Youth Sports: The Sampling Period

Note: Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness in May 2010. Childhood has moved from a time of exploration to a time of preparation, and youth sports epitomize that transition. Playing sports has changed to training for a sport for even young children. Mike Boyle, a well-known strength & conditioning coach in Massachusetts, recently Read more about Youth Sports: The Sampling Period[…]

Coaching Development and the “Special One”

This weekend, Inter won the Champions League trophy completing the treble for the storied Italian club and its Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, who nicknamed himself the “Special One.” I have been intrigued by Mourinho for some time, and Adrian Flynn from Basketball Scotland recommended an interview from the January 2005 UEFA Newsletter for Coaches. For Read more about Coaching Development and the “Special One”[…]

Why all the Yelling and Screaming?

On a repeat episode of the Daily Show last night, the guest was famed chef Mario Battali. The discussion moved to Gordon Ramsey and chefs who use their outside voice, and Battali said: “Typically, chefs who yell at their cooks are expressing their own self-loathing for not having prepared their staff properly.” Same is true Read more about Why all the Yelling and Screaming?[…]

Scrimmages and Offensive Instruction in Practice

A coach emailed a question regarding Blitz Basketball and my use of scrimmages to teach my basic offensive sets and defensive strategy. I do not spend practice working 5v0 or walking through defensive rotations in a typical shell drill. I scrimmage, and after a player is finished, I use the play to teach a concept Read more about Scrimmages and Offensive Instruction in Practice[…]

Why Are Set Plays Dangerous for Young Players?

I attended a university lecture on decision-making and the presenter showed a version of this video (There are many versions of this online). Please watch this video before reading the article below. Why do people miss the moonwalking bear? When people focus on one task – counting the passes made by the white team – they Read more about Why Are Set Plays Dangerous for Young Players?[…]

Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles

I never played on a team that played zone defense, and I developed with the mindset that teams only play zone defense if they do not think that they can guard the opponent man-to-man. However, as I began to coach, I realized that man-defense and zone-defense are very similar. When I coached in a professional Read more about Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles[…]

Why Can’t Sports Be Fun and Competitive?

We completed our volleyball season yesterday, finishing 6-4 in league play (the school finished without a J.V. team last season, as so many players had quit from a winless team). Today, we will have one final practice to collect jerseys, play and have fun. The A.D. joked with another coach on campus about our post-season Read more about Why Can’t Sports Be Fun and Competitive?[…]