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Friday, October 5, 2018

Basketball: Recent Highlights

In his MasterClass, Bob Woodward emphasizes that each piece should contain six (four to ten) facts illuminating the story. He calls this, "the Rule of Six". Here's a review of some recent information. 
  1. Many of us keep notecards, spreadsheets, and notebooks of information, drills, plays. Have we reviewed, edited, and revised them lately? Medicine has a saying about treatments - never be the first to adopt or the last to throw away. "Kill your darlings." The better drill or play replaces the older one.
  2. We can't let fear of failure stop us. Rational people doubt themselves. The opposite of fear is recklessness, not courage. Courage balances the extremes. Seek balance.
  3. Every organization tells its story. "Student-athlete health, safety, and well-being remain our top priorities (NCAA)." In court papers, "The NCAA denies that it has a legal duty to protect student-athletes." Emmert replied, "I will not quibble about the language..."
  4. Most professional and Olympic athletes use mindfulness as a resilience tool. Mindfulness decreases stress hormones (cortisol), lowers blood pressure, improves attention and awareness, improves learning and memory, and reduces anxiety (partly by reducing density in the brain's fight or flight center, the amygdala). As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune, "Fear is the mind killer." Here's a brief summary of Search Inside Yourself discussing benefits and technique.
  5. Keep a “WILT” (What I Learned Today) list. (From Kevin Eastman, Why the Best Are the Best
  6. The Patriots lost a timeout with a failed challenge. The Texans' unwillingness to risk a timeout cost them a big completion to Rob Gronkowski. Saving timeouts can have merit, but failing to deploy them to stop momentum or make a substitution can fail decisively. As Jim Rohn says, "suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret."
  7. Elite coaches, in the words of Mike Lombardi in Gridiron Genius, control the room, control the message, and control themselves. Therefore, coaching excellence focuses on leadership, "the main thing." What's your main thing?
  8. Basketball is truth. Kevin Eastman emphasizes it. "You can't fool kids, dogs, or basketball players." Eastman says of truth, "You have to be able to tell it, live it, and take it."  Why coach? We learn, we share, we teach, and when done well, we leave a legacy.
  9. Margaret Atwood shares a story about a couple meeting a chef, who asks whether they've eaten out lately. They explain they dined at a local place. "How was it?" They say they enjoyed it. He responds, "anyone can cook a good meal, once." We have to bring our best again and again.
  10. The 'standard' layup lines are not enough. 

Alternative layup drills. We worked on these yesterday (six players, two coaches).

Left. Wing attack. Emphasis on separation, rip through with ball protection (out of defender'sstrike zone), explosive attack and finish. 

Right. Dribble handoff/dribble at with decision making. Coach defends poorly (direct DOWNHILL drive), well (pass to roller), overplays (back cut) with layup. 

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