Developing an elite basketball jump shooter

Shooting is a motor skill despite many experts believing that shooting skill is an innate talent. The concentration when coaching or teaching young shooters is the sport-specific instruction: the elbow, the eyes, the knee bend, etc. When one watches an expert shooter, his technique looks effortless: Even a shooter with an unorthodox technique like Reggie Miller looks effortless when shooting the basketball. Moshe Feldenkrais wrote, “Light and easy movements are good ones, as a rule” (p. 86). Look at Kevin Durant’s effortless release: […]

There is no mystery in the decline of post play in basketball

The Atlantic had an article about the mystery of the disappearing post player that is filled with excuses and problems, but few answers. If one wants to explain the disappearance of back-to-the-backet post play simply, the answer is a lack of patience. The lack of patience is exhibited in coaches, tall players, and ball handlers. […]

How does one recognize coaching talent when making a coaching hire

An athletic director emailed and said that I lacked head-coaching experience for a job despite over 20 seasons of head-coaching experience. I don’t really believe experience is the only answer. I watched a college coach with 20+ years of head coaching experience at the college level, and he was not a good coach: Poor use of personnel, poor interpersonal relationships with players, visibly played favorites, poor communication on and off the court, inability to maximize talent, looked at what team lacked and made excuses rather than looking at what the team had, etc. Plenty of experience, yet failing miserably at so many important elements of coaching. […]

Increasing more intrinsic motivations in young athletes

Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory suggests that people are motivated when they have feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. SDT proposes that intrinsic motivators enhance motivation better than extrinsic motivators, and Dan Pink in Drive cited numerous studies to support the importance of intrinsic motivators compared to extrinsic motivators (rewards and punishments) for any task involving even rudimentary cognitive skills; for an algorithmic task, that is one where the person simply follows a set of instructions, punishment and rewards improved performance. […]

Creating the Caring Climate to Promote Sports Participation

In competitive athletics, caring appears to have a negative connotation. We are not looking for caring coaches, but competitive coaches who can advance a child’s athletic career. Caring tends to be associated with soft, and everyone knows that the tough teams win. Over and over, I witness coaches screaming at children for mistakes, while parents sit idly by in the stands, shaking their heads up and down because their son did make a bad turnover.  […]