Sometimes, at the end of a long basketball season, all a coach wants to do is get away and forget everything for awhile. Others feel an immediate loss and have a hard time finding something to do with the newfound freedom. Whether you decide to take a small vacation from it all or dive right into the next season, a Post Season Evaluation is needed sometime before you get too far into Spring.
Some questions you need to ask yourself include:
- What went well this past season? Did you meet your goals? Maybe even over-achieve? Was the season a success in your opinion? In the opinion of others? How can you continue with this year’s successes again next season?
2. What went wrong that needs correcting? Sometimes things just don’t go the way you had hoped. Why? Injuries? Illnesses? Internal problems? Lack of talent? You need to figure out what the main problems were and then figure out how to fix the situation before next season.
3. Go over your stats. What do they tell you? Hopefully you have good stat keepers and in depth stats covering many facets of the game. If not, that is something to work on for next season. Study your stats. What were your weaknesses? Turnovers? Poor 3- point shooting? Not enough rebounds? Low free throw shooting totals or percentages? Look over these numbers and see what they tell you.
4. Do you need to change your system? Offense? Defense? Culture? Pace of play? What will make you better next year? Different players will quite often require different schemes. Even when things go well and most of your team is returning, there are changes you can make to get even better. What are they?
5. What new players will be potential additions to next year’s team? The J.V. and Frosh players should already be well known to you. What about transfers or even the 8th graders who will be in the program next year? The best 7-8 players you may have can come from anywhere and any grade. Make a list of potential prospects and analyze your future strengths and weaknesses.
6. What kind of schedule do you want next season? Do you need to downgrade in a rebuilding year? Upgrade because you need a bigger challenge? Travel to some interesting places for tournaments? Always keep some flexibility from year to year and don’t commit too far into the future. And get started right away. Make your scheduling adjustments before everyone else is finished and it’s too late.
Some things to do:
- Meet with your players individually or in small groups. Your Seniors will give you more straight answers than your returners because they are older, more mature, and they no longer have anything to lose. Meet with them first and see what you can do for them in their futures too. College? College basketball? Whatever needs they may have. Then meet with the returners and get their input on the past season. What ideas do they have? What are their goals for next year? What are they going to do between now and next season to get better individually and as a team?
2. Gather your lower level coaches and other assistants for a meeting. Maybe have a postseason dinner at your home or a dinner out somewhere. Relax together, discuss the season, evaluate the progress of the program, seek suggestions for improvement, gather information about players that will be moving up to Varsity. Discuss your thoughts on possible changes to the system and future of the program.
3. Evaluate your League opponents for next year. Who will be the favorite? What teams will be the toughest competition? What will your team need to do to compete with the League’s best? If you will be a league favorite, look to the playoffs and see what you will need to do to succeed there too.
4. Are your kids involved in AAU? Are you? If your players are going to a particular AAU program for spring and summer, you should help them get to the right program. What programs have good training and real practices? Good game coaching? Affordable fees? And which ones teach a philosophy close to what you want your kids to learn? If your kids are going to be involved in these type of programs, you need to be able to advise them on which are best. They and their parents will choose which program they will go with, but you can help provide good information beforehand.
You, as coach, are evaluated by your administration, the parents, your players, and the news media. The end of the season is now the time to evaluate yourself and your program. Afterwards, you will be ready to start planning for next season and hopefully an even better one.