Late Game Prep by Chris Filios

late game prep

Written by Coach Peterman

I have coached at the NCAA Division 2 (Southwestern Oklahoma State University), NAIA (USAO), and JUCO Levels (Blinn College and Carl Albert State College) as well as high school. I just felt that fellow coaches especially young coaches need to constantly work on their “game”. Just like the basketball players that we coach. We as coaches need to improve ourselves. That is my story and why I do this blog.

March 9, 2019

Basketball season is coming to a close. That means playoffs- win or go home. The competition will be intense and games will come down to the end of the game where one possession may make the difference between winning and losing. Is your team prepared for Late Game Prep?

End of game/half/quarter/clock/etc. situations are often time not addressed enough. Depending on your situation, often times your time on the floor is limited. You have to prioritize what you are doing in practice. It is difficult to do all the things you would like. Stuff gets cut, but you need Late Game Prep.

Fast forward…It is the playoffs…Your ball under the opponent basket…Down 1…10 seconds left…What are you running? Have you run it before? Have you practiced it? Do the players know what they are supposed to do? Or are you drawing this up for the first time in the huddle?

Or maybe it is your ball…50 seconds left…tied game…are you holding the ball until the end of the shot clock? Are you going to go 2 for 1? Do you have a “go-to” 2 for 1 set? Have you practiced it? How often?

When you get into these late game prep situations in the game, whether it is an early season game or a playoff game in March, you want to be confident that your players know how to execute in that situation. The only way to know that is to talk about what the objectives are and practice them.

Coaches want to put their players in the best situation to succeed. This means preparing them for these types of situations BEFORE they occur, and not arriving at that moment and hoping that they will figure it out.

What is your philosophy when it comes to the end of game situations? Does your staff and players know and understand your philosophy? These are great things to think, discuss, and address in the off-season so that you can prepare for the upcoming season.

Here are just a few things to think about when it comes to the end of the game/clock situations:
-Always know the time, score, and possession
-Substitution- offense/defense
-Foul management
-Foul situations- when, where, who
-2 for 1’s
-Timeouts- how to use them
-Set plays for specific situations- need a 3 vs. only need a 2

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

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