Coaches Blog – 2021 Pre-Season Notes
As players and coaches across the country are gearing up for the return of a full season of basketball, the energy around our program and throughout the City is abundant and the excitement is palpable.
Here in San Francisco, we finally have had a few days of rain, which, combined with mid-50’s, low-60’s temps, appropriately creates a changing of the seasons.
We’ve had an open gym for all players on most days since mid-September, and the turnout has been impressive, especially at the varsity level. I’ll be coaching the frosh/soph team as head coach after being assistant last year to my brother-in-arms, Bill Dettering. I won’t really know what kind of team we’ll have until the first day of tryouts, Nov. 1. At Urban High School, with a student population of 400 for grades 9-12, we had to wait until the flag football season ended (yesterday) to get a good feel about the players participating.
Just as the players are honing their skills and getting physically ready, so too are the coaches preparing themselves. We are all hopeful for a return to our rhythms and traditions, and eagerly anticipating a return to a full season of ball, complete with all of the joys, struggles and development.
Players will be encouraged to be their best self during upcoming try-outs, without coaching from the staff, with the exception to see if a player can digest instruction and incorporate that into his game. That’s been our policy during open gym as well. We have had the opportunity to do some one-on-one skill work and mentoring which is all positive messaging that includes a direct, objective, professional critique of their game. We’ll see how much of the pre-season translates to the court; for our varsity team, the commitment has been consistent and I am sure that will pay dividends all season long.
I know one thing we haven’t done which I will definitely work into the pre-season next season is film review. Especially the way our video and statistics platform, Hoopsalytics, is able to efficiently organize each and every player’s time and output on the court. Want to watch every shot from last season? We have that with one click. Every turnover? Every stat? All available for immediate review supported by video with one click. I’m still blown away by the technology and capacity and ease of use of Hoopsalytics. More on that later. But being able to show your players film will support your mentoring.
As a coach, with Hoopsalytics, I also get the benefit of watching all of our opponents’ game film from last season. What an advantage! I’ve recently come across many coaches who are stalwarts at their schools with 5, 10, 17 years of experience and plenty of data on their opponents. But for new or early-in-their-career coaches, this film review ease of deployment is a huge competitive advantage.
I want to wish all coaches and players reading this post the best for a wonderful season.