Welcome to the 26th 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.
February’s Round Table question is: What do you try to accomplish in your pre-game talk?
Our Coaching Lineup this month:
- Jamy Bechler – Success is a Choice
- Bryan Bender – Southwest Mississippi Community College
- Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
- William Payne – SUNY – Adirondack
- Nate Sanderson – Thrive on Challenge
- Don Showalter – USA Basketball
- John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
- Lee Swanson – Bunker Hill (NC) High School
- Todd Wolfson – St. Francis (CA) 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. If you are a basketball coach at any level please check out our Hoop Heads Coaching Mentorship Program. You’ll get matched with one of our experienced Head Coaches and develop a relationship that will help take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
And don’t forget to check out our Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows including Thrive with Trevor Huffman, Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Player’s Court, Bleachers & Boards, The Green Light and our team focused NBA Podcasts: Cavalier Central, Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture, Blazing the Path, #Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s: NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, The Wizards Hoops Analyst & At The Buzzer. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.
Let’s hear from our coaches about what they try to accomplish in their pre-game talk.
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TRANSCRIPT FOR ROUND TABLE 26 – WHAT DO YOU TRY TO ACCOMPLISH IN YOUR PRE-GAME TALK? – EPISODE 432
[00:00:00] Narrator: [00:00:00] The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.
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This episode is brought to you by The Ready State virtual mobility coach. Dr. Starrett is a movement and mobility coach for players in the NFL, MLB NHL and NBA. Plus a doctor of physical therapy. Kelly has created a program called virtual mobility coach. Every day, virtual mobility coach gives you guided mobility videos.
It walks you step-by-step through Kelly’s proven techniques to relieve pain, improve range of motion and improve performance. Try it completely free for two weeks. And if you decide to continue, you can get 10% off for life using promo code HoopHeads10. Visit the ready state.com/hoopheads and use code HoopHeads10 at checkout.
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Hello and welcome to the 26th 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 coaches corner round table drops around the 15th of each month.
February’s round table question is, “What do you try to accomplish in your pregame talk?”
Our coaching lineup this month includes:
• Jamy Bechler – Success is a Choice
• Bryan Bender – Southwest Mississippi Community College
• Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
• William Payne – SUNY – Adirondackn
• Don Showalter – USA Basketball
• John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
• Lee Swanson – Bunker Hill (NC) High School
• Todd Wolfson – St. Francis (CA) 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. If [00:04:00] you’re a basketball coach at any level, please check out our Hoop Heads coaching mentorship program.
You’ll get matched with one of our experienced head coaches and develop a relationship that will take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.
And don’t forget to check out our Hoop Heads Pod Network of shows, including Thrive with Trevor Hoffman, Beyond the Ball, The CoachMays.com Podcast, Players Court, Bleachers and Boards, The Green Light and our NBA team focused podcasts, Cavalier Central, Knuck If you Buck, 305 Culture, Blazing the Path, Hashtag Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, The Wizards Hoops Analyst, and At the Buzzer, we’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team, email us firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.
Let’s hear from our coaches about what [00:05:00] they try to accomplish in their pregame talk.
Mike Klinzing: [00:05:06] Jamy Bechler from Success is a Choice.
Jamy Bechler: [00:05:10] When it came to pre-game talks, I always had two, one was before the team went out to warm up and the other was after the warmup.
And just a few minutes before the game would start the one before the warmup was much more extensive. We’d have information written on the whiteboard, in the locker room, everything that we wrote on that board and everything we told them at that point was a reminder of what we’d been telling them every day, leading up to this game.
It was a reminder. It was their scouting reports, greatest hits, so to speak. We condense their scouting report into the few bite-sized pieces we wanted to emphasize before the game show. We wanted them to remember everything, but that’s probably not realistic with most players. What’s important now.
That’s what we wanted them to get. We want it to remind them of the absolute, most important key things. We didn’t introduce anything new. This wasn’t the time to teach it. Certainly [00:06:00] wasn’t the time to confuse. We would then answer any questions that they had before sending them on their way to do that warmup.
Now, once the warmup was finished and they came back into the locker room for their final minute or two of preparations, We’d have one, maybe two thoughts for them. And those thoughts were quick. This wasn’t X’s and O’s, this was motivational. This is why we’ll play well today. This is why we have confidence.
This is why we’re prepared. This is why it’s good. That’d be fun today. We want it to remind them of their belief in themselves and their belief in each other. Once again, we do not want to confuse, but rather we want to inspire them. At this point. Teaching is done during the week. Preparation is done during the week now.
Now’s the time to remind them of why today is going to be a great day. You deserve this now, go out, go out and earn it. And those were essentially our two types of pre-game talks. One is a reminder of what we’ve been teaching during the week. And the second was more motivational, really quick. Let’s go out, get done.
Mike Klinzing: [00:06:59] Bryan [00:07:00] Bender from Southwest Mississippi Community College.
Bryan Bender: [00:07:05] This is Bryan Bender, head basketball coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College. Thanks for listening today and allowing me to contribute to the Hoop Heads round table. Today we’re talking about the pregame warmups routines and different things that we do.
Even though we’re a junior college, we try and run our program like a division one. So everything we do from a preparation standpoint from scouting to pregame warmups are very important for us in our preparation, going into every game. I take great pride in our pre-game routine and our guys know what to expect.
So typically with 60 minutes prior to game time, we will start with a normal stretch. They have lines, we do post and perimeter shooting while other groups are doing while the posts are shooting. The guards will be doing ball handling, executables, things like that. And then they will flip.
And then they’ll come in about the 35 minute mark. And here is where we’ll talk about the scouting report only. So we’ll go through their top eight, nine, 10 players, what they are, we [00:08:00] color code it to help them remember. And this is just kind of a review. This is kind of like the study guide final study session before they go and take the test, the actual game.
And they’ve already watched film on them earlier the previous day, as well as walking through the day prior some of their plays and how we guard it. So we talk about their personnel, what they do, then how they score. Maybe they’re very good on the glass. Maybe they’re very good in transition.
Maybe they’re very good at running their sets. We’re pretty good at getting our play calls. My staff does a dynamic job of being detailed and getting these play calls and knowing how we’re going to guard each action. So we’ll review some of the main sets that they run, what they call them and how we’re going to guard them.
That will be man. Then we’ll do the same thing for zone. And then out of bounds, then we’ll talk a little bit about their defense. And this is delivered by my assistant. Once that’s complete, maybe we’ll review or touch on a few things that may have been missed or I think are very important, then they’ll go out and do the rest of that pregame routine.
I’m from 20 minutes about till ten-ish, then they’ll come in and they’ll put their uniforms on and they’ll stand for this portion. [00:09:00] This’ll be three to four minutes long max. We’ll go through the starting lineup. So review the top five players that are going to play. And we’re going to say, who’s going to guard who, so, okay.
Point guard. You got so-and-so remember he’s a shooter. He really likes to shot fake. And then you’re going into the rebounding responsibilities for that person. So you’ll be in the pit or you’re our deep guy, you’re our safety. And then our three, four, five will usually be our. Hey crash the glass on the offensive end.
So we’ll go through each of their five players. Then we’ll talk about what play we’re going to run. First. We usually ran that and shoot around as well. They know what’s coming just a review of what it is so we can be. And, you know, obviously if we win the tip and we can go score, we score off a turnover, but if it’s a set play or something, what we’re going to run a first play to try and get a basket, then we will talk about.
Typically, this is how we’re going to line up for the tip and things like that, and then keys to the game. So we’ll go through, it varies, you know, it’ll be anywhere from three to six keys. I try and break and teach in three. So, you know, offensively, Hey, these are the three keys. Defensively here are the three [00:10:00] keys. And then, you know, maybe one take-home point that has to do with some of our values or what I think will contribute to winning the game. So maybe it’s one of our core values is passion or humility or discipline. Hey, we gotta be really disciplined on the defensive end or on the offensive end we need to execute, you know, that will come down to one of our controllables effort, attitude, focus, or communication.
So focus will be a key or, Hey, our attitudes on the bench, the best bench of when, or, you know, we need energy from the bench that’s effort. We’ll talk about those things. We’ll say a quick prayer, and then we go out and we compete and then we review the first play in the tip right after starting lineups.
And we go and we talk about, Hey, this is the coverage that we’re in on a ball screen. You know, what defense are we in first play? And when we were pressing, maybe we were a man and just go and compete and give our best effort.
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:48] EriK Buehler, Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.
Erik Buehler: [00:10:54] Hey, what’s going on Hoop Heads? This is Eric Buehler from Chatfield Senior High. And this month [00:11:00] for the round table, we were asked, what do we try to accomplish with our pre-game talk? At Chatfield, we don’t really do anything special. I think we want to remind the guys of match-ups and key players, a few bullet points on what we want to do offensively and defensively.
And then we don’t really give like a pregame speech, but we do want to provide words of encouragement that the guys can feed off of and they can use as they’re playing every once in a while you have some bulletin board material, whether it’s from a rival team or something another coach said about our team, but for the most part, it’s all business and getting out there and executing what we need to get done.
Thanks for having me and everyone to stay safe.
Mike Klinzing: [00:11:50] William Payne from SUNY Adirondack.
William Payne: [00:11:54] Hey, Hoop Heads! This is William Payne head men’s basketball coach at SUNY Adirondack. [00:12:00] I have not chimed in, in a while. And so I thought that I would add to this round table question. My apologies for not being as active as I had been prior.
We’ll try to do a little bit better. And then that for you guys took on probably a little too much and get swamped sometimes, but straight to the question, for me one of the things that I’m always trying to really convey there in that pre-game talk is. Just that inspiration. I remind our players every single time, every game, how lucky they are to be doing what they’re doing how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to go out there and play how fortunate they are and have the opportunity to compete.
And it’s something that I’m always trying to convey, especially in the pregame. Yeah. Obviously want to ensure that everyone is aware of the game plan and where to be and the X’s and O’s sure, hat’s always going to be a part of it. But for me, I’m such [00:13:00] a, it’s bigger than basketball perspective, coach that I’m really just looking to inspire, fire the guys up, get them excited about playing the game and not saying that they shouldn’t already be excited, but just trying to keep that energy going, that outlook, that inspiration.
And so that’s always something that I’m trying to achieve during the pregame talk. And there are some times where. It’s not often, but occasionally I won’t even mention the game plan because I feel like we should have it down by that point. And I will literally just use that as a time to try to really get through to guys on various levels.
But some people think I’m crazy the way I approach that, but that’s how I go about it. I hope you guys are doing well. And look forward to jumping in on more of these. Thanks guys.
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Mike Klinzing: Don Showalter USA Basketball
Don Showalter: [00:14:51] Don Showalter from USA basketball. What are you trying to accomplish in your pregame speech to your players? I think the number one thing [00:15:00] is, you try to get them focused on just a couple of things. What I usually try and do is I write three goals on the board that we try and get a reminder that we want to play hard obviously.
But then also three things that we want to get from that. Maybe it’s a certain number of deflections in a game. Maybe it’s a certain number of rebounds, maybe a certain number of free throws. So when I come in at half time and come in at the end of the game, we can take a look at that and see how closely we come to achieving our goals.
So we want to be really focused on certain things to start out the game. I think that’s the best way to approach a pre-game talk.
Mike Klinzing: [00:15:38] John Shulman, University of Alabama-Huntsville and the 720 sports group.
John Shulman: [00:15:48] This is John Shulman head coach at the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Question this time is what are you trying to accomplish in your pregame talk before a game?
It’s a good, [00:16:00] really good question. Everybody’s got different ideas and thoughts. To me, I mean the rah rah talk is sometimes necessary. But it can’t be every game. You can’t have a Vince Lombardi, Knute Rockne talk before every game, because then it becomes kind of cheap, To me, just very simple, let’s portray confidence.
Let’s make sure they’re prepared that they’re organized. And that they’re just ready to play. I think the confidence part, you know, but that also a pregame talk doesn’t mean anything. If he hadn’t done anything in practice. So, I mean, if you’ve done what you’re supposed to do in practice and you’re ready to roll, just the pregame is going back over that. It’s the same thing. I’ve talked to our guys all the time about, have you ever gone into a test? Nervous and half of them raised their hand. I said, well, you’re not prepared for the test. Have you ever gone into a test where you’re not nervous? Yeah. Well, you’re [00:17:00] prepared. You’re ready for the test.
It’s the same thing as that. If you’re prepared, the, your pre-game talk should be very simple. And here’s what we’re doing offensively. Here’s what we’re doing defensively. We’ve left no stone unturned. We know we can box out. We know what we’re doing side OB under OB, look for your calls.
This is what we’re gonna do. First possession defensively, this what we’re gonna do first possession offensively, and now let’s go do what we do every day in practice and let’s do what we do and let’s be who we are. And I just think that the rah rah speech can help a little bit and that’s great.
But after everybody calms down, you got a whole basketball game to play. And so I just think you just got to portray confidence, but that really comes not with a pregame talk. It really comes with practice that you’ve been doing. But they’re looking at you for confidence, for security, for calmness.
Not for nervousness or getting too overly [00:18:00] juiced up now. I think you can get overly juiced up a couple of times a year. I just don’t think it lasts every single game. So this is what we’re going to do. We’re going to have success, and this is what we do. Let’s just do what we do everyday in practice.
We’ll be in great shape. Let’s go do this. That’s my thoughts. That’s my ideas. Hope it helps. And hope everybody’s having a safe and productive year so far, and we’re going to come out of this year soon. Appreciate your time.
Mike Klinzing: [00:18:28] Lee Swanson Bunker Hill High School Claremont, North Carolina.
Lee Swanson: [00:18:34] So as a team, we try to accomplish a few things in our pre-game talk. One would be just to go over any match-ups. We have go over what defense we’re going to start and what defense we might run, go over our keys to the game, what we’re trying to accomplish and offensively we keep it pretty simple. We try to run and go so our our offensive identity doesn’t change a whole lot.
Then I would just try to say a lot of times for [00:19:00] games we’ve got goals or themes, if it’s a team, we feel like that we should beat, or are more talented than, or maybe the game can be out of control. We’ll try to set some goals, whether it’s turnovers or how many rebounds that we’re going to not give up or give to, or just things that we can kind of help keep focused throughout the game.
Sometimes it may be as simple as, Hey, you know, how hard can we compete tonight, but I want to keep it pretty simple. Every now and again, you’re going to give one of those motivational speeches, but if you’ve got to give those 24 nights a year in the regular season, they become pretty ineffective.
So think coaches need to pick and choose. And I try not to overload them with too much stuff. If we’re not prepared 30 minutes before the game, then we’re probably not prepared. So I’m just keeping it simple, giving kids a chance to go in and just refresh what we’ve done. And then hopefully we’re ready when we take the floor.
Mike Klinzing: [00:19:51] Todd Wolfson St. Francis High School. La Canada, California.
Todd Wolfson: [00:19:57] This is Todd Wolfson, The head [00:20:00] coach at St. Francis High School, which is right outside Pasadena, California. And the question that I’m answering is, what do you try to accomplish in your pregame talks? For us, it’s all about mentality.
How we want them to think and how we want him to react. What they should be thinking, whether it’s, be serious today or the mindsets to be loose and have fun and just kind of challenge guys and things like that. Usually the game stuff is usually already in and talked about and gone over at shoot around or the day before in practice.
So for us mostly it’s just mentality and getting their minds right in where they need to be in the pre-game. Hope everybody’s doing well and staying safe.
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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.
Narrator: Thanks for listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast presented by Head Start Basketball