Coaching a European Club – Week 25

After last week’s game, I focused more on individual defense. From an offensive perspective, I prefer to play 2v2 or 3v3 because it incorporates a more realistic situation, as the pass is an option, and the player must account for potential help defense. However, in my inclination to play more 2v2 and 3v3, our individual defense may have been sacrificed.  […]

What does a coach’s record in close games really mean?

Since Christmas break, almost every one of our games has been close. This week, as I jogged to and from the gym on several days, I thought about what close games mean in terms of one’s coaching. A coach’s (team’s) record in close games is cited often to demonstrate that a coach is a good coach. However, a friend never believed in this measure. He argued that there are too many variables in a game to suggest that the coach out-coached his opposing coach in a game under 5 points. Instead, he argued that the best way to evaluate a coach was his or her record in games decided by 5-15 points. According to The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer is Wrong, favorites win 80% of games in basketball (using NBA statistics), suggesting that many overweight the importance of in-game coaching on the game’s outcome. […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 24

After last week’s game, I went back to the basics this week: we focused on basic movements. We worked on shuffling, quick sprints, hockey stops: basic simple movements. We aren’t quick enough – in our feet or in our minds. I added a change-of-direction speed (CODS) component to our finishing drills, as we have done previously. I wanted to focus on getting into a better stance and moving better and quicker. […]

Animal Movements as On-Court Strength Training

Early in the season, I held a coaching clinic for the club’s coaches. When I was hired, the club manager said that one goal was for all the teams to incorporate more training for athleticism or strength training. However, only the senior teams have memberships to the fitness center, and there is no equipment to use with any of the youth teams.  […]

Coaching behaviors: What is game coaching?

After my last game, I apologized to my team because I felt that I was probably too complacent during the game. Until the final shot hit the rim, I never thought we were going to lose, even when we fell behind by 14 in the first half. I felt the whole game that we were one play away from taking control; we just never made that play.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 23

We had two games this week, and only two full practices. In our Monday practice, we prepared for our Wednesday game, as we had played our opponent 10 days earlier. We knew they would trap our point guard and force other guys to make plays. With two of our five post players injured, the post Read more about Coaching a European Club – Week 23[…]

Pain, Injury, and Rehabilitation

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, January/February 2014.

Injuries happen. If you play sports long enough, you will hurt something at some point. It is part of the game. I coach basketball, so ankle sprains are the most common injury. What happens when we sprain an ankle? When we land on someone’s foot, we feel pain. However, according to Dr. Adrian Luow, pain is a construct of the brain. When we land on someone’s foot and sprain our ankle, the proprioceptors and nerves in our ankle signal danger, not pain. As Dr. Luow said during his presentation at the Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group (BSMPG) conference in May 2013, pain is a decision by the brain, and it is determined by how you think. The pain that we feel in the ankle is really a perception of threat.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 22

This week marked the return of three players who were abroad, but as their return ensured that we could scrimmage 5v5 in practices, two starters went out with an injury and illness. We were able to scrimmage 5v5 for the first time since December, but we also played on Saturday without a full team, as we have since October.  […]