FSN's Mary Murphy Gives Her U.S. Bank 'Tip of the Week'

Jan. 30, 2008

Oodles of statistics are kept during every basketball game and afterwards those statistics are compiled and each team has a clearer picture of what they are doing well and what needs work. One intriguing statistic is how many games a team has won when they are losing at halftime. The ability to 'make adjustments' is this week's Tip of the Week.

If a team is losing at halftime the need for adjustments is obvious. Perhaps it is as simple as doing a better job of boxing out, stopping the opponent's star from getting so many touches or perhaps changing the personnel in the game to provide better match-ups.

As a spectator, halftime is the perfect time to be an armchair quarterback and suggest what needs to change for your team to get back into a ballgame. Keep this in mind as you suggest changes to the game plan from the stands or your living room...change is never easy! The ability for a team to make meaningful adjustments is a huge challenge. It takes a deep understanding of your own team's strengths and weaknesses, a keen insight into what the opposing coach may tweak in the second half and lastly, but perhaps most important, what has your team practiced.

As a coach there were many times when my assistants would make suggestions that we play a different zone, run a different offense or play a different combination of players. As a head coach, it is almost impossible to be successful if you are making major changes during the course of a ball game. Players need repetition and practice. Success does not come from winging it and hoping for the best. The bottom line...a team that is losing at half has to get back to what they do best, whatever that may be. 'Making adjustments' is critical during the course of every ball game. Sometimes the most important adjustment at halftime is an attitude adjustment. The ability to put the first half out of your mind and get back to playing basketball the way you have practiced and played successfully in the past.

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