Coaches Onboarding

Preparing for Evaluations (Youth League Only)

It is our recommendation that Coaches print their divisions rosters from the Coaches Portal the morning of Evaluations or the night before. This will ensure that your list is as up to date as possible. This file will be found on the coaches portal under your respective grade. To download simply click on the csv button. Alternatively bring a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and something to write on.

Evaluations consist of 2 parts:
1. Dribble in layup and dribble in jump shot
2. Full court game

Identify the players that stand out in a good way. Anytime a player does something you find impressive (run the floor, great pass, nice drive, etc) make a note.
A suggested approach is to write the number of each player in order per group and use a tally mark anytime they do something you notice (good or bad). When preparing for the draft it is strongly encouraged to rewatch the videos and keep an eye on the players you already noticed to make sure they still ranked correctly.

Preparing for Drafts (Youth League Only)

Review the videos on the Coaches Portal

  1. Re-watch footage of your entire division and take notes on every player.
  2. Identify the top players in each group and make your own list with notes why a player stood out.
  3. Organize your picks in order to streamline the draft process.
  4. As players are called out you can simply cross the number off.
  5. Ultimately all players will be placed on a team so it helps to have every player identified in order

Please do not focus on drafting family friends. Coaches should draft a competitive team and pick up players in the round that makes sense.

Getting Setup to Communicate Effectively and Picking your Practice Time.

  1. Send out an Alert to your team that you are using the Chat Feature of TeamSnap for all communication. This will send both a push notification (if enabled) and an email to everyone that is selected.
  2. Message your team in TeamSnap using the Chat feature and ask for days that players are available. If you as a coach have a limited availability lead with the days you are free.
    1. Example: If you are only available Tues and Wednesday mention that to the team and poll the players to find a time that works best for the majority.
      Link on how to use messages:
  3. Identify the players that do not respond and send them a text or phone call and get them to respond in the chat.
  4. Once your time has been identified sign up for a practice time on the coaches portal (when the sheet goes live after the last draft).
  5. Add your practice in the TeamSnap scheduling tab
  6. Make sure your parents are updating the availability of each player. This will let you plan your practices accordingly
  7. If you have issues getting a hold of any players please contact SoCal Elite Sports as soon as possible. Best method is by emailing [email protected] including the name of your team and the player(s) that are not responding

Practice Strategies

Practice should be used to focus on simple team concepts. As a reminder this is a recreational league. Each coach has their own strategy and is free to deviate from the recommended topics below.

  1. Work on defense – All teams (with the exception of middle school) are required to play man to man in the 1st half. As such the first defense your team should learn is how to play man to man defense. Breakdown can be seen below. Recommended drills which can be found online include 1 on 1, Denial with V cuts, the Shell drill. If your team decides to focus on a Zone for the 2nd half spend the time to teach the strengths and weaknesses of your zone. Examples of zones include 1-3-1, 2-3, 3-2 or 1-2-2.
    1. On Ball Defense – between ball, man, with basket behind
    2. Denial (1 pass away) – in the passing lane with back to the basket
    3. Help (2 or more passes away)  – in the Key with back to the basket able to see both ball and man
  2. Overview of Offense – emphasis on team aspects. Players should learn how to get open without the ball, look to pass more than dribble.
    1. It is our recommendation to avoid focusing on specific plays. Concepts of how to get open and basic basketball skills are the most valuable aspect at a recreational level.
    2. Work on how to play against the following defenses and what to attack. Most defenses can be broken with fast passing and ball reversals (moving the ball around the perimeter from one side to another)
      1. Man to Man
      2. 2-3 Zone and where the Weak Spots are (middle)
        1. Sample offense is to setup in a 1-3-1 vs a 2-3 Zone
      3. 3-2 Zone and where the Weak Spots are (middle and corners)
        1. Sample offense is to setup in a 2-3 vs a 3-2 Zone
    3. Work on Shooting – Most players may not focus on shooting at all outside of your practice and game.

Sample Practice Overview for a Season

Week 1

  1. Start off with warmups and shooting – 2 lines to do layups with rebounding. Right hand layups, mid range jump shots, left hand layups, left hand jump shots. (5 min)
  2. 1 on 1 full court with the lane line (lines at the edge of the Key) as out of bounds. Offense is working on ball handling while Defense is working on pressure on ball. If offense gets by the defense they should stop and wait for defense to setup. 1v1 trying to score once at the 3 point line. (15 min) Key focus points
    1. Offense should dribble with the right hand when going right, left hand when going left – work on changing speed and direction
    2. Defense is trying to turn the offensive player
  3. Working on defense and getting open with 1v1 with coach or player initiating the pass. Offense does a V-Cut to get open or a backdoor cut to clear out. Defense is in denial trying to stop the pass the entire time, or if the player gets open on-ball defense playing live, 1 shot only. Rotate after each group. 1 line with offense to defense, defense off (10 min)
  4. Add a 2nd line to go 2 on 2 both sides limited to V cuts or backdoor. Focus on passing. (10 min)
  5. Shell Drill – Teach the concepts of proper man to man defense. On-ball, denial and help. Offense is stationary while defense is focused on communication. Rotate at least 1 spot so players learn multiple positions. (15-30 min)
  6. Depending on how well the shell drill goes this may change to a full court scrimmage. Add limitations to focus on team aspects (4 dribbles max, 3 passes minimum, etc)

Week 2

  1. Warmup same as week 1
  2. Spend time on shooting. Depending on age this can be proper shooting form or getting lots of shots up. (10-20 min)
  3. Recap of 2 v 2 getting open with V-Cuts but add Boxing Out and rebounding. Depending on grade you may add pushups if offense is able to get an offensive rebound. Play until a basket is scored or defense gets the ball (15 min)
  4. Recap of Shell Drill – lift limitations as players understand the concept better (20 min). If your team is advanced this could be changed to full court scrimmage but offense and defense must stay in the framework of a shell (5 out on offense). If players cut spots must be filled.
  5. Focus on beating a 2-3 Zone – Emphasize the weak points of a zone. Basic summary of all zone weaknesses are quick passes, ball reversal, and getting the ball into the middle (free throw line) or corners/short-corners. One setup is a 1-3-1 offense with a point, 3 players making a line with left wing, free throw line, right wing, and 1 player on the baseline moving from side to side. (30 min)

Week 3 and on

  1. Warmups similar to earlier practices
  2. Identify areas your team is struggling. Typical pain points are
    1. Transition Defense (or scramble defense)
    2. Running the floor and outlet passes
    3. Playing against a press
      1. This could be as either working on a press break (2 guard front is typical) OR on how to press as a team
      2. If you have another team to practice with consider combing to ensure you have enough players for offense and defense if the other coach is open to it
    4. Playing against man to man defense or a specific zone defense