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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alan Stein- 20 Questions

Alan Stein presents 20 questions for head coaches, that also are coaches for assistant coaches and for players to consider.


30. November 2011 02:18
Our first official practice at DeMatha was on November 8th.  This past Monday was our final scrimmage (we had 4 pre-season scrimmages). This Saturday (December 3rd) is our first game. Overall, our guys having been giving a great effort, have been competing hard, and have been slowly improving their communication.

This season we are seeking our 4th straight WCAC Conference Championship and DC City Title and are ranked #13 in the nation by ESPN. Coach Jones just recently held individual meetings with every player on our team (with their parents present) to clearly define their role and discuss their strengths, weaknesses, and expectations.


Entering the season, we know we have a proverbial target on our back. We realize that staying a champion is much harder than becoming a champion.  We constantly remind ourselves that we need to remain humble, hungry, and mentally tough.

We know that we must do the little things to reach our goals. Contrary to what many people think, it is actually the little things that make a big difference in making a basketball program successful in the long term.  It is the little things that make an average team a good team, a good team a great team, and great team a championship team! We take pride in doing the little things.

If you are a head coach, I want to ask you the following 20 questions. And while I am sure you know the answers… do your assistant coaches and players know the answers as well? Are you sure?

1)   In addition to winning a championship, what other goals does your team have this season?  Are they written down?

2)   Does each assistant coach and player on your team know their exact role? 

3)   Does each assistant coach and player know your opinion of their strengths and weaknesses? 

4)   Do your players know what a good shot is? Have you clearly defined this? (see below)

5)   Does your staff prepare for practice with the same mentality that they prepare for games? Do your players?

6)   Do you prepare the same way if you are playing the worst team on your schedule as you do for the best?

7)   Do you truly believe that on any given night any team can beat you?  Do you truly believe that you can beat anyone?

8)   Are your players on top of their school work? Are academics a distraction?

9)   Are your players getting 8 hours of sleep every night?

10)Are your players eating breakfast every day?

11) Do your players eat an appropriate pre-game meal before every game?

12) Do your players drink enough water to stay fully hydrated? 

13) Are your players tending to any nagging injuries or soreness? 

14) Do your players get to practice 15 minutes early to get in some individual shooting and ball handling work? Do they stay after practice to get in additional shots and/or free throws?

15) During practice, are you an energy giver?  Is your enthusiasm contagious to your staff and players? 

16) Do you recognize and reward the players who do the little things?  Do your players know that taking charges, diving for loose balls, and thanking a teammate for a great pass are as important as scoring?

17)Do you know how to really motivate your team to play hard and play well? Are you sure?

18) Does your team warm up properly before all practices and games? 

19) Does your team continue to strength train during the season? 

20) Do your players know how to ‘Play Present’? Do they focus on the things they can control and block out all distractions? Are they mentally tough?

If you can’t answer “YES” to all of these questions, then you aren’t doing everything you can to have your team reach their potential.  You need to do the little things every day to make a big difference!

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