Defining a Good Coach

I taught an undergraduate class titled “Coaching Basketball” in the fall semester with a curriculum based on the Level 1 Youth Basketball Coaching Association certification.

On the final exam, one question asked the students to describe the qualities and characteristics of a good coach. While not a scientific study, and possibly influenced by what the students felt the professor wanted to hear, the most common responses were:

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Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday and the Adaptability of Learning

Last night’s Boston Celtics’ game-winner against the 76ers has to be the most analyzed NBA play of the early season. Sebastian Pruiti does a great job breaking down the action. The Celtics run a horns-set for Rondo with KG and Pierce as the screeners. Rondo uses the KG screen, Young switches and Rondo lobs the ball to the rim for KG to dunk.

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Developing Successful Performers: Learning from Spain’s World Cup Victory

On another blog, I saw an interview with Seattle Sounders Strength & Conditioning Coach David Tenney. He has an interesting response when asked about soccer development in the United States:

I agree that soccer has developed to a good level in this country…However, there are still some real areas that we lag behind our South American and European competition. I think that if you look at the average high school age or college game, it’s an overly physical battle…The American game is about trying to play at a frantic speed for as long as possible. At times, it looks like uncontrolled chaos. When we start to get coaches that can slow the game down a bit, so players can think, then we will make progress.

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Automaticity, Skill Development and Expert Performance

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers popularized the 10,000-hour/10-year rule from the research of K. Anders Ericsson, Benjamin Bloom, Istvan Balyi and others. Some reacted to the concept by suggesting that the 10,000-hour rule illustrates the importance of early specialization so athletes have time to engage in 10 years worth of practice. There are two flaws to this Read more about Automaticity, Skill Development and Expert Performance[…]

Coach’s Role in Skill Development

We measure a coach through immediate outcomes (wins), but his main function may be in terms of his long-term influence over a player’s skill development. In “Inside the brain of an elite athlete: the neural processes that support high achievement in sports” by Kielan Yarrow, Peter Brown and John W. Kraukauer (2009) published in Nature Read more about Coach’s Role in Skill Development[…]