Season is starting to heat up, no doubt all of you coaches out there are starting practices soon. I receive this great newsletter from Coach Duane Silver every week or so and the one from last week was really great. Coach breaks down 11 things to think about for the coming season, take a look:

By Duane Silver

1. Have a teacher of the week and have him/her come to the game and introduce them to the crowd before the game. If you have two home games in a week you will need to pick two teachers. (You might pick teachers that are not crazy about hoops.)

2. Always have the Principal in the team picture. After you get the picture back put it in a frame an give it to him/her. This is the greatest political move you can possibly make. (Billy Gillispie taught me this.) This has been our top email we have sent out in the eight years of doing this.

3. On "Time Outs" this year have some students give water to the referees. They will need to walk out on the court and do it do. Don't give them squirt bottles, give them cups of water. (I don't know of a high school team that does this.)

4. Know the referees names and talk to them by name. Don't gripe about every call. Only gripe when you are right and then let it go! Try not to get a technical foul this year.

5. Coach your best players the hardest! If you don't, the other players will turn against you.

6. Write down your philosophy and stick with it all season. Don't change. If is not written it cannot be done this year.

7. This may sound a little crazy, but you need to lose a game to make point to your team. (John Chaney who was at Temple University did this throughout his career.) Who cares if you lose a game. I bet no team will go undefeated this year in Texas.

8. Tell the parents in advance you will not talk to them about their daughter or son's playing time. If they bring it up say "I'm sorry, but we are not going to talk about this! Be Strong!

9. Make your team memorize this old saying (I mean this!) "3 passes we get a good shot and 5 passes we get a Great shot." (This is a saying by the Boston Celtics years ago.) Next...Go out on floor and show them against a set defense (that is one that is already back and waiting on you) the WORST thing you can do is pass the ball to the wing and this dummy goes one on one to score. If you will pass the ball around 3 to 5 times it will give the defense a chance to make a mistake. Kids simply do NOT understand this idea. You will need to make a 5 call in the game. This means the ball needs to be passed 5 times before anyone can shoot it. You can make a "5 call" out of any offense you run (Flex, Motion, anything). (Now, if the defense gives you a lay-up on the second pass, forget the rule and shoot the lay-up...duh)
*Lastly...Let them scrimmage for five minutes following this rule and let them see they will get great shots plus it causes them to play as a TEAM!
*To make a 5 Call...You simple hold up your hand showing them all five or your fingers. You can just YELL...FIVE!! Your opponent won't know what you are saying. DS

10. "You can't run off a good player by being too hard on him or her." (Bear Bryant)

11. You have to bring it every day in practice and so does your best player.

Point 2 about the principal is totally true. The flip side though, is that once a principal that you've become close to leaves (which happens quite often around here), then you have to start all over again.

Points 4 and 5 are very poignant as well. I've reffed games before and having seen the game from both perspectives. All a ref wants is respect, you don't have to agree with every call, but respect that refs are human and humans aren't perfect, respect that refs are trying their best no matter how bad the call may appear. The water is a nice treat too.