Basketball skill trainers, creativity, and following directions

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The Difficulty of New Ideas in Basketball

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Coaching by the Book

The March 2011 Wired features an article title “Mad Science” about former Microsoft CTO and current cookbook author Nathan Myhrvold. In the article Myhrvold says:

“If all you want to do is follow recipes, you don’t need insights…if you want to do new things, you have to understand what the hell you’re doing.” Read more

Coaching Basketball and Innovation

USA Volleyball’s John Kessel’s article “We Coach the Way We Were Coached” questions the standard volleyball practice. As a Kessel fan, I used the thoughts last season when I coached volleyball, and some players and the Athletic Director/Girls’ Volleyball Coach acted as though I had no clue.

After reading the article, I found Dan Pink’s blog and saw an interesting factoid from Jerry de Jaager and Jim Ericson’s See New Now:

“A study of the top fifty game-changing innovations over a hundred-year period showed that nearly 80 percent of those innovations were sparked by someone whose primary expertise was outside the field in which the innovation breakthrough took place.”

The factoid made me think about college education: the hardest part of an elite college is getting admitted.

Unfortunately for innovation, the rules of nearly every industry (coaching included) keep out outsiders.

Think of the most innovative coaches. Many come from different backgrounds. Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach was not a football player; St Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is the only Major League pitching coach who was not a pitcher; Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony’s off-season workout coach is a former lawyer, Idan Ravin; noted track coach and Velocity Sports Performance founder Loren Seagrave was an ice hockey player.

When we narrow our focus too much when hiring coaches, we potentially miss out on the next innovation.

By Brian McCormick
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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