Pro-level coaches do what again?
March 18, 2012 8:35 AM   Subscribe

What do professional-level coaches of team sports do to coach their teams? Obviously there's the Xs and Os component of the job, and managing player rotations during the game, but there must be a ton more that they do, especially between games. So what does that level of coaching look like? (I'm thinking especially about basketball and American football, but accounts from other sports are welcome.)
posted by philosophygeek to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Doesn't answer your question, but this article about Andy Reid watching a famous historical game gives some idea of how they think.
posted by sesquipedalian at 10:42 AM on March 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm a big hockey fan but don't know all that much about basketball or football, but I bet it is pretty similar.

At the pro level head coaches have a lot of people reporting to them. In hockey they would have usually two assistant coaches, a video staff, a training (medical) staff, a fitness coach, a goaltending coach, and maybe a skating coach. NHL hockey teams generally have either a game or some sort of practice every day during the season, so that would take up a lot of their time. Outside of practice time they meet with their various underlings: Review video of past games with the video coach and assistant coaches and work out what they want to focus on in practice. Review video of upcoming opponents, meet with the trainer to discuss the status of injured players.

They probably also meet daily with their boss, the General Manager, to go over the general state of the team and any necessary personnel changes (trades, calling players up from the minors, etc.).

And they probably also need to meet with the media several times a week.

All in all they're probably pretty busy.
posted by ghharr at 10:47 AM on March 18, 2012

In addition to all of the duties ghharr mentions, you are probably vastly underestimating the time required to do "Xs and Os" at a professional level.

In terms of football, every week there's a new game-plan to draw up for the upcoming opponent. That requires a lot of watching game film, trying to figure out a team's tendencies. Not just that team, though, but all of the players on it.

Coaching at that level provides a pretty much limitless amount of work that can be done, and the coaches who make it to that level get there in part because they're willing to do a ton of it.
posted by toomuchpete at 10:54 AM on March 18, 2012

you might be interested in a season of hard knocks. nfl films follows a single team through training camp/pre-season. i've been a really big football fan for most of my life and i'd say i learned more about the coaching relationships in that show than any other place.
posted by nadawi at 12:14 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

10 pages taken from the 2003-2004 Arizona Cardinals playbook

300-350: average number of pages in a complete team playbook

not simple
posted by BadgerDoctor at 10:26 PM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reading the book Seven seconds or less about a season behind the scenes of the (basketball) Phoenix Suns, it looks like an awfull lood of watching video and discussing th is with the other coaches. I think the book really gives a good idea of what happens around a team.
posted by PaulZ at 12:36 PM on March 19, 2012

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