Newton’s Second Law states that and object will accelerate in the direction that you push it. This could represent the initial teaching of a skill. It also states that if you push the object twice as hard, it will accelerate twice as much. This could represent pushing outside your comfort zone to perform the skill eventually at greater than game speed.
We can use this model as coaches and players, in relationship to learning curves and getting to the next level.
There needs to be a progression if you want to get better at a skill. You must first learn the skill correctly. You must then challenge yourself or be challenged to perform same skill at greater and greater speeds or complexity. You need to work at a speed where you are making mistakes. Those mistakes are your challenge! Keep at it until you can perform at the new speed then move to the next speed until you have mastered each new speed or level.
As coaches we can sometimes add competition and consequence into the mix to challenge our players to move to the next speed. I do this with footwork drills. Once I know the footwork is solid, I break the team up into smaller teams, and they compete at stations in timed event. You can even add consequences for missed shots into the same mix.
Here is an example. Team is split up into two equal teams. Players are working on post moves. Starting below the baseline, each player has a ball. There is a chair above the first marker or wherever you like your players to receive the ball in the post. On “go” the player at the front of the line passes the ball out to a coach, behind the chair, who places the ball on the chair. The player comes out square to the chair in good post position to take ball off the seat of the chair and work on their move. The next players in line then go in turn. In each timed session the team is working on only one move. They make their move and if they miss, they get to a spot on the floor and do10 pushups, where they won’t interfere with the drill, before they can get back into the drill. They must do the footwork perfectly and approach the chair perfectly or the bucket doesn’t count. Here we have some pressure to make the shot, or they are no longer helping their team, they are doing pushups to get back in and there is pressure to do the footwork correctly or the bucket doesn’t count. You can add some additional pressure, by trapping the ball in the chair with your hand, so they have to fight to own the ball. At the end of each timed session the team with the most buckets wins that round. The team with the least buckets again will have a consequence.
Consequences and competition are two methods to get your players to work at accelerated rates.