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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Basketball: Toolbox of Teaching Techniques


via GIPHY

"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)

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