One Day Brantford Coaching Clinic Notes

I did a one day clinic in Brantford, Ontario that covered a variety of topics. I wanted to share my notes with you. I have included a video from that clinic as well. It discusses problem solving challenges for coaches. All the other videos from the clinic can be found in the membership area.

Brantford Coaching Clinic Notes

SESSION 1: In-Classroom Session

Introduction – Loop, Mix, Pause

What We Teach

  • Zero Seconds
  • Basketball Decision Training
  • How We Teach
  • Game Approach/Decision Training
  • Active Learning Time
  • Time on Task
  • Mindset
  • Mistakes Are Necessary
  • Myelination
  • Stare to Win

Games Approach

Players are introduced to a game requiring skills that are both tactical and technical:

  • The players develop an understanding of the game and identify the technical and tactical skills required.
  • If necessary the coach may intervene to assist players with technical skills or discuss tactical aspects.
  • Players practice the skills in conditions that relate to the game.


  • Promote and maximize game simulations very early on in skill development.
  • Players more accurately see that the skills or tactics are complex and increase the amount of cognitive effort.
  • Involvement of more players in each and every activity or drill.
  • Young players view this approach as more fun, exciting and engaging.
  • Allows players the freedom to play the game without highly structured systems that take away decision-making opportunities.
  • Everyone can participate and succeed because individual needs are met by modifying games to suit varied skill levels.
  • Can use small-sided games as a progression in the exploration and development of a strategic approach to the game.
  • Each player is challenged but at the same time can achieve success.

Games Approach

A coach needs to ask two questions before a coaching intervention:

  1. If I intervene, will I make a difference?
  2. If I give the player some time and direction, will they figure it out on their own?

How to Instruct While They Play

  • Stop to Teach – “Foul” in our practices means teaching needs to happen.
  • Questions and Feedback Delay – Allow them time to think and answer questions.
  • Instruct – Add your expertise and suggestions about possible solutions to the problems you present.


  • Learning often takes longer with this approach. Your practices will look very different from using drill based content. 
  • The most favourable drills selected will be three-on-three and four-on-four. This is because more players can become involved and be constantly active.
  • Change parameters to force players to make decisions and make them solve their own problems.
  • Coach-centred drill oriented practices are often boring and consequently less engaging to the players. Helping them learn by playing the game is more engaging.
  • Players develop increasing freedom from the coach by being actively involved in the learning process.
  • Players have considerable input to the coach and help the coach make decisions.

SESSION 2: On-Court

Topic: Game Approach Method of Teaching and Developing Defense

  1. 3 on 3 Baseline Competitive
  2. Full Reversal
  3. Skip
  4. Ballscreen from 4th Player
  5. 4 on 4
  6. Transition 2 Trips
  7. Blind – Wing and Top
  8. Rotations
  9. Pass and Cut
  10. 3 Out 1 In
  11. Different Ways We Play 5 on 5
  12. ½ Fullcourt (Top or From Inbound)
  13. 3 Trips (5 Trips)
  14. 2 In a Row
  15. Closeout Rebounding
  16. Outlet to Coach
  17. 5 on 0, 5 on 5

SESSION 3: In-Classroom

Video Demonstration – 4 on 4 Rotations, 5 on 5 Teaching

SESSION 4: On-Court

Topic: Planning, Implementing & Executing Half-Court Offensive System (3Hrs)

  1. Don’t teach plays teach players how to play
  • I agree and disagree with that statement – Believe you need to teach structure then teach decision making within that structure
  • Why? Time constraints | Better conceptual framework
  • Decision Training vs. Behavioral Training – Blocked vs. Random
  1. Inside-Outside Shooting vs. Stand Still Shooting
  2. Down screen 1 on 1 Drill – Unique decision each repetition
  3. Goal of Offense = Get a shot every possession (Unrealistic to score every possession)
  • Most important aspect = Shot Definition (Get a good shot every possession)
  • How to define good shot – Ask teammates
  1. There are no sets or styles that are hard to guard – Players are hard to guard (Stan Van Gundy)
  • Use offense to create attack opportunity for best match-ups
  • Match-up scores or draws help
  1. Player Development
  • Most open you are going to get when you first catch the ball (Chuck Daly)
  • Attack mentality on catch – Shoot, First Step or Pass
  1. Down screen 1-on-1
  2. 1-on-1 Left-Right
  3. Develop decision making
  • Single hardest thing to do is to get players to think
  • Only way I know if players are thinking is if they are talking therefore I have to ask questions (What is your thought process? What did you see that caused you to make that decision? What was an alternative to the decision you made?)

Every Offense Must Account for Each of These Factors

  • Determined by your personnel, philosophy & best case scenarios for your team’s success
  1. Post Reaction – Decisions players make when ball goes into post
  2. Penetration Reaction – Set spots players go to on a dribble attack or on a lateral dribble
  3. Pressure Release – What happens when ball is dead vs. defensive pressure
  4. Entry – How are you getting the ball to where it needs to go to initiate
  5. Switches – What are you doing vs. switches

Flex Offense as a Blue Print

  1. Top Top Pass (Flex & Follow/Screener Seal/Screener Flash/Screener Step Out/Pin)
  2. Wing Pass (Cut & Replace/Up Screen/Back Screen/Dribble Attack/High Low)
  3. Post Reaction (Cutter/Relocation/Screens/Hold Spots)
  4. Penetration Reaction (Push-Pull on Lateral Dribble/Post-Perimeter Movements)
  5. Pressure Release (Player in the post pop to the corner or the elbow)
  6. Entry (Push the wing & fill/Dribble at the trail & bring low post up/Set Play/Turnouts/Inverts)
  7. Switch (Reject – Belien Cuts/Push-Pull to Match-Ups/Open Cut Game)

Basic Pattern Variations

  • Can modify any set or offense to meet your team/individual needs

For Example in Flex:

  1. No Downscreen
  2. Top Top Hold
  3. Flare
  4. Force Curl
  5. Create sets out of pattern (unlimited sequences)

Entry into Offense

  • Distort look of offense by having multiple entries. Also helps with relieving initial defensive pressure.

For Example in Simple Entries Flex:

  1. Push Wing
  2. Dribble at Trail
  3. Invert
  4. Drag Ballscreen

Drills to Build Offense

  • Best drills are the ones you create for the situation you need developed
  • Defensive context is necessary for development of decision training

Some examples for developing Flex:

  1. 1 on 1 Downscreen
  2. 1 on 1 Flex Screen
  3. 4 on 4 Block to Block
  4. Diamond Drill
  5. No Help
  6. Circle Drill

Additional Topics

  1. Zone Offense in 10 minutes or less – Continuity, Set, BOB
  2. Drag or Spread – Distortion/Masking High and Low Cross
  3. Man BOB Series
  4. Guard Pop Ballscreen
  5. Post Pop
  6. Set Plays
  7. Handoff High Post Flash Backdoor
  8. Stagger Pop 3 Pt Shot
  9. Horns for PG and Wing – Plus Horns Clear
  10. Up Screen Stagger Handoff
  11. Single Doubles Cross Screen or Strong for Post Up

Thanks for reading and I hope you gained some insights that helped your coaching. 

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