Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Progression In Teaching Skills

I believe there should be a progression to teaching any skill including Post moves/footwork. I think it is detrimental to learning if you introduce competition in the drill or the defense too early. The players must be able to do the footwork automatically. They need to be able to go one on none, and get out of their comfort zone in that format, before they move to the next steps of learning. If you add competition too early the players will cheat on the footwork to win the drill. If you add defense into the drill too early then they will try to score at any cost and not make the correct read and therefore not use the correct move or footwork. BUT if you don't add competition once they have the footwork, they are not challenged, they stop working outside their comfort zone and they will get bored. If you don't add in defense at some point, they won't be able to recognize what the defense is giving them, and will not use the correct move. Adding in the defense can be staged. It could be a coach with a pad, over playing high so whatever you teaching when going baseline they can read it, understand how to play against some contact, and do the correct move. Or you could later have them face a series of different defensive stances. A failure to add in defense will not prepare them for the amount of contact and the ability to make the correct read. I had a player who mastered the up and under in the post one on none. But in games he would do it regardless of what the defense was doing, he would shake a defender, not knowing he had done so and come back to the defender with his under move. Adding defense into the drills and competition helped this player as it will help all players

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Teamwork is extremely important to the success of any team. Unselfish play creates a better chance for the success of the group. You can have a group of great individual talent that will be less successful than a team of lesser athletes that work well as a cohesive unit.

What are the characteristics of a cohesive team?

1. Leadership: Teams must have leaders that they can believe in. They must believe in what the coaching staff is bringing to them in terms of skills, systems and direction. They need to believe in each other’s ability to carry out what is being taught.
2. Common Goals and Vision: They can only have this, if you sit down with them and hammer these details out. The entire team needs to be in agreement.
3. Team-centric Players: You need players that buy into the concept of team first. Players that will sacrifice their numbers in order to get the wins. The concept of team should be bigger than the concept of self.
4. Good Communication. Players need to be able talk on defense, direct on offense, and be able to openly discuss issues with each other and with coaching staff.
5. Commitment To Constant Improvement. This process requires the ability to evaluate the team and it’s players and critically solve any problems or issues that arise.
6. Supportive Environment. Players should have each other’s back. Team-mates need to be supportive of one and other. They should openly encourage each other, but they should also be able to call a player out, that is not holding up his end of the bargain.
7. Role Players. Players need to be able to take on a role. A player must be able to take on a role in a game or for the entire season if need be. Will your players sacrifice their scoring to lock down an offensive threat? Will they sacrifice their touches to grab rebounds?
8. Respectful. Teams need to be respectful. The team needs to foster respect for each other, for the referees, for the coaching staff.
9. Known Identity. A successful cohesive team needs to have an identity. They need to know what they do well, and what they need to do better.
10. Valued Team Members. Players need to understand they provide value to the success of the team regardless of their floor time.