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

Learning tricks or improving game performance

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, July/August 2014.

My 18-year-old back-up point guard approached me after a workout and asked about a Youtube video that he had seen. He said that he watched a basketball trainer do a drill where he combined different ball-handling moves like a crossover dribble or a spin move with picking up and setting down cones. He asked if I could show him how to do the drill, and if I thought the drill would help him. Read more

Why Basketball Skill Trainers Fail

In today’s game, almost everyone uses a basketball skill trainer of some kind. Players work with an individual coach on general skills or have a shooting coach to work on their shot or they attend a weekend clinic with a trainer to do a variety of drills. Read more

Deliberate practice: The maintainer or the trainer

I was a basketball trainer, one of the legions of former players and coaches who earn an income working privately with basketball players. To some, this is evidence of an epidemic of misplaced priorities, as young players seek additional coaching and training much like a professional athlete; however, to others it offers hope to young athletes motivated to work hard and succeed. It depends on one’s perspective. Read more

  • 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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