Game Awareness and Ball Handling

As I watched a group do a simple ball-handling game, I realized an unintended consequence. Because of space constraints, I played one big game rather than several small games, and used multiple balls to increase the activity. When I added the third ball, things really got interesting. The third ball (with 15 players) really forced all the players to be aware of their surroundings. Players turned their backs, lost sight of one of the ball handlers and suddenly were tagged without ever seeing the player who tagged him. With younger players, and more players, the drill worked even better. […]

ACL Injury Epidemic – The Solution Starts with Coach Education & a Change away from Peak by Friday Mindset

ACL injuries have become a politicized issue, as evidenced by Wendy Parker’s latest column. While pundits and activists battle, the larger issue is muddied: the rhetoric has no effect on changing the epidemic of injuries. Rather than writing about rehabilitation or prevention programs, the injury issue creates a gender war.

The epidemic boils down to two issues: (1) Lack of education and dissemination of information to coaches and (2) the Peak by Friday mentality. […]

Traditions Die Hard: Where is science-based or research-directed coaching?

The Internet makes information available like never before, yet there appears to be no changes in the way that the majority of coaches teach children. Last week, I worked out a college player during the lunch break of the college’s youth camp. I stayed and watched some of the camp. Despite having a limited number of players and enough balls for each player plus six baskets to use, I saw lines of players standing around and very little action. Today, I attended a practice in India and saw children dribble through cones for 40 minutes doing a drill that was taught at an NBA-sponsored coach’s clinic. Finally, I graded papers for my Introduction to Coaching practice plan assignment, and nearly every student started his or her practice with jogging around the field or court followed by stretching. Every student used a very linear model: stretching, block practice/technique drill, block practice/technique drill, scrimmage. Every sport was the same. […]