Coaching the End of the Bench

Playing time is one of the hardest issues of coaching. Last season, I struggled with my commitment to play every player, as it is hard to make that many substitutions in a game and to give players enough time to get comfortable on the court. While there are reasons to play everyone, when I started as a coach, I tended to stick to an eight-person rotation. […]

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.¬† […]

Measuring a Coach’s Game Performance

Game coaching is only a small part of the overall job of a coach. However, coaches are measured by results as most people only watch the games, not practices. The effort between games goes unnoticed because its is hidden from view. One popular measure for a coach’s effectiveness during games is performance during close games, Read more about Measuring a Coach’s Game Performance[…]

Parents’ and Players’ Concept of Competitiveness

My friend coached in a local recreation league for seven and eight-year-olds. The league had a try-out day and then the coaches selected their teams. The day after the “draft,” eight players signed up together; the league put them together on one team. As it turned out, they were the “all-stars” from the previous season. Read more about Parents’ and Players’ Concept of Competitiveness[…]

Basketball Coaches Solving the Marshmallow Problem

In this TED talk, Tom Wujec discusses the Marshmallow Problem: For coaches, I see two important lessons. First, The Ta-Da Problem. Many coaches use a similar process as the groups that perform poorly. They orient, plan and build, but when they put the marshmallow on top at the very end, everything falls apart. This happens Read more about Basketball Coaches Solving the Marshmallow Problem[…]

Finishing the Season: Three Approaches to Late-Season Practices

The March 8, 2010 ESPN the Magazine has an article titled “Too Much of a Good Thing” about the Texas Longhorns. In the article, Elena Bergeron compares Rick Barnes’ mid-season strategy to that of some other coaches. “We think the human body can take only three high-level, hard workouts a week,” Barnes says. In the Read more about Finishing the Season: Three Approaches to Late-Season Practices[…]

Oklahoma City Playing Fundamental Basketball

Oklahoma City is 3rd in team defense at the All-Star break, and assistant coach Ron Adams gets much of the credit. “We don’t really change what we do,” explained Nick Collison. “I’ve been on a lot of teams where game to game we try to change how we’re going to guard the pick-and-roll, whether we’re Read more about Oklahoma City Playing Fundamental Basketball[…]

Real Life Costs of Bad Coaching/Teaching

When we speak about good and bad coaches, we generally speak in terms of their competitive performance and ability to develop and maximize their players’ talents. Even at youth levels, we criticize a coach’s zone offense or timeout usage. In the overall scheme, these competitive flaws (or strengths) are a small piece of a coach’s Read more about Real Life Costs of Bad Coaching/Teaching[…]

Motivating your Bench Players

One tough issue for coaches is utilizing bench players. These players play several pivotal roles: Often, these players form the nucleus of the program’s future, whether they are underclassmen or rookies on a professional team; If a player is injured, someone must step in and step up to maintain the current level of success; Non-starters Read more about Motivating your Bench Players[…]