Team Concepts (Offenses, Defenses, Baseline, Sideline, & Press Breaks)

As you will read tomorrow on the blog, we are going to change the format for a few months. When we come back from the hiatus, we will be running a series of posts on different team concepts that will fill your playbook. Here is an outline of the different chapters of the series that we will delve into:

  1. Offenses
  2. Defenses
  3. Baseline Inbounds
  4. Sideline Inbounds
  5. Press Breaks


The Key Fundamentals (Ball Handling, Shooting, Passing, & Defense)

Today starts a series of posts that I will refer to as the fundamental series. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of posts detailing different aspects of each fundamental.


The four main fundamentals that we will be focusing on will be:

  1. Ball Handling
  2. Shooting
  3. Passing
  4. Defense

I recognize that rebounding can be considered its own category but I lumped this into the defense category and will be posting more about rebounding at a later date. If you have anything that you would specifically like to see me cover when it comes to any of these fundamentals, please send me a message and I will include an answer in the post it pertains to.

The hope is that this series will be useful to coaches of all levels as they look to improve the fundamentals of their teams.


It is important to hold your players accountable and to hold yourself accountable as a coach. If you start to lose that fire and love for the game, call yourself out and get back on track with doing what needs to be done. If you are not getting the job done as a coach: recognize it, find a solution, and resolve the issue. It is most important to lead by example as the leader of your program. I make it a point to come to practice everyday earlier than every player on my team and to stay until every player has left. Going above and beyond with my game preparation is another way for me to lead by example. I’m not going to name anybody specifically, but I have witnessed another coach of a different sport skip out on entire off-seasons of practices, posting pictures of them partying with alcohol on social media (that students have the ability to see), and then call out players for not being committed to the program.


Holding players accountable will gain you the respect of your athletes. It is important to make sure that expectations are made clear to your athletes. A coaching mentor of mine who was also a high school teacher told me that he only had one rule for his students and athletes, “Do what you are supposed to be doing, when you are supposed to be doing it”. This rule was made clear to his students and athletes through constant repetition. He rarely had anybody question him when he would call them out for not doing what they were supposed to be doing.

No matter which athlete is violating a rule that might be in place, it is important to stay consistent with the way that you enforce your rules and hold that athlete accountable. If your star athlete does something that violates a rule, the punishment must be the same as it would if this was any other athlete.

Making accountability a priority will help your program become one without off the court issues and instill the discipline needed to help your athletes after they graduate high school.


Having your team in top physical shape is also an excellent way to increase your performance on the court. However, I am also opposed to overtraining and like to limit when conditioning takes place. To help clarify, I consider conditioning to be improving the aerobic fitness of athlete by increasing stamina, quickness, and energy. Tomorrow, we will focus more on weight lifting and strength. I want to preface this post with the fact that I am not a doctor and encourage every coach to consult with a doctor or athletic trainer when designing their program.


In order to maximize efficiency with conditioning, I like to focus on conditioning during just two segments of the year:

Fall- I like to really push my players to get better through a tough but realistic program that starts out slow and gets to be very tough toward the end of fall.

Winter- A lack of emphasis on in season conditioning has sometimes doomed teams. If you lose the conditioning that was built up during the preseason partway through the year, you will be at a disadvantage.

A couple of key focuses for your program are to incorporate distance running, sprints, and balance work. Here is a rationale behind each of these choices:

Distance Running- You do need to build up your overall cardio conditioning and running laps is an excellent way to do this. In the fall I will spend one day a week on the track. During the season, I will not spend any days on the track.

Sprints- We add on sprints every week and during the fall we start small and work our way up to a large amount of sprinting by the end of fall. During the season, I will incorporate a sprinting aspect into each practice.

Balance- I am a huge advocate of yoga and other balance work. If you incorporate this into your workout program it is beneficial to contract with a skilled professional to guide this part of your workout.

Teams who are in shape and able to continue an up-tempo pace for the duration of a game have a huge advantage over their opponents. It does not come without hard work though and you need to put the work into the preseason conditioning program in order to see the benefits.

Who Is Coach Chris?

Welcome to this new website dedicated to helping basketball coaches and enthusiasts. Here is a bit of background information on who Coach Chris is.

Coach Chris is a credentialed teacher in California. His educational background includes a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and a Masters Degree from National University. He is also a licensed Real Estate Agent. His certifications in basketball include: American Sports Education Program, IMPACT Basketball, and USA Basketball. Now, he is looking to pass along his experience as a coach and help coaches learn from his experiences.

He started his coaching career in the Sacramento area coaching at Lodi High School and Florin High School. Eventually, he moved back to the Orange County area where he coached at Esperanza High School for three seasons in the Women’s program as their Head JV Coach and Assistant Varsity Coach. His JV teams won three Sunset League Championships with an overall record of 69-10 and a league record of 29-1. After his tenure at Esperanza, Coach Chris also coached for Coach Nate Harrison at Canyon High School (Anaheim) and Coach Kevin Kiernan at Mater Dei High School as an assistant coach. He has been a part of multiple League Championship and CIF Championship teams as an assistant coach.

At Ontario Coach Chris has led the team to four consecutive seasons with double digit wins. The team had made trips to the playoffs every season that he has coached there. In his second season at Ontario, Chris was selected as an Assistant Coach for the North Orange County All Star Team, where his team defeated the South Orange County All Stars at Concordia University.

He now offers consulting services to coaches looking to take their program to the next level. Go to the contact page to learn how to reach Coach Chris and inquire about the services he offers.