Game Management for Coaches

Posted on Oct 30 2019

Game management is a key aspect for the coach at all levels. Success come game time is a lot more than X’s and O’s or the structure and systems you have implemented in practice. Here are some thoughts on the coaching art of game management.

Prior to the game – 

  • Routine – arrival, timing of meetings, warm-ups, timing of pre-game huddle
  • Variations between home and away
  • Communication of roles for assistant coaches & support staff – who is doing what?
  • Expectations of players – what do you tolerate pre-game? (music, headphones, mobile phones)
  • Establish a consistent approach to the pre-game – consistency builds comfort
Staff roles – 
Who manages or is accountable for –
  • Equipment – uniforms, basketballs, drink bottles
  • Change-room management – set up & security
  • Whiteboards and pens
  • Cameras and technology – batteries, leads, cables
  • Scoresheet – starters etc
  • Time management
  • Communication with game and venue staff – where to go, at what time, pre-game schedule & requirements

Staff roles in-game –

Who monitors and manages?

  • Fouls
  • Time-outs – ours and theirs
  • Match-ups
  • Minutes/load management
  • Substitutions
  • Possession arrow

Strategy and “policies” –

Have you defined with your players and coaches your thoughts, rules or “policies” around these elements?

  • Time-outs
  • “Dead ball” situations
  • Substitutions
  • Changing defences
  • Two for one opportunities
  • Impacting tempo/pace of play
  • After time-out (ATO) situations
  • Free throws
  • Screen defence– away from the ball & on the ball
  • Defending specific action – Flex, Shuffle etc

Other aspects to consider when mapping out your game management strategies – 

  • What do you value?
  • Do your players and staff know?
  • Is there a level of consistency in your in-game approach?
  • Does the scoreboard impact your approach?
  • Structure of time-outs – one voice or collaborative?

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