How many times have I heard coaches complain about their players, stating they are dumb? One coach once said to me, “I’ve been running this drill for five years, and not one team can get it right”. Hey is it me or is it them. Could it be the drill? Could it be the way you are teaching it? Could it be it has no relevance to the game of basketball? You are a coach, it's your job to find away to connect and get it done.
John Wooden said “you haven’t taught until they have learned”. I think Kelvin Sampson’s twist on it might even be better “Nothing is taught until it is learned and nothing is learned until it is taught”.
Players have different learning styles; visual, auditory, kinesthetic, try to appeal to all of these. Maybe the way you are teaching only effectively covers one of these types of learning styles.
Here is a story how I missed the boat in evaluating a player. I had been working out this player in the off-season with a few other new hopefuls. When it came to tryouts, my conclusion was this one player, just wasn’t browning up in the pan quick enough. The team this player was trying out for had become pretty competitive. I didn’t want to take players that I couldn’t promise time to. At 15 and 16 years of age, it’s better that they find a team where they can contribute and get significant floor time. Test the skills they have been learning in practice.
The cut phone calls. I hate them! This was a particularly hard, because I just liked this kid and his family. Great folks!. During the call, the father said "let us sit with the news for a few days Paul, and we’ll get back to you about it". I agreed but for the life of me couldn’t understand what the father meant. I cut his son. They called back a day later and he said, “we talked it over, and we don’t care if you can’t give our son floor time, he is developing with you and he likes being there”. I was stunned but agreed to carry him. This young man has so much character, work ethic, and verve, he willed himself into earning floor time. By the end of the season in play-offs he was getting significant floor time, was a major contributor to the team and one of my best Rebounders. The following year he was a starter.
During both those seasons I thanked him and his father for sticking with me and proving me wrong. In this case it was definitely the Chef’s fault.