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Sunday, February 4, 2018

Basketball and More: There's a Word for That

Words empower us. Words inspire, anger, and make memories. Words color our mental pictures. The words we choose, and how we say them, change lives. 

Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a Swahili word representing community. The TED blog describes Ubuntu, "translated as “human kindness,” but its meaning is much bigger in scope than that — it embodies the ideas of connection, community, and mutual caring for all." Boyd Varty says below, "I am, because of you." The 2007-2008 Boston Celtics embraced ubuntu as their mantra, meaning the team represented more than the individual. 

Mana. Mana is a Polynesian word meaning prestige, authority, or powerful force. It crosses  many cultures. Mana informs art in Star Wars as 'The Force' and in Avatar as the communal power of nature. Individuals with mana inspire and influence their community. It also implies high personal character and performance for good. Help players develop their mana. 

Sawubona. Sawubona is a Zulu greeting, literally translated as "I see you." The Global Oneness Project defines it as, "an agreement to affirm and investigate the mutual potential and obligation that is present in a given moment." It informs more than 'hello', a grander and more inclusive view of human potential.

Borot'sya. Daniel Coyle authored The Talent Code, including a chapter on the Spartak Tennis Club, where many of the world's greatest women tennis players trained. Players learn the word, borot'sya, not to play but to struggle. Trainees understand leaving their comfort zone to grow their game. 

Iktsuarpok. Iktsuarpok is an Inuit (Native Alaskan) word expressing anticipation. Mental Floss explains its use, "you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet." It might apply to the pacing and impatience we coaches get prior to games and even practice. Let's get this show on the road. 


I call the 'generic' two guard front, Turquoise. The initiating guard has multiple 'pass and cut' or pass and screen options, some of which are shown above. Ideally, we teach players to play, not to run plays

UCONN horns concepts (abbreviated)

Horns sets are popular in the NBA and with Geno Auriemma's UCONN Huskies. This (busy) diagram shows the wings starting higher, with multiple possibilities: 
1) Post entry with back cut (almost blind pig)
2) Double staggered screen for the wing (e.g. Katie Lou Samuelsson for her deadly three)
3) Double stagger into high ball screen (terrific when they had Breanna Stewart) 

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