My 2014 Reading List

Inspired by Vern Gambetta, I decided to put together a link of the relevant books that I read throughout 2014. Because I spent the first half of the year making five-hour bus trips for games nearly every Saturday, I had a chance to read a decent number of books this year (although nothing like Coach Gambetta), many of which contributed to my free weekly newsletter. The list is loosely in the order in which I recommend the books to a coach, although everyone’s interests differ. Enjoy. Read more

Coaching or Training?

Vern Gambetta has a post titled “Are you coaching them or training them?” Gambetta wrote:

Those who are training the athletes are counting reps, looking at the stopwatch and shouting out times. Those who are coaching are closely observing the athlete, commenting on technique, encouraging and correcting. You can teach a anyone to yell out times or to spot to someone, it is much harder to coach, you have to be fully involved have a plan, see the big picture, understand the context of the exercise or the drill and the training sessions.

Most basketball trainers fit Gambetta’s definition of trainers: they set up a drill and call out repetitions. This goes for those working with kids as well as those working with pros. There is often very little coaching involved with specialty trainers.

Those that are trainers, not coaches are looking for the magic bullet, the secret workout, the short cut to the championship. Coaches understand that there are not any shortcuts and secrets. Coaching is just hard, planned and directed work that accumulates over time to produce the desired performance. Building athletes and teams is an incredible long term commitment that demands total focus and concentration.

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Coach/Clinician, Brian McCormick Basketball
Author, Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development
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.

    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 →