Why You Should Be Using Statistics With Your Team

With the booming advancements in statistical analysis in all circles of the basketball world, more and more coaches, fans, commentators, and casual observers are throwing around numbers and statistics to prove their points, justify their opinions, and demonstrate their knowledge about the game.

However, statistics have more value than being mere random facts or figures shared over a dinner conversation or ESPN analysis show. 

Strategically using statistics as a coach can help you improve decision-making, better understand your team, players, and opponents, and drive winning. 

If you aren’t using statistics to bring about more success with the team you coach, why aren't you?

Here are 3 reasons why you should be using statistics with your team: 

First, if you don’t know it’s broken, you can’t fix it.

Without recording statistics, it’s hard to know what your team is or is not doing well. For various reasons (confirmation bias, being too close to it, observational bias), it’s not wise to rely on your memory to analyze how well your team or players are performing in certain areas. 

That’s where statistics come in. 

If you can look at a stat sheet and see you have a player that is committing 4 turnovers per game, you can work to fix that. You can take the ball out of their hands. You can put them in different spots on the floor. You can decide to play a more efficient player in their place. 

If you are guessing or going by feel alone, you run the risk of continued low performance.

Second, statistics make you a better coach and decision maker. 

Having a strong grasp on how your team is performing in specific areas gives you data to back up decisions you make in the future. 

Let’s take a look at this scenario: 

- Your team is scoring 1.2 points per three-pointer attempted 

- Your team is scoring .9 points per two-pointer attempted 

- Your team is shooting 35 two-pointers per game and 15 three-pointers per game 

With this information, you have the data to back up changing the types of shots you shoot, the offense you are running, and your offensive game plan in general. 

Your main concern as a coach is putting your team in the best position to win more basketball games. Use statistics to guide decisions that encourage this.

It just makes sense to have data in your corner when making decisions on offensive scheme, defensive strategy, shot selection, etc.

Lastly, statistics can help change the way your players play. 

If your players are aware of their statistics and you emphasize the statistics that are important to you as a coach, they are much more likely to start doing those things. 

For example, if you share Assist/Turnover ratio with your players, emphasize its importance, and play the players who both share the ball on offense and don’t turn it over…your players will start working to do those things at a more efficient rate. 

Players want as much playing time as possible. If they’re aware of what a coach wants, they will start working to provide that for the coach. 

Statistics aren’t a magic pill to having better players. Recording stats doesn’t guarantee success. 

But, knowing what your team is good at, what they’re poor at, and emphasizing statistics that are important to you as a coach offers your team opportunities to improve, be more efficient, and, ultimately, puts them in a better position to win more games. We all know that "what you measure will improve." So what are you measuring?