This season has been about the number five so far. We started the season off with 5 straight losses. Since then we have won 5 in a row to improve our record to 5-5. To say it was an “up and down” start would be a bit of an understatement. But even when we endured those 5 losses I was really happy with how we were practicing and competing everyday, whether on that day there was a practice or a game. And I really think that the recent success is a direct result of practicing well during that stretch of poor results.
Our success in recent weeks is a direct result of practicing hard day in and day out when the results weren’t positive. Our future results will depend on our ability to “stay hungry” and work hard in practice while the results are positive.
This post was really inspired by something that happened in one of our games. I made a substitution that is not normal or common in basketball, subbing out all 5 guys at once. We were in a full court pressure defense and I wanted to switch out of it and decided to go with the “line change.” This is the only time I have done it this year and I don’t plan to repeat it regularly. The biggest problem I think was for those 5 guys coming in to match the intensity of the game at that moment. If you sub 1 or 2 guys that aren’t quite ready to play but will be in 30 seconds of being on the floor then the other guys can kind of pick up the slack and allow those 1 or 2 players a few moments to adjust. But with the 5 man change there is no time to “hide” and if you do then that 30 second adjustment becomes a couple of minutes of hell where the team is a little bit lost.
The five man sub in basketball doesn’t allow the players any time to adjust to “life on the court.”
Two possible solutions that I’ll try in the future are: (1) Talking to those 5 guys about to go in and give them a “pre game” speech before they go in the game so that mentally they know that they are going to go to battle or (2) Make those 5 subs in 2 seperate groups over a short period of time, even if it’s a minute apart. The short time to adjust is available and the extra time from the substitutions should also allow the players some extra time on the court without the ball in play.
And being from Oakland there’s not way you can write about number five and not include this song.