Basketball

TELLING vs TEACHING | Communication

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

DCT | Chalk Talk | Episode 2

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.

 

If you have questions about this set, please contact us via e-mail at: INFO@dynamiccoachingtools.com

DCT | Chalk Talk | Episode 1

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.”

Go Follow Us: @DynamicCoaches on Twitter and Instagram

Team Building: “ABC Team Challenge”

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.

You can follow Dynamic Coaching Tools on Twitter or Instagram at: @DynamicCoaches

A Coach’s Best Friend: Film

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

Leadership Development

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

INFO@DynamicCoachingTools.com

You can also find us on Social Media: @DynamicCoaches

DCT Podcast – Episode 4 – Coach White

Episode 4 of the Dynamic Coaching Tools Podcast features Coach Greg White, the Head Coach of West High School (Northwest Arkansas). Coach White is also a speaker for USA Basketball, at their Coaches Academy. His topics include building a program, as well as offensive systems. Coach White also has a website, www.3fromthecorner.com

Coach White spent time talking to us about his ball screen offensive system, the foundations of building a program, establishing a culture, and the impact of AAU basketball on the future of our game. There were countless takeaways from our conversation, but here are a few of them.

 

3 C’s of a Program

  • Community
  • Classroom
  • Court

 

Foundations of Building a Program

  • CULTURE = Blueprint
  • IMPACT = Thumb Print
  • Must DEFINE SUCCESS

 

Program > Team > Player

You can reach Coach White via Twitter:

@GregWhite32

You can also find great resources at his website:

www.3fromthecorner.com

DCT Podcast – Episode 3 – Coach Thomas

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

  1. Level Appropriate
  2. Translates to the game
  3. Can be layered up or down

 

STEPS TO GETTING PLAYERS TO BUY INTO A ROLE

  1. Embrace the role
  2. Star in the role
  3. Grow the role

 

You can reach Coach Thomas via Twitter and Instagram.

Coaches should also check out HoopGrind Basketball.

www.hoopgrind.com

Social Media is @HoopGrind

 

 

PREVIOUS EPISODES OF DCT PODCAST

EPISODE 2 – Coach Ethan Leasher (Davenport University)

EPISODE 1 – Coach Doug Brotherton (Dynamic Coaching Tools)

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