21st Century Guide to Individual Skill Development is the player’s version of The 21st Century Basketball Practice, and a complement to The 21st Century Basketball Practice for coaches and skill trainers. The philosophy and concepts between the two books are the same, but this book focuses on individual skill development, specifically shooting, finishing, and dribbling. The book contains a chapter about the specific skills, but the book is centered on strategies to improve your individual practice. McCormick outlines and explains various strategies that worked for him as a player, coach, and skill trainer, and that are supported, in most cases, by research. In addition to his personal examples and research, McCormick includes examples from modern-day superstars such as Stephen Curry and his visit to an NBA team’s offseason workouts.
This book is about individual practice and skill development, but individual skill is a misnomer. Games are complex. There is no isolated or individual skill: All skills are interdependent. Despite the interdependence of skills, players do and should practice individually. This book provides strategies to enhance the effectiveness of individual practice, and offers advice on skill development hacks off the court, the usefulness of private coaches, and the value of play, pickup games, and collective skill development.
McCormick’s philosophy centers on a few important concepts: Technique and skill are different; complex and hard describe different things; training and learning are not synonymous; intrinsic motivation is vital; and constant feedback interrupts learning. The specific strategies fit within this philosophy and describe different approaches for skill development, whether by oneself, with a private coach, or with a training group. The objective is to give players the tools and ideas to improve their individual practice and offseason training to maximize their skill development.