Bert DeSalvo’s halftime talk tips

There are some teams that just struggle coming out of the locker room at halftime. It’s hard to pinpoint why but there are no minutes to be wasted in a game. So, if your team takes a while to get going after the break, consider some of these tips about what to say at the half from Bert DeSalvo, who has been an assistant men’s coach and head women’s coach at several collegiate levels.

1.Have a discussion – Players are tired. Don’t overload them. “I ask players questions and keep them thinking at all times. I rather have a dialogue than a monologue from the coaching staff”.

2. Keep it loose – Players pick up their cues from staff, so don’t be too uptight, or players may take the court the same way. “Coaches must practice relaxing techniques to portray a cool, calm and collected sense, and build confidence in players”. DeSalvo adds he sometimes uses music or video clips to lighten the mood but it depends on the game situation and the types of players he has.

3. Find a spark – If you need to find energy, maybe open the half in a full-court press for a few possessions. Insert a bench player who excels in full-court defense to shake things up. “This hopefully excites our team and lets them know the coaching staff is staying aggressive, and has confidence in them”.