Episode 3 of the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast features Coach Ryan Thomas, the Founder and Director of Player Development for HoopGrind Basketball. Coach Thomas spent time talking to us about the role of a Player Development Coach, balancing the job of an Assistant Coach and the individual development of players, what high school coaches can be doing better, and the different plans for HoopGrind Basketball. Below are just a couple of the takeaways from this episode.
THREE KEYS TO A GOOD DRILL
- Level Appropriate
- Translates to the game
- Can be layered up or down
STEPS TO GETTING PLAYERS TO BUY INTO A ROLE
- Embrace the role
- Star in the role
- Grow the role
Coaches should also check out HoopGrind Basketball.
Social Media is @HoopGrind
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By Doug Brotherton — 3 years ago
Coaches like Buzz Williams and Tom Izzo regularly reference the way that Football coaches do things. They also credit football coaches for making a positive impact on their programs. All basketball coaches should be looking around for great ideas, and other sports offer some opportunities to learn and grow. Below are three ideas, which basketball coaches should steal from their football programs.
1 – Script your first few possessions of the game
A great way to help your team find a rhythm offensively, is to script the first few half court possessions. The number of possessions is dependent on your teams ability to retain information and then execute. We like to script our first three possessions, as well as our first baseline out of bounds play. By scripting it, we are able to put our players into a comfortable position. We can select the set, based on something that we scouted on film. The players that are in a position to make a decision, or take a shot, have practiced that specific scenario the day before the game. This builds confidence. Furthermore, this is especially successful in hostile road environments, as you try to take the crowd out of the game.
2 – Put an Assistant Coach over both sides of the ball
As a Head Coach, one of the hardest things to do is to give up control. In reality, we need to recognize that we have all of the power, but no control at all. We can work on things, but it is up to our players to execute. We can ask our Assistant Coaches to be engaged, to buy in, and to help develop our team. Football coaches make the ultimate decisions, but they also hire an Offensive and Defensive Coordinator that they can trust. These Assistant Coaches play a major role in the success of the team. It also allows the Head Coach to focus on a specific side of the ball, without the other side feeling neglected. In practice, we might want to focus on the defensive side of the floor. Who is holding the offensive players accountable to do things the right way? Assigning an Assistant Coach to each side of the floor, will allow the Head Coach to focus on specific aspects of the team development, while also ensuring that nothing is neglected.
3 – Stress the importance of Special Teams
Football coaches make a huge deal about the impact the Special Teams have on the game. What are Special Teams in Basketball? We view Special Teams as baseline out of bounds plays and sideline out of bounds plays. Other coaches will add factors, such as points off of turnovers, second chance points, or free throws made. Simply using the out of bounds plays are very easy to track within the game. If your team is able to find an advantage within the “Special Teams,” it can be especially important in close games. Look back at last year’s numbers and see what impact the “Special Teams” had on your team.
For more ideas, feel free to contact us via e-mail INFO@dynamiccoachingtools.com
or on Social Media: @DynamicCoaching
By Doug Brotherton — 3 years ago
It is becoming obvious that all Championship teams have a clear understanding of the importance of great leadership. This past year, we were able to see it across all levels of basketball.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP COACH:
WNBA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYER:
NBA CHAMPIONSHIP COACH:
At the end of most seasons, coaches will talk about their leadership, and their season, in a similar tone. If leadership is an important factor in the success of a team, then why are coaches ignoring it? Here is one of the most ridiculous statements that you will hear from people about leadership:
“He/She is a born leader.”
Nobody is a “born leader.” People are a reflection of their experiences, the people around them, and their vision for the future. The purpose of this post is to challenge coaches to formulate a LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PLAN.
Here are five suggestions, to improve the leadership in your program:
- Start a group chat with your leaders.
- This sounds simple, but it can make a huge difference. This off-season, I used the GroupMe App to start a group chat with our Captains. In this chat, I constantly share leadership articles, quotes, and ask questions. This has created a clear understanding of my expectations, and allows me to control the messaging that our leaders are receiving. The questions allow for a better understanding of what our leaders know, and areas for growth and development.
- Launch a Leadership Development Program at your school:
- We had our first Leadership Development Program at our school this fall. We took our Athletics Department theme, and designed a program to spread this down to our student-athlete leaders. This included an introduction to our theme (Servant Leadership) from our Athletic Director, a college coaches panel, four break out sessions, and a varsity coaches panel. By the end of the program, we had a clear understanding of our standard, expectations, and how we could work with our athletes to ensure success.
- Spend an entire practice silent or only whispering:
- This idea was first put on display, years ago, by Geno Auriemma. He spent an entire practice whispering his instructions. This meant that the players had to listen, communicate, and execute. All coaches agree that the best teams are player led, and so it only makes sense for coaches to take a step back. Record the practice that you are quiet, and then watch it with your staff to learn about the leadership and communication dynamics of your team.
- Clearly communicate your expectations at your parent meeting:
- At the high school level, the most underrated aspect of the “buy-in” in your program is the parents. Programs who struggle are constantly complaining about the parents. In reality, the percentages tend to show that great players are driven by overly involved parents. If you embrace the power of these parents, and work to control the messaging, then it can work in your favor. If the parents understand what you are trying to accomplish, then they are more likely to express these things on the drive home.
- Your best tool is former players/leaders:
- The best tool that you have in your program are your former leaders. Those former players are going to be able to connect with your current leaders, in a different way. As coaches, we can not always get on the same level as our leaders. Our former players have the ability to do that, but once again, we can control the messaging. If you are not utilizing your former players, to help support your current leaders, then it is time to get started.
These are just five of the ideas that we recommend for coaches, as you try to develop leaders in your program. In six months, you are going to be talking about the leadership on your team. There is a strong chance that you will talk about your team, the same way that you discuss your leadership. Start pouring into those leaders now, so that you can maximize the potential of your current roster.
You can reach us for more information on Leadership Development by e-mailing us at:
You can also find us on Social Media: @DynamicCoaches
- Start a group chat with your leaders.
By Doug Brotherton — 1 year ago
As we continue to explain our Program Building Model , it is important for coaches to understand how to evaluate the TALENT GAP within a program. A talent gap is the cumulative attributes of the personnel within a program, as they relate to winning games. Here is a break down each of these attributes.
Athleticism is the first thing that jumps out to people when evaluating a talent gap. We define athleticism as a combination between size, speed, and strength. We show a bias towards athleticism whenever we walk into a gym, during warmups, and pass judgement during layup lines. In most cases, we predict that the team with better athletes is “more talented.” The team with better athleticism might be more naturally talented, but that does not mean that they are automatically more talented. Below is the definition of TALENT.
Natural aptitude refers to natural ability, but the definition clearly includes “or skill.”
Skill is the part of talent, which can improve the most rapidly with development. There are countless skills within basketball, but the skills that have the greatest impact on the talent gap are ball handling, decision making, and finishing. For the sake of simplicity, we include shooting within the finishing category. If a team is exceptionally skilled, they might actually be more talented than an athletically superior team. We ran a poll last month asking the question, “what is the biggest separating factor between the best team in your league and everyone else?” Athleticism and Skill tied with 44.9% each. This shows the increased value that coaches are putting on skill. It is time to also count skill towards the way that we judge talent.
The final category in our talent gap is specific to a team. Depth is an important factor within the talent gap. Throughout the season, teams will face foul trouble, fatigue, and injuries. We measure depth in two different ways. The number of capable players and the versatility of your players. A team with eight interchangeable pieces might actually be “deeper” than a team with twelve different players. Depth is an important part of the talent gap, because it stresses the collection of the entire group. Below is a look at the talent gap.
In our last blog post, we talked about the three things that a coach must improve when taking over a program. Once a coach evaluates the TALENT GAP within the program, the next step is to work hard to either increase a positive talent gap or decrease a negative gap. In the coming weeks, we will share a Development Model, which will give coaches a plan to increase the talent within their programs.
For more information, you can contact us on social media (@DynamicCoaches) or via email (email@example.com).