"Truly special players figure out how to compete (against another player) within the system." - Kyrie Irving
How do we measure progress as a team? We don't have the personnel (e.g. manager) to track practice stats. With a new team we should see progress in process first...getting in and out of drills quickly, hustling over to the whistle, operating at higher tempo and executing drills more efficiently.
Movement without the ball informs gains.
Better play demonstrates vision, decision, and execution. Therefore progress occurs with players seeing the floor, reading offense and defense, making more right plays, and executing more consistently.
At the first practice, spacing was poor. We can envision 'spacing zones.' In transition, "run wide." Young players don't grasp the value of opening passing and driving lanes and stressing defenses who want to double team.
Better passers pass away from defenders and see the help defender. Improved offense means better quality passing to create higher quality shots.
Shot selection informs progress. Novices overrepresent forced shots and "shot turnovers."
Defensive progress demands CARE - concentration, attention, reaction, execution. Successful teams TALK. "I've got ball," "screen left," "help on your right," or "cutter coming." Silent teams lose. Girls may hesitate to communicate to avoid being "bossy" or because of lack of confidence. Reinforce TALK.
Gains should appear in confidence. Bill Parcells says, "confidence comes from proven success." But improvement should still manifest humility. Dean Smith noted, "a lion never roars after a kill."
Flanking the top of Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success are "faith" and "patience." Trust the process (believe) and invest the time.