Developing Better Game Passers

For drills to be effective, they must transfer to better game performance. Many coaches spend a lot of practice time on drills like three-man weaves or two-line passing drills, yet continue to complain about their players’ passing skills. The problem is the constraints: the constraints of a three-man weave differ from the constraints of completing a pass in a game. […]

A Coach’s Effect on Youth Athlete’s Development

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness.

My friend – a father of five and a good youth basketball coach – sent me this email:

“Here’s a stupid story. My son is playing minors baseball (with actual pitching) this year. He’s always been a real confident player (almost cocky), and he’s an above-average player at his park and easily the best player on his sorry team. Anyway, he swings at a lot of bad pitches. His coach yells at him and threatens to move him back in the order every time he grounds out or pops up on a bad pitch. I stayed out of the way until I realized he was so nervous at the plate that he was striking out. I finally got it out of him that he was trying to walk because he was afraid of swinging at bad pitches and he wouldn’t swing until he had at least two strikes and then he would swing at ANYTHING. I told him to stop listening to his stupid coach and swing at anything he thought he could hit. Anyway, he ended up making the All-Star team and is doing OK again.” […]

Double-Edge Sword of Demonstrations and Instructions

During my presentation, one question focused on the timing of block practice and random practice. In a traditional coaching methodology, coaches start with the block practice with lots of instruction and feedback and isolated drills. Once players show improvement, the coach adds a new element or puts the skill into a scrimmage. The decision-training style of coaching starts with competition-like drills and “hard-first instruction.” […]