I spent this week watching the girls’ basketball state play-offs with an eye on evaluating players for the junior college where I work as a strength coach in the event that the basketball coaches ask for a second opinion. In debating the merits of various post players for a junior-college program, I returned to a persistent question that is relevant to coaches of all ages: Is the goal to win now or to develop players for long-term success? Here is how the question plays out: […]
The following is an excerpt from Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletters, 4.18 (May 1, 2010).
The following day, I turned my ankle. I stepped on someone’s foot as I tried to take off and ended up getting called for a charge. I got up, jogged back on defense, limped around on one possession, and was fine. I played the rest of the game, did not ice after the game, had no swelling, and played some pick-up games the next day. […]
Just like that, it’s over. We had one practice and one game. We finally played a new team who I had never seen, so we did not have anything specific for which to prepare. Though we led for much of the game and though I felt we outplayed them, we lost. We should have been ahead by more early in the game but we were half a step late on several rotations, and they scored as a result. Throughout the second half, they punished nearly every defensive mistake with a three-pointer, whereas we missed a couple easy shots. That was the game. A missed boxout here, a missed rotation there, a missed lay-up here, and a dribble off our foot there. The basics. The fundamentals. Youth basketball is not about the plays or the schemes, the zone or man, the big or small: it comes down to making lay-ups, grabbing rebounds, and stopping the ball on defense. […]
The week began and ended with a game against the same team, the 3rd and 4th time that we played this team. We play in a year-end tournament, and in the infinite wisdom of the tournament director, one side of the bracket features teams who have been playing each other all season, and the other side features teams who have been playing each other all season. I asked to drop in seed just to play someone different, and the director opposed because the tournament was seeded. The other two coaches who we have played repeatedly said that the director does it every season so his team makes the championship game, as they felt our side of the bracket was stacked (the two teams who we played on our side of the bracket have beaten us by 6-20 points in a total of 6 games; the two teams who we played one time each on the other side of the bracket beat us by 4 and 5 points in our second and third games of the season). […]
In the media, on fan message forums and twitter, and in conversations in gyms across the country, many feel that this generation of players need a more player-friendly coach. This term is thrown out frequently, but rarely defined. What is a player-friendly coach? Essentially, what do players want from a coach? […]
Rough week. Due to the gym schedule, we went three days without a game or practice before our game on Monday. We started okay, but once we went cold, we were very cold. It was never very close. After the game, I asked the guys if they wanted to practice on Tuesday morning before school, as we had no practice availability after school. The majority said no. One or two players were incredulous that guys did not want to practice after such a poor performance and prior to our next game. […]