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One of the most important responsibilities of a good coach is to assign duties to the people around you so that important things get done automatically. I often wonder in amazement at pro and college football games as top teams get penalties for having too many men on the field. 

With all those coaches and all those players standing around, can’t someone be assigned the job of making sure that 12 people never go out there? 

For many coaches, the assistants are often more of a problem than an aide. The assistants don’t want to be problems, but in their enthusiasm; they may be talking when you are talking or they may bring up a point which they think is important but which to you may feel more like a waste of time or a distraction. 

To make sure this doesn’t happen very often, your assistants need to know when you want them to add something and when you want them to put their thoughts on paper and save them for a more opportune time. They also need to be told precisely what you would like them to be responsible for. 

Rebounding stats, shot selection stats, minutes played, timeouts remaining — you decide. Give them things to do that can help your team improve.

The same goes for players on the bench. Why have them just sit there? Isn’t there information you would like them to know? Or that you would like everyone to know? There is a lot of information that could be useful to know, and most teams have an abundance of people around who could gather that information, but no one asks them to do it.

Personally, I’m not very interested in knowing how many offensive rebounds we got unless I know how many were available. And I’m not nearly interested in our opponent’s shooting percentage as I am in knowing what percentage of the time we really made them work for what they got.

  • How many uncontested shots did we give them?
  • How many fast-break baskets?
  • How many right-hand lay-ups?

Usually it takes a real insider to gather the kind of information that could be most helpful to you at halftime. You have plenty of insiders on your bench. Most coaches simply don’t use these resources as well as they could. 

Utilizing the abilities of players, other coaches (and parents) during games is one of the largely untapped areas available to most coaches. 

More hands equals more information!

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