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  • Jack Fleming

Do You Have a Pre-Season Check List?

In order of priority, what are the things you need to cover before your first game?

As Stephen Covey said in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 2: begin with the end in mind and Habit 3: put first things first. People are working harder than ever, but because they lack clarity and vision, they aren’t getting very far. They, in essence, are pushing a rope with all of their might. They are majoring in the minors, spending time on insignificant things.

We can get trapped into filling our practice with all our new funky drills, then we get to the first game and our team doesn’t know who is supposed to inbound the ball. We are working hard at practice, but it’s not serving a purpose that is helping us prepare.

Have a vision for how your team is going to deal with problems, and the order for which problems you are likely to face.

Consider what is most likely going to get you beat, and in youth basketball these are usually the way teams get beat.

  1. Your players don’t know, like and trust each other.

  2. Pressing Defence

  3. Zone Defence

Here are some resources which might help you with your pre-season check list.

Here is my pre season check list, in priority.

  1. Parent Meeting

  2. Team Building Identity and ‘Get to Know You’

  3. Player Meetings

  4. Staff Meeting (should’ve had this first)

  5. Press Break

  6. Offensive Foundation = inbounding, home spots, penetration/post reaction, half court offence, BOB, SOB

  7. Zone Offence = motion and quick hit.

  8. Defensive Foundation = defensive transition, full/half court positioning, rotations, ball screens, off ball screens

  9. End of Game = need a 3, need a 2, how to foul, how not to foul.

  10. Change Ups = switching, trail trap, zone.

Fortune favours the prepared mind. — Louis Pasteur

Please let me know if I have missed anything, but hopefully this stimulates some thought towards your check list. How many practices do you have until your first game? Time to get to work!

Want to Connect?

If you would like to continue the basketball conversation, provide your thoughts or ideas please message me on Twitter @jackfleming1, comment or e-mail me at

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