Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and skill development

I have compared parents and coaches attempting to control the every movement of their children on a basketball court or soccer field to fantasy football. On Twitter, Innovate FC gave this type of behavior a more eloquent name: Playstation coaching. An article about robots and artificial intelligence provided another metaphor. Read more

What makes an elite coach?

Almost since I started this blog I have been asking questions about the characteristics, traits, talents and skills of coaches, and offering my opinions as well as those published by others. In the most recent USOC Olympic Coach E-magazine, an article titled “Expert Coaches of High Performance Athletes” offers four characteristics:

Elite coaches tend to be life-long learners, who approach almost everything with an open mind. They are continually looking for an edge that can help their athletes or themselves improve. Many are voracious readers with a wide variety of interests…

Elite coaches are problem solvers. They will search for answers to problems. Many have developed networks of ‘service providers’ who can help them when they have issues about which way to take something.

They are leaders. The leadership skills of elite coaches are impressive. We sometimes forget that they are not just coaching and directing athletes, they are also managing a large and varied staff, a budget and different logistics.

They can develop and sustain relationships. The relationship between an elite coach and the elite athlete is fascinating…The relationships that work best, in my opinion, are those in which the coach has become the guide. The athlete is self-reliant, but needs the coach to offer advice and suggestions and to be the eyes and ears of the performance…It is a true partnership working toward one goal.

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.

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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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