Time-out has been called. 15 seconds on the clock with the ball placed side out closest to the bench. The players are sitting on the bench waiting for your call that will determine the outcome of the game. You already discussed strategy with the coaches to see if there any weaknesses from previous scout, or from the course of the game to exploit. It didn’t matter what the assistant coaches said because you already had the play drawn up in your head. Why? Because you were prepared ahead of time.

Over the course of your career you are going to be exposed to a variety of plays – continuity sets, side-outs, late-game, etc. Some plays you may be thinking, “Why do we run that play? It never works.” Write that play down. It may have been called at inappropriate times. Or maybe the style of play did not fit the makeup of that particular roster, but you should write it down. Then after you write down the play that never works, make sure you write down the 25 to 100 other plays that were used throughout the season. Being able to be an assistant coach, a volunteer manager, or GA gives you a court side view of an entire coach’s playbook (not including the opponent). All without the pressure of actually making the call. This is the opportunity to start to build your playbook, in addition to building an understanding for game-play management and strategy pertaining to specific situations. From all the coaching stops experienced on your climb to the top you will begin to develop a style of play matching your coaching philosophy and a go to play for every situation, so when that time-out is called and the game is on the line the calmest person in the huddle will be you.

To help get you started there is a great website I used during my first year coaching that offers free software for coaches to download and customize their own playbook. The software allows coaches to draw up animated plays/drills with space to the side to provide details breaking down each play/drill.  It is a great way to collect and organize plays/drill that you will be able to continue to refer back to throughout your entire coaching career. At the very least, it is a starting point to starting your own playbook or practice plans. Click the picture above to take your to the site, find it on the side under Other Helpful Sites, or hell click the link provided here.


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