Coach's "Getting Started" Checklist
There's a lot to do when forming a new team or starting a season. Here is a quick checklist to help you get started:
Tryouts can be difficult. We have an entire page dedicated to helping you get it right. Check it out here. If you need more help, let us know and we can attend your tryouts to give you a hand.
Both players and coaches must be registered through AAU to compete in Bantam leagues. Please follow the instructions on the Bantam website to complete this required step. The instructions can be found at the following link: AAU Numbers
* Note – In addition to the Bantam League, Dimple Dell and Sports Office Leagues, and AAU tournaments require AAU registration. The same coach and player numbers can be used for all leagues and tournaments.
Register your team for leages
The most popular leagues for Lehi teams are Bantam and Dimple Dell simply because the games tend to be closer. However, there are other leagues to choose from. In addition to those listed below, for teams willing to travel a bit further there are additional leagues in Salt Lake and Wasatch County as well as AAU tournaments:
Bantam is the only Utah County league. Winter registration will begin in mid-November and games are played all over Utah County. Continue checking the registration page found at the following link for when registration is open: Registration Page
SLC Bantam ($610/team)
A south SL county basketball league played in Draper, Sandy, Cottonwood areas: Registration Page
Sports Office Super League ($515/team)
A Murray based league with most games played in the Murray / Midvale/ Taylorsville area. Registration Page
*Note – On the registration pages you’ll find the league fee ( ie - Bantam: $765/team), as well as possible dates of play and locations.
You will need to locate and schedule gym time for practices. The most common option are school gyms. You will need to inform all schools that you are competing for Lehi in the Bantam League in order to obtain the lowest cost. Here are a few of the schools in which you can rent gym space:
Middle Schools $60/hour:
Willowcreek Middle School
Lehi Jr. High
Vista Heights Middle School
Elementary Schools - $45/hour:
North Point Elementary
Traverse Mountain Elementary
River Rock Elementary
Dry Creek Elementary
Snow Springs Elementary
Membership Gyms (monthly fee $10-$13):
Lehi Legacy Center
* Note – you will need to use the AAU Insurance Form to practice at some of these facilities. This form can be found here.
* Note – LDS churches do not permit organized sports practices at their facilities
Choose the right division for your team
Selecting the right division for your team can be one of the toughest decisions facing a new coach, especially since you are often just getting to know your team when the registration deadline hits. A team playing in an upper division in which they get pounded each week can quickly become demoralized while a team that easily beats every team in a lower division may enjoy success but have their progression limited.
Coaches should carefully consider their personnel, especially their abilitiy to rebound and pass and handle the ball under pressure, and select a division in which their team has the best opportunities for success while still being challenged each week. The Bantam website provides additional guidance. Although discouraged by the leagues in general, if you find yourself clearly in over your head or in a non-challenging league, you can sometimes request a league change early in the season.
Select a team mom or dad
There is a lot for a coach to focus on, especially at the beginning of a season, and having a parent with good organization skills who can work with parents to collect uniform numbers and sizes and funds and help with registration and other tasks can be a huge benefit
Estimate Costs & Collect Funds
LYB does not handle any money. This is all done at the team level since each team will have different costs.
Once you know the costs of practice facilities, uniforms and league registrations you can determine the per player costs. This is another step in which a team mom or dad can really help.
Costs will vary per team based on decisions you make such as which leagues to participate in, whether to add names on the warm ups, and how often you practice etc. However, most costs consist of facility costs, uniform costs, and league costs.
Possible Example: (your costs will be different)
Bantam Winter: $765
Dimple Dell Winter: $515
$80 x 8 players: $560
32 Practices x $45: $1440
Extras (optional examples)
Names on Jerseys: $80
Holiday Tourney $225
Total per player: $446 (assuming 8 players on a team)
* We try to keep uniforms consistent each year which means that some players on your team may not need a new uniform each year.
** Practice facilities are usually your largest costs (see details). Save money on practices by sharing gyms with another team. The estimate above is based on 90 minute practices twice a week at $60 an hour shared by two teams (making it $45 a practice instead of $90). Sharing with a team in the same grade, such as an A and B team also provides opportunities for scrimmages and some drills which need more players. If you have access to a cheaper gym, this can bring costs down significantly.
When estimating practice costs, make sure to consider holidays and school closure days when determining the number of practices you expect to hold.
Ordering uniforms can be a huge task, but fortunately we will do much of the work for you. All Lehi Youth Basketball teams wear the same uniforms and we provide the vendor and order forms for you. We also try to keep uniforms consistent year over year so that kids can sometimes use them for more than one year which helps keep costs down. You order as a team and pay as a team, but our vendor lumps all of our orders together to give us a lower price point.
Typically our vendors offer a base package that includes shorts and jerseys and optional extras such as warmups, socks, bags and player names on the jerseys. You will receive an order form where you will enter sizes and numbers and select which options your team wants.
Like practice fees and league fees, you will collect uniform money from your team and make a single payment to the vendor. Instructions will be on the order form.
Build your playbook
This is the fun part. For starters you can probably get away with one good play against a man defense and one good play against a zone defense. Since basketball requires all 5 players to be on the same page, its usually more effective to be really good at a couple of plays than OK at a lot of plays. You can add additional plays through the season as your players improve on essential skills and master your starting plays. Here is a minimal list of what your playbook will need to get started:
1 Play against a zone - some coaches want to have a play or two for each type of zone they may encounter and while that can be effective, it also means a lot more time practicing plays rather than focusing on skills. (see tips for coaches). A good approach is to find a play that can work with minor adjustments against multiple zones. All zones have weaknesses or gaps and success comes from working the ball into these gaps.
1 Play against man
2-3 in-bounds plays - since we often don't have the time to master as many plays as we would like, its a good idea to have most of your in-bounds plays start in the same set so that the defense does not know what to expect .
Press Break - Most teams, even at young grades will face full or half court
presses although some leagues limit the times in which a team can press. Remember, you beat a press with good spacing and good passing.
Man Defense - Although zone can be easier to teach and zones can exploit the weaknesses of younger offensive players, man teaches essential basketball skills (see tips for coaches). We recommend you play primarily man defense.
Zone Defense - Although we recommend playing mostly man, and you can get away with starting a season with only one defense in place, as games get more competitive, its a good idea to be able to mix up the defense. Most teams start with a 2-3, but there are a lot of variations in zones.
Press - You can get by without a press and you should probably focus on many of the above plays first. However, there will be times when you are down by a few points and the ability to apply a little extra pressure can be the difference in a game.
What plays to choose
Choosing the right plays depends a lot on your player's abilities, your own coaching philosophies and the age of your players. You may pick different plays if you have really good ball handlers or shooters vs really strong rebounders and post players. If you coach a younger grade, you may pick plays that keep things simple and teach good movement and spacing. There are a lot of great online resources to help you narrow it down.
Breakthrough Basketball - although they do sell programs and camps, breakthroughbasketball.com also has tons of free drills, plays and advice. Such as:
Coaches Clipboard - another great site with plays, drills and practice advice.
Basketball For Coaches - yet another great site full of resources.
Coach's Clinics and Meetings
Each year Coach Yeager holds a coach's meeting and possibly coach's clinics to help coaches get started and pass on suggestions and advice. Although we will contact all coaches registered with us, its a good idea to keep your eye on this site to watch for any upcoming events.
High School Players and Coaches
Coach Yeager holds open practices and welcomes both coaches and players to come and watch. There are also occasionally opportunities to have Coach Yeager or some of his players come and participate in your practices. For instance, if desired, high school players can come help run tryouts for you so you can focus on evaluating the kids.
Also, each team has the opportunity to attend a high school game and sit directly behind the team and particpate in the pregame discussion and opening ceremony. This is an amazing experience for young players and we encourage you to take advantage of it as well as the other resources Coach Yeager makes available.
Team Management Site and Mobile Apps
Game schedules change and practices get cancelled and other things come up. Managing communications with your team via email and text work ok, but there are some online tools that can make things much easier. Most tools are free for basic functionality with costs for premium features. There are quite a few options out there, but some tried and true tools include:
If you have used another great tool, let us know and we will add it to the list.