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
Go to social media and you will see a constant trend of “coach bashing.” Parents complain about coaches. Players complain about coaches. High school coaches claim that AAU coaches are ruining the game. AAU coaches claim that HS coaches are too political and hold their players back from maximizing their potential. So, do bad coaches exist?
Yes. Bad coaches are everywhere. There are bad high school coaches, bad AAU coaches, and bad collegiate coaches. “Bad” is a relative term, which depends on who is judging the performance of each coach. Before this starts to sound too negative, which we might have already passed that point, we need to explore what makes a “bad coach.” Below you will find the ABC’s of “bad coaching.”
A| About Me
This is the coach that thinks that the 45-point win is about his coaching ability and not the massive talent advantage on his roster. When a coach makes the success of the team about themselves, they lose sight of the number one objective for all coaches, which is to serve their student-athletes. The “about me” coach can not move past their ego, which prevents them from empowering their players, and ultimately stunts the development of the people within their program.
B| Blame Others
Some coaches are undefeated, if it weren’t for those darn officials. Bad coaches find countless reasons to avoid taking ownership for the challenging moments that come with the job. When the team suffers a loss, the players are referred to as “they.” You might hear something like, “they didn’t want it bad enough.” Good coaches are able to take ownership for the challenging moments, and maintain the focus on what “WE” need to do to work through challenging moments. Bad coaches that “blame others” survive by pointing a finger at the uncontrollable things, which take the attention on things that the coach could be doing better. Blaming others is like vomiting around your team. You feel better afterwards, but everyone around is disgusted, doesn’t want to be there anymore, or is also vomiting out the same blame that started with you.
This bad coach is always talking about what could be accomplished, if they had the same advantages as everyone else. Complaining is frustrating to everyone else, does you no good, and does not move your team forward. Instead of being jealous and complaining about what a successful program has, use that energy to study other successful programs. Unfortunately, complaining gives a bad coach the satisfaction of deflecting the negative attention. All coaching jobs are not created equal, but all coaches are also not created equal. Bad coaches complain, because it makes them feel better about themselves. Good coaches spend their energy attacking the challenges, so that their competition will eventually complain about the program that they have built. Bad coaches are about themselves, they blame others, and there is always something to complain about which establishes a negative and losing culture.
Thankfully, we can find incredible examples of coaches who are avoiding the ABC’s of bad coaching. These coaches take ownership and accountability for everything in their program. By taking ownership, the coach is empowered to find a way to embrace challenges, improve each day, and eventually build a championship culture. Coaching is a challenging job and the ABC’s of bad coaching will tempt all of us. Put your players first, take ownership for challenging moments, and maintain a positive outlook and your program is destined for a bright future.
In Episode 2 of the Dynamic Coaching Tools “Chalk Talk” series, we breakdown “14-Chase.” This is a set that we first saw utilized by the Louisville men’s basketball team. We eventually used it with our team, and then it was also ran multiple times throughout the 2018 March Madness. Here is our team running the set.
Now, enjoy Episode 2 of “Chalk Talk,” and then take a look at the counter that can be used against switching teams.
Here is the counter, which is used against teams that are switching screens.
— Andy Johnson (@CoachAJohnson) February 23, 2019
If you have questions about this set, please contact us via e-mail at: INFO@dynamiccoachingtools.com
We are excited to launch our “CHALK TALK” series, which will feature different basketball Xs and Os, that we believe can help your team. In Episode 1, we are sharing our favorite zone set from this past season. Take a look at “Aggie,” from the Texas A&M women’s basketball team, which we used to score numerous baskets with our program.
Let us know what you think about this set. We look forward to sharing more great X’s and O’s, every time that we get together for some “CHALK TALK.”
Transition Shooting is a drill that is a great way to start practice, work on passing the ball ahead, or it can be used as a game day shooting drill. The drill is used for five minutes and should include a target score. This score should be adjusted to an appropriate level for each team. Below are some suggested scores.
MS TEAM = 100 points | JV TEAM = 125 points
VARSITY TEAM = 150 points | COLLEGE TEAM = 200 points
The drill begins with three lines on each baseline. On one baseline, where the drill will begin, there is a ball with the first person in the middle line. There is also a ball with the second person, in the outside lines. On the other end, the two outside lines have a ball (see diagram below). The three players who are running will all touch the ball once, which means that two passes will be made. The ball should not need to hit the floor. The final player to touch the ball will score a lay-up. The other two players will receive a pass from the outside lines on the baseline, to shoot a 15-foot jump shot, or a 3-point shot. The middle line will get the ball out of the net, from the lay-up, to initiate the transition the opposite direction. Below is the scoring:
Layups = 2 points
15-foot shots = 2 points
3-point shot = 3 points
If the ball hits the floor = 0 points
Below is a diagram of the drill. If you need more information, or want to know about alternative ways to run the drill, you can reach out to CoachBrotherton@dynamiccoachingtools.com
The 10th Annual Up North Challenge tips off on Friday Night, in Shepherd, Michigan. For this year’s event, we have decided to take one of the most exciting new concepts in basketball, and incorporate it into our tournament. You can learn more below.
If you are in love with the sport of basketball, you might have noticed an interesting basketball tournament that has taken place each of the last five summers. The event we are referring to simply goes by the name, “The Basketball Tournament (TBT),” and allows anyone the opportunity to compete for $2 million dollars.
One of the most recognizable things about The Basketball Tournament is the way that games end. Every game ends with a game winning basket, thanks to their “ELAM ENDING.”
No more deliberate fouling. Greater hope for late comebacks. Every game ends on a made shot.
— TBT (@thetournament) April 15, 2019
Per TBT’s website, “The concept was developed by Cincinnati Reds groundskeeper and Ball State professor Nick Elam. After logging hundreds of NBA and college games, he came to an obvious, yet profound conclusion: intentional fouling (a) doesn’t work and (b) is incredibly boring to watch. From there, he spent years trying to figure out a way to eliminate this archaic late-game ritual. It ultimately became the Elam Ending.”
At this year’s 10th Annual, Up North Challenge, we will introduce our own version of the “Elam Ending.” Thanks to the help of our friends at FastModel Sports, we will implement the “FASTMODEL FINISH!” The FastModel Finish rules are simple.
- If the game is within 20 points, at the first dead ball under 4 minutes, the FASTMODEL FINISH will go into effect.
- If it is over a 20 point margin, the clock will continue to run.
- If the lead is still 20+ points at the 2 minute mark, the game is over.
- If the FASTMODEL FINISH is in effect, at the first stoppage under 4 minutes, there will be a “30 second timeout.”
- During the timeout, the officials will write the “target score” on a dry erase board next to the court.
- TARGET SCORE = Leading team’s score +7
- When play resumes, the clock will be turned off, and the first team to hit the “target score” is the winner.
- EVERY GAME ENDS WITH A “GAME WINNING SHOT!”
While we can not take credit for the concept, we are excited to receive feedback from the 48 teams and coaches in the Up North Challenge. Nick Elam watched and catalogued literally thousands of NBA and March Madness games, and found that teams resort to intentional fouling roughly half the time. In the 2018 NCAA Tournament alone, teams in 44 of the 70 second halves/overtime periods tried to come back by purposefully fouling. However, according to Elam’s data, in only three of those 44 occasions did the trailing team eventually come back to tie the game or take the lead. Our “FastModel Finish” will hopefully improve the end of game situations, create more excitement for the players, and open the eyes of basketball coaches to some alternative ways to end a game. At the conclusion of the tournament, we will be sending out a google form, to request feedback from all 48 teams. Once we have that feedback, we will be sharing a blog post with FastModel Sports, and talk about the positives and negatives from the “FastModel Finish.”
The Up North Challenge and The Basketball Tournament have a small connection. Camp Darryl, a program started by Darryl Matthews, has played in all 10 Up North Challenge tournaments. An all-time great shooter, Travis Bader, played for Camp Darryl. Travis Bader played an important role in helping Overseas Elite win multiple “The Basketball Tournament” titles.
There is no doubt that Draymond Green has played a critical role in the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Championships. He is a versatile player, who provides a level of toughness that compliments the Warriors’ explosive offensive attack. The one constant criticism of Draymond Green has been his emotional instability. A lot of people think of scenes like the one below, when they think of Draymond Green.
Draymond got a technical after disagreeing with this foul call: pic.twitter.com/MYxukvrAoQ
— ESPN (@espn) April 28, 2019
In Game 5, of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Warriors seemed to be in serious trouble. Kevin Durant hurt his calf, and was expected to miss some serious time. Despite this set back, the Warriors responded by winning back-to-back games to eliminate the Houston Rockets, and took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Portland Trailblazers. During these games, Draymond Green has played some of his best basketball.
This is the Draymond from the 25-game winning streak 3 years ago… just incredible. Didn’t think he could get to this level anymore.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 19, 2019
One of the obvious adjustments that Draymond Green has made, other than increasing his aggressiveness offensively, has been his mental approach. After winning Game 3, Draymond talked about it.
Draymond’s playing with a different energy.
“I had got to the point where I was doing more crying than playing.” pic.twitter.com/4pOTg85bmk
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) May 19, 2019
Draymond Green has clearly taken a “control the controllables” approach to his game. Instead of majoring in the minor, he is choosing to focus his energy on helping his team win. This was most clear when he put his leadership on display, following a Jordan Bell missed dunk.
With Draymond Green’s focus being on winning 🏀 games, it allows him to provide mental stability and confidence to his teammates.
This is great leadership! #Leadership#GrowTheGame🏀 pic.twitter.com/x2w1c35bNt
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) May 19, 2019
In the post game, Draymond Green also displayed the importance of allowing other people to strengthen the influence of a leader. In this case, it was a message from the Warriors’ video coordinator. As the tweet below states, every person around a team has an impact on the group’s culture. The best cultures are “exclusively inclusive.” What that phrase means, is that each person must demonstrate the standards that are required to be a part of the team. Once they do that, then they deserve to have their voice respected, which allows the group to perform at their best.
Great Leaders 👀 what is going on around them, and 👂 what others have to 🗣. They encourage other voices, to strengthen their influence!
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) May 19, 2019
With Draymond Green demonstrating his ability to block out the distractions, and “control the controllables,” the Warriors are going to be tough to beat. This is a lesson that can be used with any team, as there is no escaping the threat of outside noise. Look for Draymond Green to continue to play at an elite level, as long as he can maintain this focused mentality.
As teams finish their season, we want to help provide some valuable tools, which will launch your program into next season. One of the hardest things for coaches to do, is to turn off their competitive spirit, drop the ego, and effectively self-evaluate. We found a great tool, which is pulled from the book, “The Culture Code,” by Daniel Coyle. An After Action Review (AAR) is used by the U.S. Army to deliver feedback after unit training exercises. The purpose of the AAR is to identify issues, find areas for improvement, and obtain lessons learned. So, how does this relate to your team? The answer to this, is found in the questions associated with the AAR. Take a look at the questions below, and think about your basketball season.
After Action Review Questions
What were our intended results?
What were our actual results?
What caused our results?
What will do we do the same next time?
What will we do differently?
We recommend that you follow this process, in using the AAR questions to evaluate your season.
- If you are the Head Coach, answer these questions by yourself. Do not share your answers with anyone else, but make sure to keep a copy.
- Get your coaching staff together, and have them work together to answer the questions. Have someone document their answers, so you can use them later.
- Have your players work together to answer the AAR questions. This should happen without guidance from the coaches. Simply give them the questions, and let them document their responses. These are group responses, not individual responses from each player.
At the end of these After Action Reviews, the Head Coach has a nice collection of information, which can be used to begin productively planning for next season.
The AAR will provide you with the WHYs, which can lead to the HOWs, and this information will help you effectively plan for next season’s success.