So the season wrapped up this weekend. We finished 1-10 overall, not our best campaign but I can truly say two things about the season. First of all, I think this was probably the best job I did in my 4 years. I’m not trying to brag and say I did a great job, but I think I had more of a positive impact in terms of pushing and getting the most out of my players than I had in years past, and push them I did. This has been said before in not so many words but a coach is not a friend, you’re there to show your players what they do well and encourage them to continue it and what they do wrong and teach them how to correct it. I got on my guys, but I think I was fair with them. I remember when I was a junior in high school playing tennis and the varsity team had been pretty talented the two years before and had had successful seasons. That third year we were not nearly as talented and didn’t have nearly as good a season. After about the 5th match we were sitting at 1-4 and the coach, who had typically used a more laid back approach, let into us that day at practice. I don’t think it’s fair to do that, you have to monitor success by improvement as opposed to results, no change in style was gonna make us a winning team that season, we just weren’t that good. I pushed my guys, but I made it clear from day one what I was gonna expect out of them, I didn’t increase the workload as the losses mounted, or take it easy on them after our only win, it was a steady diet the whole way. The takeaway from pushing them like that, and my second point, is I really feel like overall the players on my team improved a lot more than in years past. In previous seasons there were definitely guys who just didn’t really make any kind of a leap. I can honestly say everyone improved in more than one aspect this season. We got a lot of shooting and finishing reps in, but we also worked on pick and roll defense individually and wholly, zone defense, pressing and press breaking, and rebounding. Do they still have a lot of work to do in those areas, absolutely, but I feel like we really set the groundwork and they now have an understanding of the basic to intermediate principals of those aspects.
If I had to change one thing, I would’ve been more firm in our offensive system and taken away some freedom from the players. I know some pundits would disagree with that, but too many of my players just didn’t have the skills or knowledge to consistently get good shots and the result of that was poor spacing and too many long, contested jumpers. In the first tournament game I finally told my big guys that we were gonna run 1 high 1 low and if they started drifting out to the 3 point line I was gonna pull ’em. The result was pretty good, they came out in a 2-3, we got it into the middle to Brady and got us a lot of good looks off of good passes from him. Unfortunately, we did not make very many of them so we still suffered a pretty hardy defeat but from an execution standpoint we were a much better team that game than we were the first game of the season.
So that’s it for that run of players. I’ll still be involved with them throughout their high school careers and I hope a few of them can make varsity and play some meaningful minutes, they’ve got the potential if they put in the work.
Thanks for reading.