Exercise 2: Get Your Players Thinking About Stats

You know data is important, but what about your players? It’s time to get everyone on the same page about stats and your team’s performance.

Exercise 2: Get Your Players Thinking About Stats

You know data is important, but what about your players? It’s time to get everyone on the same page about stats and your team’s performance.

“The stats never lie, and with the kids just being able to see what we were trying to accomplish, it really helped us.” Aaron Neeser, Park Hill High School boys’ basketball coach

When athletes are in the thick of the action, it can be easy to miss a lot of details about the team’s performance. As a coach, you can use numbers to back up what you’re saying and give your players solid areas to improve. And once they know where to focus, they can set goals as a team.

We want to get the juices flowing. In other words, get your athletes thinking about stats. Once this exercise is complete, your team will be aligned on attainable percentages and stats.


People

Coaches and Athletes

Time

35-45 min

Materials

Benchmarking Basketball Stats Print Out — one for each group of 2-3 athletes.


Steps

1. Gather data from last season. Your team is about to make guesses on what your team stats were last season. But there’s a little prep work you need to do before that can happen (don’t worry, it’s super easy). 

  1. In your Hudl account, click Reports
  2.  On the left side of your page, select View Other Games under Games
  3.  Toggle to last season. 
  4.  Under Quick Groups, select All Season then click Done
  5. Voila  —  your team’s averages from all of last season’s games. You’ll use these numbers in step three. 

Note: If your team didn’t track stats last season, use our 2018 Basketball Performance Report as your benchmarks.

2. Understand offensive and defensive stats. Get together with your coaches and players to discuss the numbers behind some common stats. You’ll understand what everyone’s expectations currently are, how you can get them into a realistic place, and (bonus!) the whole team will be on the same page. Break your athletes up into small groups. We’d recommend mixing up positions, so there are plenty of different perspectives weighing in. (During this step, you might want to tell coaches to roam around the room so they can learn how your athletes think about stats.) Hand each group the benchmarking basketball stats worksheet, and give your athletes 10 minutes to fill out the assumptions row with their best guess at your team’s past performance for each stat.

3. Align on the actuals. When they’re finished with their guesses, announce the actual number or percentage for each stat. You can use your team’s stats from last season, or check out our performance report to get an idea of how other teams perform. Have each group write down the actual on their sheet, then calculate the difference between the two rows. The team with the lowest score (or smallest difference between assumption and actualwins. Have each group talk about which stat they missed on the most. What surprised them about the actual number?

What’s next?

Congrats on making it through a group exercise with all your players! Your athletes should now understand the numbers behind key basketball stats. Maybe their guesses were way off when filling out the assumptions column. But after your team discussion about the actuals, everyone should be on the same page when it comes to the stats to aim for this season.

In the next exercise, your team will use the assumptions and actuals to set goals for the season.

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