3v3 Leagues Offer the Best Developmental Environment


When looking at the best players in middle school, high school and college, what skills separate the players? If we eliminate physical attributes like height which we cannot control, and adjust for athletic skills beyond the purview of most coaches like strength, agility and quickness, what technical and tactical skills separate the best players from the average players? If I could condense the ideas into one phrase, I would say that finishing plays separate the best from the average: the best players make better decisions and more shots inside the scoring zone than average players who miss open teammates or take more contested shots.


Playmakers Basketball Development Leagues as a means to Increased Physical Activity

An oft-cited study by Gould, Feltz and Weiss of Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, found seven primary motivators for children’s sports participation:

  1. Fun
  2. Skill development
  3. Excitement and personal challenge
  4. Achievement and status
  5. Fitness
  6. Energy or tension release
  7. Friendship


A Lesson from College Football

In Greg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback, he writes about Oregon University’s offense: Pass patterns are minimal, which keeps the quarterback’s mind from melting under the pace…The blur offense has maybe 20 plays, though several involve an option about who carries the ball. A very simple playbook allows Oregon to perfect the execution and snap really Read more about A Lesson from College Football[…]

Is Athleticism in the Genes?

Originally published by Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, October 2010. In fifth grade, my school’s new eighth grade basketball coach (a former high school varsity coach, which was a very big deal) came to our house. He asked for my favorite player. I answered Kenny Anderson, then a freshman at Georgia Tech. He suggested, not Read more about Is Athleticism in the Genes?[…]

Ajax: A Model for Development?

Originally published by Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, September 2010. In the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup, Michael Sokolove wrote “How a Soccer Star is Made” in the New York Times about Ajax, a club team in Amsterdam famous for its Total Football style of play and the development of young soccer stars, including Read more about Ajax: A Model for Development?[…]

How Important are Rules to Skill Development?

I am working with an after-school program. The children vary day by day and by skill level. We have a couple children who have played in leagues, and many who have never played previously and do not know the rules. Several days per week, the soccer players play basketball, so there is a big mix Read more about How Important are Rules to Skill Development?[…]