Basketball Coach Development: The Stages of a Coach’s Career

Patrick Hunt is the Head Coach of the National Intensive Training Center Program at the Australian Institute of Sport. In Developing Sport Expertise by Damian Farrow, Joe Baker and Clare McMahon, Hunt describes the stages of a coach’s career: Beginning Coach Looking for textbook drills Looks for textbook plays Intermediate Coach Developing acceptable standards of Read more about Basketball Coach Development: The Stages of a Coach’s Career[…]

How Fascinating! A Different Approach to Skill Development

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. I attended the UCLA football game Saturday. One couple brought their young toddler. As we tailgated, the boy ran all over the place. He tried to play with other young kids or he played with his dad, running after his ball and hiking it to his mom. Read more about How Fascinating! A Different Approach to Skill Development[…]

Defining and Explaining Great Coaching

We typically base our perceptions of great coaching on the images that we see on television. The media tends to emphasize game-coaching skills like calling timeouts or switching defenses at the appropriate times. However, another way to measure great coaching is through the eyes of the athletes. Andrea Becker, a professor at Cal State Fullerton, Read more about Defining and Explaining Great Coaching[…]

Defensive Footwork – On-Ball Defense

When I played, coaches taught a step-slide motion to move laterally, a drop step to change directions and a sprint to catch up when the step-slide was not fast enough. The cardinal sin of defense was crossing your feet. In reality, this instruction is a waste of time, as athletes do not move in this Read more about Defensive Footwork – On-Ball Defense[…]

Free Throw Shooting Instruction

Former Washington Wizards’ and Toronto Raptors’ Shooting Coach Dave Hopla explains the basics that he uses when instructing free throws. He keeps the instructions simple rather than over-complicating the shot, which tends to cause “paralysis by analysis.” “Toe – Tack – Target” “Valve the Basketball”

Is Perfect Practice Really Perfect?

Originally published in Los Angeles Sport & Fitness, June 2009. Everyone has heard the popular coachism, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” Nobody questions this logic. Intuitively, it makes sense: to learn something new requires practice and the execution in the practice should be the same as the desired execution. When you learn to hit a tennis Read more about Is Perfect Practice Really Perfect?[…]