Is your team struggling to COMMUNICATE IN CONFLICT? The phrase, “communicate in conflict” refers to the communication when a mistake is made, adversity hits, and frustration shows up. The best teams are able to clearly communicate, learn from the challenges, and get to the next play. The ability to be a team that communicates well, in these conflicted moments, comes from trust and experience. This simple team building exercise teaches teams to focus on learning from mistakes, not overreacting, and getting to the next play. Below are the details for the ABC Team Challenge and two videos of teams completing the challenge.
The “ABC Team Challenge” usually takes less than ten minutes, and is a great way to start of end practice.
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By Doug Brotherton — 2 years 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
By Doug Brotherton — 3 years ago
The article, “Jay Bilas Skills Camp: Top 5 Takeaways for Coaches,” was first published on FastModel Sports.
The 2018 edition of the Jay Bilas Skills Camp continued to provide both coaches and players exceptional opportunities to improve.
The Jay Bilas Skills Camp is quickly becoming one of the best basketball camps in the entire country. At the camp, players are split into teams, which are each led by a full coaching staff. The Head Coach of each camp team is a current college head coach. The three Assistant Coaches are a part of the camp’s Coaching Development Program.
Coaches in the Coaching Development Program range from College Head Coaches, to Graduate Assistants, Student Managers, and High School Coaches. The Coaching Development Program featured a tremendous lineup of speakers, including Don Showalter, Alan Stein, John Shulman, Jeff Lebo, Kevin Eastman, Mike Dunlap, Paul Biancardi, Bart Lundy, Grant Leonard, Bob Richey and, of course, Jay Bilas himself. I was also lucky enough and honored to give a short presentation to the coaches on how to maximize FastDraw to not only enhance your playbook, but your overall program as well (photo above).
By far the most impressive part of the Jay Bilas Skills Camp is the quality of on-court teaching that takes place. Players are treated to a crash course of “how to play basketball,” which featured skill development work, progressions, and special situations. The key however was that this section moved at a pace that resembles a college basketball practice. The progressions included different ball screen actions, off-ball screening actions, post splits, and more, and was all geared towards ensuring that the competitive games segment of camp featured high quality basketball.
1 – “If you think that a task is below you, then leadership will be beyond you.”
Jay Bilas Skills Camp staff featured former NBA coaches, College Head Coaches, and yet there were absolutely no egos. Everyone bought into the example that was set by Bilas, which was to serve others and pour everything into making the camp a tremendous experience for all involved. I felt like this phenomenal quote by Bilas had to be shared.
2 – “Relationships are the life blood.”
This was a line that was shared by Alan Stein, but it was a theme that was echoed by all of the speakers in the Coaching Development Program. You you want to maximize your impact as a coach, then you had better learn to connect with your players.
3 – Two Types of People: ‘Know-it-alls or Learn-it-alls’
Kevin Eastman dropped this knowledge during his presentation, while Mike Dunlap was a living example of a “Learn-it-all.” Coach Dunlap is the Head Coach at Loyola Marymount, and has been an NBA Head Coach as well. He is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent basketball minds in the business, and he chose to be a part of the Coaching Development Program. This example, from an extremely successful coach, just hammered home Eastman’s point about being a “learn-it-all.”
4 – Communication Circle
Coach Showalter shared this pre-practice exercise, in which players must hold hands, look each other in the eye, address a teammate by name, and then share information. This focus on communication builds team chemistry, teaches communication, and has countless other positive impacts on a team. Check out this video that demonstrates how Coach Showalter uses the “Communication Circle” with his teams.
5 – “Do NOT delay gratitude.”
Bilas gets a second mention in this top five list, and not just because his name is on the camp. This was a line that he used multiple times, but it was also a theme for the staff. Everyone was excited and thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow. This “attitude of gratitude” fostered a fantastic environment and atmosphere, and we all got better in our time spent at the camp.
It was truly an honor to present to the Coaching Development Program at the Jay Bilas Skills Camp. On the last day, I wrote a hand written note to thank John Searby (Camp Director). That note was written on the cardboard backing to my note pad. In all of my years of attending practices, camps, and clinics, it was the first time that I went through an entire note pad at one event. The amount of quality information that was shared by the speakers was incredible, and I am already looking forward to being a part of next year’s camp!
By Doug Brotherton — 3 years ago
Coach Ethan Leasher, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Davenport University, joined us on the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast. Coach Leasher is in his fourth year at Davenport (D2 in Michigan). In this episode we talked about offense, analytics that can be measured within the game, and what it is like to be a young college basketball coach. Below is information for Coach Leasher, as well as a few other items from this episode.
Coach Leasher Bio
Ethan Leasher enters his third season as an assistant coach for the Panthers. He will be the co-offensive coordinator and the recruiting coordinator this season. Leasher will also be handling all compliance tasks and alumni relations.
Leasher is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting/finance. He played one year of college basketball at Adrian College in 2009-2010 under Mark White. Leasher served as head student manager of the CMU Men’s Basketball team under Ernie Ziegler in 2010-2011 and also coached the junior varsity boys basketball team at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 compiling a 35-5 record. Leasher coached AAU basketball for Hoopgrind Michigan from 2011-2014 and saw seven athletes sign collegiate athletic scholarships. He spent the 2014-2015 season as a coaching assistant at Chadron State College (Neb.) and was responsible for recruiting, opponent scouting, film breakdown and team travel arrangements.
Coach Paddock said, “Ethan is a tremendous addition to our program. People sometimes say it is better to be lucky than good. In the case of Coach Leasher we are lucky and he is very good. Coach E is a basketball junkie. He spends tireless hours at his craft: studying tape, relationship building with our players, recruiting, etc. He loves the game, our program and is a tremendous asset to the DU community. There is no doubt he will help us continue to get better as a program as we move forward!”
WHAT WE DISCUSSED IN EPISODE 2:
- Offensive Concepts
- Analytics – In game measurable stats
- Life as a young College Coach
“Success lies in simplicity, confusion lies in sophistication.” -Kevin Eastman
Offensive Keys to Success at Davenport:
1 – Play fast
2 – Get to the free throw line
3 – Room for improvement: Take care of the ball, without taking players’ aggressiveness
“What are we going to hang our hat on? How do you measure it?”
“Players do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
“How do you manage being a “go to person” for them (players)?… You have to behave in a way that you are not their best buddy or pal… There is a big difference between being someone’s friend, and being someone that they look up to and respect.”