Creating your own basketball playbook
Every basketball team and basketball program needs a playbook. A well-organized basketball playbook helps organize your thinking and helps you to better prepare for practices and games. If all of your coaches have a copy, a playbook helps provide continuity throughout a program, and from season to season.
Now it's easy to create your own playbook with available online resources. For example, the Coach's Clipboard Basketball Coaching website provides a huge volume of free information, as well as a complete Deluxe Basketball Coach's Playbook CD and two download products. Articles, plays, drills, offenses, defenses, forms, etc can be printed and added to your own basketball playbook. There are also animated plays and video clips. There are many other free sources as well for downloading plays, drills, etc. Additionally, Jes-soft provides software for creating your own play diagrams.
Your playbook content might include the following categories:
Policies, Goals, Coaching Philosophy
Include a hand-out of your team/school policies, that will include the rules (the fewer the better), as well as expectations for players, parents and coaches, and your goals. Outline your coaching philosophy. Your coaching philosophy and style of play will determine what type of offenses and defenses (described below) you will use.
Practice and Game Schedules
We keep our practice and game schedules at the beginning of the playbook.
You need a half-court, man-to-man offense, such as a motion offense (3-out, 4-out, or the open post), flex offense, 1-4 offense, shuffle offense, 2-1-2 offense, 1-3-1 offense, swing offense, etc... not all of these, but one or two. Additionally, you need a zone offense for attacking the 2-3 zone, and a zone offense for attacking the 1-2-2 and 1-3-1 zone defenses.
Include several plays that you can run out of your half-court offense, to get your better scorers open shots. You'll also need several baseline out-of-bounds plays (for both man-to-man and 2-3 zone defenses), and a couple of sideline out-of-bounds plays.
You may decide to play man-to-man defense, a zone defense, or a match-up zone defense. Or you may alternate between man-to-man and zone defenses. Occasionally, you might want to use a "junk" defense, like the "Amoeba", or the "Box-and-1", or "Triangle-and-2", etc.
You likely will want to add a press defense(s)... full-court, 3/4-court, or a half-court press.
You will need a good press-breaker for attacking the full-court press, as well as the 3/4 and half-court presses.
Have a secondary break to get the ball up the floor quickly after the opponent scores. You can then flow into your half-court offense, or run a play out of the secondary break.
You need a collection of good drills to teach player fundamentals and breakdown team skills.
Several helpful forms to include... a practice planning form, stats and shot-chart sheets, scouting forms, etc. We keep our old scouting reports, and game summaries and notes in the back of the playbook, and will refer to them the next time we meet that opponent. We also keep our old practice plans in the back of the playbook.
Using the above guidelines, available resources, and your own imagination and personal touch, you can create a first-class basketball playbook for your team, and your program. Doing so will also make you a better coach, as this exercise will get you to think about and prepare for every facet of the game. Remember Coach John Wooden's words, "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail."