The Fallacy of Wins and Losses in Youth Sports

Note: Originally published in the January/February 2011 issue of Los Angeles Sports & Fitness.

In a recent youth football championship game, one team trailed 6-0 when the coach ordered a trick play that is now a youtube sensation. After a penalty, he called out loudly that the defense had been off-side, and the official forgot to walk off the five yards. He yelled at his center to move the ball forward. The center stood up and handed the ball over his shoulder to the quarterback, which is a legal maneuver. The quarterback started to walk off the five yards and then sprinted past the unassuming defenders for the game-tying touchdown. […]

A Lesson from College Football

In Greg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback, he writes about Oregon University’s offense: Pass patterns are minimal, which keeps the quarterback’s mind from melting under the pace…The blur offense has maybe 20 plays, though several involve an option about who carries the ball. A very simple playbook allows Oregon to perfect the execution and snap really Read more about A Lesson from College Football[…]

Did Efficiency Statistics Kill the Mid-Range Jump Shot?

Every season, a coach or NBA analyst publicly bemoans the lost art of the mid-range jump shot. I never understand the argument, as a mid-range jump shot is typically a lower percentage shot than a three-pointer, the shot typically vilified by the argument (we’re arguing, of course, about players old and strong enough to shoot Read more about Did Efficiency Statistics Kill the Mid-Range Jump Shot?[…]

Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles

I never played on a team that played zone defense, and I developed with the mindset that teams only play zone defense if they do not think that they can guard the opponent man-to-man. However, as I began to coach, I realized that man-defense and zone-defense are very similar. When I coached in a professional Read more about Creating a Defensive Strategy or Principles[…]