Thursday, July 12, 2018

Basketball: Show Your Work (to Test Audiences)



"The sculpture is inside the marble." - Michelangelo

Practice combines "gathering resources" and editing. Director Ron Howard says, "I like to turn to the editors...and say, what idiot directed that scene?"

Present your work to test audiences. Find out what works, what doesn't, and why. Transparency and scoreboards prevent us from pretending our stuff 'works' when it doesn't. 

"What is our story?" Are we an offensive juggernaut, defensive stalwarts, or balanced? Observers should see clarity, intentionality, and a signature style of play. Practice should reinforce those dimensions. I want athletes who are willing defenders whom we'll develop into offensive attackers...easier said than done. 

Are the players fully engaged? Does game pace vary and work? Do we elicit the emotion we want? 

Examine process from the top down (big picture) and bottom up (details). For example, when we run the pick-and-roll, what options for both the handler and screener are working? Recently, I asked a young guard what her first thought should be on the play...looking for 'drive to score.' She wasn't sure. That's director error. "What idiot directed that scene?"

Editing needs reviewersDirector Ron Howard says, "all any director really wants is just to put it together and have everyone say, oh, my God, it's genius. That's never happened to me." The sculpture is inside the marble. We have to find it. 

Lagniappe: (from Lemov et al. Teach Like a Champion)

Part 1. Gathering Data

(from Lemov et al. Teach Like a Champion)  Traditionally, a teacher would ask students to name a cause of the Civil War and three students would get it wrong and the fourth one would get it right. The teacher would think, “Oh, good they finally got it.” However, the champion teacher thinks, “Only one of four students understands this, I need to circle back.” By sampling a smaller group of students who are representative of the larger group, teachers can learn about student understanding. Get feedback. 

Part 2. Find and use all your playmakers
Coach Liam Flynn shows the value of additional playmakers. It's worth checking the weak side spacing which helps the play. 

Part 3. Another Mental Model. Sample size. 

"We take a small number of instances and create a general category, even if we have no statistically sound basis for the conclusion." - The Decision Checklist, Sam Kyle

During summer leagues, whether local or the NBA, it's easy to make premature judgments on players. Gather more data for valid inference. "One swallow does not a summer make, nor one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy." - Aristotle



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