Basketball season planning

Jorgargon
5 min readAug 13, 2021

As coaches, one of our main objectives would have to be to achieve the improvement of the players individually and the improvement of the team globally. If we want to reach this target, we must plan all we want to do.

Sometimes some coaches lose this vision. This happens to all of us when we start training, and we get a team that has a chance to compete. At this moment, we forget about training, and we focus all season on winning the league title, and we can do things that not only do not help the players but also harm them.

Teach vs Compete

It is a complicated balance, teaching and competing, but when you already have a few years of experience, you understand that one without the other makes no sense. You will never compete if the players do not have good individual technique, understand the game, can read what is happening, and adapt. In the same way that you will never get to develop the full potential of the players if you do not compete against other teams that generate new situations, which force them to adapt, which implies improvement.

Also, when you gain experience, the concept of competing changes. It goes from being synonymous with winning, to implying many other things, that none of them is winning.

Competing is performing to the best of your abilities under pressure, with an excellent attitude, and always believing in victory. This vision of competing is 100% in your hands, it does not depend on anyone else. On the other hand, winning does not depend only on you, you can make a great effort, and lose the game because winning or losing does not depend only on you.

Starting the new season

One more year comes the new season. We are still analyzing the previous one, the things we have done well, the things that have not turned out as we expected, the growth of the players and the team, and we already must start planning a new season.

For the new season the usual doubts, what we will meet, what we can do, in school teams, will they grow a lot this summer? … and we must start planning the whole season, many times with more unknowns than clear things, to get to the preseason ready.

To plan a season, you must be clear about three things.

  • Start point (Where the team is)
  • Where we want to go with the team (Objectives defined based on the first point)
  • What are we going to do, and when we plan to do it (Plan)

Not only in basketball, in any business, company, even on a personal level, but a goal without a plan is also nothing more than a wish.

For example, I want to lose 45 lb (I really need to lose more), this is my dream. Dating a dream becomes a goal. A goal divided into steps becomes a plan. And a plan supported by actions becomes a reality.

This is the reason for me is key to write the objectives we want to reach, and the plan to set to move from the actual situation, to the new one, considering the whole session, moments, competition, rest, …

It is not the purpose of this article develop the theory of planning seasons, with macrocycles, mesocycles, and Microcycles, simply review one way to do it, just mine, I have used over the years and now embodied in this article and that I have tried to capture in this notebook, to help other coaches to record the key points of a season, and that serves to have all the information in a single document to be able to review it in the future.

Objectives

We are assuming that the status of the team is known, either because you know the team from previous seasons, or because of the reports that may have passed us. If we are not clear about where we are starting from, it is difficult to plan.

Defining objectives is always a challenging time, because, on the one hand, we want to define things that can be accomplished, but on the other, that involves an effort to achieve them. Whenever possible, these objectives must be quantifiable and be as objective as possible.

For example, getting a 75% success rate on free throws, or being able to dribble without looking at the ball, or passing over the bounce, …

Example objective table

This is the example I’ve included in the Basketball Season Logbook to register the team objectives. We also must define how often we are going to monitor how these objectives evolve.

Once we have the objectives, we must define the plan. In the plan the key is to be clear with the things we want to do, and when will be done during the season. For that, we must keep in mind the full season.

The Plan

Season Plan for a 7th-grade team (Spanish)

In the Goals (Meta) column you must include the goals that lead you to the objective, and in the Focus (Foco), the three main points to work on during a week (microcycle)

Training Sessions

The next level in the season planning is the training sessions. To ensure we continue with the plan, I move the Focus of the week to the goals in the training workout, and the main exercises done in the session have as objectives those indicated in the goals for the session.

Conclusion

We need to have a plan so that we do not deviate from the path when difficulties come, which are sure to come.

This plan must be as concrete as possible so that it guides us during the season that we are running, and we don’t have too much time to stop and think.

This time to stop and think, we have it between the two seasons. Take advantage of it. What we have not developed in these weeks, we can hardly do during the season.

Having all the information in a single Basketball Season Logbook will help us to have everything more organized, and to be able to review quickly and easily what we have done during the weeks that the season has lasted.

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Jorgargon
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Senior Technician of Occupational Risk Prevention, Operations Consultant, Trainer. Basketball Coach