Monday, October 22, 2018

Basketball: Rebound and Rally from Rock Bottom

"The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills." - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms 

Successful companies weren't always successful. Steve Jobs' rollercoaster ride at Apple is well-documented. Netflix stopped shipping DVDs and dominates streaming. Howard Schultz turned around Starbucks. Robert Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 for $174 million. Belichick, Brady, and five championships changed everything. Their current worth is estimated at $3.8 billion, a greater than 20-bagger. 

Even special forces have operations go sideways. In Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink leads an evolution that results in friendly fire with both American and Iraqi friendly deaths. Willink writes, Extreme Ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.

During medical training, I worked 185 consecutive days, sometimes thirty-six hours with little or no sleep. Driving home to Silver Spring on Connecticut Avenue, I fell asleep at a traffic light, luckily with my foot on the brake. Fortunately, someone honked and woke me up. Residents have died when they hit bottom. 

The Greeks have a word, katabasis, describing descent, as in a trip to the Underworld. It has been used in psychiatry to describe depression. Film celebrates many descents to rock bottom. In The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale (as Batman) literally sits broken and imprisoned underground before rising (above). 

Rock Bottom happens in sports. But "it's not how many times you get hit; it's about how many times you get up." The Astros rebuilt from three consecutive last place league finishes to win the World Series in 2017. Lance Armstrong recovered from advanced testicular cancer to win the Tour de France, albeit in a sport fraught with cheating. The 2008 Celtics captured Banner 17 after having their second-worst season.

The first step to reach bottom is to stop digging. That might include shedding underperforming or overpaid players, management changes, or completion of the dreaded tanking process. Baby steps with personnel and coaching can transform tectonic shifts as in Bill Walsh to the 49ers or Bill Belichick to the Patriots. The discipline of execution blends personnel, strategy, and operations. Get the right people in the right seats doing the right things.    

Last season our team limped along at 3 - 3 after a discouraging, bottoming out loss to a mediocre team. A lack of previous travel basketball experience doesn't excuse lack of aggressiveness, poor execution, and coddling. We emphasized finishing at the rim, applying and defeating pressure, and accelerated tempo en route to nine consecutive wins and a league-leading offense. The players bought in to a more aggressive style. 

Continually ask how to leave the bottom. 
  • What is going well?
  • What is going poorly?
  • What can we change for the better? 
  • What enduring lessons emerge from each evolution? 
Sometimes hitting bottom finds the urgency to leave it. 

Lagniappe: Defending disadvantage (from FastModelSports) and Randy Sherman. The whole article is worth it. 

Highlight: Shape up with tandem versus 3 on 2

Defenders must 'slow' the attack and force extra passes. Teammates hustle back, communicate, and stop layups and open threes. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Basketball: Tryouts. It's on. BE THAT GUY.

Tryouts heighten your senses. The blind hear the energy and the deaf see and feel it. Talk, squeaky shoes, and words of encouragement echo through the gym. Feel the thunder on hardwood maple. The smells of perspiration, iodine, and bleach scream "it's on."

Embrace standing out during tryouts. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Separate yourself from the crowd with size, athleticism, skill, attitudeYears ago, a tall girl showed up at sixth grade tryouts with 'rainbow socks'. She made the team.

There is no cutting corners. Ever. Excellence has no shortcut.

Learn the lessons of reality television. Hosts and successful entrants connect with the audience. When you step on the court, sell yourself through energy, skill, and difference making.

See the experience from the audience perspective as well. Differentiate yourself. Jay Bilas writes in Toughness, "Get on the floor." I heard of one coach who awards the floor polishing award. My girls show special effort when I see two dive for a loose ball. 

Sit all the candidates on the baseline and say, "I need a volunteer." Someone has to be up like cannon shot when they hear the first syllable of VOL-unteer. That shows listening, purpose, and total engagement. Be that guy

Your tryout is your signature. I was at a funeral not long ago, and a young man eulogized his uncle, a craftsman. The youth had worked in a crawl space where the boss couldn't see. His uncle asked, "would you sign your work?" That's the purpose and commitment you need each play. Proudly sign your work.   

There is no such thing as a 50-50 ball. Run every drill as though it's your last chance. Sometimes it is. 

Basketball: Defense, Bob Knight Teaching

98 percent graduation rate. Three National Championships. One National Championship as a player. Eleven Big Ten Championships. Olympic Gold. That's the pedigree earning Bob Knight respect.  

The man knows defense. What lessons can we borrow or steal? Let's focus on five big picture items.

1. "Basketball is a game of mistakes." Knight taught elimination of mistakes. Limit mistakes by getting everyone on the same page and through constant communication. Prioritize and verify with feedback.

2. Take away what the offense wants. 
- Make the offense uncomfortable.
- Challenge the passing lanes.
- Contest shots with the hand on the ball (not the face)
- Deny second shots.

3. Pressure the ball.  
- Reach out and touch someone. 
- Head on the ball. 
- Palms up; hand opposite ball protects against the crossover. 

4. Force
- Force sideline and baseline, the impenetrable defenders. 
- Knight called it "force to the corner." 
- Kevin Eastman teaches force to tape (below) 

5. See the ball
- See the ball and your man (that implies some head turning)
- Help AND recover. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Basketball: Celtics at Raptors, Broadcast Insight

"Everybody's got to know what they do best." - Brad Stevens
The Celtics traveled to Toronto to face the Leonard-led Raptors. We learn by studying how teams attack and defend each other. 

First, I digress into the "A League..." Dr. Jane Goodall had initial training in secretarial school and waitressed to earn money to go to Kenya. There, she met anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey, became his secretary, and ultimately earned an opportunity for a six-month grant studying chimpanzees in the Tanganyika (Tanzania today). She had no college degree, no formal training, but an insatiable curiosity and desire to understand animal behavior. The rest is history.

Watch, listen, study, and learn from the best...NBA players.

Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine always reveals his game knowledge and I chip in a few observations. 

"Move bodies. You've gotta play fast and move the ball."

"Toronto switching all on-ball and off-ball screens." (noting Raptors' length and athleticism)

"...exceptional drive-and-kick game. Boston has to contain the ball." They didn't as Lowry's shotmaking off screens and playmaking sank the green (see final diagram later). 

"The 'sweet spot' early is the Celtics going inside out, feeding the post then throwing cross-court." (Pass penetration then ball reversal...Al Horford had nine assists)

"Good hustle by the Celtics, getting back and running guys off the three." The Celtics did not maintain that commitment to contain the three and Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, and Kawhi Leonard made them pay (9 for 17).

One theme for 2018 is combatting total switching. Here Rozier (2) feeds Morris (4) who gets the cross-screen switch from Irving (1). 

Celtics lead by 7 after one. Why? The Good? Celtics have 15 rebounds, 8 assists. The Bad? They are shooting 27% from three and have 6 turnovers. Toronto had 10 rebounds and 6 assists. 

"He (Smart) can guard all five...Smart is everywhere right now." 

"If you ever make a mistake with Kawhi Leonard, he's gonna score...he can read the defense so well." 

"If you're going to switch, you've gotta to switch up, high, and to the body." Switching means more than exchanging assignments. It requires sustaining pressure. The Celtics didn't do that enough. 

"Eye fake...just looked at the rim...and Danny Green flew by." 

"We've go to get back to being the harder playing team." - Brad Stevens (via sideline reporter Abby Chin)

"...the ball moving side to side, putting Toronto in rotation opens the wide open three." 

Celtics high PnR into corner 3 for Tatum off the help from x4 with Horford (5) assist

"Marcus using his body..." (see yesterday's PnR Marcus Smart got the defender on his hip)...understanding builds on everything else. 

"Lowry dips into the paint (drive above) and excellent cut (by Leonard) for the two." Elite elegance often has roots in simple actions. "Movement kills defense."

Friday, October 19, 2018

Basketball: Simplify Pick-and-Roll Defense*

Erase EASY BASKETS. We screen-and-roll until an opponent shows they can stop it. What matters is what players understand and execute. Be on the same page, with communication and consistency. Do well what we do a lot. After the fact is too late. 

Ball screening options follow LOCATION, ANGLE (of screen), SPACING, and PERSONNEL. Defense reflects our intent. If the offensive forte is ballhandler scoring, then handle that. If they want the roller, then stop the big. Absent advanced scouting, players need a rapid feel for the game. Practice what and how you intend to stop. 

Quin Snyder teaches three styles of pick-and-roll (PnR) defense - controlling the ball, impacting (forcing sideline), and containment (switching, ideal with size and athleticism). 

He emphasizes the VALUE of GETTING BACK early as a NO MIDDLE team. "Clarity is the most important thing."

Snyder drills 2-on-2 beginning with high ball screens. 

He explains that elite PnR players work to get the ball defender "on their hip" (above) to create 2-on-1 advantage against (what I call) hard force. If the ballhandler picks up the ball, the roll defender must react to the roller...and the ball defender recover to bother the shot - "stalking." Switching is an alternative...with young players, I'm less worried about the "big" scoring perimeter shots (midrange and contested 2s) and more concerned with driver and roller layups

In summer work, against high ball screens, our mobile bigs want to switch, stop the ball, and recover. That's after learning preferred FAKE TRAP (show/hedge) and recover. We had little aptitude for JAM and GO UNDER, where the screener defender pushes up against the screener and the ballhandler defender goes below the screen. We'll continue to emphasize communication,  FAKE TRAP, and recover. AND teach where help defenders come into play (see video at bottom).  

Against wing ball screens, hard force to the sideline simplifies. 

Communication, clarity, consistency. Seek simplicity. 

*Modified from parts of Quin Snyder, CoachingULive 2015. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Basketball: Yesterday, Overcoming Failure

"Always forward." We choose our path. Don't become hostage to failure. 

In Failing Forward, John Maxwell discusses a failure of charismatic Arnold Palmer, he of "Arnie's Army" at the LA Open in January, 1961. Palmer fell from contention with a 12 on the 18th hole of the first round. He went on to win 62 PGA Championships and 95 professional tournaments. 

Dean Smith players taught players to recognize, admit, learn, and forget mistakes. That helped Carolina to superior shot quality and a shooting percentage among the perennial ACC leaders. 

We experience loss and carry baggage. Nobody wanted him. Dennis Rodman was a high school bench player and worked as an airport custodian prior to giving basketball a final shot after a growth spurt. The rest is history including eight all-NBA defensive selections and two-time NBA defensive player of the a Hall of Fame career.

Elena Delle Donne was a UCONN commit but dropped out after a couple of days to be closer to family in Delaware. She walked on to the Blue Hens volleyball team and later played college ball there. During her sophomore and senior years, she struggled with Lyme Disease. She ultimately recovered and became WNBA MVP and scoring champion in 2015. 

Leaving failure behind, dropping our baggage, is a skill. When we don't, we can quit, engage in self-destructive behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse, become isolated and experience anxiety and depression, or suffer the pain of regret. 

"Don't beat yourself up; there will always be someone to do that for you." Use a three-step program to overcome failure

Begin the day: How can I improve today? Be specific. (What will I read, do, study?)
Close of business: WILT. What I learned today. 
Before bedtime: Appreciation trio (3 things I'm grateful for today) of Shawn Achor. Use a 21-day program of appreciation using three unique items daily. 

Gratitude leads to happiness. Happiness leads to success. Success reverses failure. 

Lagniappe: Key notes from Thinking in Bets, by Annie Duke
  • Think in terms of probabilities...within ranges of possibilities. 
  • Everything is a bet. A life insurance policy is a put option on our life (betting on death). 
  • "The quality of our lives = the sum of decision quality (bets)+ luck."
  • "In the long run, the more objective person will win against the more biased person."
  • It's okay to acknowledge that we don't know. 
  • Better process won't guarantee that we won't make failing decisions, but a bad process assures that will happen more often. 
  • Total belief in our confidence results in LESS confidence among our peers. 
  • Once we hold beliefs, we are likely to shut out disconfirming evidence. 
  • More objectivity results in improved accuracy
  • Consider "backcasting." What must happen for something to occur? "College basketball is not plagued by scandal." That means that FBI surveillance tapes and witness testimony must be false. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Basketball: A Dozen Dirty Defensive Mistakes (Low Hanging Fruit)

Ask players to list common defensive mistakes. They usually struggle. 

Reducing mistakes is critical to basketball defense. Let's start with low hanging fruit, the failures to:  

1. Find your player. Defending nobody earns a seat. Mortal sin. Call out numbers. Whatever it takes. But recognize that you are part of collaboration, five players working together. 

1b.Stay with your player. Head turners lose their players. Proper positioning depends on whether you're one or two passes away. Good offense sinks and changes defensive vision (above).
2.  Play in a stance. Play low. Low man wins. 
3.  Get back on defense. Failed transition D equals defending nobody. Be back engaged.
4.  See the ball. "The ball scores." If you don't see the ball, you cannot help. 
5.  Communicate. "Silent teams lose." We have to practice this more....lots more. 
6.  Pressure the ball. "Don't back down." No dead man's defense (six feet under). 
7.  Deny the face cut/front cut and give-and-go. "Jump to the ball." 
8.  Close out under control. Bad closeouts are personalized invitations to score. 
9.  Deny the post. No totem poles. Your problems begin (scoring, fouling) on entry. 
10. Contest shots without fouling. Don't foul jump shooters; never foul a 3-point shot. We can't defend free throws. 
11. Anticipate. "Bigs go away will come back into play." 

12. Be here now. Win this possession. "The defense never rests." 

There are many more. 


Radius Athletics shows defense away from a trap:
1) Helpside "I"
2) Covers the paint
3) Blocks and elbows 

Lagniappe 2: hat tip, Zak Boisvert

Inside triangle with sequential screens by 5. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Basketball - Fast Five: Intention and Obstacles, Resolving Conflict

How do we write our story? Learn from the best. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men) informs how intention and obstacles define drama. Dramatist David Mamet preaches, "who wants what, how do they get it, what happens if they don't, and why now?" Author Matt Haig says every book ever written is about "someone is searching for something." 

Create by finding and resolving conflict. What major conflicts punctuate our basketball journeys?

1. Economics...the study of allocation of scarce resources. Limited resources include roster spots, minutes, and practice time. Competition can spawn envy, enmity, and cognitive dissonance as we rob Pietra to pay Paula. Players and coaches manage their primary jobs, family obligations, and time. Are we investing or spending our time?

2. Simplicity...fight temptation to overload teaching, run too much stuff, and indulge ourselves with Don Meyer's sophisticated complexity. "Fall in love with easy."  

3. Unity...among the PUSH-T values (purpose, unity, servant leadership, humility, and thankfulness), achieving unity challenges our "me first" nature. Fostering family within the competitive cauldron is never easy. 

4. Execution...doing a premortem examination on the upcoming season, I see strengths and possible weaknesses...turnovers, poor shooting, defeating pressure, and help defense. All of the above have origins (including shot selection) in basketball IQ and experience. 

5. Attitude...control what we can control. When adversity arrives with illness, injury, or inconsistency how do we respond? Will we have enough positivity, confidence, and resilience to fight through inevitable setbacks? As Jay Bilas writes in Toughness, "a setback is a setup for a comeback." 

Other hurdles appear - weather-cancelled practices, academics, media, family issues, facility problems, competing activities, and more. As players and coaches, focus at being solutions not obstacles or distractions

Lagniappe: hat tip Chris Oliver (Face cut off horns) for head turners. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Basketball: Teaching Defensive Rotation

Help, I need somebody. Kevin Pritchard starts Help the Helper with the story of Sara Tucholsky. But let's discuss a different kind of help. 

"The help can't get beaten." Defense needs five engaged players. Everyone gets beat; everyone helps. You can't help or rotate unless you see both your assignment and the ball. "See both." The ball scores. 

Teams like spread offense, Horns, and 1-4 High offense because they create problems for the help. 

Help and rotation are essential to conventional execution but also for defensive adjustments like trapping (blitzing) or run and jump (trap and go) defenses. Understanding takes hard work

I know that if x3 gets beaten, that x5 will help to stop the direct drive. I'm not yet sure x2 will drop to help the helper. That's second order thinkingSometimes she will; sometimes not. Intention and obstacle. Don't say, "my guy didn't score." Don't do your own thing; do our thing. 

How can I teach defensive rotation better? 

Create an expectation of execution. "But it's hard; I'm in a mismatch." Get past hard

We don't double the post across. Never. I saw a championship game lost in part because x3 didn't rotate (left) creating THREE layups. Help the helper

Drill better. We all use SHELL DRILL to teach rotation. Protect the basket (no penetration); protect the red zone (take away blocks and elbows). Add 'disadvantage' (above) to enhance the drill. 

Steal other coaches' lessons. Coach Jim Huber shares an excellent help and recovery drill

BasketballforCoaches has clear diagrams to share with players. 

Rotation versus drive from the top against spread offense. 

Rotation from wing on baseline drive against spread offense. 

Via Seth Weakly, FIBA. Take away the "obvious" pass

Defense means executing together. Help, rotate, and recover together.  


Bring energy. Talk. Inspire. "Great shooting teams are great passing teams."

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Basketball: What's in Your DNA? Is Attention to Details that Matter?

Build nightmares. Be Dr. Frankenstein. We tinker at a molecular level with the DNA of teams. At our best, we make monsters, the teams nobody wants to face. 

From MasterClass, Ken Burns on Documentary Filmmaking

Instill competitive fury. "If they don't bite when they're puppies, they usually won't bite when they're grown." - Bill Parcells  

Recast possibilility into realityWe live a blend of heredity and environment. Each player merits a mental picture of both expectations and potential. That isn't just role but possibilities. "This is who you are; that is whom you can become." 

Transform ordinary into extraordinary. Everyone can make one more play. Be great in your role by making the best decisions every possession...we can't control results but we inform decisions. 

All PLAY DNA is not created equal. Know your specifics. In the NBA, CUTS and TRANSITION produce the most points per possession. Isolation and pick-and-roll ballhandler scoring falls to the other end of the spectrum. Do more of what works. Create more separation off cuts

Choose your battles. Do we fight on the fields (dominate the middle) or the streets (the ends of the court)? We are small but athletic, so our style emphasizes speed. We are cavalry not infantry. 

Leave your comfort zone. Forget complacency. Leave the shallow end of the pool. Those unwilling to abandon the shallows never swim with the dolphins. For coaches, that might mean giving players more freedom. 

There's no one path. Coaching DNA is no monolith. John Wooden was an English teacher. Bob Knight majored in history and government. Dean Smith studied mathematics. Gregg Popovich majored in Soviet Studies. Bill Belichick and Brad Stevens were economics majors. 

Know the power of the single image (Ken Burns), the photographic version of genetic material. Many great players have a signature memory (image above)...

...and complementary move(s) off that (see Paul Pierce wing series above). 

Unlike our human DNA, we retool our athletic DNA. We define our commitment, discipline, preparation, aggressiveness, and to an extent, our outcomes. Without the will to do, we cannot become

Good teams capitalize off defensive mistakes. In this sequence the ball defender tries to cheat over the top, gets beaten off the rejection, and then help off the corner three doubles down on the mistakes. 

Lagniappe 2: Without the ball

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Basketball: How Do You Start Practice? Use a Practice Builder Worksheet?

The first page sets the tone. How do you begin practice? There's no 'right' answer. But I'm always asking myself what does the team need now

I know one excellent coach who plays background music. Helpful or distraction? That would be a distraction for me. 

Greet each player every day. Make every player believe in her value. Energize! 

Dean Smith started practice with a Thought for the Day. How about 100 Percent, as in let's have 100% focus and 100% energy? 

Smith also had a Quote for the Day. "A lion never roars after the kill." 

Brief the players specific daily practice goals, like working against pressure defense such as 5 by 7 full and 2 versus 8 ball advancement. 

Two warmup laps warm the also shows whether anyone is cutting corners. Champions don't cut corners

What coach starts with kids games (e.g. dribble tag, capture the flag)? Brad Stevens.

Should we begin with Stereotyped drill (e.g. DeMatha Perfection) or mix it up? See Mike Jones' practice (below). 
Mike Jones, head coach, DeMatha High School (Md.)
We do a series of drills at the start of each practice that we call “Perfection.” It consists of drills based in fundamentals, consisting of full court right- and left-hand layups, pass ahead and mid-range jump shots on the fast break, 3-man weave, and a competitive fast break layup drill with passes. Each drill is timed and has a goal number of baskets the players must make. 

Intentional: I want practice to have core elements. Maintain a practice builder worksheet that works for you. I don't have the "best" solution but I'm always looking. 

Note: within daily 3-on-3 inside the split, we work on pick-and-roll offense and defense with one coach at each end of the court. We don't play zone defense but allocate time to zone offense...there's never enough time with at most a pair of two-hour sessions. 

Lagniappe: Vegas Closeouts

Friday, October 12, 2018

Basketball: Xs and Os Randoms

The FastModel platform develops and stores a nearly infinite number of play and drill diagrams. Find ingredients for your recipes. 

Reviewing the collection awakens memories of actions that worked or will work in the future. We want to become God's stenographer. Bring pictures to life. 

"Fence" with options. Another option is to use the line for a sandwich screen. 

Simple cuts against the 2-3 zone pressure various defenders. Distort zones and force defenders into uncomfortable choices

Schakel 1-4 Offense against 1-3-1 zone (simplest options). Location, location, location. Relocate. 

Pitino "quarters" drill. Terry Rozier is a quarters warrior. 

"Boomerang" pick-and-roll versus 2-3. Screen the zone

Punish the switch on the screen-the-screener cross screen.

Quick hitter slip illustrates the importance of emptying space

E pluribus unum. One from manyAdelaide "Diamond" set, multiple actions.

Execute backdoor actions from varying formations (Horns, 23, Spread, 131)


We don't play zone but if we did, we'd study Syracuse. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Basketball: Toolbox of Teaching Techniques


"Nobody teaches better than I can." That means we took the 5-minute Humility Course and left early. There's always something to learn, to acquire, to steal and implement. Find new and better ideas...for me, meaning and winning are not equals. 

Ken Burns, MasterClass, Teaching Documentary Filmmaking

Get their attention and buy-in. A teacher was frustrated by her unruly, fractured class. She gave each student a page with classmates' names and asked each to write two traits they liked about every classmate. She cut and pasted the responses and returned each student a page of praise. Their attention, behavior, and cooperation improved. Years later at a classmate's wake, many students still had wrinkled, faded copies in their purse or wallet. People need to feel valued. I've done the same exercise before practice, but asked each girl to share something she admires about a teammate's play. 

Eye contact. Explain it. Model it. Encourage it. We know the power of eye contact and the frustration and messaging when lacking.  

Listen better. Encourage open-ended conversations using advanced listening techniques...affirmation, silence, repeating, summary. I've seen a championship game lost simply because a player didn't listen to the assignment. 

Student teaching. Over the season, assign a brief topic (two minutes) to each player to deliver to the team (review with them individually). Ideas could include defensive stance, shot selection, transition defense, delay game. 

Editing. The better our material, the better our 'throwaways', the detritus on the cutting room floor. Better treasure, better trash. 

Spaced repetition. Repeating concepts at intervals proves stickier than more intense cramming sessions. EDIRRRRR (explain, demonstrate, imitate, repeat x 5).   

Self-testing. How detailed is our understanding? Test yourself on a topic. How molecular is our breadth and depth? Play "what do you know?" And remember Kevin Eastman's WILT reminder..."what I learned today." 

External testing. Administer brief quizzes, show flashcards with pictures illustrating concepts, or have a practice "simulated timeout" showing a play and ask players to run it and write it down. This reveals attention holes...every time.

Video. Keep a video library of basketball principles. Google Drive is a great place to do so. This is still a work in progress 

Mindfulness. This isn't New Age thinking. It's applied science, increasing brain density in the learning and memory centers and reducing it in the reactionary center, the amygdala. Mindfulness improves sleep vital to brain restoration and learning.

Benching and playing time. As a youth coach, I award more playing time as a reward, but I do not bench players as punishment.  

Use the plethora of resources available to pump player performance. "What motivates all changes is what works." - Ken Burns 

Lagniappe: Better Teaching, Teach Like a Champion, Doug Lemov

Interview with Jaimie Brillante...emphasis "100 Percent"...teacher discusses the concept  and use of 100 percent focus, 100 percent of the time. 

Technique 44. Precise Praise. Distinguish acknowledgement (meeting expectations)..."thank you for working hard" and praise for exceptional effort or achievement ("way to take a charge.") The author reviews Carol Dweck's Mindset concept and reinforces that "Praise must be authentic." 

Play with Purpose (Chris Oliver)