FastDraw: The Ultimate PROGRAM Tool

By Randy Sherman

Tips and creative uses for FastDraw as a program tool for developing top-to-bottom program alignment. 

In many hours of counseling basketball coaches, a common struggle I hear is lack of program alignment. There are many factors that may inhibit this from situation to situation, but it often is the fault of the head coach for not having a vision or not articulating that vision for the entire program

Developing that vision takes some intentional work and it culminates with articulating the vision. The next step is implementing the vision and FastDraw can be of value. With a bit of creativity FastDraw can be the ultimate program building tool.

Play And Drill Library

The most straightforward use of FastDraw, and the method used by most coaches, is that of a play and drill library. FastDraw is the tool for this. You can replace all the dusty files and filing cabinets in your office with an immaculate digital FastDraw library.

Your teaching drills, plays, offenses and defenses can then be categorized and become retrievable. Better, they can be shared, printed and posted for players and staff to see. You now have the ability to move closer to program alignment with the ability to catalog drills and plays for your staff.

Further, through scouting you can create new teams and catalog the offenses, sets, BLOBs and SLOBs of your opponents. See them once, draw them once, yours forever. Of course, coupling the diagrams with FastScout can help you create powerful scouting reports.

Your off season film study of teams and coaches can be aided by FastDraw as well. Create a team, and never misplace the Kansas set you saw while studying film.

Often getting organized is the first and necessary step towards greater program alignment.

Concept Illustrator And Educational Tool

While the play and drill library capabilities of FastDraw are obvious, the next-level applications of FastDraw take some ingenuity. What if your program’s foundation is an offense devoid of plays? Or how about diagramming your defensive concepts (a little trickier than diagramming an offensive play frame-by-frame)?

FastDraw can do this. Can you? With a dose of creativity you can illustrate concepts. Use stencils and shading to create clear visuals of your program philosophy.

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The diagram above is not of a “play” in the traditional sense, but of a concept. Use some imagination and FastDraw’s tools to create visual aides that you and your staff can use at feeder levels to clarify the concepts you expect to see taught in the program.

Other ways to use FastDraw as an educational tool in your program:

  • Video – Make a short video with narration which can be shared with assistant, sub-varsity and even youth coaches using Fast Draw as a teaching tool (Example: “Pitch Get”).
  • Staff Webinar – Sometimes feeder coaches and assistants are scattered on different campuses and locales. Getting your staff together in the same room for a meeting on program alignment can be a challenge. Use FastDraw and screen sharing to talk hoops with your staff (Pictured below: online clinic with Coach Nate Sims).


FastDraw can be a terrific illustration and educational tool for the overriding concepts that form the backbone of your program.

Curriculum Creation

There is a mathematical expression I used as a coach and that I share with coaches in our mentoring program:

Program > Team > Me

The head coach, the assistant coaches, the players and even parents were encouraged to ask what is best for the program first, the team second and themselves last. Refer to this formula before making a decision. It is your guiding light.

Playing a talented player with substandard work ethic? That is a “me” decision by the coach. He/she has the formula backwards. You want the talent out there so you win because winning feeds your ego. The team benefits from the talents of the player. But what about the program? How does the long-term health of the program benefit from playing a player with substandard work ethic?

Another example, I often encounter head coaches who it seems view their job as the coach of the returning varsity lettermen. In their eyes they coach the varsity TEAM. But the varsity TEAM is only one team in the PROGRAM.

They flip and flop what they teach from year to year based on the composition of those returning lettermen. They may even win games this way. Tactically however, their program has little identity. There is no style of play holding the program together. This leaves staff wondering what they will be teaching from year to year making program alignment perplexing.

The beauty of diagramming and cataloging plays, drills and concepts is they can can be packaged into playbooks within FastDraw. Those playbooks can then be shared with staff and form the curriculum that brings about the program alignment coaches seek. Providing sub-varsity, junior high or position coaches clear diagrams of what they are expected to teach players is a great first step towards program alignment. Decide then create.

For example, perhaps you decide upon a ball screen continuity offense as your “program” offense. With a little work you can create a complete Euro Ball Screen Continuity Playbook for your PROGRAM. Creating the playbook with FastDraw and sharing with staff is the easy part! Deciding upon a program approach and committing to a long-term plan to develop it is the bigger challenge.

Building a program with perennial success and clean alignment requires the head coach to be intentional. The coach must see the big vision and be able build the framework that supports the growth and development of players that feed the program with the skills needed to win within the desired system.

To have all the tools you need in your toolbelt, use FastDraw to get organized, foster education and create the curriculum for this system to take shape.

Continue the conversation:

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Randy Sherman is the owner and founder of Radius Athletics - a basketball coaching consulting firm - where he consults with basketball coaches at all levels on coaching philosophy, practice planning, Xs & Os and teaching a conceptual style of basketball. While a head basketball coach at the the interscholastic level, Sherman's teams won 197 games in nine seasons.

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