The Value of 3v3

I coached a high-school varsity girls basketball team this season that was a varsity team in name only. There were more absolute beginners on the team — girls who had not played any sport on an organized team — than players with basketball experience. There was not a single player who played on a high school basketball team last season.  Read more

Constant coaching disrupts learning

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The effect of mixed messages on player performance

Early in an u11 boys soccer tournament championship game, with his team trailing 1-0, a fullback went to take a goal kick. Up to this point, the goalie had taken the goal kicks, but he could not kick over the first line of defense, and the parents on the sideline near the goal kicks were anxious. The players sensed the anxiety and yelled at the biggest player, the fullback, to take the kick. Read more

My 2015 Reading List

Last year, I produced a list of the best books that I read in 2014, inspired by Verb Gambetta, and throughout the year, I have been asked for book recommendations (Of course, my first recommendations are the four books that I wrote in 2015: Fake Fundamentals, SABA: The Antifragile Offense, Fake Fundamentals Volume 2, and 21st Century Guide to Individual Skill Development). This year, I decided to publish the list prematurely in the event that people needed a Christmas present for their favorite coach, parent of an athlete, or athlete. 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

The three-person weave, drills, and progressions

People love the three-person weave. Since publishing Fake Fundamentals and Fake Fundamentals: Volume 2, that is my major takeaway. I argued against 20 drills and teaching points that are pervasive in basketball at every level, and the only one that angers people is the three-person weave.  Read more

All-Blacks and Pep Guardiola: Two articles on expert coaching

In “Pep Guardiola: The Man Behind the Manager”, Jamie Scrupps wrote that there are three things that separate Guardiola from his peers: Never ending quest to learn, relationship with players, and never ending tactical innovations.  Read more

The evolution of basketball, play, and practice

Kobe Bryant’s comments earlier this season about the lack of skill development in American players highlighted the angst felt by many who are involved with basketball in the United States. Whether right or wrong, basketball has changed over the last generation. I find it hard to argue that the U.S. cannot produce skilled players anymore when I watch NBA games with Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and others, but when I watch recruiting videos of 18 and 19 year-old non-elite players from the U.S. and Europe, I find myself favoring the European players (Of course, part of the argument that is missing is that I am comparing players who play for the junior national teams in their home countries to players who would be ranked well outside the top 250 players in the United States).  Read more

Systems and Skill Development in Youth Basketball

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Creating a coach training program

The basketball program founded and directed by a friend in Accra, Ghana is growing, and he emailed and asked for advice on devising a program to train new coaches. Previously, he has coached all of the teams in his club, but with the growth, he needs to develop more coaches, especially as he takes on other projects to grow the game in the country. Read more

Next Page »

  • 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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