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The Coaching Lab

The Coaching Lab

By Coach Matt Dennis

The Coaching Lab podcast is a place for basketball coaches to learn more about the game and how to lead their team and program to more success in less time.


Coach Matt Dennis offers insights into his basketball program along with tips, tricks, strategies and stories of leading a basketball team and program.
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Episode 032: Kevin White - Taking Over A New Program
Episode 032: Kevin White - Taking Over A New Program
hIn today's episode, I talk with Kevin White and we discuss things he's done this summer to build his new program and how he is developing players' habits, mindset, and coaching staff before the season starts. Get ready to take notes as he drops a ton of knowledge in this episode. If you're a coach that would love to lead your team and program to new heights but your not sure how to do this, I invite you to check the Championship Program Builders Group at coachmattdennis.com. I'll be teaching coaches how to be intentional leaders who design their basketball program for success so players and coaches thrive and you win more games. Connect with me at: twitter.com/coachmattdennis coachmattdennis.com
46:23
August 16, 2022
Episode 031: Talking Fundraising w/FunRaisen CEO Anthony Gerson
Episode 031: Talking Fundraising w/FunRaisen CEO Anthony Gerson
In today's episode, I sit down and talk with FunRaisen CEO Anthony Gerson. He is a busy dad, business owner, and coach who has coached both school sports and travel sports. He breaks down the disconnect he saw between teams and the people they were asking to support them and how FunRaisen offers a unique approach that allows coaches to easily raise funds, connect with their supporters, and build team chemistry. For more information about FunRaisen, you can go to www.funraisen.com. Anthony and his team can be contacted at a@funraisen.com or support@funraisen.com. If you're a new coach that is looking to build your team or program I encourage you to connect with me inside the Coaching Lab at www.coachmattdennis.com
34:33
June 24, 2022
Episode 30: Motivating Your Players In The Off-Season
Episode 30: Motivating Your Players In The Off-Season
In today's episode, we will look at how to motivate players. I'll offer some thoughts on different approaches that I've found to work in my program. If nothing else, I know you'll get the wheels spinning in your mind to find out what will work with your program. If you're looking for resources on creating a better team or leading your program I encourage you to check out The Coaching Lab at coachmattdennis.com.
04:36
May 16, 2022
Episode 029: 6 Open Gym Dos and Don'ts
Episode 029: 6 Open Gym Dos and Don'ts
In today's episode, we will look at some of the do's and don'ts of open gym. At times we are a bit handcuffed by state association rules and then other times we can have some input. When we are able to have some input we want to be sure our players are getting the absolute most they can every time they step on the floor for open gym.  If you're looking for resources on creating a better team or leading your program I encourage you to check out The Coaching Lab at coachmattdennis.com.
09:02
May 11, 2022
Episode 028: The Not So Talked About Stuff (Sign-Ups, Liability Insurance, and Staff)
Episode 028: The Not So Talked About Stuff (Sign-Ups, Liability Insurance, and Staff)
In this episode, I take a quick look at three areas that make your camp go but aren't talked about very often.  1. Online Sign-Ups 2. Liability Waivers and Liability Insurance 3. Staffing (Hiring/Volunteers) Each area is important and shouldn't be overlooked but I know they aren't as fun as drills and games.😉 If you're looking at putting on your own camp but aren't sure where to start I encourage you to check out my Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z Course. I give you everything, and I mean everything, that goes into a successful camp.
05:18
April 22, 2022
Episode 027: Two Formulas To Use For A Successful Camp
Episode 027: Two Formulas To Use For A Successful Camp
In this episode, I share two formulas I've found to be very helpful when it comes to running a successful camp.  1. Fun = Competition or Competition = Fun 2. The Rule of 10 Each formula leads to more engagement and focus from the campers. They don't want to listen to a bunch of talking, they want to be active. To learn more about each formula take a listen to this quick win episode. If you're looking at starting your own camp or you want to improve the camp you already have at your school you may like my Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z course.
05:48
April 21, 2022
Episode 026: Moving From Camp Coach To Camp Director
Episode 026: Moving From Camp Coach To Camp Director
In today's episode, I'll be sharing why I changed my camp structure so I'm now the Camp Director instead of the Camp Coach. In both cases, I am running the camp still, but as the Camp Director, I can scale the camp to have more campers while helping my basketball program grow and stay relevant in the community. Whether you have a camp or you're thinking about running a camp I encourage you to check out Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z Course. You'll get everything you need to grow a successful, profitable basketball camp.
05:14
April 20, 2022
Episode 025: 3 Great Ways To Grow Your Basketball Camp
Episode 025: 3 Great Ways To Grow Your Basketball Camp
In today's podcast, I'll share 3 strategies you can use to increase your basketball camp attendance. I'll specifically look at ways to use email, schools, and social media to get the word out about camp so registration will come rolling in. If you have a camp already or you're thinking about starting one you'll definitely want to check my Starting and Running A Basketball Camp From A-Z Course. 
07:30
April 18, 2022
Episode 024: 4 Ideas To Build Better Shooters
Episode 024: 4 Ideas To Build Better Shooters
Players build shooting habits and these habits will make them a good/consistent shooter or bad/inconsistent shooter. In today's episode, I'll share four ideas to help your players build the right habits to become a good shooter.  - Legs Loaded - Position 3 to 4 Shooting - Directional Passes - Foot Movement For more great coaching content I encourage you to check coachmattdennis.com.
22:35
July 26, 2021
Episode 023 - 4 Reasons To Shoot On Air and 4 Not To
Episode 023 - 4 Reasons To Shoot On Air and 4 Not To
In episode 23, I talk a little about something I recently saw on social media and break down the four reasons it's a good idea to shoot on-air and four reasons it's not a good idea. As with most things, there is a time and place for both.  For more great coaching content check out coachmattdennis.com.
17:16
July 19, 2021
Episode 022 - Developing Shooters 101
Episode 022 - Developing Shooters 101
In this episode, I go through the four ways I break down a shot along with some drills I use to teach players of all levels to become better shooters. I'll walk you through the first three ways today with the fourth coming in a later episode.  1. Hand Position 2. Waist Up Movement 3. Waist Down Movement 4. Synergy when putting it all together Links mentioned in this episode: Teaching Hand Position 1,2,3,4 Shooting Method  For more content and coaching resources head over to coachmattdennis.com.
25:02
July 12, 2021
Episode 021 - 6 Overlooked Skills That Win Games
Episode 021 - 6 Overlooked Skills That Win Games
In today's episode, we listen in on a Friday Coaching Clinic I held at CoachMattDennis.com on the 6 Overlooked Skills That Win Games. These skills are things your players likely know how to do but they don't do them enough of the time to make them automatic in games. You'll also be reminded that players will do what the coach emphasizes. If coaches don't add these skills to the workout or practices they will likely cost you a game or two. Find the next Friday Coaching Clinic by visiting coachmattdennis.com. If you can't make a clinic live be sure to sign-up so you'll receive the replay and resources I discuss during each clinic session.
37:03
April 25, 2021
Episode 020: Conditioning Your Basketball Players To Play Harder and Longer
Episode 020: Conditioning Your Basketball Players To Play Harder and Longer
If you want to have your players play all four quarters strong you don't want to miss this. I'll break down how I use the 1:4 work to rest ratio to help condition my athletes to play hard for four quarters and then move them to a 1:2 or even 1:1 ratio so they can build stamina.    For more basketball coaching resources join the Coaching Lab at www.coachmattdennis.com.
12:18
January 26, 2021
Episode 019: 4 Steps To Teaching The Motion Offense At The Youth Level
Episode 019: 4 Steps To Teaching The Motion Offense At The Youth Level
In today's episode, I'll go over the 4 steps coaches should use to teach motion offense to youth players at the elementary and middle school levels. I even throw in some thoughts on how every team runs motion when rebounding missed shots.   1. Know Your Rules  2. Allow Players To Make Mistakes  3. Introduce Small-Sided Games  4. Give Them Time   For more basketball coaching resources join the Coaching Lab at www.coachmattdennis.com.
10:11
January 11, 2021
Episode 018: Getting The Most Out Of Your BLOB and SLOB System
Episode 018: Getting The Most Out Of Your BLOB and SLOB System
This week I take a look at two different ways to set up a system for your baseline and sideline out of bounds plays. Having an organized approach for your players to think and remember out of bounds plays is critical to getting the most out of each play. It also helps when you would like to add new wrinkles when playing an opponent a second time or playing against a team who has done a good job scouting you in tournament play. Check out the Coaching Lab at coachmattdennis.com if you'd like proven out of bounds plays for any level of basketball.
16:00
December 28, 2020
Episode 017: 3 Strategies To Improve Your Team's Performance Now
Episode 017: 3 Strategies To Improve Your Team's Performance Now
Are you looking to better your team's performance? Today we will look at things you can do in practice to boost their performance right away. I'll share 3 strategies and the progression I use to make certain my team is getting better every time we step on the court.
18:01
December 20, 2020
Episode 016: 4 Ways To Better Utilize Your Assistant Coach(es)
Episode 016: 4 Ways To Better Utilize Your Assistant Coach(es)
If you have the luxury of having an assistant coach you need to make sure you utilize their time and knowledge the best way possible. Today, we will dive into 4 ways you can do just that.
14:13
December 13, 2020
Episode 015: 9 Ways To Develop Your Offense
Episode 015: 9 Ways To Develop Your Offense
In today's episode, I share my thoughts on why there isn't just one best offense. I also give you 9 questions to help you better develop the offense you've chosen. It doesn't matter if you run the Flex, Dribble Drive, Read and React, Princeton, or the 1-4 High offense I know you'll walk away a better coach today.
30:36
December 09, 2020
Episode 014: 6 DOs and DONTs of being a basketball coach
Episode 014: 6 DOs and DONTs of being a basketball coach
As the season gets underway for many coaches I want to remind you of 6 things you do and don't want to do this season. Feel free to send me a do and don't that you would add to this by emailing me at matt@coachmattdennis.com.
19:07
November 18, 2020
Episode 013: Tryouts And What You Need To Know
Episode 013: Tryouts And What You Need To Know
In today's episode, I walk you through all things tryouts. We will look at: - The 4 keys to good tryouts - How to best use your time - The Scaffolding strategies to evaluate players - The formula for choosing the right players - How to let a player go (make cuts)
29:43
October 02, 2020
Episode 012: The #1 Drill To Use In Practice - The Shell Drill
Episode 012: The #1 Drill To Use In Practice - The Shell Drill
Today we look at how to use the shell drill to make your team the best defense team possible. I offer thoughts on: variations to use with your team delegating responsibilities to your assistants or managers key coaching points preparing for opponents getting your team used to playing with chaos Thanks for listening. If you haven't checked out coachmattdennis.com now is a great time to get better as a coach.
29:06
September 06, 2020
Episode 011: Better Free Throw Shooting
Episode 011: Better Free Throw Shooting
Today we will look at over 20 different ideas to use to help improve your team's free-throw shooting. While you won't use every idea, I know you'll have more tools to use as you prepare your team for a successful season.
34:26
August 10, 2020
Episode 010: 5 Quick Wins Coaches Can Use At Any Level
Episode 010: 5 Quick Wins Coaches Can Use At Any Level
Today we look at 5 quick wins that you can use right away. Three of the quick wins are athlete-centered and focused on making the athletes experience better while the other two quick wins are coach-centered and will challenge you to get better.  
10:26
August 03, 2020
Episode 009 - 3 Questions Coaches Should Ask Themselves This Off-Season
Episode 009 - 3 Questions Coaches Should Ask Themselves This Off-Season
The off-season is often a time coaches encourage their players to get shots up, work on their ball handling, and become an all-around better player. After all, championships are won in the off-season, not during the season. Well, what about coaches? Should coaches be doing the same to make themselves better? I think so and today I'll share three simple questions to ask your self to make you a better coach in your upcoming season. 
12:15
July 30, 2020
Episode 008 - 10 Strategies To Build A Better Basketball Program
Episode 008 - 10 Strategies To Build A Better Basketball Program
Building a program is something all varsity coaches dream about. They want to create something special that will last a long time and of course, create a lot of wins. In today's episode, we will look at 10 strategies to build a better program. No matter if it's your first year taking over a program or you're looking to improve what's already in place these 10 strategies are sure to add value to your program.
21:56
July 20, 2020
Episode 007: Lessons Learned From Our Summer Skills Challenge
Episode 007: Lessons Learned From Our Summer Skills Challenge
We recently wrapped up our Summer Skills Challenge and I look back at what I liked and what I learned during this time. Overall it was great to get the players in the program involved and getting better even though we couldn't do basketball like summers past due to with Covid-19.
21:54
June 30, 2020
Episode 006: Essentialism - In Practice and In Life
Episode 006: Essentialism - In Practice and In Life
Today I share thoughts on how we can get more done in less time if we have an essentialist mindset towards our practices and our lives.  We all get caught up in the hype of doing more and expecting to get more done and feel more fulfilled. What if we took the exact opposite approach and said we need to focus on the most important area are team needs to improve on first and then we move on from there. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less - Greg McKeown
22:05
June 19, 2020
Episode 005: Building Leaders On Your Team
Episode 005: Building Leaders On Your Team
Leadership is something all coaches want to have on their team, but many don't intentionally build. This week I give examples of what leadership is and isn't and strategies to build better leaders on your team.
20:26
June 10, 2020
Episode 004: Summer Skills Challenge - Score Sheet, Social Media and Unknowns
Episode 004: Summer Skills Challenge - Score Sheet, Social Media and Unknowns
In episode 004 I take you through how we are scoring and recording the Summer Skills Challenge points between players and groups, some of the ways we are using social media, and some of the unknown hurdles we have come across. Resources: Summer Skills Challenge Score Sheet Week 1 - Summer Skills Challenges
19:25
June 04, 2020
Episode 003: Phase 2 - Summer Skills Challenge
Episode 003: Phase 2 - Summer Skills Challenge
In episode 003 we look at moving from "Developing A Plan For Summer" to the "Summer Skills Challenge." I'll share the following items with you during this episode: 1. Creating a kick-off for excitement and focus in your players 2. 4 tools I used to bring it all together 3. Building leaders and players who want to be a part of the program Links: Zoom.us Canva.com Instagram.com (An app for your phone. You can view Instagram on a computer, but it is built for mobile devices so you can't post unless you're on a phone or tablet.) WhatsApp.com (An app for your phone, but can be downloaded on a computer, to create groups and connect with your players.) Summer Skills Challenge Warm-Up Graphic
21:24
May 27, 2020
Episode 002: Developing A Plan For Summer 2020
Episode 002: Developing A Plan For Summer 2020
In this episode, I'll break down two ideas:  1. Having A Meeting Before The Meeting 2. Our Summer Skills Challenge I'm laying it all out there, from start to finish. You can follow along, borrow or steal an idea, or hit me up with a question.
11:03
May 20, 2020
Episode 001: Intro to Coach Matt Dennis and the Coaching Lab Podcast
Episode 001: Intro to Coach Matt Dennis and the Coaching Lab Podcast
In episode 1 I give you a little background information on myself and my coaching journey as well as insight into what the Coaching Lab Podcast is all about. Enjoy!
19:47
May 04, 2020