Round Table 18

Welcome to the eighteenth edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table will feature our All-Star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question.  A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month.

June’s Round Table question is:  What is your process for creating a practice plan for your team or an individual workout for a player?

Our Coaching Lineup this month:

  • Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
  • Joe Harris – Lake Chelan (WA) High School
  • Bobby Jordan – Wagner College (NY)
  • Nate Sanderson – Thrive on Challenge
  • Mark Schult – University of West Georgia
  • Don Showalter – USA Basketball
  • John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
  • Joe Stasyszyn – Unleashed Potential – Carlisle, PA
  • Todd Wolfson – St. Francis (CA) High School

Please enjoy this Round Table episode of the Hoop Head Podcast and once you’re finished listening please give the show a five star rating and review. Make sure you’re subscribed to the Hoop Heads Pod so you never miss an episode.  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, & YouTube.  If you haven’t already, please tell a coaching colleague or friend about the Hoop Heads Podcast so they can listen and learn from some of the best minds in the game!

Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!

Subscribe to the Hoop Heads Podcast Here

Become a Patron!
  • We’re excited to partner with Dr. Dish, the world’s best shooting machine! Mention the Hoop Heads Podcast when you place your order and get $300 off a brand new state of the art Dr. Dish Shooting Machine!
  • Coaches, we’ve teamed up with Coach Tyler Whitcomb so you can now purchase his exclusive new playbooks right from the Hoop Heads Pod website.  If you’re looking for ways to improve your team next season these playbooks blend affordability with the quality content that serious coaches are looking for.

Just visit in and you’ll find playbooks from

  • John Calipari of Kentucky
  • Leonard Hamilton from Florida State  
  • Mike Young of Virginia Tech

Check out these great resources at

  • Last year at the Jr. NBA Summit I came across an amazing company called iSport360 and its Founder Ian Goldberg.  Their youth sports app gets coaches, players and parents on the same page. Your team can set goals, share player feedback, training videos, sticker rewards, player evals and practice assignments.  All to foster healthy team communication and culture.  iSport360 is giving away its app all season long to every team that needs a virtual way to stay connected, stay active and strong: share training videos, practice assignments, sticker rewards and teammate chat in the virtual locker room.  Get your team set up here or you can request a demo for your club here.

Being without basketball right now is tough for all of us, so we’ve partnered with Pro Skills Basketball  to offer you a 50% discount on their Ultimate Shooting Guide & Video Program that will put players on a guided path to becoming the best shooter they can be. With ONE YEAR’s worth of workouts that include drills, games and competitions, players will gain access to a blueprint showing them what it takes to become an elite-level shooter.  If you’re looking to improve your shooting at home, this program can help.  Visit to check it out.


  • A comprehensive 30-page e-book with tips on shooting form, body control and developing a shooter’s mentality
  • A year’s worth of daily assignments
  • Access to videos that explain daily assignment drills
  • Email reminders helping players stay on track


If you enjoyed this episode with our all-star lineup of coaches, let them know by clicking on the links below and sending them a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Erik Buehler on Twitter!

Click here to thank Joe Harris on Twitter!

Click here to thank Bobby Jordan on Twitter!

Click here to thank Nate Sanderson on Twitter!

Click here to thank Mark Schult on Twitter!

Click here to thank Don Showalter on Twitter!

Click here to thank John Shulman on Twitter!

Click here to thank Joe Stasyszyn on Twitter!

Click here to thank Todd Wolfson on Twitter!

Click here to let Mike & Jason know about your number one takeaway from this episode!

And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at


[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Welcome to the 18th edition of the coach’s corner round table on the hoop heads podcast. Each episode of the coach’s corner round table, we’ll feature our all-star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question. A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month. June’s Round Table question is, What is your process for creating a practice plan for your team or an individual workout for a player?

Our coaching lineup this month includes EricBuehler from Chatfield High School. Joe Harris from Lake Chelan High School. Bobby Jordan from Wagner College, Nate Sanderson from Thrive on Challenge Mark Schult from the University of West Georgia. Don Showalter from USA basketball, John Shulman University of Alabama-Huntsville,  Joe Stasyszyn,  Unleashed Potential and Todd Wolfson from St. Francis High School.

Please enjoy this round table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast. And once you’re finished listening, please give the show a five star rating and review. Make sure you’re subscribed to the Hoop Heads Pod. [00:01:00] so you never miss an episode. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and YouTube.

If you haven’t already, please tell a coaching colleague or friend about the who peds pod so they can listen and learn from some of the best minds in the game.

Eric Buehler Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.

Erik Buehler: [00:01:22] Hey, what’s going on Hoop Heads Nation. This is Eric Buehler with Chatfield Senior High School.

And this month’s round table. We were asked what’s our process for developing our practice plan. And I don’t think ours is anything special, but I will share kind of what we go through and. And how I like to drop the practice on a regular basis.  I w we’d like to go back and we want to kind of deconstruct,  what we need to work on,  what we need to improve, what we need to.

 kind of sharpen [00:02:00] and, and, and continue to get better at things we’re, we’re trending in the right direction, but we’re not quite where we want to be with yet. And we want to implement those into our practice.  we get a lot of that from the previous game,  watching film and obviously what our scout is for the upcoming team.

We also. We also want to look at if we’re, if we’re not having success at something, what can we do to break down that skill that we’re not succeeding at in the game? They might be a defensive one offensive one.  shooting ball, handling,  passing, catching things along those lines. And then we want to implement those into our practice.

And it’s definitely a learning process even year to year and month to month and practice to practice of what that looks like. Because,  as we all know, a lot of us know that some of our best drills are. Kind of just made up on the spot or they’re made up the day before and,  they work and we reuse them and we use them and use them and use them.

[00:03:00] And then sometimes they don’t work and we throw them, throw them away and we come up with something else the next day.  but I think being willing to look at where your failures are, With your team and in your practices is a huge piece of advice that I’d like to give. And that goes for the same. When we are looking at building up individuals in our program, we want to kind of look and see where they can have success with their, their abilities and what they can improve on and what their goals are.

And then we kind of go from there. I hope this helps. And everybody out there stay safe and talk to you soon.

Mike Klinzing: [00:03:35] Joe Harris Lake Chelan High School, Lake Chelan, Washington.

Joe Harris: [00:03:45] Hello, this is Joe Harris.  This month’s round table question, what is your process for creating a practice plan for your  team? I believe there are two questions. You ask yourself as a coach when planning, practice or workouts. One, when you write that plan, preparing, I believe begins to tell your practice. I feel planning should take place while things are really fresh in your mind. Maybe later that evening earlier in the day, even after practice, you need to include the other coaches in your program.As you can look back at what worked and what challenges you’ve faced, these are very helpful tools, really? When preparing your team for the next day. The other question, why do you write your plan?

You need to be intentional with your plan as having an idea where you want to go. And I always believe that you begin your day with some sort of fundamental breakdown and take it from there and your practice planning, making quality time to sit down and think through what your purpose and plan will be to help your team improve.

I feel is best when things are done with the freshness in your mind and that of your assistance. Thanks and hoping this helps some of you who are listening to podcasts.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:02] Bobby Jordan Wagner College, Staten Island, New York.

Bobby Jordan: [00:05:08] When creating a practice plan, the first thing I think you need to do is review.You need to review what you did the previous day. If it’s before the season, and you’re looking at, you know, some preseason practice Plains to develop a look at, look at. Plants from last year, things that you might’ve written down, that you can do better, but I think you always need to review and improve on the next day.

There might be something that you did feel your team did well the day before. And you want to add it again and that leads me to my second thing is you need to add things you need to constantly. The adding things to your practice plan,  that are applicable to your team at that point of the season.

If it’s an early season practice, when it might be more player [00:06:00] development focused,  if it’s an easy season practice plan, it might be more. Game planning that you need to do for the upcoming opponent. The third thing that I like to think about when creating a practice plan, it is adapting throughout the season.

You’re going to play teams that play different styles.  and you’re going to need to adapt on the fly with your practice planning. That could mean going over flex offense one week to prepare for a team,  and then maybe go over the dribble drive the next week. Get ready, get ready for an upcoming opponent from a defensive standpoint.

 so review at an adapt are a couple of the sayings that I like to think about when getting ready to do the practice plan.

Mike Klinzing: [00:06:50] Nate Sanderson Thrive on Challenge.

Nate Sanderson: [00:06:56] Hey Mike, this is Nate Sanderson from thrive on challenge. And I’m going [00:07:00] to answer this question here about practice planning. From a pregame perspective. So how do we go about preparing for an opponent and building our practice plan the day before? Well, the first thing that we typically open up with besides our typical stretching routine and a little bit of get to know you at the beginning of practice here with our players, getting a chance to interact is we’re going to get some shots up early.

Obviously the most important factor in a winning and losing is. Can you make shots and do too often in my past, I’ve always put shooting at the end and then we get caught up in trying to scheme and trying to get everybody’s set plays in and we don’t get to the thing that’s most important in winning and losing.

And that is shooting. So we’re going to start there. Then the second question I ask when I’m starting to build the practice plan is how are we going to lose the game? In other words, if I look at our opponent and I say, well, if we can’t break the press. Nothing else is going to matter if we don’t know how to handle this one, three, one trap, or if we can’t guard this particular opponent, or if we can’t identify this shooter, we make a list and put it at the [00:08:00] top of the practice plan of the ways that we lose.

And we prioritize those as to what is most important for us to be able to do, to be competitive in the game. And that’s the next thing that we would start to build into our practice. We would do that by creating some small sided games to practice some of those actions or some of those situations. Then the next question.

The third thing that we ask ourselves is how is our opponent vulnerable? In other words, if they’re playing a two, three zone, if they’re playing an aggressive man to man, if they are going to press us, where are the vulnerabilities? And a lot of times we’ll look at film and see how other teams have been successful scoring against them or breaking their pressure or shutting down their offense, whatever it might be.

And again, we’ll try to create some situations or scenarios and small sided games to work on and get repetitions in. Those areas where we think that they’re vulnerable. Now, the fourth thing that we’ll consider here is what’s the style of play or the pace of play. What is the other team going to try to do to the game?

We’re not a team that typically is going to dictate a lot of tempo and [00:09:00] style, but we want to be a little bit more flexible to be able to adapt to whatever our opponents are going to do, because we see so many different styles of play. And so for that, we might get up and down and three possession games or five possession games.

Just trying to simulate in a five on five. Is it going to be fast? Is it going to be slow? Are they going to be delivered? Are they going to extend just to get a feel for what the game is going to be like? And finally, we try to wrap up the end of our practice with some live five on five up and down two minute, three minute, four minute games where our scout team is trying to replicate as much of those things that we’ve talked about in film and the scouting report and worked on in our small sided games to put it all together.

Again, trying to build that flight simulator, that experience of what we expect it to be like,  and be able to work through some of those situations in a live setting at the end.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:53] Mark Schult University of West Georgia.

Hey guys, Mark Schulte here with the University of West Georgia. Thanks again for having me on the show,  process to create a practice plan for team or individual account for player. I think the most important part with, with all the skill work and player development stuff you do.  is that it fits within your office.

You know, you want to work on moves from, from spots on the court,  where that player or players are going to get the ball. You know, the whole idea of, of the skill development is it needs to be in tune with your audience.  so you’re taking game like shots and. Most importantly at, at game speed.  so whether it’s a practice plan for the whole team, you know, or an individual, if your team runs,  a lot of ball screens on the wing, then, then that’s what you have to try to emulate.

You know, and there’s, there’s a million ways to do it. If you want to do it with cones or with a manager [00:11:00] or with a garbage can as, as the screener.  all that’s good, but the most important thing is that the shots are as close to, to gain like as possible.  both in terms of the positioning on the court and especially in terms of the speed.

Thanks guys.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:20] Don Showalter USA Basketball.

Don Showalter: [00:11:26] Hi Don Showalter here from USA Basketball and the process for creating a practice plan.  starts long before that day’s practice.  really over the summer, I go through the practice plans that are,  that I had for last year and look at the notes I took after each practice that really helps in getting a new practice year going.

And then I think the practice plans themselves. I look at those and see what went well, what did not,  but I think it’s really important that you, as a coach,  evaluate your practices and see how you can make them [00:12:00] much more streamlined, make them better for the players.  remember I always say that,  Players don’t have bad practices.

Coaches do. So if you have a bad practice, I think you look at that practice plan. See what you brought to the practice. If you didn’t, if you brought enthusiasm and energy and passion, your players will feed off that as well. The other thing in a practice plan itself, I usually go in thirds. One third is.

Skill development. One third is working on whole offense. One third is working on whole defense and obviously the whole offense that whole defense part can be three on three, four and four, five on five work as well. Hope this helps and good luck. Thank you,

Mike Klinzing: [00:12:45] John Shulman University of Alabama-Huntsville and the 720 Sports Group.

John Shulman: [00:12:51] This John Shulman at UAH and the question is what’s the process for creating a practice [00:13:00] plan for your team?  pretty good question. Very in depth question.  I would say there’s a few parts to this deal. The first thing that I try to do.  it’s probably, I don’t know, beginning of the season,  way before the beginning of the season, have an idea of what you want to accomplish the first week, the first two weeks, the first three weeks, the time, whatever that time may be before you play your first game.

What do you want to get accomplished?  I would do the whole thing first and then I start breaking it down into weeks and then you start breaking it down to days.  the problem is you may think that you can get through a few things. On day one and day two. And,  you may not be able to do that. So you gotta be organized, very organized, and then you’re going to have to be very flexible.

I think organizations the key, but I think being flexible, maybe even more important than being organized. [00:14:00]  so I think you’ll have to be flexible with that. I will say this also,  the slower you teach, the faster they grasp. And the faster they learn. So don’t be in a hurry,  be slow, be methodical, be thorough, and, and your kids will pick things up.

Pretty good. I have a notebook that I have offensive thoughts on one side and defensive thoughts on the other side that I carry with me all the time. And these are the stuff that I want to put in.  so when you’re watching a game, you’re watching film, do whatever start having a notebook. Put the things that you want to put in and then go daily and then be ready to, what do you want to put in?

Do you want to put it in that day?  how do you want to start practice?  how do you want to end practice? What do you want to get accomplished?  in practice? And so that’s the whole deal is what do you want to get accomplished? How much time do you think it, you know, Preparing a [00:15:00] practice plan takes many, many years to perfect.

I’ve been coaching for 33 years and I don’t even think I’m close, but I do like I do like where I am now than it was early in my career. We do a lot more competitive things in practice. I think kids enjoy it more. I think you got to have practice at kids. Want to come, come to instead of dreading the whole day.

 but I do think you’re going to have to,  You gotta have a process, whether it be the night before,  when I’m watching film,  on a practice or a game, I’m writing notes down and I’m putting those notes in a general term on,  on my, on my sheet, on my, in my notebook. And so do I need to work on boxing outs more?

Or are we struggling boxing out? We struggling passing the ball was struggling, shooting the ball. We struggling offensively or defensively, then try to fix it. And that’s what you do.  in practice. So what do you want to get [00:16:00] accomplished?  I should tell you, it should take about 10 to 20 minutes for me to figure out if I was coming to watch you practice what you stand for and what you believe in.

 there’s a lot of things that go to this. How do you start a practice?  do you start by stretching? Are you just walking out there and getting ready to roll? I think those things are vital.  when you take a break, are you, are you spreading from drill to drill? Do you do drill? Are you a great drill team?

Are you a great playing team?  I think you can drill too much and I think you have to do some drills,  to understand some basic fundamentals of the deal. How much are you shooting? I used to not shoot any. Now we shoot an awful lot in practice. So how much are you shooting? What I try to do is I have a notebook besides the other one.

I just write down and jot down things that I want to work on. And, and then I put a time beside of it.  and then I count up my time and if you [00:17:00] can practice two and a half hours, then you know, you should be going up 150 minutes.  And you can ride a little time beside each, each one of you things, and then you just, then you got to organize it and you have to organize it.

Are you standing too much? You cannot.  be running and then have to stand and teach and then run again. And that you can lose your team and you can lose. You can have a bad practice and not be because of the players. You can have a bad practice because you made a bad practice because your timing with everything is bad.

So you gotta think about everything.  when you come back from break, what are you doing? Coming back from break?  don’t stand them and then run them. And instead of them again, and then run them and then talk too much and teach and then expect them to have great intensity. It ain’t going to happen. So a lot of things that go into this that I try to do my practice plan the night before.

 I don’t do it the morning of I do it the night before I work on [00:18:00] it. And it may take me an hour to an hour and a half to do a practice plan, maybe longer, maybe shorter.  but I think he’d really got to have an idea and I really think you have to devote some time and effort into this,  to be as good as you, you want to be.

I hope this helps. Thank you,

Mike Klinzing: [00:18:18] Joe Stasyszyn, Unleashed Potential – Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Joe Stasyszyn: [00:18:25] Joe Stasyszyn, Unleashed Potential. This month’s question is what is your process to create an individual workout for a player? First of all the first thing I think you need to do is, you know, develop a little bit of rapport with the player or trust.

 I think it’s very, very important just for the player to get buy in. They need to know your background. You need to, you know, develop,  just a little bit of communication with them.  talk to them about their strains, talk to them about their weaknesses, talk to them about things that they would like [00:19:00] to improve on.

 maybe even sit down with them and look at some, and you know, if you have some game film or footage of, of when they played.  last or during the last season, maybe take a look at that and just go over that with them. But I think first of all, I think to get buy in, they really have to trust you. And, and, and there has to be a reason why you do things.

So I think once you sit down with them and you come up with a plan, you have, you have to talk to them about why you’re, you’re going to do some of the things that you’re going to do it. Can’t just be about taking the player out there and just putting them through a bunch of. Just different drills with no rhyme or reason, just work them hard to the point of exhaustion.

I mean, you could run them around the gym for an hour and do that and not really accomplish anything. So there has to be a real detailed plan. A when I was a coach of a team, I always had a very detailed plan and the same goes for an individual. [00:20:00] A player when you were training an individual player or working out an individual player, that there has to be a detailed plan.

And I, and I also think that,  I really believe that there has to be certain things involved in every, in every a workout, the obvious skills and a non-obvious skills. I come from a background of training players to be basketball players and not just training for position.  So obviously,  if they are maybe a post player, they still would work on all the different skills that you do with all basketball players, but you might be able to branch off then and do some specialized posts, post drills, or things like that, sometime in the workout.

But the main thing in the workout is, you know, there has to be the obvious, like I said, obvious, and non-obvious so, you know, a lot of times in, in, in training people forget about the post entry or they forget about, you know, working on, on cutting, which is a skill making violent cuts. So there has to be [00:21:00] a wide variety of skills.

And one thing that you could do is find something that they’re good at and try to make them great at it. So third, if they’re a good shooter is try to make them a great shooter and. You know, obviously still work on the other skills, but just maybe, you know, concentrate on one area that they want to be great in.

And I think that’s a, that’s a good route to go also. And then,  you, you know, you always need to have some kind of contact in there. You have to make a game like. And when I say that maybe I’m having contact when they’re going to the basket, maybe having contact when they’re making a cut, all those things.

Also, I’m very big on combination drills to make it more. Game-like also,  combining like some offensive. Movements as well as defensive movements into a shot, a combination type of drills I think are very, very important because in the game they go very quickly from being from offense to defense. So I think the more that you can do of that, the better [00:22:00] also, but at the end of the day, they also need to have some type of competition.

Now, when you’re working out an individual player, that competition can be so many makes counting and makes, could be based on time.  you have to create a sense of urgency in your workouts. When you’re training on an individual player or, you know, for a team also as a, as a coach of a team, you would also have to do that.

So I think there has to be competition of some type in there where they’re going against themselves, if you’re working with an individual player, because I think that really what I call raises the level of concern.  there, there are drills that we do. That sometimes you have to make a certain amount of shots at a spot.

And if you don’t, you go back to start. So I think that creates pressure situations that you also need to have in your, in your workouts with the player,  to simulate game, game conditions. And,  couple of things, when we train players, we always tell them they can’t be bored and they can’t be tired. And what that means is it goes back [00:23:00] to the why.

Okay. You ha you have to, you have to make sure that what you’re doing is going to directly transfer to the game. Okay. Now I would include as a skills develop, that would include some decision making. So also in your, in your workout process for a player you need to, after they develop a certain level of skill,  you need to have some decision making in, in their workouts also to simulate,  types of game actions that they do.

And then the last thing I’ll say is, you know, a lot of times that I’m working with a player, we also incorporate, you know, what. Movements that they make in their offense. Maybe it’s a high school player or a college player. And I talked to them in advance about,  what kind of actions do they get out of their offense?

So I think you can develop drills to work on different actions that they get out of their offense. I think that is very important also. Because now, now you’re directly simulating and trying to enhance the skill that they’re going to get when they go back to their, to their high [00:24:00] school or college coach.

And then, and then one more thing I think is very, very important is talk to the, talk to the coach. You have to have an open line of communication with the coach and talk to the coach and get their input on in terms of what areas the player needs to work on, what they would like to see.  I just think that that’s very, very important, especially when you’re working with an individual player that maybe is not your.

Is not on your team or something like that, because you’re a, a player development coach that you need to have an open line of communication with with their high school or college coach or a middle school coach, whatever it is just to show that you’re working with them and not against them. I just think that that’s, that’s very important.

So we always make sure that we, that we do that. So hope that gives you some idea on the,  the process that I would use. Thank you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:24:52] Todd Wolfson St. Francis High School. La Canada, California.

Todd Wolfson: [00:24:58] How are you doing this is Todd [00:25:00] Wolfson. I’m the head basketball coach at St. Francis High School, which is in La Canada, California, right outside Pasadena, California.

And the question I’m gonna answer is about creating practice plans for our team and how I’ve done it in the past is I have a folder on my computer. That has our practice plans saved every year. And when practice one starts, I pull up that practice one from last year and I’m constantly editing and changing in adding.

So I have some idea where we are as a team where we are as a program and where we are in our timeline to get ourselves ready for, for game one.  I think it’s easier when you save your practice plans and you can modify, you can go back and if you have days where. You know, you don’t, you need a drill or you kind of wonder, am I ahead?

Am I behind, you know, those practice plans kind of give you a timeline of past years so you can bounce your ideas off of those [00:26:00] practice plans to try to find out where you are on your timeline to get your team ready to go. It seems like a simple. Simple tool, but it’s really helped myself kind of just stay organized and stay on top of things and make sure I’m not, you know, running behind and, or, or forgetting any topics or any.

 pieces of, you know, defensive information, offensive information that I might forget.  it kind of gives me that checklist to stay on top of things. So there’s that constant flow of information coming in and we’re not missing any topics,  before game one, hoping that we can use these practice plans this year.

 but the COVID-19, you know, might throw that. Whole rhythm off, but we’re going to do our best to, to make sure we follow those and, and ensure we have a great season, hope everyone is doing, doing well and staying healthy. And,  thank you very much.

Mike Klinzing: [00:26:49] Thanks for checking out this month’s Hoop Heads Podcast Round Table.

We’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coaches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *