Round Table 28

Welcome to the 28th 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.

April’s Round Table question is:  How do you design your offseason plan for improving your team and your individual players as the season comes to an end?

Our Coaching Lineup this month:

  • Erik Buehler – Chatfield (CO) High School
  • Joe Harris – Chelan (WA) High School
  • Mark Schult – University of West Georgia
  • Don Showalter – USA Basketball
  • John Shulman – University of Alabama Huntsville
  • Bryce Simon – Motor City Hoops Pod
  • Joe Stasyszyn – Unleashed Potential
  • Lee Swanson – Bunker Hill (NC) 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 Podcast, Player’s Court, Bleachers & Boards, The Green Light, Courtside Culture and our team focused NBA Podcasts: Cavalier Central, Knuck if you Buck, The 305 Culture, #Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s: NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, The Wizards Hoops Analyst, Lakers Fast Break & At The Buzzer. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team. Email us if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.

Let’s hear from our coaches about how they design their off-season plan for improving their team and their individual players.

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If you enjoyed this episode let our coaches know by clicking on the link 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 Mark Schult on Twitter!

Click here to thank Don Showalter on Twitter!

Click here to thank John Shulman on Twitter!

Click here to thank Bryce Simon on Twitter!

Click here to thank Joe Stasyszyn on Twitter!

Click here to thank Lee Swanson 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] Narrator: [00:00:00] The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.

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Mike Klinzing: [00:02:10] Hello and welcome to the 28th 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 drops around the 15th of each month.

April’s round table question is, “How do you design your off season plan for improving your team and your individual players as the season comes to an end?

Our coaching lineup this month includes

  • Eric Buehler from Chatfield High School,
  • Joe Harris from Chelan High School,
  • Mark Schult from the University of West Georgia.
  • Don Showalter from USA Basketball.
  • John Shulman from the University of Alabama, Huntsville,
  • Bryce Simon from the Motor City Hoops Pod
  • Joe Stasyszyn from Unleashed Potential
  • Lee Swanson from Bunker Hill 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 Podcast, Players Court, Bleachers and Boards, The Green Light, Courtside Culture and our NBA team focused podcasts, Cavalier Central, Knuck If you Buck, 305 Culture, Hashtag Lakers, Motor City Hoops, X’s and O’s NBA Breakdown, Spanning the Spurs, LA Hoops, The Wizards Hoops Analyst, Lakers Fast Break and At the Buzzer. We’re looking for more NBA podcasters interested in hosting their own show centered on a particular team, email us if you’re interested in learning more and bringing your talent to our network.

let’s hear from our coaches about how they design their off season plan for improving their team and their individual players.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:11] Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.

Erik Buehler: [00:04:17] Hey, what’s going on Hoop Heads? This is Eric Buehler at Chatfield high school. And this month we were asked what our plans are or how we plan out our player improvement plans for the off season.  we look at a few things. I think the easiest thing to do is go back and look at film and, and reflect on kind of some of the shortcomings.

Maybe some of the players had. And make a list and a plan for each individual in your program and where you foresee them being and what the role might be for next season. And then right away, we talk to them about that right after the season in our exit interviews.  we, we not only look [00:05:00] at like their skills, but we want to develop their IQ and, and get them to understand and learn the game, not just have a new skill or be able to make more shots of dribble, better, something like that.

And it’s very different from the younger kids to the older kids, with our older kids, vid let’s say it’s a kid that’s going to be a senior.  we get very specific with two to three things that they need to improve on in order to have a significant role. Or have a role on our varsity team for the next season.

 and then our younger kids, it might be a lot broader. It might be just, you need to improve this on defense or these two or three things on offense or you’re on your, you could be this, but here’s what you have to do a, B and C to, in order to play that position.  we always like to include that leadership aspect, and that actually is a big part of our exit interviews, especially with our.

Juniors and [00:06:00] seniors, but also the kids that we see becoming those, those players that are freshmen and sophomores as they progress through high school we want to play a lot, but we also want to have our guys in the weight room in the gym, working on skills. And, and with that stuff, we, we, we shoot a lot.

We’re a shooting team. We want to shoot a lot of shots.  but we also want to put them in. A lot of two on two or three on three. And a big thing we were trying to do more this year is play more pickup because we want kids to try things and a safe space, so, so that they can try out the stuff we’re teaching them.

 that’s kind of what we do at Chatfield. And hopefully everyone out there is conclude their seasons and, and get ready for a much better summer. Talk to you later.

Mike Klinzing: [00:06:50] Joe Harris, Lake Chelan High School Lake Chelan, Washington.

Joe Harris: [00:06:56] Hello Hoop Heads. This is Joe Harris at Chelan High School with this [00:07:00] month’s round table question.

How do you design your off season plan for improving your team and your players? As the season comes to a close as coaches, we will huddle up and reflect on the season. Each of us putting our own thoughts together before we meet in the staff and talk about the things that went well and the things we can do to improve and how we can improve.

The season for your players should really end the way it starts. And that’s why communicating with your team. We ask each player a series of questions, what was the best and worst parts of our season? What can we do to improve as a team then you needed to speak with each returning player about their season.

You need to be totally transparent, include their strengths in their weaknesses, and then give them a chance to weigh in where they see themselves and maybe come to some common ground on needs for improvement. For your team and individual improvement, I believe it’s also important to give them a short list of the, to do things those they can do and those they should do for improvement as an individual.

[00:08:00] And finally, I firmly believe that you should reach out to those players who are graduating. Thank them for their commitment to your, to our program, to stay in touch.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:11] Mark Schult, University of West Georgia.

Mark Schult: [00:08:17] What’s going on guys. Mark Schult, University of West Georgia. Thanks for having me on the show. This month’s question off season plan for improving the team and improving individual players after the season. I think for the team, there’s two parts. I think the first thing you need to do is watch the whole season, you know, watch the beginning.

Well, watch the first couple of games. See, see what your weaknesses or strengths were and watch it game by game all the way to the end to see. See kind of how those changed.  the other part of, of team improvement has to do with looking at the stats, you know, comparing your percentages to where they were the previous year.

 and then comparing them to the top of your conference at the top of your league, the top of your main [00:09:00] competition.  I think from there, it’s a good way to, to kind of see your weaknesses, see your areas for growth, and then from there you kind of adjust your, your summer plan for them.

Individually.  I think you do the same thing for players. Take, take all their field goal attempts you know, put them into one edit, you know, so for your scores, that could be an hour longer for some other guys might just be 10 minutes, but watch all their field goal attempt from the first game. Last game.

 make sure they have that as well.  you know, and then from there you, you can kind of watch and, you know, write down what you see and you know, what is, what are they doing on mix? What are they doing on misses? What kind of shots are they making? What kind of shots are they missing too many.  and then scenario, you attack it, you know, you put together a plan to, to get into the gym.

 you know, if defense is a concern, a lot of times that the weight room, the foot footwork are ways to attack that.  you know, but, but that’s, that’s the most important piece, you know, after doing your study, after taking notes, after, you know, observing and [00:10:00] looking at the season or reflecting on it the most important pieces is actually getting into the gym and putting in the work consistently to improve.

I think that’s the best way to approach the off season for coaches and players. Thanks again.

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[00:11:00] Narrator: [00:11:01] Don Showalter USA basketball.

Don Showalter: [00:11:07] Don Showalter here from USA basketball. And for this month, we’re talking about what, what are you, can you do to set your team and individuals up for the off season? I think the first thing to do is provide opportunities for those players that, you know, whether it be open gyms out on it, Out on the basketball courts outside, but provide opportunities for them to work on their skills and maybe, maybe organize a group of kids together or, or you with them depending on what the rules are for your for your state and association.

So provide opportunities.  second thing is, I think. That you need to have a conversation with each player about what their goals are and then from what their goals are, I think you need [00:12:00] to kind of design how they can achieve their goals. So for example, if a player has a goal of, of shooting 50% from three point line, you know, how’s he going to.

How’s he going to accomplish those goals, why he needs to get in maybe a hundred shots, made shots of three point baskets each day.  but you, you need to sit down with him and work out how he’s going to achieve those goals, because a lot of players have, have goals that they want to set, but they have no really knowledge or desire of how to achieve those goals.

So I think that’s part of what you do as a coach, maybe.  say, all right, if you’re gonna, if you’re going to achieve this goal of, of being one of our best shooters, you need to be in the gym three times a week for, for an hour, a hour and a half making three to 500 shots.  that might be an example, or if a player tells you he wants [00:13:00] goal to be all conference, but yet he never shows up for anything.

 obviously he has no there’s a big gap there between what his goals are and how to achieve those. So as a coach, you need to really be tuned into their goals and then how, how they should accomplish that. And I think the last thing is just develop great relationships with your players. You know, some players.

 may not be a great player, but they’re, they’re going to have to help you out. And next year they’re going to have to be one of those glue guys, the tough guys, and so developing relationships with your players you know, let them know that, Hey, I’m going to be in the gym for an hour come over and we’ll work on your left hand, left hand, dribble a walk on your, your, your free-throws two point shots or whatever.

 and I think that’s really important that they see you as a catalyst for them to achieve their goals. And and build relationships. Thank you,

Mike Klinzing: [00:13:59] John [00:14:00] Shulman University of Alabama Huntsville, and the 720 Sports group

John Shulman: [00:14:05] This John Shulman at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.  The question this month, How do you design your off season plan for improving your team and your individual players as the season comes to an end?  you know, I’ve got a different thought of this especially this year you know, you start working in August. And you know, as a team and individuals and you know, you’re four hours on the floor and guys are playing pickup and you’re in a weight room and you work in and you go from August to September and it gets a little bit more serious.

And then October is practice starts. And November and December and January and February and March, if you’re fortunate, like we were this year, but just fortunate to be playing [00:15:00] and. I don’t, I don’t, I’m not a person that really believes in working, going nuts with your team in April and May.  I used high school.

I used high school and this is just a thought. I used the end of May when I was coaching in high school in June as my pre-season. So I thought that was very important to put in some stuff in May and June and, and play a bunch of games in June for team camp.  because I knew I was going to lose some football guys and I wasn’t going to have those football guys in my preseason.

So high school. People out there listening.  my thought is use may and June as your preseason put in your stuff in may, in June, and then be ready to play when you get back everybody.  in October, November, you know, in football with really it’s. If you got football guys, then you’re not going to get them back until at the end of November.

[00:16:00] But you know, to me, the, the off season in college is for getting better.  each individual, I don’t think you need to get better as a team. You need to get better as individuals in the off season.  I think you have to teach guys, what does that mean? Go workout. What does that mean? Does that mean just go get on a gun or does that mean, it really means to shoot the shots that you’re going to shoot during the season.

And to work on finishing and work on whatever shots that you, your team is going to want that kid to go make work on. Those shots, don’t work on 15 dribble moves that you’re never going to use.  it doesn’t make sense, so work on and get better, um what you need to get better on to help the basketball team.

 and then once I said, you know, like I said, High school. I think it’s different.  I think may and June are for the team.  but you always got to get better as [00:17:00] individual.  and I think college, you, you work on, you know, the individual and not as much for the team.  but that’s just my thoughts.

Everybody’s got a different. Thought, and that’s why it makes the game unbelievable and great.  some people force middle of defensive. Some people forced baseline. They’re both right? Some people play zones. Some people play, man. They’re both right. Some people work as a team. You know, the, the best coach probably I’ve ever been around is Rick Byrd.

And at Belmont he’s a hall of fame guide and Rick bird in the spring played a lot of golf and, and didn’t have his guys do a set. A workout. He just wanted them fresh for the next year. And he knew that he was going to recruit guys to work on their own. So don’t go crazy and don’t burn them out in the spring and the summer because games are won and needed to be one in March.

Hopefully this makes sense. Hopefully you’re ready for a great spring. Appreciate your time. Take care.

Mike Klinzing: [00:18:01] Bryce Simon from Motor City Hoops

Bryce Simon: [00:18:07] So when we start looking at our off season for our high school team, I think the first thing we do is look at the team as a whole first. And we look at how good we will be. And where does that put us in terms of, do we want to play, may be tournaments, which here in Kansas, those are pretty popular. Do we want to play in a summer league?

And what team camps do we want to go to? And I think essentially what we’re looking at is the level of what level of competition are, is our team ready for, from varsity or JV? Our freshmen, even down to our middle school. I know last year we had a really good middle school. So we took him to some bigger tournaments team camps this year.

They might struggle a little bit. So we’re gonna send them to a area summer league because that’s going to be more of their level. So on a team basis, we kind of look at how good we are and where we need to go to get the right competition. After that I feel like we look at our individuals. Second, the first thing we do is we look at their player roles.

I was just putting this together for our team the [00:19:00] other day, because they need to start playing this summer and the way they’re going to play during the season. And that might be vastly different from what their role was last year. So then you start doing that over the summer to see whether they can fill that role, get comfortable in it and make the mistakes that they’re going to make in those roles.

But with that said, we also encourage players to kind of step outside their game. And try things they’ve been working on. Maybe they’re able to do things w you know, we haven’t been given them credit for, but in general, you know, your, your guy that you want taking 20 shots during the year, you probably want him to start taking 20 shots in the summer.

So that way he starts to develop that mentality. And the other guys can work around him. We also have indivi individualized workouts. So again, we have a couple of guys, really good players. We’re going to work them out separately than the other guys, because they need to be working on shooting. You know, on the move off, off a pin, down in transition, one-on-one move where other guys are catching shoe straight line drives those types of things.

And so those workouts are a little bit separated, [00:20:00] but not those alone. We do have team workouts where everybody’s practicing together and we’re working kind of on our team concepts. And we can still get that comradery. We’re a pressing team, not just a team that presses, we press 32 minutes a night, no matter what.

So we work on our press. We work on our orphans, et cetera, and we do that as a team.  but we still want to get those individualized workouts in for guys. So those are kind of the two things we look at the team first, individual second, and come up with a game plan.

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Mike Klinzing: [00:21:14] Joe Stasyszynn Unleashed Potential – Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Joe Stasyszyn: [00:21:21] Joe Stasyszyn Unleashed Potential. This month’s question is how do you design your off season plan for individual player improvement at the end of the season since I am now primarily a player development coach and formerly a high school coach.

I work with players. In terms of improving their player development in the off season to get them ready for the next season. Three things I’d like to talk about. First is three things that we want to focus on and overall player development in the off season with, with my players, first of all, would be confidence.

[00:22:00] I think confidence is one of the greatest things that you can give someone in terms of enhancing their, their ability as a player.  the second thing is concentration, you know, paying attention to detail making sure when you’re doing player development and improvement in a player is trying to improve that they concentrate on the details.

 most of the great players. We’ll tell you the best of the best that they are great, because they have a great attention to detail. So concentration is a big one. And also the third one is repetition. I strongly believe that the best way to enhance skill development is to repetition, you know, and obviously doing things the correct way when you’re doing repetition in terms of skill development or player development.

So a lot of players feel like repetition is punishment. Repetition is not punishment. Repetition is something that the best do over and over and over again correctly. To enhance their skills. So [00:23:00] a couple of other general points before I go into more specifics for another thing I tell players in the off season is they need to master one or two shots that you will, that they will need it within their system, that they get out of their system, whatever position they play in the system will break down.

We’ll master one or two shots that they get out of the system that they’re playing in with their team. I think that’s very important, you know, overall shooting and all that is very, very good. But they need to get shots that they get out of their system that they play for. So I think that’s very important.

Second thing that we talk about as being great in your role, whenever their role is, they need to be great in that.  that’s something that a lot of players have trouble accepting and roles do change from year to year. But for the upcoming year, we’ll talk about what their role is going to be and how they can become great in their role.

And another thing that, that we do in the off season with player development is try to find something that they are very good at. And we work at becoming great at it. [00:24:00] So, what that means is it doesn’t mean that we neglect other skills that they need to work on, but we want to, we want to hone in or find that one skill that they are very good at and work towards becoming great at it.

Whether it’s shooting, whether it’s ball-handling, whether it’s a rebounding, whatever the case may be. And then a lot of times we will sit down with players. We’ll look at game film, we’ll look at videos from their past season. Look at some things that they did, right. Look at some things that they did wrong and look at some things that they needed to get better at.

And we’ll break some of that down and also you know, focus in on, you know, playing within their team and things that they could do better. I think that’s a very important part of player development in the off season also. So now I want to, I just want to go over like maybe 10 bullet points of things that regardless of where you play, that you can work on player development wise in the off season to make herself a better player.

I mean, there’s, there’s a huge, huge list. I try to break it down into 10 or so that, that you could [00:25:00] work on. First of all, is the overall maintenance of your shot. Okay. Maybe not changing a shot per se. But maybe adjusting your shot or tweaking your shot to make it better because a lot of players get very nervous when they see you adjust their shot, they think you’re changing their shot.

I think it’s important to show them or teach them that you are not changing your shot necessarily, but adjusting our shot, looking for some back action shots. So, you know, shots, it can get. Away from the ball by moving without the ball. I think that’s a lost art. So I think in any, any player in any system needs to work on some back action shots on things, on shots they can get away from the ball.

 number three would be improving their offhand game, obviously whether it’s, you know being able to finish with their left-hand or be able to shoot some floaters with their left hand and their right hand and all those kinds of things.  number four, Playing off of two feet finishes. I think this is one that is very undervalued today or [00:26:00] very under-taught players today.

Need to learn how to play off of two feet. I don’t think that is taught enough. You don’t see it very much.  so I really liked to work with players on that because it’s really important when they get to college or if they get into the pro ranks. So playing off of two feet. And a lot of players are playing under in a lot of these fields, a lot of pick and roll shots.

A lot of ball screens get a lot of ball screen action has just filtered down into high school.  it’s big and college is big in the NBA. So I think, you know, anyone needs to any player in the off season needs to learn in under a, the pick and roll situation. How to play off the pick and roll ball screen, and a six one would be shot fakes, pull up game.

 I also am a firm believer that on a perimeter, you should almost every time use a shot fake before you go into a pull-up or go to the basket. So that’s something that I like to work on with all players in the off season. Number seven, overall ball handling. You can never handle the ball too much.

You need [00:27:00] to learn how to handle the ball and be very strong with the ball. So there’s a lot you can do with that. And also with the overall ball hand injury, we can work. And also with a shot fake, not just for the pull up a shot, fake and quick penetration game, it may be working on your touch finishes.

That’s another I think a separator today and it’s very, it was very much under-taught teaching kids how to finish finish, um in front of the basket rather than using the back board. I know, I know in college that, that in the pros, that’s something that’s being worked on tremendously. And I think that’s something that could be great for high school players work working on their penetration game and touched finishes and number nine would be overall footwork.

Footwork is something that needs to be worked on daily. It doesn’t matter if it’s in season out of season. I know where we do player development.  with players, we include footwork every single day, every single day, you can’t work [00:28:00] on footwork enough. And this is another one that I think is very much under-taught and then the last one would be number 10 would be spot ups, just working on your spot of shooting.

I think that’s important too, because a lot of times in a game, the ball will get reversed and you’ll be able to catch and shoot. So working on a spot ups. So there are just some things that we really work on with players in the off season.  you can be specific, like I mentioned earlier to their system and you can work on these.

I think these things overall are things that need to be worked on daily in their, in their off season player development. Thank you very much.

Mike Klinzing: [00:28:36] Lee Swanson, Bunker Hill High School Claremont, North Carolina.

Lee Swanson: [00:28:42] I think the question of what do you have to do in the off season to improve your team and your individual players is always one that you have to wrestle with.

I think the first thing good coaches should do is take stock and what they did well.  the previous season and what they didn’t do well and kind of [00:29:00] look at the pieces that you have returning in the pieces that you have leaving and say, okay, what can we do? What can we replicate? Do we have a system that we’re going to keep doing?

Or is there some things we need to tweak? What are the positions of need at the high school level? It’s a lot different cause you, you’re not gonna be able to go and recruit necessarily something that you lost or at the college level, you may be able to feel your system a little more. So you may have to tweak how you do things.

Essentially I think the best thing you can do in the off season is improve your individual players.  and I would tailor my workouts around whatever I was trying to run.  if I value the three point shot and I value finishing the paint that I would value my skill sessions to, to look like those things are gonna look in the game.

So I think if you can increase your shooting percentage, increase your skill level your kids can fit into what you do. So I think in the off season, we’ll be. Can we get better as individuals, if we all can get 10% better, 20% better than as a team, we’re going to be in much better shape to be successful the next season.

So [00:30:00] that’s kind of how I looked at the off season.  at the end of the day, it’s really a lot on the players, as much as on the coaches to spend time in the gym and get better on their own, if they want to be the player that they hoped to be.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:12] Thanks for checking out this month, Hoop Heads Podcast Round Table, we’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coaches.

Narrator: [00:30:24] Thanks for listening to the hoop heads podcast presented by Head Start Basketball.

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