Best of 2020

To end the year we are going to put together a final blog post for 2020 that pulls together some of my favorite materials from the past year.

2020 has unexpectedly provided coaches with an incredible amount of time to study, investigate, and dive deeply into every aspect of the game. With much of the country spending time in quarantine during March & April there were an unprecedented amount of clinics that were offered across the country. Basketball trainers along with Professional, College, and High School Coaches presented material on every conceivable aspect of the game. I personally tried to attend as many of these free clinics as I could and put together useful notes that I could revisit later in the year. As the clinics slowed down and Summer approached it became clear that the rest of the year was not going to go as usual.

Our typical Summer basketball activities such as Youth Clinics, Open Gyms & Summer League were all canceled in the wake of COVID concerns. Despite this, I was hopeful that as Summer gave way to Fall we would find a way to return to a sense of normalcy. To some degree that has happened with a return to school, but that has not happened for basketball. Unfortunately, the final blow of the year recently came in the form of the cancellation of our 2020-21 basketball season. With coaching on hold I have tried to turn my attention towards really solidifying my views on the game and making my website into a good resource for coaches to reference. So with that in mind, I wanted to put together a final post for 2020 that gathered all the best resources I have found this year. Enjoy!

What I tried to do with all of the clinics that were offered this year was to focus on attending the ones which really fit with my own Game Model. I was really interested in clinics that focused on areas where I wanted to improve including; defensive philosophy, transition defense, zone defense, and applying analytics. I also wanted to investigate topics like the two-sided break and different uses of screening in half-court offense. For many coaches, it appeared as if the pure number of clinics being offered was a bit overwhelming, but by narrowing my focus to a few specific topics I feel like I got a lot out of them.

Here is a "Top 10" list for Clinic Notes that I was able to put together this year:

1. Luke Yaklich | Building a Defensive Identity -

  • I really enjoyed Coach Yaklich's presentation on building your defensive identity. Between his success at Michigan and his resume as a former high school coach I really looked forward to hearing him speak. I thought he really drove home to point of identifying what it is you will and won't accept on that end of the floor.

2. Michael Jagacki | Individual Defensive Technique -

  • I saw Coach Jagacki's clinic on the basis of a recommendation and was glad that I did. It seems as though Coach Jagacki has really made this specific aspect of defense into a bit of a specialty. He goes through the details of defensive stances and ways in which to work on this aspect of the game.

3. Jay Hernandez | Competitive Shooting & Team Drills -

  • Coach Hernandez details a ton of individual and team-based shooting drills that he works on at the professional level. Personally, I don't have the offseason coaching opportunity to employ many of these concepts but the idea of a program leaderboard was something that was very intriguing.

4. Joe Gallo | 'How we Create Steals in our Zone' -

  • I was really interested in Coach Gallo's talk because of Merrimack's surprising success in jumping to Division I. This offseason I have heard Coach Gallo speak of four different occasions and I think his message has been consistent and easy to understan