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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fast Five: Summer Musts

Offseason voluntary workouts begin soon. Priorities and emphasis should be clear FROM the coach to the players. Education is about effecting behavioral change but demands a "performance-focused, feedback-rich" environment. 


1. Keep it simple, stupid. Pete Newell emphasized that basketball was about getting "more and better shots than our opponent." Part of simplicity is bring ENERGY and EMOTION to practice. Emotion facilitates memory. Emotion sears events into memory. Think about the most emotional experiences in your cannot forget them. 

2. Defense begins with ball pressure. As coaches, WE MAKE THE RULES. I'm not going to run a team this summer, just practices, because so many girls are already on AAU teams. But when we scrimmage, I'm considering a NEW RULE...if you're not pressuring the ball (capable of touching the player), then on my command, you have to run to the sideline and then get back into the play. 

I hate "dead man's defense" (playing 6 feet under the ball). We must create the habits we want. I've seen another coach (via a FIBA video) who forces a turnover anytime that players aren't advancing the ball/attacking the basket. WE MAKE THE RULES. 

3. "It's not your shot, it's our shot." Jay Bilas' article and subsequent book, Toughness, remind us of many key dimensions of play. Everyone must know what is a 'good shot' for everyone else on the team. "Shot accountability" matters. I have a lot of respect for a coach who used to pull a player aside and say, "that is not how we play." 

4. "Small-sided games." Defense demands involvement from all five players. But offense often gets run 3 on 3, 2 on 2 (two-man game), 1 on 1. 

We can enhance this by forcing players to play within a confined area (e.g. on one side of 'the split' - a line bisecting the length of the court). This translates to game action where 'help side' defense lives. 

5. "Keep it interesting." Vary the drills. My kids love playing "ultimate", full court press, 5 on 5, NO DRIBBLE. If the ball hits the floor, it's a turnover. We might change it up to allow bounce passes. But the game demands passing and cutting, offense and defense, and is tremendous at conditioning...and FUN

Shivek drive and kick drill...vary the finishes - 3, pullup, drive, floater. 

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