Coach toni vujanic
  Planning Basketball Season

There are so many things that are extremely important in coaching the game of basketball that I continually find myself referring to one particular idea, perhaps the most important: Planning. 


A coach should first develop an overall Season approach, a basic concept of how he would prefer Season to be played.


This might include a general philosophy plus strategies or styles of play. However, there are many things that must be thought and proper planning of the session-seasons one of these are “Macro” and “Micro” cycles.


The coach who has the ability to properly plan the practice session from both daily and the long-range point of view together with the ability to devise the necessary drills to meet his particular needs for maximum efficiencies has tremendously increased his possibility of success. 


For me it’s very important to plan “Macro” cycles from 3 years, started with introduction first year; successful second, and the top third year.


  First year we work on


  ·  Good selection and recruiting the proper team together with the most promising 
      young p

  ·   Preparing a team Physically, Mentally and Morally

  ·   Working on defence and offence fundamentals

  ·   Creating “instinctive habit”, repetition

  ·   Developing a positive approach

  ·   Developing of Team Spirit

  ·   Creating our style of playing (off/def)

  ·   Creating an enthusiasm of players/coaches, fans, and Management

  ·   Getting a fun in basketball


  Second year we work on:


  ·  Developing results and the future vision

  ·  Team should be almost same, max. Changes are 2-3 players....trying to integrate a 3-4 young  players

  ·   Continuing with fast break basketball

  ·   Working on defence and offence fundamentals

  ·   Developing a positive approach

  ·   Developing of Team Spirit

  ·   Continuing with pressure-“combo” defence

  ·   Developing organisation on the sub till Top level

  ·   Getting a fun in basketball


   Third year:


This is a year of our total success......creating a team and organization that will be close to the Established European teams.

This was “Macro” cycles; but not less important are our “Micro” cycles like our Season plan, Weekly plan and Daily plan.


  Season plan


It’s very important to have a general outline  or practice plan (Year plan) for  the season, taking into consideration such things as my players (size, speed, strength, weakness, and experience), our opponents, gym, fitness  and any other factors that might be of importance. I start with thinking about my season plan after last in-season practice, and  I develop my idea’s  daily starting in June/July. I try to work-out with young players and new players  for 4-5 weeks in summer preparing them technically to be on the same level of the experience as experienced and  older players.


  Weekly plan


I prepare my weekly plan after the last game of the past week. Sometimes this must be somewhat flexible in order that it may be changed from day to day according to progress made and other things that may have occurred in the first days of the week. 


  Daily plan


Should be prepared and 100 % followed. If you fail to follow the program on one thing, it may affect many others. If I planned poorly, I make the corrections for the following day, but never on same day. Monday and Tuesday evening practice is 2 ½ h, Wednesday and Thursday  2 h, and Friday  1 ¾ h. Fitness is Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10.00 till 11.15, and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday shooting (individual) training from 11.15-12.30 h.  

(I split often big man-small man letting first big man in the gum-small man in fitness...and changed after 60-75 min).

I start every practice with organised warm-up/stretching and end with cool down/stretching drills (captain/ass. trainer/doctor).Stretching program is designed to develop flexibility throughout the entire body, beginning with the upper body and ending with the lower body. I plan and organize my drills very carefully in order to get maximum results.

I explain the purpose of each drill, with a drawing on my board and emphasize the little details.


I give a signal without a whistle to start of the organized practice, and the players should immediately without taking another shot run in circle position or the position that the coach indicates.  I continue the same drill as long as the players didn’t do it 100% good (not longer than 7-10 min). Repeat and repeat makes us better.


My Off-season starts in the first week of June/July (young & new players), with practice scrimmaging and learning basic rules and strategy of offence and defence for the next season and fundaments. After 3 weeks of practicing 4 times a week, every player gets 5 week’s free. Second week of August, Pre-season, we repeat rules and strategy for 7 days and then we go to basic Condition training (if possible) on the 2000 meter’s height (doing more anaerobe than aerobe-that means more short distance from 200/400/800/1200m). When we are back we go with daily practice and 10-12 scrimmage games.  End of September we are ready to play, and we start with Normal-Inn season practice.


My assistant coach and I make a carefully analysis of each day’s practice while it is still fresh in our mind in order that we may plan intelligently for the next day. I like to sit down with my assistant immediately after practice and briefly analyze and discuss the practice and players that day. I make notes at that time to serve as reference to me the next morning, when I plan the practice for that day.


Copies of (training rules) each of the lists regarding condition and the training suggestions and demands that the players helped to prepare are examples that are posted on our bulletin board and given to each player after the final team has been selected and the ideas have been agreed upon. Each player again must agree on them or drop from the team.


Every player should have a complete physical examination before the first practice; every player should be checked for hernia, hart, nose, mouth/dentist, blood pressure, eyes and feet.

The players get cold shots in September and vitamin pills daily. I keep a 14 days weight chart, or in the beginning daily weight chart of their weight before and after practice.

We try to fast break each time that we get possession of the ball, than usually set up in first “secondary offence”, and then our motion, or one of the special set-up plays.


What is the special formula, special chemistry that makes a team realizes its potential??

If I think of chemistry, I think of club, players, I think of Assistant Coach, Management Staff, I think about coach, but the most important   I think of people accepting their roles.


Coaching basketball is one of the most challenging Jobs, however it remains one of the most team sports to teach.With so many different variables and player combinations, you, as the coach need to be able to react quickly to what is going on, and to prepare your players for what lies ahead.

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