individuals in the team that helps the coach in planning, organizing, and preparing for every season. The coaching staff should learn together to establish a renewed and proficient basketball system. As the saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” You can share your analysis about the team, and solicit their ideas in setting – up new drills, offensive, and defensive plays.

5. Continue to learn new things
There are several ways in which you can improve yourself professionally.

  • Make use of available resources to improve your knowledge about basketball. Read books and watch CDs, or DVDs, that talk about effective drills to improve basketball skills; as well those that discuss coaching and leadership skills.
  • Attend basketball camp season during the off–season. If time may allow, try to spend some time to attend to basketball camps. You may be able to get some ideas by listening to what other coaches have to say. Note the things that are useful.
  • Ask for advice from your previous mentors. Most coaches are inspired and nurtured by their mentors. They are still the one who knows more about the game. They are the right individuals to approach at this point of time.

6. Get ready for the next season
After taking down notes on what you are going to do in the coming season, make necessary preparations before the season starts. Gather all your staff and players to build your objectives together. Establish a good strength and conditioning program for the players to follow. Set practice schedules and emphasize rules, or Do’s and Don’ts, during practice. Teach and apply the adjustments that you have noted. And then try to experiment plays for your players to execute. Pre-season practices are the best time to do experimentation among players.

The off–season enables the coaches to refresh their minds. It is the time wherein he can totally assess his team’s performance, make necessary adjustments, and enhance his basketball educational background.

Picture credit: JMRosenfeldCreative Commons Attribution

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