Thoughts from the University of Florida Coaches Clinic

I found a pdf on-line of notes from the University of Florida Basketball coaches clinic… 78 pages of really good stuff!

Below are some of the things that really jumped out at me.

I will save and upload the complete set of notes as soon as I can.

University of Florida Coaches Clinic

University of Florida Coaches Clinic.

Doc Rivers – Boston Celtics

“Chuckisms” – Chuck Daley sayings….

–  Coaching isn’t about X’s & O’s, it’s about managing diversity and adversity.

Everyone wants to be coached, you just have to find the right way to reach them

You have to beat them in the first 6 seconds of the shot clock or beat them with execution.

Winning isn’t about being comfortable, it’s about stepping outside your comfort zone.

Doc Rivers – Boston Celtics (cont.)

Screening & Picking:

Screen/Pick the lower half of the defenders body, the back half of the defenders body – prevent the defender from going under.

Players must sprint into picks and screens to prevent help.  Sprint from pick to pick, screen to screen.

Dave Telep – Scout.com

Know what your program needs: not just “players.”.  What is good for your program?  Tell me (him) and then I (he) can help you.   You need a foundation and focus.  Be able to communicate your likes and dislikes to your assistants – if you can’t, your program lacks branding.

Build your relationships (in recruiting) carefully.  You can’t take a “What you got for me approach.”.  Relationships need to be mutually beneficial.  It’s hard to get information when you take this approach.

Jeff Goodman – Fox Sports

It’s important for coaches to do research on media members: read something written by the writer so you have something to talk about.  Have your players go up to a writer and introduce themselves.  Get to know them a little.  It’s harder for the media to hammer someone they like.

Make sure the players know: “Be friendly with the media, but don’t be their friend”.

How to foster a good relationship with the media:

Give them a personal “heads up” if you are putting out a press release.

If you take care of the media early, then they will take care of you down the road.

Mention a writer’s name when you get a chance.

Never be defensive with a writer, you won’t win against the media – ever.

If you have a more open door policy with the media, the less likely bad things will be written.

A writer is more likely to fight back if you go after him.

Always end things professionally.

If you are upset with a story, sit for a bit and let things simmer before you call the writer.  Call the writer directly, do not go to his editor or over his head.

Call them in a professional manner – don’t go after them.  Give them more information.

Steve Lappas – CBS College Sports

Motion Offense

Motion is a system.  If you commit to the system, it will become second nature to your players.

Reasons why he changed to Motion Offense:

It is easy to scout and shut players and set plays down.

There are 28 seconds to score after you get the ball over midcourt, so why not attack constantly.

Able to get right into Motion right out of transition, no breaks in the action.

Every player can be involved.

No matter what drill you are running, you can always be working on Motion offense.

Things he worried about with Motion offense:

Lack of control.

Shot selection, who’s getting shot – right guys getting shots.

Post player role in Motion:

Ability to pass and catch the ball

Every third pass in Motion should go through the post – high or low and look for high lows a great deal.

Work hard to keep the ball in the middle of the floor – prevents there from being a weak-side of the floor.


The more rules you have the more it will become a structured offense.

Trust your instincts – when your team is playing it, and you are watching it, you will be able to coach it.

If you throw 5 passes and everyone is moving, then you will score.

Players develop more when the are running Motion, forces them to think and read defenses while running.

A 4-Man who can shoot is critical to Motion.  Recruit a 4-Man who is a perimeter threat.  A guy who can still get you 6 rebounds, but will make 1-2 three’s a game.

When a guard passes the ball from point to wing there are seven possible things he can do:  DO NOT ALLOW these THREE things:

Follow the pass and set a ball screen.  Bad for spacing, never liked screening perimeter players with perimeter players.

(*Not sure I agree or like this one.  You can set up a good middle pick & roll on the switch)

Follow the pass for a DHO.  Poor for spacing.

Pass and stand.  Definitely can not stand.

Four things you MUST DO:

Screen away

Cut to the basket

Cut to strong side baseline

Replace yourself

*I would add: Fade Screen.  Good rule/teaching point:  Don’t worry about the ball, focus on how you are being guarded.

Work on hitting the screener in your breakdown drills, the screener is the forgotten man. Great screeners are always open.  When you hit them with passes, it encourages all players to be great screeners.

Tell players: the more great screens you set, the more shots you will get.

Perimeter players should always have 16-18 foot spacing.

Use dribble to:

Get to the basket

Get out of trouble: traps, etc

Improve angle for pass

Never cut into an occupied post.

Rules for screens:

Set down screens with your back to the ball

Set back screens with your back to the basket

Ball side post initiates screening action

3 moves to counter switching:

Replace yourself

Back door cut and roll back.

Slip screen

Eddie Fogler

You must develop a positive relationship with your AD.  Work your ass off to develop this relationship.   Don’t be fooled, there is NOT a “Jeremy Foley” AD at every school.

You and your AD have to have a mutual understanding.

Your AD is the key when looking for your first or next head coaching job as well as keeping the job you have.

Hire an agent to negotiate your contract:

Every college coach needs one today.

An agent helps you avoid an adversarial relationship with your AD.

Remember, it’s a business – use your leverage and protect yourself.

The four man is the most important part of the recruiting puzzle.  (*I don’t agree… PTG is number one… then a 4 that can shoot and pass)

Pick & Roll defense:

If the best player is coming off a pick & roll – trap them – force them to give up the ball and force other players to beat you.

Don’t cover all ball screens the same way.

Consider switching from M-M to zone and vice versa.  Changing from M-M to 1-3-1 zone to guard a flat ball screen only takes a small adjustment.  You can switch from M-M to zone where you feel younare at a disadvantage.

Consider automatically switching to 1-3-1 zone on the last 10-15 seconds of the shot clock or after a time out.

Maryland plays 1-2-1-1 angled zone on SOB’s.  1-2-1-1 forces teams to throw the ball into back court instead of looking to score.  Passes to the wing or corner are automatically trapped.

Last part of practice, Dean Smith would always work on overtime situations.

Talk to your players in practice and practice how to utilize timeouts late in games.  When and how to use them.

Never be held hostage: don’t play a guy who will not do the things you preach and believe in as a coach.  Sit down players who have their own agenda and do not play with the team.

Lawrence Frank – NJ Nets

Jeff Van Gundy’s 4 keys to being a successful coach:

– Work Ethic

– Competency: Knowing your subject matter.

*You must know the answers to all the questions before they are asked.

– Sincerity / trustworthiness.

– Reliability

Coach Bill Parcell-isms:

– five unexpected things will happen to you everyday.  It’s all about how you react to these five things.

– Three fights that every team has every day.

Division from within:

–  Team Chemistry

–  Unhappy with roles

–  Unhappy with shots, playing time, teammates, coach.

The competition in front of you.

Outside influences

– Agents

– Media

– Family

Your “Best” player must embody what you are all about.  Your “Best” player has to buy into your system; otherwise you are going to get fired.

Show players tape on what they are doing – does it match expectations to want you team needs to win?  Compare what players are doing to what other top players are doing.

Bring in outside resources: speakers, sports psychologist, etc…

Players should be ranked based on who helps you wins games.

If your team is under-talented, you have to do something different – be different to win games.

You can’t beat good teams by running the same stuff they do.

All defensive commands:


Early. Loud. Often

Rick Carlisle – Dallas Mavericks

This season they started out 2-7, it was miserable.  He had to figure out how to jump start their season.

The difficult schedule to start, his own vision of how things needed to be done – a certain way –  he made an error in judgement.

Be honest when you make mistakes:

– They were trying to run some Princeton offense out our their free flow offense, but instead of being a better fast break team, it was actually slowing them down.

–  Dirk was not successful in the Princeton stuff because cutting was not his forte.

– He said, “Listen guys, I’m going to tell you the truth,  The truth is I’ve made a mistake.  My idea of what was going to work for our team in not working, it’s actually having an adverse effect.  So, we’re going to have to either stick with it or adjust, but this is going to be a difficult period of time for us.”

One top of that, the locker room was a very quiet one.  The job was to find a way to make this their team.  He turned the reigns over to Jason Kidd.  Jason is a great player, but not a vocal leader.  Without vocal leaders you have to come up with ways to create energy before every game.  They had their video guy put together clips of each of their guys doing great things.  This is a huge time consumer.  You got to come up with some goofy stuff: Syncopated energy – simultaneous claps before a game.  Coach Chuck Daly would draw a picture on his dry erase board instead of a play.

–  On April 4 they played Phoenix, a big game.  He received a call from Coach Daly, his advise:

“Wipe everything off the board, it’s all about attitude!”

“Do what you do, but do it with attitude!”

They won that game – it was a huge win for them.

How to get guys to know, understand and accept their role.  No matter the team, there will come a time when guys will question their role.

They laminated cards with the exact definitions of each player’s roles.

i.e.:  “Jermaine O’Neal: leader, scorer, rebounder, defender, game closer.”

Watch Film:

–  Ask players questions during film, keep them on their toes.

–  Make players accountable to know game adjustments.

–  Break film into 3 segments:

How bad we were.

What we did well

How we want to do it (if there isn’t a lot of footage of your team doing what you want, substitute with another team that does do it well.)

*We used to substitute in practice or clips from our video playbook.

Be and Stay positive:

–  A lot of times you need to be more positive than negative.

–  As coaches we have a tendency to scrutinize.  Scrutinize in a positive fashion.

–  Show them how close they are to winning.

–  Show them the mistakes that have cost the games.


–  At the beginning of the season, talk to the team about losing – how the effects of losing can mess up a team.  When that happens we are going to commit even more to who we are and what we do.


–  Stretching drives him nuts.

–  When teams do it well it’s a springboard to a great practice.

–  Shane Battier used to get his Duke team going while they were stretching.

–  Make stretching analogous to a great start to practice.

The AD’s Perspective

Jeremy Foley – University of Florida

There needs to be a mutual trust between head coach and AD.

Every previous basketball coach (before Coach Donovan) was jealous of football.  Don’t get distracted by not focusing on the job at hand.  At the end of the day all you can control is your own program.

Self Improvement:

Don’t be so competitive that you don’t share knowledge – we need to improve ourselves everyday.

Be accountable for your mistakes:

Some coaches don’t admit they screwed up.  Take responsibility.  Acknowledge that you messed up and move on.

It’s not just about winning:

What do you want you legacy to be?

When it is all said and done, it has to be about more than just winning a ring.

–  It’s about developing relationships, did you treat people well?

–  Were you honest?

–  Were you loyal?

–  He was a good coach, a good person, look at all the lives he impacted.

–  Sometimes in this profession winning is the be all and end all.

–  There is a right way and a wrong way to chase that crystal ball.

Q:  What holds program’s back the most?

–  Commitment!

You need a coach who can make a difference.  When they hired Billy Donovan we broke the mold.  WE hired a 30 year old guy.  He didn’t come in here and say we needed to build him a practice facility.  It takes resources.  Out administration has shown a commitment.  Finance is reason.

Kevin Eastman – Boston Celtics

NBA Skill Development

You can’t be tired.  You can’t be bored.  It’s not easy getting better.  It takes work and discipline.  We have a choice of pain of discipline or pain of regret.

–  Maximum intensity on every repetition

–  Machine like mechanics

–  Focus on every repetition.  We’re going to take one shot 500 times.


–  Becoming a great shooter is lots of reps.

–  Becoming a great shooter is lost of reps at game speed from game spots at a game angle.


–  It takes two minutes to show any skill.

–  It takes two weeks doing it every single day to get comfortable with the skill.

–  It takes two months working on a skill every day to get good enough to execute in a game.

Shooting Form:

–  Be ready on the catch.  (*I disagree… Be ready BEFORE the catch.  Do your work BEFORE the ball gets to you.)

–  Ten Toes to the Rim.  If you have ten toes to the rim you will be square to the basket.

–  Only change his form if the shot does NOT do in.  If it goes in, make him the best WORST form shooter there is.

–  Two Second rule:  As soon as the ball is 1 cm into the players had count “one – two”.  Players don’t have a great understanding of game speed when working out.

–  The better shooter you are, the better your shot fake needs to be.  Shot Fake = “A real shot that you don’t take.”

Make Time in EVERY practice to practice shooting.   You will be surprised how little your guys shoot during a practice when you exclude shooting drills to “get everything done.”

They recorded how many shots guys took in a 2.5 hour practice:

Paul Pierce – 16

Ricky Davis – 13

Al Jefferson – 7

His goal right now is to get everything you teach in the game down to three bullet points.  It is easier for players to take in.


–  Perfect Feet

–  Ready for Catch

–  Perfect follow through


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