Your season just ended and you are motivated to do whatever it takes to make your program better. Here are four studies you can conduct to get a more accurate view of your progress.
Over the course of the last two years, one of the topics that I have written about the most has been the self-examination of my own coaching. Due to the limitations of coaching in Massachusetts, I spend far more time examining my own decision-making than I do actually coaching players in a live setting. With that being said, the point of this post is not to highlight the limitations of MA coaching, but rather highlight the advantages that can be gained in self-examination of our own coaching.
With some honest evaluation and the use of modern technology, I think we can get a better reading on our successes and failures than ever before. The statistical data and game film accessibility that is present today is something that was not even available to coaches ten years ago. With those advantages in hand, the four studies that we are going to dig into in this post are all attempting to define who our programs are. Through the use of Hudl Game Film, Statistical Data, honest Self Reflection, and the use of Google Sheets, we will dig into four different ways to pick apart our own coaching.
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Self Study -
Conducting a Self Study after the season is something that I have done for the past four years. The inspiration for the self-study came from an article, called Self Scout - Asking Tough Questions. The article essentially suggests that we conduct an autopsy of our program after our season. Within that autopsy is an assessment of our program's pillars, a look into our team's analytics, and what the successes & failures of the season were. To me, this has always been a good exercise to not just judge the season by our win-loss record, but truly dissect what took place.
Designing the Self Study -
After reading the article I decided to turn it into a document that I could use as a template each year. Over the years this document has become the starting point for my offseason projects. There tends to be a lot of emotion that exists at the end of the season and this study helps me rely less on that emotional reaction, and rely on a more accurate assessment of how things played out. To create the document I decided to first break down my assessment into three separate categories; Pillars, Analytics, and Strengths & Weaknesses. To complete each section I will use a combination of game film, statistics, old practice plans, and my own intuition to assess our team's performance.
Sample Self Study -
The first two sections of the self-study focus on assessing your Pillars and Style of Play.
This is the aspect of your Self Study where you are reflecting on what aspects of the game matter most to your program.
Given our access to technology nowadays it makes a lot of sense to dig into the numbers to get a more accurate story. Some of the statistics I'm looking for include:
Shot Chart Data
Types of Score Data
Strengths & Weaknesses:
The last part of the Self Study starts with a look at what we did well over the course of the season. We dig into the aspects of the game that went well, and any statistical or film-related evidence that may help provide this conclusion. Once we look at successes we want to dig into our failures for the season. After an honest evaluation in those areas we want to dig into some future plans on "What to go Big On?" and "What our Next Steps" are as a program.
Scored Created Study -
One of my favorite offseason projects to do each season is the Scores Created Study. This study looks at every made field goal and free-throw from the entire season and categorizes how it was created. The results of this study give me a better idea of what phase of the game we are scoring in, and what actions are creating those scoring opportunities. To make sure that defense is not being ignored I also conduct this study for our opponents' scores as well.