Don't be afraid of the Big Stage - And other post-season thoughts from Sacred Hoops Basketball

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By Rich Winter and Allan Bertram,

Well, we are on the eve of a pretty special time of the season. Tons of meaningful games, going on all over the state (weather permitting) and throughout all classes….That said, you look at the playoff schedule and most of the Class B girls regions get started with play-in games on MONDAY…

THREE days from today…Monday!

Coach Bertram put down some thoughts about the post-season earlier today (I’ll include later) but I wanted to hear from Mr. Bertram on how he addressed the Big-Stage moment with his teams….We see it a lot, people go to the Round-of-16 or State Tournament and some tighten up…Some Don’t

How to get over the Fear of the Big-Stage:

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Coach Bertram

“l always told my players to embrace the moment. We work hard all off-season to prepare for moments like this. Those that fear big moments are the ones that are not prepared. The best teams and players are confident!! Confidence in their abilities, their teammates abilities, and in their coaches.

Truly the only pressure you have is what you put on yourself. If you spend most of your thoughts on losing or the bad that can happen, you will never win. You must focus on your strengths, what you need to do to have the best chance to win, and be confident in who you are.” Allan Bertram.

Ahhh Confidence: Does everyone remember the movie Hoosiers…In that movie this little itty bitty town in Indiana, Hickory…old crusty uniforms, like six kids on the team…And they make it to the state finals…So these guys are used to playing in tiny gyms with the crowd on top of them and here they enter what I think was the Hoosier Dome…(They all looked up in awe at the cavernous arena - Huge, expansive) First thing Gene Hackman (the coach) did was pull out a tape measure and show the kids the rim was ten-feet high and the free-throw distance to the hoop was 15-feet…Just like their little gym in Hickory.

When coach Bertram talks about being confident, be confident like Jimmy Chitwood was on the final shot.

(Tear up every time he says I’LL MAKE IT - with utmost confidence)

Comments Posted by Coach Bertram on the Sacred Hoops Facebook Page Earlier.

Players - Want to win in the Post-Season?
🏀 Give Max Effort on Defense
🏀 Make contact to maximize Rebounding
🏀 Sprint the Floor 100% of Time in Transition
🏀 Cut With a Purpose
🏀 Find Contact on Your Screens
🏀 Be Shot Ready on O
🏀 Communicate on the Floor
🏀 Trust Your Teammates
🏀 Trust the Game Plan

While all of Coach Bertram’s comments are on point…I find the ones in Bold, something I’ve never heard and something that sounds important..

Make contact to maximize rebounding: I think sometimes players get caught in that I’m boxing out mode…Are you actively looking for someone to box out and are u putting your booty on them….(Makes a difference)

Find contact with your screens: This is a phenomenal game point…I think we see kids set screens all season long…As the Rounds advance and the teams move forward you are going to notice a lot more screens, and a lot of elite athletes that will be finding contact on screens.