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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Basketball: Player Development As the Holy Grail

Add value. Excellent players add value for teammates. Outstanding coaches add value for the players, assistants, and teams. But how?

What "secret sauce" goes into the competitive cauldron that brews success? Success elements include technique, tactics, physiology, and psychology

1. Sacrifice. What are you prepared to sacrifice? Everyone says, "I work hard." Few have the will to follow through on the routine, the monotony. 

But sacrifice can mean fewer touches, fewer shots, fewer accolades...and more wins. Teams that marinate in sacrifice reap the rewards. Will Durant, Harden, and Irving sacrifice like Pierce, Garnett, and Allen and capture the flag? 

Study trainers online like Drew Hanlen, Don Kelbick, and a rising cadre of others profiled on“If social media was prevalent around that time, the story would be not that [Jordan and Bryant] were working out, but it would be when they’re not working. Because if they would have posted when they’re working out, that would have been every single day,” Grover says.

2. Focus. The first price is paying attention. Fight distractions. Even a computer "multitasks" by imperceptibly switching between one task and another. Work or study or goof off. We can't have it both ways. 

3. Technique creates advantage, wins one-on-one battles. Separate and finish. High school players won't have the same depth of skill as higher level players. 
- Catch and shoot. (Add time constraints and competition in practice.)
- Catch and shoot against closeouts. 
- Upfake and drive (wing series).
- Face up and score (box drills).
- Score one-on-one (against same and better competition).
- Create two-on-two. 

4. Explore team tactics to create and limit advantage.
- Game understanding (video study)
- Scrimmaging/small-sided games 

5. Physiology. What does my body need
- Strength and conditioning
- Blend skills within training (e.g. free throw shooting as rest).
- Measure progress (e.g. completing 8 x 220 yds < 40 secs each with 120 second breaks between, vertical jump) 
- Get adequate sleep (minimum 8 hours)
- Nutrition... fruits, vegetables, hydration (nutritionists don't agree on much - but agree on fruits and vegetables, less sugar, and fewer processed foods)

Sargent jump test

6. Psychology. The ability to play longer and harder with less performance dropoff
- Mindfulness training (UCLA scripts)
- Build and track better habits (have a winning morning routine)
- Visualizations (Ten-minute toughness
   - Find solutions
   - Affirmations and visual highlight reel, "every minute of visualization is worth seven minutes of physical practice"
Lagniappe. Adam Spinella ATOs. How do actions work? 

Lagniappe 2. David Hemery's Sporting Excellence captures how champions think. When discussing courage, downhill skier Ken Read said it's about doing what must be done, staying in a tuck instead of throwing an elbow out that costs you a tenth. The video emphasizes that the Canadians coached each other. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Basketball: How the Periodic Table Inspires Offense with Multiple Actions with Video Proof

Ideas mysteriously pop into our heads. 

Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev knew that elements were related and developed a "periodic table." The vertical columns also organized "similar" elements. And you thought high school wasted your time? 

How could we use the periodic table to generate offensive actions? We could lay out offensive actions on "cards" and shuffle them to generate multiple actions.

For example, include: 

  • Pick-and-roll
  • Give-and-go
  • Backdoor cut
  • Open a gap
  • Off-ball-screen
  • Dribble handoff (DHO)
  • Multiple screens (e.g. screen-the-screener, screen-the-roller, Iverson cut)
  • Inside-outside passing
Build two sets of cards. Shuffle. You get Pick-and-roll and Inside-outside passing.

Voila! You get the short roll pass (above). 

Next, you draw back cut and DHO

The Clippers oblige with a "5 out" set, cutter, and DHO actions. 

DHO into ballscreen with off-ball screen as an option? T'Wolves run it. 

Open a gap into high pick-and-roll from spread or horns? Heck, everyone operates that. 

Iverson "plus." BBallBreakdown shares how the Cavs create out of the Iverson base action

It's easy to be a "couch coach" but I love seeing coaches "shuffle the deck" to create open shots. 

Lagniappe. Excellent players want the truth. Tell it, take it, live it. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

What Makes A Champion? David Hemery Observations

David Hemery was, on paper, the slowest competitor in the 400 meter hurdles in Mexico City. Likewise, he was English, not from a "running superpower." After he emerged victorious in record time, he undertook a series of interviews with champions, culminating in Sporting Excellence: What Makes a Champion. 

But he's not solely focused on winning and losing. "Sport provides us a wealth of experiences from which to learn and grow." 

Hemery, like I, shared that he views sport as a microcosm of life. "It is the extremes of emotion that give you your deepest experiences in life, and sport did that for me." 

It's also partly why we coach. 

Here are a few excerpts: 

"Introduce your youngsters to a variety of sports...let the youngsters have the final decisions to push themselves." Carl Lewis excelled at youth soccer, Wayne Gretzy was Ontario schools champion in the 800 and 1500 meters. 

"As you train so will you compete...commitment to consistency of practice is vital...our limitations are often self-imposed."

Hemery said that his coach Billy Smith would put his hand on his own leg saying, "I can't feel a thing, let's get on with the next repetition." Trust allows you to continue, to build the mental toughness to go on. 

"Trying to rush back too soon after illness or injury can set you back." 

"Prepare for life after sport."

"Many top performers were late developers." More than 70 percent of track and field performers fell into this category. Race car champion Jackie Stewart didn't start until age 23. 

"Risk-taking means accepting personal responsibility to 'go for it'."

"Courage is seen by overcoming fear...confident commitment in body and mind."

"Parents are role models, so we must behave the way we want our children to behave."

"Overambitious parents will tend to kill the interest and enthusiasm in their children."

"Introversion can help the performer who must spend hours of practice time on their own." Recall Mia Hamm's famous will to train alone. 

"High priority must be given to mutual and personal respect." 

"Many good coaches are uncompromising on the field, but genuinely care about the wellbeing of the performer off the field."

"The most value of all will come from asking the performer about their experiences." 

"Maintaining the performer's enthusiasm in the most important element for the coach." Bring energy and energize the trainees. 

"Solutions aren't written in stone- each person and situation needs monitoring, assessment, and enabling." 

"Leaders share their vision, goals, and strategic direction."

"The most able leaders have flexible styles."

"Silence in a team does not imply assent."

"A great deal of positive energy could be released if we put performers' development at the top of our priority organizational planning."

"Ownership comes out of discussion, not imposition." (Collaborate)

"Willingness to admit ignorance is helpful for the leader and the team."

"If ownership is taken away, it ends up with nobody owning the problem!"

"Competitiveness seems to be innate...a performer who doesn't mind losing is more likely to lose."

"Winners can be defined as those who try their hardest to do their best."

'Most top performers give something back in time and endorsements." Exceptional stories exist like Kenyan Kip Keino and his wife who took in over fifty abandoned and orphaned children. 

Lagniappe. Expectations. 

Lagniappe 2. Coach Castellaw breaks down Jamaal Murray's mechanics. It may surprise you. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Basketball: In Search of Unicorns and the Best Tactical Video Ever

Talent approaching Holy Grail status, we invest time searching for and cultivating unicorns, "something highly desirable but difficult to find or obtain."

And we celebrate unicorns throughout art and literature, John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Mozart in Amadeus, Elton John in Rocketman, Michael Oher in The Blind Side. Artistically, basketball blogs won't make the list. 

How would basketball unicorns appear?

Systems like the Hollinger PER capture the concept imperfectly. You say, "that's an impressive list. "Yet, Bernard King clocks in at 100 and Bill Russell at 112, just ahead of Andre Kirilenko, all far behind Clyde Lovelette at 45 and Andre Drummond at 36. Kobe Bryant doesn't crack the top 20. Kobe's a unicorn, Lovelette not so much. 

Some unicorny names appear on the current season PER rankings, especially if we acknowledge that unicorns come in many different sizes and shapes. And sample size distorts the picture, notably during pandemics. 

Zion Williamson feels like a unicorn, yet has a PER of 21.72, currently 28th in the NBA. 

"Who died and made Hollinger king?" 

It's not as though there's one "Hall of Unicorns." Win Shares is another metric that identifies player achievement. If you must know and need a headache, this Reddit Win Share discussion informs us. 

Where would we discover unicorns? Pete Carril (unicorn-like himself) noted that more players would come from the wrong side of the tracks than from homes with three car garages. Yet, Princeton's unicorn was a banker's son who scored 58 points in an NCAA consolation game and became an NBA champion and a US Senator. 

Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas had a minor verbal dustup which seemed unbecoming for a pair of possible unicorns. Suffice it to say that nobody is born into the NBA. 

Unicorns appear on a relative scale. A WNBA player (Shey Peddy) materialized at our high school. 

For coaches, player development seeks transformation of good into excellent, excellent into extraordinary. We don't hear, Drew Hanlen, unicorn maker. Maybe we should. 

What's in unicorn DNA? It often produces size, strength, skill, game savvy, unselfishness, relentlessness, resilience. Yet we might argue that Muggsy Bogues, Spud Webb, or Calvin Murphy were unicorns. 

Can coaches be unicorns? Someone rising from a manager to become an NBA coach (Lawrence Frank) is unicornish but an NBA player to NBA coach (Doc Rivers, Tyronn Lue) feels less so. 

Can unicorns be evil? Readers appreciate that unicorns are in the eye of the beholder. Unicorns reflect goodness, so defrocked billionaires like Donald Sterling can't appear on my unicorn list. 

Unicorns. It's tricky. DNA and discipline, relentlessness and resilience. Who and what are yours? Naturally, doing my research, the beat me to it with their unicorn rankings (but they didn't inspire this piece). 

Lagniappe. Who are my favorite basketball unicorns? 

1. Russell and Chamberlain (they made each other possible)
2. Pete Maravich
3. Dean Smith, mathematician, gentleman, humanitarian
4. Ernie D (DiGregorio)
5. Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (superstar, statesman)

Mine won't be yours; plus I'm old. 

Lagniappe 2. No big deal. "Technique beats tactics." That doesn't mean tactics are chopped liver. Only the best tactical video out there. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Basketball: Chris Oliver Podcast with Jay Larranaga (Part One)

Chris Oliver shares information from Jay Larranaga. There are so many wonderful points that it deserves at least two sessions. Here are excerpts: 

The best half court offense (Dallas 1.02 ppg) last year was less efficient than the worst transition offense (1.03 ppg) of the Knicks. 

"The more we can run...attack before the defense is set...are the most important possessions."

Coach D'Antoni was ahead of the curve...and San Antonio didn't slow down with their great teams in the fourth quarter. 

"Take advantage of mistakes the opponents make." 

"Milwaukee...saw great value in transition offense...and transition defense."

"It's just the consistent effort...they treat every possession the same." 

"Teach multiple efforts at both ends of the court." (PTRW)

"Live the right way, treat people the right way." (Compete as hard as you can.)

"Hold yourself to a standard at both ends." 

Coach Larranaga has studied ALL the possessions of the top transition team (over a defined period).

Defensive end, emphasize quality; offensive end, emphasize quantity.

He gives Eric Bledsoe a lot of defensive credit...reads the offense and tries to take away the offensive intent...and is an excellent communicator.

Offensive disadvantaged breaks outweigh advantaged (numbers) 7:1. But the defense in transition often fails because of poor communication. We could call it BACK AND YACK

One loose ball a game that you don't get is critical.

Praises Stevens for simplicity to help players make the right play. 

Phoenix had best transition 1.19 x 18 possessions (22 ppg). Toronto was third at 1.15 but 24 possessions about 27.6 ppg. 

Need to practice breaks more often without numbers advantage...teamwork, such as drag screens, creates the advantage. 

"Run faster without the ball and slow down a little with the ball." Slowing down a little bit (per John Wall) opened up Bradley Beal a lot. 

Transition is not a race but often ONE on ONE with MORE SPACE and LESS HELP.

"The guys without the ball sprinting gets good spacing." 

One more dribble might allow the spaced shooter a little more time to get set. 

Good players create advantage for teammates.

"I have the arrogance to tell you what a good shot is for each guy." 

Relationships (leading to trust) are formed out of many conversations. 

The individual success of players has to be important to the coach

*Peer pressure. Coach demands a standard, but players push each other to enforce the accountability standard.

"Most players do just enough not to get in trouble but not enough to make a difference." - Jim Crutchfield

"You are capable of more than this." 

It's like parenting, teaching kids to do tough things through loving them. 

Summary (one sentence). 

Making a difference distills to shared accountability. 


Three points: 
1) Coach Larranaga works as Tacko Fall's development coach.
2) "Get friends who care as much about you as Tacko's teammates."
3) The man is not a joke or an NBA clown. You can see his defensive and offensive development along with strength and conditioning work. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Catching Up: Ten Lessons from Recent Posts Plus Reading Defenders

 Spaced repetition is a critical part of education. So off we go. 

1. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. Hardy informs us how productive habits, like study or saving, become magnified by compounding. "Small choices + consistency + time = significant results." The one sentence I remember from the book is, "winners are trackers." 

2. What constitutes achievement? Let's backtrack to Angela Duckworth's Newtonian output equation:



4. 4-1 Zone defense. There is room for well-executed innovation. 

5. More sleep is better for college basketball players. 

Has extended sleep been studied in basketball players? Yes. Here are the highlights:
  • 11 Stanford University basketball players
  • Baseline measurements followed by 5-7 weeks of sleep extension with goal of minimum 10 hours/night 
  • Performance measures (speed, shooting accuracy) and sleepiness scoring
  • Improved sprint times, 9% improvement in free throw and 3-point percentages
  • Sleepiness scores improved
  • Subjective improvements in physical and mental well-being 
  • Conclusion: better sleep led to improved athletic performance
6. Lessons from Erik Spoelstra

7. Newell's "Big Three." 

You won't regret time invested in Coach Pete Newell's triad of 'footwork, balance, and maneuvering speed.' You play one hundred percent of the game with your feet. Not sure what footwork to practice? Go to USA Basketball.

8. Love drives parental choices. 

"Accept the Prime Directive, Starfleet Order 1." In Star Trek, the "Prime Directive is a prohibition on interference with the other cultures and civilizations representatives of Starfleet encounter in their exploration of the universe." In sports parenting, advocacy rules. "The well-being of my child/our children comes before the welfare of other children and the good of the team." There are rare exceptions but it's a good rule of thumb. Love drives the conflicts

9. Be creative. Sport affords creativity. Teams paint a canvas with a palette of space and time. Sometimes we love the results, others we hate the images. It's Kurosawa or kindergarten. 

Image from Kurosawa's masterpiece, Dersu Uzala

10. TTF (Take the first choice.) Attack Space. Excellent players win in space and this translates across sport domains. In soccer, it's the 'through pass'. In football, think about crossing patterns or delay routes from stack formations. In baseball, it's the hit and run. "Hit 'em where they ain't." 

Lagniappe: 950 likes, 1 dislike (somebody has to be different). Watch video to help decision-making. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Basketball: More is More, Have Players Sleep More and Better

More is more. Innovation is before us, like better sleep. 

When I was a Navy physician (1981-1991), we talked about the Bruce Jenner Protocol, necessary for championship performance. The same principles applied to Pulmonary Rehabilitation. 

  1. Healthy diet
  2. Exercise/training 
  3. Medication/supplements
  4. Restful Sleep 
  5. Motivation (Olympic Gold, something to live for) 
A variety of factors contribute to our need for sleep including circadian rhythm and its relationship to melatonin levels. We won't perform our best without adequate sleep which, for our players, should be at least eight hours

From MasterClass. We need deep, restorative non-REM sleep and REM sleep.

According to the London Sports Institute, hormones secreted during sleep help physiologically restore an athlete’s body. Melatonin activates other enzymes that help to reduce inflammation, while other hormones released during deep sleep work to repair muscle, build bone and oxidize fats.

Has extended sleep been studied in basketball players? Yes. Here are the highlights:
  • 11 Stanford University basketball players
  • Baseline measurements followed by 5-7 weeks of sleep extension with goal of minimum 10 hours/night 
  • Performance measures (speed, shooting accuracy) and sleepiness scoring
  • Improved sprint times, 9% improvement in free throw and 3-point percentages
  • Sleepiness scores improved
  • Subjective improvements in physical and mental well-being 
  • Conclusion: better sleep led to improved athletic performance

During sleep, our brains also convert shorter-term memories into durable ones

Improve sleep via improved sleep hygiene

From MasterClass. The half life of caffeine is five to six hours, so a 2 PM coffee still has a quarter of its effect ten to twelve hours later. Caffeine also decreases sleep quality by lessening deep sleep stages. Caffeine appears in various degrees in energy drinks, chocolate, decaf coffee, and even ice cream! 

Alcohol disrupts sleep with less deep sleep and more periods of awakenings referred to as sleep fragmentation. It also decreases REM sleep that impairs creativity and may even alter life expectancy. Researchers who gave a dose of alcohol on either the first or third night of a one week study found a decrement of up to fifty percent of information retention via decreased REM sleep. 

The over-the-counter sleep supplement, melatonin, doesn't have any consistent benefits for athletes. It may reduce jet lag

- All coaches want improved player performance
- Better sleep improves physical and cognitive performance
- Improved sleep improves speed and shooting accuracy
- Improved sleep improves memory and learning
- Focus on teaching sleep hygiene measures

Lagniappe. Points don't grow on trees (often on threes). How Corey Kispert and the Zags attacked the Virginia defense... ball screens, flare screens, duck-ins, drives. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Basketball: What Would It Take for You to Relocate (Coaching)?


Would more money make us better coaches? Levitt and Dubner ask whether paying politicians more would get better educated, experienced, and effective politicians. Studies showed better pay attracted better public servants. 

How does money impact our coaching? Coaches invest time and money (books, clinics, software, DVDs, food, gas, etc.) to coach. There is a nominal fee available for coaching middle school in our city, which I don't accept. Like all of you, I invest funds to provide notebooks, laminated sheets (e.g. Pyramid of Success, Jay Bilas's "Toughness" Qualities), and other teaching materials. Pre-pandemic we also had an end of year gathering and awards. 

Let's backtrack to Angela Duckworth's Newtonian output equation:


Most coaching jobs (e.g. high school) are year-to-year. If you're paid "X" in a one-year deal, how much of a "bump" in compensation (pay, benefits, contract duration) would attract you to move to the rival school? 


What improves our "satisfaction" equation? Situation both boost and detract from a position. When a proposal to reduce our practice time by half arose, I pushed back saying that I couldn't teach enough or make us competitive. We still ended up losing a quarter of practice time because of school scheduling. It's hard to compete against programs with eight hours a week versus our three. 

Environment includes everything from the gym lighting to floor conditions to parental, community, and administration support. Personnel? I've coached in one community with great young people, so I have no comparison. 

Investopedia describes the marginal utility of income. 

Everyone's situation is different. A young family person may need the coaching stipend more than someone like me, a physician in career twilight. 

Additionally, some coaches take the hometown discount if they're established in a community. Here's a recent post seeking a JV boys coach. 

I have no idea whether this position is "in line" with others but the posted salary is prorated by hours worked (e.g. $32K x 12/40 hours x 13/52 weeks ~ $2400). If you love basketball, an additional couple of grand is a sweetener but not the caffeine. 

At $40K, the number rises to 40,000 x 12/40 x 13/52 ($3000). 

Many coaching salaries accompany teaching positions which are the primary income source. Income can piggyback atop teacher salaries and factor into retirement calculations which adds extra benefits. 

Of course, the salaries vary by sport and location. In football-crazy Texas, the coaching salary scale is on another level

At these rates, money isn't the driving force for coaching. The bottom line for changing positions likely reflects David Cottrell's quote in Monday Morning Leadership, "People don't quit jobs; people quit people." 

Lagniappe: As I've repeatedly posted, during the pandemic, Massachusetts HS basketball entries are SLOBs. Ergo, learn as much as possible about SLOB execution. I like the zipper into action similar to Elbow Get. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Championship Coaching - Nick Saban Pearls

Don't worship at the altar of Nick Saban, but recognize the whys and hows of a seven times National Championship coach. Steal parts of his ethos and leave the rubbish behind.

As a child, he worked at his father's gas station while his mother and sister worked at the Dairy Queen. His father had him wash cars and if he missed a spot, Dad had him rewash the whole car. That spawned his attention to detail. Monte Burke's biographical take..."the impossible-to-please father pushing his son for an impossible-to-achieve perfection." 

He's beyond consistent. If you want to find Alabama in the National Rankings, you know where to look. 

But it's more than that. He starts every day with a shower and two Little Debbie Oatmeal Snack cakes. At precisely noon, he has a turkey sandwich. 

He has a way with words. My favorite Saban quote, "are you investing your time or are you spending it?"

Players know they are representing Alabama. Take this epic quote from Monte Burke's unauthorized bio, "you never want to sleep with anybody who has less to lose than you, ultimately, if I'm ever going to sleep around on Miss Terry, it's going to be with Hillary #$%&ing Rodham Clinton." A player said, "And it was actually a great lesson." 

Focus. It's about that play. "The average play...lasted about seven seconds. The players would concentrate only on winning those seconds."

Saban quotes:

"You gotta notice what you don't notice."

"If you want to be happy with the results, I'm happy with the results. If you want to be happy with the process, I'm not." (The Saban Way is called The Process.)

"Playing sports is like a metaphor of life." 

"Successful people have consistency in performance." 

If you're a ten year-old at football camp, do you expect a break? Watch the whole video, but if nothing else go to 2:10. "When a coach is talking to you, he's teaching you." At Alabama if you're having a bad day, Saban will be on you, sometimes with "second helpings" and "third helpings." 

You might argue that Alabama pays too much for a football coach. Here's why they pay him too little. 

1. He has raised over $500 million for the University. 

2. His presence has elevated the caliber of students attending Alabama. 

Alabama is in the top five universities in attracting National Merit Scholars. 

Lagniappe. Watch video every day to reinforce your knowledge. Beating the hard hedge from Slappin' Glass. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Basketball: Ideas, Currency, and Freakonomics

- Kenny Rogers, "The Gambler"

Ideas, like currency, differ in value and utility. Nobody would accept "Beanie Babies" as an alternative currency but bitcoin feels about as durable yet flourishes. 

All ideas are not created equal. Watching basketball, we see a rise (analytics, three-point shots) and fall (stall ball, post play) of certain ideas. "And "knowin' what to throw away and knowin' what to keep" are two of our prime commandments. 

To get better results than the basketball masses, we need better ideas, more effective personnel (!), or better execution, which likely combines the first two. 

For example, consider packline defense. Taking away direct drives with gap help and contesting perimeter shots without fouling aren't novel. Virginia did it better than most, and enjoyed the spoils (national championship) and suffering (one seed first round NCAA defeat). 

I started Dubner and Litner's When to Rob a Bank, a springboard to fresher thinking. Freshness attracts us, but doesn't guarantee quality. Drinking fresh hemlock tea can kill you. My college organic chemistry professor quipped, "if you're going to take cyanide after this test, take it with orange juice to improve its absorption." I doubt he'd use the same language today. 

What ideas might become fresh or (referencing Tan France) style that comes back around again? 
  1. Post play. The "next great post player" will come around again. The question becomes whether officials will call fouls when she inevitably gets hacked. 
  2. Offenses designed to counteract sellout defense against the three via pass and cut will find higher points per possession.  
  3. 4-1 Zone defense. There is room for well-executed innovation. 

Stay mentally open to innovation, but never be the first to add nor the last to delete potentially helpful concepts. 

Lagniappe: Draymond Green sniffs out Toronto's SLOB, the Warriors handle it and basketball IQ wins again. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Basketball : Fast Five - Why Should They Hire You as a Coach?

"Welcome to your interview, Coach. We reviewed your resume and your packet. The committee has only one question. This is a turnaround situation with limited resources. What is your edge?"

Coaching isn't a monolith. Sport fosters lifelong relationships. In a recent Zoom conference with Harvard classmates, relationships stood out. Several recalled a teammate who would yell "weakside help"...on the streets of Cambridge. Relationships build loyalty, trust, and respect. Build those bridges. 

It continues with superior organization and clarity to implement philosophy, culture, and identity. To do your job you must know it and "pursue excellence daily" (Jon Gordon) to surpass expectations at every level from the managers, the entire roster, and the coaching staff. 

Our philosophy is that our play reflects our life. Life requires positive habits, preparation, and attention to detail. Be fired up and ready to go every day. Bring energy and energize your teammates. 

Culture matters. Adopt elements from winning cultures like Erik Spoelstra's Heat:

Basketball rewards symmetry. Offensive separation creates quality shots; defense denies them by forcing one bad shot. 

Coaches succeed or fail based on the available talent. The ability to recruit or to develop talent creates edges. "Every day is player development day." Four former players particularly stand out at this point whose results reflect THEIR hard work: 

SD - Brooks School, reclassified junior, center, at least four D1 offers, led her team to Independent School State Title last year

KS - Mystic Valley, senior, point guard, all-league 2020

AC - Melrose, senior, shooting guard, all-league 2020. Scored 16 points in her club's only game so far

CK - Arlington Catholic, freshman, forward, averaging 22 points, 14 rebounds in four games this season

Ability to ask better questions. Self-assessment of strengths and weakness allows editing. 

  • What does our team need now?
  • What are the hardest actions for opponents to defend? 
  • How can we do more of what is working and less of what isn't? 
  • How can our team play longer and harder
  • How can we separate ourselves using special situations? 
  • What can we steal from others to improve? 
Lagniappe. Stealing every day. "NBA actions on steroids." 

Here a clip from the video of an "ELEVATOR" variant.
Lagniappe 2. What is your 'favorite' book and why? Erik Spoelstra recommends, "When to Rob a Bank" by the Freakonomics guys. The book "borrows" from the Freaknomics blog, which is exceptional. For example, which is more dangerous - motorcycles or horseback riding? 

Lagniappe 3. The Freakonomics podcast. Talent or effort

Skill x Application (time) = Achievement