Pre-Season Checklist – Things Your Players Should Know

By Adam Barnes

For any coach or staff, setting the tone from “Day 1” is imperative. There is no room for misinterpretation, players must understand what is expected and the consequences if those expectations are not met. Never assume that players know right from wrong, they must be taught the right way to do things. You never know in what atmosphere the player(s) have been raised. You, as a coach, must build that relationship.

“Yes, we’re disciplined with what we do. But that’s not enough. Relationships with people are what it’s all about. You have to make players realize you care about them. And they have to care about each other and be interested in each other. Then they start to feel a responsibility toward each other. Then they want to do for each other.”– Gregg Popovich


  1. How to walk.
  2. How to talk to adults.
  3. How to dress.
  4. How to act in class.
  5. How to act in the hallways, cafeteria, etc.
  6. What to eat to optimize performance.
  7. How to rest.
  8. How to practice.
  9. How to maintain a competitive edge in all areas.
  10. How to be a team.
  11. How to be a family.
  12. How to watch game film.
  13. How to read statistics, and learn from them.
  14. How to prepare for a game.
  15. How to ride to and from the games.
  16. How and when to eat pre-game meals.
  17. How to maintain proper focus.
  18. How to eliminate distractions (cell phones, etc).
  19. How to prepare in the locker room.


  1. How to wear the uniform.
  2. No jewelry.
  3. How to stretch.
  4. How to warm-up properly.
  5. How to act during the National Anthem.
  6. How to be a GREAT teammate.
  7. How to talk to officials.
  8. How to act during team introductions.
  9. How to manage the clock.
  10. How to avoid outside distractions, such as crowd, opposing players, etc.
  11. What is expected of them within the offense/defense.
  12. How to win or lose with class/integrity.
  13. How to communicate with coaches and teammates during dead balls.
  14. How to make your teammates better.
  15. How to be coachable, at all times, regardless of the situation.
  16. How to give their best/maximum effort.
  17. How to respect the game of basketball.
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Player Development Specialist (High School, College, & NBA) & Recruiting Analyst/National Camp Director

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