Basketball Coach Preseason Checklist

High School Football Coach Spring Prep Checklist. Concord High School Football players on their football field with team flag and a Flag of the United States.
Expert Authors

Shanan Rosenberg:
Linfield University, Head Coach (10 yrs)
Lewis & Clark College, Associate Head Coach (3 yrs)
California Community College Mens Basketball Coaches Association, President (2.5 yrs)
Chico State and Cañada College, Basketball Coach

Ted Bardach – Coaching in Virginia:
Marymount University Men’s Basketball Team (14 yrs)



Read Time: 4 min

Updated: 8/11/2023

Fall Basketball Prep Checklist
High School Basketball Guide
Basketball PreSeason Checklist
College Basketball Preparation


As fall approaches, basketball coaches at the high school/college levels start gearing up for the upcoming season. Fall is a crucial time for planning, organizing, and refining strategies to ensure a successful basketball program. As the leading digital fundraiser for teams and schools, eTeamSponsor has a deep bench of basketball talent on our team. To help you get ready for the season, we asked two of our resident basketball coaches, Shanan Rosenberg (15+ years of coaching experience) and Ted Bardach (15+ years of coaching experience) to compile a preseason basketball checklist for coaches. Read on to learn their top pre-season tips.

Male football coach looking down at play sheet on the field. High School Football Checklist

1. Evaluate the Previous Season

Take the time to assess and evaluate what worked well and what did not from the previous season. Analyze film, player performance, team/individual strengths and weaknesses, coaching staff, culture, leadership, community service and fundraising. This evaluation will serve as a data-driven foundation for developing your program strategies and training approach for the upcoming season.


2. Conduct Player Assessments

Incorporate a holistic approach to player assessments. Use quantitative measures/metrics where appropriate in areas such as stats, training reps, GPA’s, fitness, and diet/sleep. Use qualitative assessments for assessing character, leadership, culture, and player satisfaction. This data will help tailor your training regimen and set specific and attainable performance goals for the players in your basketball season preparation.

3. Pre-Season Training and Conditioning

Outline a well-structured and connected practice schedule and plan for the Fall months. Allocate specific time slots for skill development, team drills, conditioning exercises, culture building, and special situations. Dedicate ample time to perfecting close-range shooting and finishing techniques. Incorporate drills and scenarios that simulate game-time physicality. Teach players how to play through contact, maintain ball control, and finish plays despite defensive pressure. Integrate focused 1 vs 1 and 3 vs 3 arrangements into your practice sessions. These basketball scenarios promote individual decision-making, improve defensive skills, and enhance offensive creativity. Cultivating mental and physical resilience during the fall will pay dividends when facing tough opponents in the season. Confidence in these crucial scoring situations can significantly contribute to your team’s offensive output.

4. Pick Your Fall Fundraising Partner

As a guide for basketball coaches during the pre-season we recommend you plan out your fundraising for the season to free up your plate so you can focus on your team. Fundraising is an essential part of any program’s improvement. With the proper funds, your team will be able to afford essential gear, resources, and travel expenses. Setting up a digital fundraiser is the most profitable form of fundraising that takes the least amount of time. A best practice is to run a digital online fundraiser with eTeamSponsor during your season because digital fundraising takes minimal time once it is running. Consider an earlier approach in the Fall during the pre-season for the more traditional fundraising methods that are more labor-intensive, locally-bound, or low-earning fundraising campaigns. Think about using our industry-leading tool that makes you the most money, is simple to use, and allows out-of-state/region family members and friends to also be able to support your program.

Want to learn more? Download our Expert Guide to Team Fundraising!

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5. Recruiting and Retention

Basketball recruiting is a year-round lifestyle in college coaching, if it’s not, you’re likely behind. However, in high school, it’s more of relationship cultivation with your district elementary and middle schoolers. It’s wise to be investing in their future players: attend local basketball games/tournaments, build relationships with middle school coaches, and observe/instruct and reach out to potential players who feed into your district or likely admits for private schools. Additionally, make efforts to retain existing players by ensuring they feel valued, and motivated, and that their mental health is in check as they continue playing for your team.

6. Communicate with Players and Parents

Maintain open communication channels with both players and their parents. Keep them informed about the off-season schedule, skill development plans, your fundraising and any changes in the basketball program. Regular updates will foster a sense of unity and dedication among the players and their families.

7. Coach Education and Development

Invest in your own basketball coaching education during the pre-season by attending workshops, seminars, or online courses. Stay up-to-date with the latest coaching techniques, strategies, and rule changes. A few resources that have helped us improve our team’s culture over the years are  Frosty Westering’s book “Make the Big Time Where you Are” and Jon Gordon’s book; “You Win in the Locker Room First”. Continuously improving your coaching skills will reflect positively on the team’s performance. 

8. Develop Team Goals and Objectives

Collaborate with your coaching staff and team captains to establish clear and achievable goals for the upcoming season. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Having a shared vision will align the team and coaching staff toward a unified purpose.

9. Assess Equipment and Facilities

Check and maintain basketball equipment, such as balls, hoops, and safety gear, to ensure they are in good condition. Also, assess the state of practice facilities and address any necessary repairs or improvements. Safe and well-maintained facilities will create a positive environment for practice and games. Fundraising is often used and necessary to enhance facilities and equipment so your players can train with the latest technology and in a facility they can be proud to represent. Digital fundraising is very efficient as it takes less than 60 minutes to get set-up and leverages text message, social media posts, and email to reach potential donors. 

10. Strengthen Team bonding

Promote team bonding activities during the off-season to foster a strong sense of camaraderie among players. Organize team-building exercises, social events, and community service projects to strengthen the team’s bond on and off the court. Setting up a buddy system between the returners and the newcomers improves the social dynamic amongst the team and allows the veterans to develop their leadership skills. Culture matters and it must be practiced.


Fall is a great time to get your team ready for the upcoming season. By using our basketball coach pre-season checklist, you can lay the groundwork for a successful season this winter. It is important to remember that the off-season is a crucial time for growth and improvement, for both players AND staff. Having a plan for everyone on your team is key to them being prepared for the season ahead. Good Luck!

– Coach Ted and Coach Shanan

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Since 2010 eTeamSponsor has helped over 10,000+ schools raise $200 Million for their teams and activities. Let us help you raise more for your team this season!

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eTeamSponsor's 2023 Expert Team Fundraising Guide is designed to help optimize your in-season and out-of-season fundraising. Download eTeamSponsor's expert guide to learn:

Since 2010 eTeamSponsor has helped over 10,000 schools raise $200M for their teams and activities. Let us help you raise more for your team this season!

Download our Expert Guide to Team Fundraising and learn about:

  • The cost and profit of popular team fundraising options
  • The pros and cons of different fundraising options
  • How to maximize the funds raised for your team
  • The secret to structuring and effective fundraising program for your team 
  • The cost and profit of popular team fundraising options
  • The pros and cons of different fundraising options
  • How to maximize the funds raised for your team
  • The secret to structuring an effective fundraising program for your team

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