My coaching journey

When I conducted coaching clinics in Canada last month, several coaches asked how I ended up different than most coaches. There is, I suppose, a presumption about most coaches implied in that question, and my answer obviously reflected my bias of a stereotypical coach or the representation of most coaches. Despite these implications, I feel confident that people who know me from coaching or my writing about coaching put me towards a different end of a spectrum than most coaches. So, how did I become different? Read more

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

Fear, anger, and coaching

When I speak to players about their college coaches, I often am astonished at the lack of respect that the coaches have for the players, and the lack of knowledge of science and training. Many appear to believe the worst about the players who they recruit and mentor.  Read more

How to Maximize Coaching Hours for Coaching Performance

In another article, I suggested that if we believe that coaching is a learned skill, and not an innate talent, the 10,000-hour rule popularized by Dan Coyle, Malcolm Gladwell, and others should apply to coaching.

When I was young, I coached as much as possible. During college, I coached a different team during every season and coached AAU too. By the time that I graduated from college, I had a dozen years of head coaching experience in volleyball and basketball from nine-year-olds through junior-varsity and with boys and girls.

Additionally, I spent my first few summers after college working 8-10 weeks of summer camps, which provided additional opportunities to teach skills and manage teams. When other coaches rested during lunch, I ran individual workouts teaching skills that were ignored by the normal camp schedule.

By the time I was hired for a head coaching job in a professional league when I was 25 years-old, I had considerable coaching experience although I had not played college basketball or coached at any level above NCAA D3.  Read more

A Coach’s Effect on Youth Athlete’s Development

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness.

My friend – a father of five and a good youth basketball coach – sent me this email:

“Here’s a stupid story. My son is playing minors baseball (with actual pitching) this year. He’s always been a real confident player (almost cocky), and he’s an above-average player at his park and easily the best player on his sorry team. Anyway, he swings at a lot of bad pitches. His coach yells at him and threatens to move him back in the order every time he grounds out or pops up on a bad pitch. I stayed out of the way until I realized he was so nervous at the plate that he was striking out. I finally got it out of him that he was trying to walk because he was afraid of swinging at bad pitches and he wouldn’t swing until he had at least two strikes and then he would swing at ANYTHING. I told him to stop listening to his stupid coach and swing at anything he thought he could hit. Anyway, he ended up making the All-Star team and is doing OK again.” Read more

Coaching talent and management strategies

I started to brainstorm this post after reading the article “Success Can Make You Stupid” in Fast Company. This morning, I visited Vern Gambetta’s blog and he had written this:

If you are a sport coach it is good to have some exposure to the game as a player at some level. With professional baseball the pedigree they often look for is someone who has played Major League baseball, this results in severe inbreeding bordering on incest. It allows little creativity or innovation. I think Bill Belichick is the coach he is because he did not play pro football.

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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.

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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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