Last year I was tasked with scouting and coming up with a game plan for our teams game against the number 1 team in the country Whitman. As I watched their games one thing stood out to me, each game there seemed to be small tweaks to the starting lineup. I brushed that off as early season tinkering and thought nothing more of it. When it came game day they once again had a completely different starting lineup than the ones I had seen in previous games. After the game, I asked the coach about why there were so many changes. What he told me changed the way I look at organizing practice.
He said they track hustle stats in practice (tips, steals, deflections, charges, rebounds, and diving on the floor). The individuals who finish with the 5 highest scores at the end of the weeks practice start the game. He said this lead to highly competitive practices and got guys playing at the tempo they wanted all the time.
Back in the head coaches seat this year, I decided to implement this same philosophy. The results have been amazing; practices have been highly competitive and all players, 1-15, are engaged at all times because they know that they have the ability to earn their spot. We are better prepared for games because we practice so hard and its also created a unity among the team to accept that no one person is more important than another. So far we have played 12 games this season, counting preseason games, and each game has had a different starting lineup. To this point we are undefeated but more importantly we have forced more turnovers and rebounded at higher rate than in the previous season.
State championship winning basketball coach, Chris Woodside, shares his journey to becoming a college level coach as well as life lessons learned on + off the court.