Step Inside the Gym with Randolph Macon head coach Josh Merkel. Get an in-depth look behind the scenes of what goes on at a top college basketball program. This is better than a clinic as you will feel like you are in the gym with an NCAA D3 Championship coach.
Get access to four full practices, and one full clinic session. Over 8+ hours of on-court and clinic footage.
Josh Merkel, the Randolph Macon head basketball coach, is taking us through his all-access practice series. This series provides an in-depth look at the practice sessions of one of the top college basketball coaches in the nation. See how a coach develops and educates his team on a daily basis. Gain valuable insight into what it takes to run an effective practice.
Explore Coach Merkel's coaching style and strategies as he guides his team through their day-to-day basketball practices. Through this series, viewers will gain insight into the teaching process, better coaching techniques, and how to motivate players for successful performance on the court.
With this All Access Practice Series, Coach Merkel hopes to provide coaches with the information they need in order to become better teachers and help their players and teams reach their full potential. Don't miss out on this chance to improve your practice structure and take your team to the next level.
Since being named head coach at Randolph-Macon in 2015, Josh Merkel has led the Yellow Jackets to sustained success not only in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) but in all of Division III basketball. In the 2021-2022 season, RMC raised the bar to new heights, winning the NCAA Division III National Championship with a 75-45 win over Elmhurst College. The Yellow Jackets won their last 27 games of the season, finishing with a 33-1 won-lost record. Merkel earned honors as 2022 NABC Division III Coach of the Year, 2022 National Coach of the Year by D3hoops.com, and was the recipient of the 2022 Glenn Robinson Award for the second straight year as the top Division III head coach. Merkel’s won-lost record in seven seasons at Randolph-Macon is 148-38 and 214-79 overall, including four seasons as head coach at Salisbury. This 2022 team had national rankings in Winning percentage (1st); Assist Turnover ratio (1st); Scoring Defense (2nd); Scoring Margin (4th); and FG% (5th). Their 48 consecutive home wins in Crenshaw is the longest current streak in Division III.
During the 2004-05 season, Merkel was a graduate assistant coach at West Virginia under head coach John Beilein. Merkel helped the Mountaineers reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament and earn a ranking as high as No. 12 in the national polls.
Merkel was an assistant coach for five seasons at Eastern Kentucky with head coach Jeff Neubauer. From 2006-10, the Colonels registered 73 victories, the highest four-season total in program history. EKU won the Ohio Valley Conference championship in 2007 and faced North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.Fast Facts:
This coaching clinic will help you reconnect key ideas and concepts as seen in coach Josh’s all access practice videos. Practice isn’t a coaching clinic! To have this clinic as an additional resource is GOLD.
Get behind the curtain and learn key ideas, concepts and details that have shaped the Randolph-Macon program into one of the most winning NCAA basketball programs, over the last 4 years with an above 90% winning percentage.
Get to know the thought process and theory behind some of the main drills and game situations coach Josh uses and how this all connects back to the “fight for your learning” and “peer coaching” concepts.
What you’ll get from this detailed 1 hour coaching clinic:
This clinic will be a great resource to help guide you through the all access videos and you will see how coach Josh uses these concepts in his practices.
Practice #6 of the Randolph-Macon ALL-Access Practice Video starts with a clear direct message from Coach Josh “earn the respect and trust of your teammate” Throughout the video this is demonstrated by competing in every drill and game.
We get a look at Randolph-Macon's “press O” and how they incorporate reads and decisions to “make people pay” for pressing and having the mentality of attacking the pressure to create easy offensive opportunities.
As part of the preseason build we see how coach Josh uses a series of different small sided games to rep & teach the various defensive skills that have helped Randolph-Macons become the powerhouse it is today. The various SSG’s serve as a great platform to two-way teach which the coach demonstrates throughout the practice.
The “Peer coaching” concept is well demonstrated throughout the practice and will be a common theme as part of the Randolph-Macon's culture. It's a great tool for all coaches to see in action as another way to help teach the game while building leadership via player led opportunities.
Practice #7 of the Randolph-Macon ALL-Access Practice Video includes a range of different drills, small-sided games and live game situations where players are encouraged to “speak up, start to coach” and become their own teachers on the court through their voice and leadership.
Coach Josh goes into detail with his ‘chase game’ concept and’ jungle game’, allowing players to find solutions based on what the defense is doing. These are either 2 man or 3 man actions allowing players a bit of freedom within a spacing structure to explore. (DHO, PINS, FLARES, etc.)
A huge component of the practice is defensive focused. Josh is constantly putting the team into various defensive coverages either in 3v3 games or DHO situations. The defense is disruptive, rewarding deflections and identifying when players are active off the ball with hands and positioning he calls “touching the rope” which is emphasized a lot throughout practice.
During the live games of 5v5 you can see how Josh promotes creativity first by constantly reminding players to “play to your strengths” first before running the sets. This can be determined by individual mismatches or by numbers/positional advantages. The players have freedom to identify and communicate how they would like to attack first in transition and have set plays to free up space to attack if no advantage is clear.
Key concepts/ideas covered in this video:
In this practice video, you can see Coach Josh start with intent and direction immediately. He asks players to “show your commitment level” and continues to set the tone with the message of ‘a silent team is a losing team’.
The first half of the practice is focused on building habits and patterns with 5 on 0 inbounding sets, 3 on 0 offensive breakdowns, 2v2 rebounding situations and 3v3 continuous games. There is an emphasis on exaggerating movements (catches, eyes on rim, speed of attack) and various locations/spacings encouraging movements via cuts, replacements, etc.
Competition is built in practice with the second half of practice being either 5v5 HC or FC games focusing on teaching both sides of the game. Josh does a great job of giving players live feedback during drills or by stopping the drill to teach everyone. You can see the habits being built and shown in the live game situations by the amount of talk that is player driven and player lead as well as the multiple efforts such as deflections, steals, defensive rotations and the overall level of competing.
Watch a teaching style that is transferable to all levels of coaching. Players are asked questions throughout practice as part of the teaching process, as well as guided through possible solutions. Players are given accountability to lead in their own way, being encouraged to use their voice, and communicate on both ends of the floor.
You can also learn how Coach Merkel builds decision makers in practice. His core offensive philosophy is to make simple plays and make reads multiple times within a possession. Because of this he wants players to play decisive, fast and free. He wants players to use and create advantages by first initiating with speed then reacting to the floor balance and what defense is giving them.
Above all else you will see how technical and tactical brilliance is combined with healthy competition. Players are developed to play tough, pressure the ball and compete to make eachother better. Coach Merkel interacts consistently with players throughout the drills and also via mini conversations on the sidelines.