The article by Dan Shaughnessy, “Basketball coaches are a society of borrowers,” talks about how coaches are constantly sharing and borrowing to make each other better. Here are my two favorite quotes from Brad Stevens:
“And I’ve always thought — and I got this from my boss at Butler — there’s not a monopoly of great coaches at any one level. It’s all over the map. I think that’s one of our responsibilities in coaching is to open our doors if people are interested in watching and talking about any of that stuff.’’
“I spend my whole offseason going to clinics,’’ the Celtics coach added. “Even when we plan something as a family on vacation, I try to figure out where coaches are in that area and go and stop by and pick their brains on what they are doing.”
The last sentence of the article sums it up:
The good coaches are the ones who never think they have the whole thing figured out.
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By dynamiccoachingtools — 6 months ago
It is an unprecedented time in the world. The global pandemic of 2020 has led coaches to jump into clinics, zoom calls, books, and social media. With the infinite number of resources, there is a strong chance that coaches are flooded with ideas, in a year that we will all see a smaller window to prepare our teams. This issue brings us back to a quote from Bob Richey, the head coach at Furman, who said, “coaches today need to have more conviction.” These seven words from Coach Richey have never been more true. As coaches are flooded with information, it is important that we have a clear understanding of our convictions. This will help coaches filter the information, to get to what is relevant to their programs, and it can help identify the areas for growth. So, what is CONVICTION:
A firmly held belief or opinion
Having a firmly held belief or opinion is something that coaches do very well. In a lot of cases, this becomes apparent as coaches debate different points. There is a balance that is required between being open-minded and having conviction. There is a simple way that coaches can effectively jump into the conversations about our beliefs. Ask the question, “can you prove it?”
“There is a simple way that coaches can effectively jump into the conversations about our beliefs. Ask the question, “can you prove it?”
Asking coaches to prove their convictions will make these discussions more productive. It will lead to challenging our beliefs with unbiased information, which will ultimately change or confirm our convictions. Regardless of the outcome, we will know that we are improving as a coach, as we gain the necessary knowledge to create CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS. To confirm is to establish the truth or correctness of something previously believed, suspected, or feared to be the case. Convictions are an opinion, but CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS are the truth. This should be the goal of all coaches.
DEALING WITH KNOW-IT-ALLS
What do you do if you are in a situation where a coach stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the proof you are providing, or will not prove their own convictions? The answer is simple to say, but hard to do, and that is to just walk away. The moment that you get into one of these situations, you are dealing with someone who is either a KNOW-IT-ALL or a person who is not interested in other people’s opinions. Any coach who is a know-it-all is not interested in learning, growing, and improving. As coaches, we strive to be what Kevin Eastman refers to as a LEARN-IT-ALL, who never stops learning, evolving, improving, and growing. Here is an example of a conversation with a coach who is not interested in CONFIRMING CONVICTIONS.
I’m cool with it: Got to her spot with three dribbles. She probably makes that a high percentage of the time. https://t.co/PxA71We9j3
— Chireno High School (@CoachLoverson) July 26, 2020
Following this clip, we provided the coach with the following information.
WNBA teams shot 34% from mid range shots, outside the lane.
This player shot 27% on jump shots off the dribble last year.
Follow up questions:
How often do you think she works on shooting from here?
Does the defense want her to take this shot? pic.twitter.com/ot5prhmaPE
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) July 26, 2020
The response was to ignore the proof and provide more opinions.
Smooth&comfortable shooting it: She works on that shot daily: She is a pro. I’m sure she plays overseas. Hoops is her life. The defense didn’t have a choice. Came to the ball. Ball faked defender off balance now defender is chasing. Plenty of space missed the shot. https://t.co/makXlKSpmD
— Chireno High School (@CoachLoverson) July 26, 2020
I do not believe that this coach automatically falls into the KNOW-IT-ALL category, but it was very apparent that the coach was not interested in moving past an opinion and into unbiased proof on the topic.
As we said earlier, it is time to walk away.
In our upcoming PILOT PROGRAM, our eight month coaching development program, we will constantly search for CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS. A constant theme of the program will be to search for opportunities to ask coaches, “can you prove it?” In creating these CONFIRMED CONVICTIONS, we will help coaches develop an identity, confidence, and a program with elite buy-in. In conclusion, the next time you disagree with a coach, avoid the urge to debate your opinion, and start searching for unbiased proof on the topic.
Are you a Head Coach, within your first three years of taking over a varsity program? Be on the lookout for our PILOT PROGRAM, which launches on September 1st, and will be a wonderful resources to take your program to new heights!
By dynamiccoachingtools — 2 years ago
Throughout this season, I have come across multiple coaches who are not filming games. Every time this happens, I respond with an e-mail, encouraging coaches to stop ignoring the opportunity to improve their coaching staff, team, and individual players. It is our belief that all varsity coaches should be filming every game. This is part of your job, and you owe it to your players. Furthermore, filming practices can also be very beneficial. Below are the reasons that we believe that Film is a coach’s best friend:
1- It is the best teaching tool!
As the saying goes, “the eye in the sky don’t lie.” Film allows players to watch their mistakes and these teaching moments are very beneficial to player development. Film can help a team better understand areas for improvement, challenges from opponents, and it provides clarity for everyone in the program. There is no better teaching tool than an organized, well planned film session.
2- Players need film for college coaches.
Most high school coaches have players that are interested in playing at the college level. Your players will need film, so college coaches can evaluate them. By providing film to college coaches, you are doing your part to help your players have an opportunity to continue their careers.
3- You can exchange film to scout opponents
One of the worst phrases that coaches say is, “We don’t scout, because we are just worried about us.” This is code for, “I am too lazy to prepare my team to win.” As a varsity basketball coach, you should be scouting your opponents. This is especially important in league play. Scouting provides an opportunity to steal points for your team. It is very impactful, against good teams, if you can prevent 4-6 points for your opponent, and generate 4-6 easy points for your team. If you are not filming and sharing film, other coaches will be less likely to help you with film.
4- Film helps ensure accurate stats
Filming games will help your staff ensure that you have accurate stats. Depending on a student manager to take stats during the game is fine, but there is a strong chance that those stats are not accurate. Film can be used with services like Krossover or Hudl, which will provide statistical breakdowns of your team. Stats are also important for recognizing and rewarding your players for big achievements. It might be scoring 1,000 career points, or providing proof that a player should receive all-league or all-state honors. The stats also allow coaches to provide a program record book, which is a great way to honor the best players throughout the history of your program.
5- What you see during games is only part of the picture. Film fills in the gaps.
When you see post game interviews with the best coaches, you will regularly hear them answer questions with, “it is hard to answer that without looking at the film.” This is because the best coaches know that the film will provide valuable information. You can look at a box score and see the results. It might be a lack of offensive rebounding, too many turnovers, or poor shooting. Film fills in the gaps, and answers the question of WHY those results happened. If you do not watch film, then you are taking an educated guess, as opposed to finding the undeniable answers that can help your team improve.
If you are a high school coach, make sure that you are filming games. Film is your best friend, and will help you maximize the development of your team.
You can follow Dynamic Coaching Tools on Twitter or Instagram at @DynamicCoaches
By dynamiccoachingtools — 1 year ago
We are launching a new series that we are calling TELLING vs TEACHING. This is motivated by a recent video that was posted by Brian Kight. Check out the video below, to learn about the most under-coached profession.
How is it possible that coaching is the most under-coached profession? The answer is very simple. There are no clearly defined requirements to get into coaching. To take that a step further, we are seeing more coaches TELLING players what to do, as opposed to TEACHING players how to play the game. Below are some of the examples that you might hear in a gym:
“You’ve got to finish that!”
“Talk on defense!”
“Take care of the ball!”
These are all examples of TELLING, when experienced coaches understand that the key is to spend your time TEACHING your players. Here are some “teaching” examples, which align with the same “telling” statements from above.
“Keep your eyes and chin on the rim!”
“Talk it, touch it, switch it on the ball screen!”
“Get to two feet in the paint and throw to what you see!”
While these are general examples, it is most important that coaches recognize the value of TEACHING players how to play the game. TELLING players what to do is counter productive for an experienced coach, because the goal is to create an environment that is conducive to learning and improving.
The topic of the first blog post is to discuss communication. One common misconception is that players do not want to talk. In most cases, the problem is actually that players do not know what to say. Most coaches have been around teams that talk, laugh, make jokes, and are loud off the floor. As soon as players get into a practice, they stop talking. It is not an unwillingness to talk. The problem is that no one has taught players what to say. How much would your team improve if all of your players communicated like PJ Tucker in the video below?
Before we can teach our players how to communicate effectively, we must equip our coaches with a process to break it down with their teams. If we don’t coach the coaches, then we will be back in the habit of telling our players, instead of teaching them. Here is a great way to break down communication into three phases for your team.
PHASE ONE: What are you doing?
In Phase One, players are encouraged to simply talk through what they are doing individually. This might sound like, “I’m in help. I’ve got the ball. Jump to the ball. I’m in a gap.” This is the starting point for players. The key is to correct terminology, but never tell a player that they are wrong. We want to build confidence!
PHASE TWO: What do you see happening?
In Phase Two, players are talking about what they are doing, but also what they see happening. This is where the communication starts to involve their teammates. This might sound like, “I’m in help. Cutter coming through. Ball screen right. Ball screen right. I’m hedging. You’re back. I’m here.” It is being able to communicate what is happening in that particular moment. Once again, as a coach, we want to hold players accountable to communicating with our terminology, but we do not want players to ever feel like they are wrong. Furthermore, this is where you will see breakdowns in communication between teammates. It is essential that you encourage players to work through it. Coaches should take the role of mediator, to keep communication productive, but should not shut down the back and forth between players.
PHASE THREE: What is going to happen next?
In Phase Three, players reach an elite level of communication. This involves being able to recognize and call out actions before they happen. It is unlikely that you will get your entire team to this level, but the best teams have a couple of these types of communicators on the floor at all times. Phase Three communication might sound like, “Ball screen coming. Ball screen coming. Be ready to switch it. I’ve got help on the slip. I’ve got help on the slip.” In this example, it is recognizing an action early, communicating the plan to teammates, and also acknowledging coverage for a potential counter from the offense.
As you look to create better communication with your team, the key is to TEACH players how to talk. If you find yourself saying, “we need to talk,” then you should consider stopping and going one layer deeper to discover why your players are not talking. A mediocre coach tells the players what to do. A great coach teaches the players how to learn what needs to happen. If you take ownership for becoming a better teacher, your teams will improve, and your program will be on the path to sustainable success.
Do you have thoughts on TEACHING vs TELLING? You can share them by connecting with us on social media (@DynamicCoaches). You can also e-mail us at: INFO@dynamiccoachingtools.com