Skill Development Definitions and Coaching Philosophy

My thinking differs from most coaches on most aspects of coaching, and these differences often get me in trouble. This weekend, I argued the merits of zone defenses and realized that our difference of opinion had nothing to do with zones specifically, but instead the way that we view the game and approach skill development. Read more about Skill Development Definitions and Coaching Philosophy[…]

Developing Talent in Young Players

A New York Times article by by Rob Hughes titled “Recipe for Soccer Success: Let Young Talent Blossoms” juxtaposes the efforts of China and the United States to develop its next generation of footballing stars with the development of the world’s best footballer, Lionel Messi. “He wasn’t trained, he was born like this,” Ernesto Vecchio, Read more about Developing Talent in Young Players[…]

Players and Parents Differing Views on Competition

When I speak to groups of coaches, I bring them back to the playground. Most problems with youth sports do not start with the players; they start with the parents and parent-coaches. Players want equal teams, not stacked teams. When I was in junior high school, we had four pretty good players. When we picked Read more about Players and Parents Differing Views on Competition[…]

Why I am rooting for Jeremy Lin

Early Sunday morning, I walked to the court where I train a 9th grader every weekend. He is generally late and sleepy when he arrives, but today he was on the court and shooting. As soon as I was within earshot, he said, “What do you think of Jeremy Lin?” For those who do not Read more about Why I am rooting for Jeremy Lin[…]

Play Multiple Sports to Build Athleticism

Note: Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, May 2008 We generally do not allow sports science to interfere with our deeply held beliefs, even when the beliefs are more myth than reality. When I coached in Ireland, the young Irish players believed that basketball greatness was not in their genes. They felt that Read more about Play Multiple Sports to Build Athleticism[…]

Raising our Level of Coaching

I finally received the long-awaited Rain: A Workbook for Players who Really Want to Score Points by Lindell Singleton. For such a small book, there are so many important and interesting points that I did not know where to start. However, since this is a site for coaches and their development, I focused on a Read more about Raising our Level of Coaching[…]

Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Camp & Skill Development

Kobe Bryant apparently runs a hugely popular basketball camp in Santa Barbara, which is very commendable. However, after reading an article about the objectives, I am confused. I must admit that I am biased against big camps. I run basketball camps, but even this week, while running a camp in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, I felt Read more about Kobe Bryant’s Basketball Camp & Skill Development[…]

Defensive Footwork Drills

Few things frustrate me more than watching poor teaching techniques perpetuated because coaches fail to examine their methods critically and instead teach the same “basketball truth” over and over regardless of the efficacy of the skill or the teaching. Static stretching is the biggest culprit, as many coaches refuse to adjust their coaching despite paper Read more about Defensive Footwork Drills[…]

Can One Teach Defensive Fundamentals through Zone Defenses?

After commenting on zone defenses and pointing out some of the negative issues as well as reasons why zones are not bad for youth basketball, a coach observed that zones are a poor way to teach defensive fundamentals. In particular, the reason was that players only watch the ball in zone defense, but they learn Read more about Can One Teach Defensive Fundamentals through Zone Defenses?[…]