Editor's note: Scott Kreiger is the head coach of the Indiana Girls All-Stars and is writing a blog post occasionally about his experiences.
One week from Sunday, I will be climbing into my car and heading to Fortville, Indiana, home of Mt. Vernon High School, for our May 27 minicamp.
I decided several weeks ago that we would need a day like that because so many of our girls' graduation ceremonies land on either June 2 or June 3, the first two days of the official All-Star training camp. Given those complications, I wanted to get a head start on our preparation and this particular date, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, was the one that served us the best.
We will run through two sessions that day. The first will be used to perform some light drill work just so the coaches can see what sort of physical condition the girls are in and how sharp they have remained during the layoff since the end of their seasons.
We will also use that first session to begin putting in the philosophies and tactics that we intend to employ for the games we will play. Finally, we will start to put in our base offense and defense. After a brief break for some group time and a light snack, we will reorganize and let the girls play competitively in some full and half court games.
We will measure how quickly they are picking up on the new offensive and defensive schemes. No doubt, the coaches will spend a lot of time tweaking and correcting technique so the girls get a better feel for exactly how we want them to do things.
The minicamp is going to be a very valuable tool in our quest to play well as a unit throughout the entire All-Star experience. I am really getting excited about it. Reminders continue to come out from Charlie Hall, and details are beginning to crystallize in regard to the games themselves. The time is drawing near.
I have now watched every game tape that I requested and received from the All-Stars and their high school coaches. Several of the tapes showed All-Stars going head to head in the game which was definitely a bonus. I will probably go back this week and watch some segments again.
The purpose of doing that was to see them in action in a setting that I could view and review in order to get a better feel for how they play. They are all good players; that's why they were ultimately selected for the All-Star team. But crafting that team is a different exercise completely. How do we balance lineups? Whose playing style complements that of another teammate? How does each player fit into the offense that we plan to implement? Who are our most aggressive and effective defenders on the ball? Which players are most effective driving the basketball? Shooting it? Rebounding it? What pace are they accustomed to playing? The entire process is like a big jigsaw puzzle, but we don't have the picture on the box to see how it's all supposed to fit together. For me though, that's half the fun.
So I will begin checking things off of my list, making sure I am ready for next week so my coaches and I can put the girls in the best possible situation from a preparation standpoint. It's cliché, but this will need to be a total team effort. Every player and every coach will have responsibilities to the group that must be met if we are going to be successful. Anyone who puts personal goals ahead of team goals will make those team goals harder to achieve.
I believe we have a good group of girls who are willing to sacrifice for the success of the team. I'm sure Kentucky feels the same way. This is going to be a lot of fun.