177 Questions to Prepare for Basketball Season

Over the course of a basketball season you will need to be prepared for a number of things. To prepare for basketball season answer these 177 questions. If you prefer to download the list, you can do so at the bottom of this blog.

  1. What are your values? Offense, defense, special situations, discipline, life development etc.
  2. What kind of identity do you want the team to have? Pressure defense, running/motion, high scoring offense, etc.
  3. How are you going to communicate with alumni, administration, supporters? Email newsletter, phone calls, get-togethers.
  4. What is our start date? Individual workouts, team practice, conditioning.
  5. What’s your focus in individual workouts?
  6. What assistant does what during individual workouts?
  7. How many in each group for individual workouts?
  8. What is the focus of individual workouts? Getting basic info in or starting to put in system?
  9. Who coaches conditioning? If not the head coach or assistants does anyone watch conditioning? If so, who?
  10. Are you running a feeder program? Clinics? Youth development initiatives?
  11. Who orders equipment? How do you pay for it?
  12. What are you doing during tryouts?
  13. How are you cutting players?
  14. Who is the go between for academic issues?
  15. What is your budget? How do you access funds? Who is your go-to person for budget questions?
  16. What is the blueprint for next season’s scheduling of games?
  17. Will you write down rules/expectations for the team?
  18. Will you have them sign the rules/expectations?
  19. Write down how we want to do things, players and coaches? Practice, games, individual workouts, timeouts, etc.
  20. Do we put together a pre-season plan? If so, for how long? First week, first, month, etc.
  21. Will you write down terminology for players and assistants? We need to be on the same page here.
  22. Will you give players a copy of terminology?
  23. Who plans practice? Head coach or all of us?
  24. What does each assistant do for pre-practice?
  25. What does each assistant do during practice?
  26. What does each assistant do post – practice?
  27. Can assistant stop things and talk during practice?
  28. Can assistants stop play and correct or teach?
  29. Who videos practice?
  30. Who coaches the post?
  31. Who coaches the guards?
  32. What do we plan to accomplish in pre-season scrimmages/exhibitions?
  33. Who gets officials for pre-season scrimmages/exhibitions?
  34. Do we do any inter-squad scrimmages using officials? If so, when? How far into practice?
  35. Do coaches do anything with academics or leave it to administration/advisors?
  36. Who oversees scouting? Assigns, etc.? Do you have sample?
  37. Who video breakdown program are we using? Who is the expert?
  38. How many scout films do you want per opponent?
  39. What kind of scouting report do you want? Concentrate on personnel, match-ups, plays, out-of-bounds’s, lengthy or short?
  40. How much of this info do we give players?
  41. Who does walk thru of each scout? Coach that had scout or Head coach?
  42. Who decides match-ups?
  43. Who does checklist for outline of what we want in for first game?
  44. Who puts scouting report on board before game?
  45. Who goes over scouting report with team? Head coach or assistant with scout?
  46. Who watches pre-game warm-ups?
  47. What do assistants do during game?
  48. Who keeps fouls? Both teams.
  49. Who keeps timeouts? Both teams.
  50. Who checks where ball is out-of-bounds?
  51. Do you want suggestions during games?
  52. Who makes substitutions?
  53. Can assistant talk/coach players who have come out of the game?
  54. What are assistant’s duties during timeouts? Where do you want them to stand?
  55. Do you have huddles during timeout on bench or bring chairs out on floor?
  56. Will assistant have time to give Head Coach suggestions? When?
  57. Can assistant speak during timeout after head coach is finished talking?
  58. Do we huddle as team on floor before free throw’s?
  59. Do we huddle as team on out-of-bounds situations?
  60. Who calls plays? Coach? Assistant? Point Guard?
  61. Do we teach to “pass along” plays? First perimeter down relays plays from the point guard or head coach to others?
  62. Do we have jump ball plays on alignment for different teams?
  63. Do we have free throw plays when other team is shooting? Screens, jump into lane, spin off, etc.
  64. Who blocks out free throw shooter? Someone on lane or someone on arch?
  65. Who takes ball out-of-bounds under our basket?
  66. Who takes ball out-of-bounds on sideline-out-of-bounds plays?
  67. Who takes ball out-of-bounds after opponent’s basket?
  68. What is our basic offensive philosophy? Mine was always simple – Get a Shot.
  69. What is our basic defensive philosophy? Mine was always contain and contest.
  70. What is our offensive philosophy when shot clock is at 12 seconds or less?
  71. What is our defensive philosophy when shot clock is at 12 seconds or less?
  72. Up 3 and 10 sec. or less remaining, do you foul? If so, at what time and/or point on the floor?
  73. What is our basic philosophy about guarding ball screens?
  74. How do we guard ball screens in the last 12 sec. of game or shot clock?
  75. Late game – 12 sec. or less, down 2?
  76. Late game – 12 sec. or less, down 3?
  77. When ball goes into post does our defense go ½ way or go dig it out? What is basic philosophy?
  78. Ball goes into post on offense, what do others do? Post dive, perimeters, scissor or cut?
  79. What keys back door cuts? Dribble at or ball fake or both depending on individual rules.
  80. What do we do vs. a triangle and 2?
  81. What do we do vs. a box and 1?
  82. What kind of press break do we use vs. full court man presses?
  83. What kind of press break do we use vs. full court zone presses?
  84. What kind of press break do we use vs. ½ court pressure? Man or Zone?
  85. What is our basic way to guard ball screens?
  86. Do we change this in last 12 seconds of game or shot clock?
  87. What is our basic offense?
  88. Do we want people to read or respond in the offense?
  89. What is the spacing we want (and need) on offense?
  90. Do you want to “designate” a screener or let everyone be a screener.
  91. What percentage of our offense will be motion and what percentage will be set plays?
  92. Do we have plays for special situations?
  93. Down late in the game, when do you start fouling?
  94. Ball out-of-bounds under, do you try to score off play or just get in it?
  95. Ball side out-of-bounds on our end of floor, do we try to score or just get it in?
  96. How do we call plays, out-of-bounds, entries, etc.? Names, numbers, letters?
  97. What do we do vs. zones? 1 guard fronts? 2 guard fronts?
  98. Do we screen zones?
  99. How does head coach want block outs performed on free throw? Single coverage or squeeze?
  100. Are we going to press?
  101. If so, how often?
  102. What kind of press?
  103. Will we be an over play and deny team?
  104. Where will we force ball on defense? Baseline or middle or keep on side?
  105. Will we ever double team ball screens?
  106. Will we ever squeeze and go under ball screens?
  107. Do we have set plays vs. zones?
  108. Defending ball out-of-bounds under, do we put player on ball or under basket to defend?
  109. Do we deny everything on out-of-bounds plays?
  110. How do we defend side out-of-bounds? Deny or pressure after they get it in?
  111. What are the coverages in defensive transition?
  112. Do we run break all the time, makes, misses, after free throw’s or just on misses?
  113. How do we guard post? Basic.
  114. What do others do when ball goes into post? Double, jump to ball, dig half-way, etc.
  115. Do you have sets or plays to draw up that we may not have practiced, but could possibly use during a time out? Can the players respond to it?
  116. Who watches pre-game warm-ups? Half-time?
  117. What is the discipline for being late, missing class, missing tutor, any other tardiness?
  118. Do you have a basic in-bounds play for a 4 or 5 guard lineup?
  119. During shoot arounds and team walk through’s, what do players wear? Practice gear? Sweats?
  120. What do players wear on road trips?
  121. How many players go to offensive boards?
  122. Who’s back on defense when shot goes up? 1 back, 1 ½ back, 2 back?
  123. How many do we send to defensive boards?
  124. Anyone leak out?
  125. Who can start fast break off dribble point guard? 1, 2, 3, start break on dribble after rebound? 4-man?
  126. How much time do we spend each day in practice shooting? How many shots do we need each day? Each player?
  127. Do we want to have a curfew the night before games? How do we check it? Only do it on road? What time is fair?
  128. What happens if you miss curfew?
  129. Do we select or elect captains?
  130. What are their duties? Check curfew?
  131. Can players bring cell phones to team meetings?
  132. How much film do we show players?
  133. How in depth is scouting report to players?
  134. Do we meet every day about practice? Do assistants have input?
  135. How do we teach getting open on wing? L-cut, breakout and stepover, breakout?
  136. Do we have a “home run” play? Down 2 or 3 with a few seconds left and we have to come full court?
  137. Do players keep a notebook? Plays, OOB, SOOB, entries, practice plans, etc.
  138. Do we make players keep a day planner? Classes, individual’s work-outs, practice, weights, study hall, tests, tutors, etc. – This is great for time management.
  139. Does someone go over day planners each week with players?
  140. Do you want coaches to make and keep a playbook for the season?
  141. Do you want someone to save daily practice plans so we can look at what we have and have not covered? Also to see if we spend enough time on terms of importance.
  142. Does this drill lead to long term development?
  143. Does this drill fit in with our playing style?
  144. Is this drill blocked or random? If blocked can I alter it to make it more game like?
  145. How can this drill be competitive?
  146. How are we keeping score?
  147. What are the consequences and rewards for winning and losing a drill?
  148. Is this drill game like?
  149. How often do we meet as a staff about practices, game plans, etc.?
  150. Are we going to play any zone?
  151. If so, what kind?
  152. Best positions in zone for what players?
  153. Are we going to use any combination defenses? Triangle and 2, Box/1, 1-3 chaser, etc.?
  154. If so, who plays the zone and who plays the man or men?
  155. Out-of-bounds under, are we always man or do we ever go zone?
  156. Are we going to use jump traps? If so, where and in what situation?
  157. Are we going to jump-switch? Full-court, half-court, etc.
  158. In what situations do you use your timeouts?
  159. What kind of late game, full-court pressure do we use if we are behind?
  160. When do we start to foul late, if behind? Score, time, etc.
  161. Do you use regular line-ups or small, guard line-ups when ahead late in the game?
  162. Who can take the last shot of a game?
  163. What do you want us to do at pre-game warm-ups as a team? Layups, shooting, stretch, groups, shell?
  164. How are you going to handle stress? After win, loss, etc. Run, workout, etc.
  165. Are we going to do any pre-season team building things in the pre-season?
  166. What would it take for you to dismiss someone from the team?
  167. How are you going to handle team’s stress? Long road trip, a lot of road trips, losing streak, winning streak, etc.
  168. Are we ever going to have fun days in practice if we get stressed? Play volleyball, soccer, team talent show, etc.
  169. Are we going to do any pre-season team building things in the pre-season? Talent shows are fun because they bring everyone together and laugh and have fun. You can also tape it and show it during the season to ease stress.
  170. Are you going to keep a diary or day planner to chart what we are doing, but also to record things you like and don’t like that we are doing?
  171. Do we video individual workouts?
  172. What points of emphasis are you going to stress in early workouts?
  173. Can players eat anything they want at pre-game meal?
  174. How do we defend one-on-one? Stay in front, keep onside, choose a side, etc.
  175. What size workout groups do we have for individual workouts? 2-3 for more reps, 4 for less groups, etc.
  176. What do you plan to accomplish in early individual workouts?
  177. In individual workouts, do you put advanced players together and new players together or do you divide advanced players up with new players to help them learn?

Get more planning ideas for your season with the Seven Things I Would Do as a High School Basketball Coach

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