Burnout and Long-Term Player Development

Cross Over: The New Model of Youth Basketball Development presents a gradual four-stage progression for player development over a period of years. The book outlines an alternative to the early specialization, game-heavy model used by most youth leagues and programs. In Massachusetts, youth hockey organizations are making changes similar to those outlined in Cross Over. Read more about Burnout and Long-Term Player Development[…]

The Blame Game: Coaching and Players

On Slam, Clay Kallam wrote about C. Vivian Stringer and the struggles of the Rutgers University’s Women’s Basketball team this season. While I do not follow Rutgers closely, I have followed the stories because of two popular and well-publicized Southern California players, Jasmine Dixon (now at UCLA) and Nikki Speed. Kallam criticizes Stringer (and by extension Read more about The Blame Game: Coaching and Players[…]

Maintaining Players’ Motivation

David Sirota, Louis A. Mischkind, and Michael Irwin Meltzer wrote an article titled “Why your Employees are losing Motivation” for Harvard Business School. They open with a powerful statement: Most companies have it all wrong. They don’t have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them. Coaches make the same mistake. Many coaches Read more about Maintaining Players’ Motivation[…]

Four Stages of Skill Acquisition

The following article originally appeared in Hard 2 Guard 2009 Player Development Newsletter Volume 3, Issue 37 and is included in Brian McCormick’s Player Development Newsletters, Volume 3. While running a clinic for an organization last weekend, the head coach reminded the group (and me) of the four stages of skill acquisition: * Unskilled, Unconscious Read more about Four Stages of Skill Acquisition[…]

Skill Acquisition and Drill Design

Each week, I write a free weekly newsletter which I send to thousands of subscribers. During the year, I interview experts with my own questions and share the interviews in the newsletters. In 2009, I interviewed a sports medicine specialist at one of the leading hospitals for ACL injury research; a popular strength & conditioning Read more about Skill Acquisition and Drill Design[…]

Oklahoma City Playing Fundamental Basketball

Oklahoma City is 3rd in team defense at the All-Star break, and assistant coach Ron Adams gets much of the credit. “We don’t really change what we do,” explained Nick Collison. “I’ve been on a lot of teams where game to game we try to change how we’re going to guard the pick-and-roll, whether we’re Read more about Oklahoma City Playing Fundamental Basketball[…]

Right-Brain Thinking Against Zones

This article originally appeared in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter 4.5. Zones stymie many teams and players. Generally, teams and players who attack man2man defenses stand around and play passively against zone defenses. There is no real reason to explain the passivity. Zones require a different strategy than man2man, but good defenses combine man-defense and zone Read more about Right-Brain Thinking Against Zones[…]

Developing Young Athletes for the Long Term

Originally published in the Jan/Feb. 2010 Long Angeles Sports & Fitness. A representative from a nation’s basketball federation inquired about my interest in the position of the federation’s Technical Director. During the conversation, he stressed the importance of understanding Canada’s development model. While unfathomable to people in the United States, sports federations around the world Read more about Developing Young Athletes for the Long Term[…]