Monday, October 19, 2015

Coaches: Don't miss Dip Metress's (Free!) open practice!

October 15th came last week. That is the day college basketball teams are allowed to start practicing. As much as possible, I try every year to be at Augusta University's practice that day to see the new team and to see coach Dip Metress and his staff work.

This year I am particularly fortunate because Metress and assistant coach Jamie Quarles are hosting an "open practice" Sunday, October 25, from 3:00 to 5:00:

Coach Mettress is the best coach I know. He is extremely generous in giving advice and organizing opportunities for coaches to come together and learn from each other.

You can learn plenty watching Dip's team practice and asking questions. Something that always stands out is the volume and the amount of the chatter by his players throughout every breakdown drill, every transition between practice segments, and every possession of live action. The players ALL communicate constantly. Noticing this is the first step. Asking Dip how he created that "culture" at practice is something I'll do Sunday. Even in a breakdown drill emphasizing passing and cutting, everyone is loud and engaged, as you can see here:

Communication may be called an intangible quality. A tangible drill I've always liked that I learned from watching Augusta University's practices is one that teaches players to "get big" while defending a finisher in the paint. I like it because it develops the habit of standing your ground while not fouling, and making the offensive player make a shot over extended arms, which is usually better than bailing him out with a swinging foul. Here is an example of the drill:

Watching these guys coach and play is invaluable for high school and youth basketball coaches. And it will be fun to see so many basketball coaches in one spot as we crank up the 2015-16 basketball season.

Join us!

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