Exercise 1: Determine Your Key Stats as a Staff

As a coaching staff, take some time to understand your team and the strategy that’ll drive your season.

Exercise 1: Determine Your Key Stats as a Staff

As a coaching staff, take some time to understand your team and the strategy that’ll drive your season.

What are your team’s goals?

Every coach in the country could probably answer this question. But we bet the answers would be really different. Some closely track specific initiatives and put a high value on success. Others set lofty expectations at a preseason team meeting and rarely reference them again. So why does every team spend (at least a little) time on goals?

Because goals are powerful. Challenging yet attainable objectives can help everyone level up and stay on the same page throughout the season. When you’re all working towards the same purpose, there’s a better chance you’ll succeed. And don’t underestimate the value of going over those goals with your team — you’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

But where to begin? How can you figure out what your goals should be? That’s where we come in. We’ll guide you through the whole process — it all starts with stats. When your goals are based off performance data, you can easily spot strong points or inefficiencies within the team.

With these four exercises, every member of the team will have a say in the numbers you aim for this season. Your coaching staff will come together and decide what your team’s strategy looks like at a high level. You’ll narrow in on the key stats that’ll drive that game plan this season. (Like if you want to be a lockdown defensive team this season, what are the stats you need to execute game-to-game to get there?)

Then you’ll introduce those key stats to your athletes and get them thinking about data. We’ll wrap it up by talking about how Hudl can help you track, reflect and improve on those metrics. By the end, your team will have a clear vision of what success looks like — and how to get there.

Ready to dive in? Keep scrolling to start exercise one. 

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to do.” - Norman Vincent Peale

So it’s a little cheesy — but it’s also true. If you mix in some sports lingo, you could become the Vince Lombardi of sports quotes. Something like, “All successful teams have goals.” (Cue the mic drop.)

We know we don’t need to preach the importance of team goals to you. So let’s get right to work. This exercise will walk you through how to determine the key stats you should incorporate into your goals. Once you identify them, your athletes and coaches will know what to focus on to drive your team’s strategy.


People

Coaches and Athletes

Time

50 min

Materials

Team strategy worksheet and blank piece of paper 
(one of each for each coach).


Steps

1. Assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s time to sit down with the other coaches on your team and honestly assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can set aggressive, yet attainable goals. Choose several questions from the list below to discuss.Write down key takeaways on the team strategy worksheet. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own questions or make ours more specific. Consider how these apply to different parts of the game — defense, offense, etc. 

Discussion Questions 

  • What does our team already do well? 
  • What can our team learn to do well? 
  • Where does our team struggle? 
  • What skills do we have? 
  • How are we going to win games? 
  • What will cause us to lose games? 

And last but not least, answer the question “what makes other teams fear us?” If you got a copy of your opponent’s scouting report on your team, what do you think it would say? What would you want it to say?  

2. Decide which stats will tell your team’s story. Now that you’re (hopefully) all on the same page about your team’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to decide which stats will help lead your team to success this season. Have every coach list the five stats they think are the most important on a piece of paper now. There are tons of stats you could integrate into goals. Field goal percentage, free throw percentage, defensive rebounds — we could go on. You’ll have to narrow it down. (If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our guide to basketball stats.) 

3. Discuss and finalize your team’s key stats. Now copy all the stats everyone chose on the board. Give each one a point for every person who had it on their list. 

Time to put your heads together. Go around the room and ask each coach to talk about why they think the stats they chose are most important. You don’t have to automatically choose the stats with the most points — the scores are just to help the discussion along. The group might even come up with a few no one had thought of yet. With each stat you talk about, ask yourselves, “Will this stat help tell the story of who we want to be?” If it does, you have your answer. If not, scrap it. After you establish the 3-5 key stats you’ll base your goals on, write them at the bottom of the worksheet with a quick note about why you chose them.

What’s Next?

You just completed exercise one — high fives all around! Your coaching staff should now have a clear idea of the stats your team will focus your goals on this season. In the next exercise, we’ll focus on benchmarking some of those key stats with your team.

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