Last weekend we had our first game of the new season. The first half could not of gone better, we played some fantastic defence and went up 30 at half time. Now after a 15 minute half time, we came back out and allowed the other team to play with us, we didnt lose the quater but did not play up to the standard we had set. then in the 4th we continued to dominate and won by 45. However the 3rd was difficult to watch at times.

In the last preseason game the staory was also similar we had a great first half lead of 20 then let them cut the lead down to 8 before we squashed the game.

Does anybody have any advice for getting my team in the game in the 3rd quater, anything they should do at half time? anything that will allow us to come out with some fire in the 3rd.

 

Coach Fawcett

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I know my high schools boys have a hard time getting back into the game after half-time espicially if we're down a ton or up a ton. I usually try to keep their spirits up and just remind them not to underestimate the team we are playing. It is hard to play hard when you're killing a team, you want to take breaks and rest so get some bench players in if you're up and rest your starters....the bench always seems to want to play balls to the wall when they are still up and hopefully the starts can catch that fire or lose playing time.

I think this is an issue that alot of teams have.  I would make the suggestion of using less time talking to them and let them warm up more.  It may help them get the blood moving and get more in to a flow. 

 

Example out of the 15 min use 5 to talk to them and the other 10 have them on the court going through their pre game warm ups. 

 

Good luck hope it works out!!

 

Cecil

1) Quote

2) Tell them how important they are to you

3) Tell them not to give up, but use the season as an example. "guys I know we are winning, but if we let up now, this will be the precedent we set for the entire season. Continue to push it!"

If you figure this out, write a book on it and sell it!!  I have been trying to figure this out for many seasons.  I like what Cecil said.  Give them more time at half to get warmed up.  I have even gone so far as to have them redo the pregame warm up in a shorten version so they get that pattern down.  Sounds like they have been playing well to start the game and it may be a way to get their mind set back like it is the beginning of the game.

I also agree with having more time to warm up. Have one of your assistants keep track of the clock when you are in the locker room for half. Also, something I have done this past year is to simulate a game in our practices. We will go pretty hard for 50-55 minutes then take 8-10 minutes to shoot free throws (simulating half time). Then we go hard again after the free throws till the end of practice (2 hour practice total). 

I know your season is over. Maybe this will help for next year.

If your up by 30, here is what I would do.

1. Put in a second five and let them get some experience. 

2. At halftime, let everyone know who is going to begin the second half right away. Talk to the entire team about focus. Use this half as a training session for the entire team. Your goal is not to increase the pounding, but rather use this half to work on the fundamentals of the game. Pretend the game is tied. No turnovers, play together as a team, slow it down and work on your screens and back door plays. Every play is serious stuff for future games. When the first team goes back into the game, make sure they understand that, this is the time to work hard on the basics. You are going to need this maturity when you face a better team.

Best, Jerry

After each half, I huddle with my coaches and we determine who will start the 2nd half.  Up 30, Down 30, tied, it does not matter.  A new starting lineup (could be the same) will bring energy to your team.  However, choose carefully grasshoppa!

If you take the focus off of the other team, what individual and team goals do you have? Did you meet them in the first half? What do you need to do to improve in the second half? Example: We want to run this particular play, get shots for this player, score more points, have a higher fg %, force more turnovers, etc. Make the competition with the team itself and improving every quarter of every game, then you will not lose focus when you are up by a lot, and when you are behind it won't matter. Win or lose, did we meet our goals?

Set performance goals each game.  For example, hold team under 30, get 9 offensive rebounds, create 18 turnovers, or whatever performance goal you choose.  At half remind team of their goals and focus the halftime talk on preparing for adjustments.  Whether substitutes or starters are in; stick with the teams goals.

Standard half time mentality:

1.  "Next three minutes are the most important of the game. Focus. Be ready to play."

2.  Put 0-0 score on the blackboard.

Up by a wide margin:

1. Consider modifying the game plan to focus on aspects of offensive and defensive systems that need work.  Take off the press and challenge players to play intense half court defense, forcing the opponent to burn lots of clock on each possession. 

2. Plan for bench players to see substantial minutes.  How often will they have this sort of opportunity?

3.  No one needs to win by 45.  If you do, check your maturity and ego. 

I like the idea of using the half time to go over first, what we did well the first half, and then second, what are areas we need to improve?  Too many turnovers?  Let's have less.  Gave up too many points on defense?  Let's hold them under a certain number this half.  Short term goals are the key when up a lot at half time.

If we are down at half, same thing.  What did we do well, what do we need to do better?  Break the second half into segments and win the first segment.  Then, start over with the next segment and continue until you catch up or your fate has been determined.    No matter that situation, there are always things that need to be praised and things that need to be improved.  Base half time talks on that and not so much on the score.


John Dyer said:

Standard half time mentality:

1.  "Next three minutes are the most important of the game. Focus. Be ready to play."

2.  Put 0-0 score on the blackboard.

Up by a wide margin:

1. Consider modifying the game plan to focus on aspects of offensive and defensive systems that need work.  Take off the press and challenge players to play intense half court defense, forcing the opponent to burn lots of clock on each possession. 

2. Plan for bench players to see substantial minutes.  How often will they have this sort of opportunity?

3.  No one needs to win by 45.  If you do, check your maturity and ego. 

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