Last weekend, I spoke about practice design at the USA Basketball Coaching Clinic in Mt. Vernon, New York. One big issue with practice design is the distinction between technique and skills, and the transferability of both to game situations. [continue reading…]
As we performed our usual shooting drill at the beginning of practice, I yelled at one player to curl into his shot, as the drill is designed. The player likes to do his own thing, and he was flaring to the three-point line rather than curling towards the elbow. After I yelled at him, I thought about it. I am not enamored with the drill because we shoot mid-range jump shots, but we have 14 players and two baskets, and it allows everyone to shoot without standing in line. I emphasize shooting threes or getting to the rim. Should our practice shots reflect our game shots? [continue reading…]
Many coaches have an ideal in mind when they teach shooting. Anything deviating from this ideal is considered a flaw, and we provide feedback to correct these flaws. Is that an appropriate way to teach shooting? [continue reading…]
This week, I worked out an 8th grade girl. When we met, the father explained the numerous problems with her shot and gave special attention to her thumbing the ball with her weak hand. The girl was 5’1 and maybe 100 pounds. [continue reading…]
Our most colloquial term referring to motor performance is “muscle memory.” This term is accepted generally and practically, but learning occurs in the brain. When we talk about “muscle memory,” we refer to motor programs stored in our procedural long-term memory. Because learning occurs in the brain, we cannot see learning. Instead, we infer learning based on performance. [continue reading…]
Dean Oliver’s Basketball on Paper provides a guide for identifying skills to develop for each position. Oliver identified the four factors that determine the outcome of each game. They are:
- Shooting percentage differential
- Offensive rebounding differential
- Turnover differential
- Free throw differential
An interesting discussion on technique vs. skill, and the two sides of the argument. The video discusses soccer, but the general argument works for basketball.
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When players struggle from the free-throw line during games, but not practice, the issues appear not to be physical or technique-related, and we blame the players’ mentalities. Approximating the pressure of a game during practice is difficult, and coach’s attempts vary, typically using negative consequences (running) to mimic the game pressure. [continue reading…]