Developing a Skill: Training like a College Player

Last week, I walked into a college practice by accident and saw a similar workout to the one in the video above (I saw this video only because it was listed as a video similar to my conversation about game-based coaching, which confused me). Read more

Why do we use drills?

I start with the premise that the game is the best teacher. In every moment of a game, players make decisions. Even when I stand in the corner, I make the decision to spot up rather than cut to the basket (of course, this is different when the coach controls everything and tells the player to stand in the corner, regardless of what happens, but that’s not how I coach). Read more

Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and skill development

I have compared parents and coaches attempting to control the every movement of their children on a basketball court or soccer field to fantasy football. On Twitter, Innovate FC gave this type of behavior a more eloquent name: Playstation coaching. An article about robots and artificial intelligence provided another metaphor. Read more

Game-Based Practices and Practice Planning

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Thoughts from a Long Time Reader

First of all, I’d like to thank Brian for allowing me to post on his site. Over the years, I’ve been a regular reader of Brian—whether through his books, the Hard2Guard Newsletter, or this blog—and I’ve had the chance to have many discussions with him in the comments section of this site, on Twitter, and through email. I’m honored to have been given the chance to contribute to this blog and look forward to doing so moving forward. To give some background, I don’t have outstanding credentials. No PhD here. I’ve been coaching youth basketball for the last 5 years, and I don’t really have a list of achievements that I can give you. Hopefully whatever Brian sees in me, maybe someone can detect it and let me know because I’m way in over my head with this. Read more

What’s a game shot, really?

I saw this statement by an NBA scout in an article about the upcoming draft:

I’ll never forget Ray Allen telling a story. You have no idea how hard it is to attempt 20 shots in a game. Try to get 20 quality shots? It’s impossible, no way. When you are the featured player, you are defended differently. Your goal in a game should be getting something he called “free looks” on wide-open shots, and make six of them, knowing that the other 12 are going to be contested, and they are so fucking hard to make. You might go fucking 3-for-12 or 4-for-12, but if you go 6-for-8? OK, now you are 9-for-20 or 10-for-20, and you’re whole again. So, on the night, you are 3-8 on your free looks and then 3-for-12 on your contested ones, then you have those fucking horrible shooting nights.

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Prioritizing your practice design

“If, for whatever reason, you were only allowed three 15-minute sessions a week, what would you do?”

The question above is from Dan John’s Can You Go? and is related to strength & conditioning, not basketball. However, the question is one for a coach to consider. If restricted to three 15-minute sessions per week, what would you do? Read more

Games, drills, and instruction

Since the publication of The 21st Century Basketball Practice, and more specifically Fake Fundamentals: Volume 2, many coaches have questioned the de-emphasis on standard drills. This is predictable, as coaches have used these drills for generations. When not examined critically, they make sense. They are used so frequently that they are otherwise beyond reproach.  Read more

Basketball skill trainers, creativity, and following directions

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Plays, Coaching, and the Copycat Syndrome

As the season winds down, and we move into April, coaching clinic season is here. Every spring, coaches spend a lot of money to listen to elite coaches offer a few tidbits of real knowledge. The coaches in the audience scribble down every word, play, and drill; if it is good enough for a famous elite coach, it is good enough for them. Read more

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  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

    Read more →

  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

    Read more →