How do we develop talented players?

The NBA is not a development league; it is a competition, and most teams strive to win as many games as possible to reach the playoffs and ultimately win an NBA Championship. However, few players are finished products, and many players enter the NBA barely out of their teens, which means that continued player development is imperative for continued team success. Therefore, coaches not on the 76ers have a balancing act: Win games and develop young players to continue to win games.  […]

Applying lessons from the tennis lab to the basketball court

Every singles tennis match is bound by the same dimensions…. yet each one is a laboratory for innovation, unrestrained by a risk-averse coach or the conflicting desires of teammates (Bialik, 2016).

Basketball often is compared to the improvisational nature of jazz, but it tends to be played more like a well-practiced orchestra with a conductor standing and controlling the action as much as possible. Innovation is more difficult when someone conducts your actions from the sideline, and deviation from the rehearsed plan often is met with disgust and a quick substitution rather than celebrated for its creativity, as it would be in jazz. […]

The problem with using an empowerment coaching style

I use an empowerment coaching style, which means that I strive to create opportunities for the players to develop autonomy and build ownership in their learning, development and success in sports settings (Kidman, 2001). To develop autonomy and build ownership, I ask questions and involve the players in many decisions, on and off the court. […]

All-Blacks and Pep Guardiola: Two articles on expert coaching

In “Pep Guardiola: The Man Behind the Manager”, Jamie Scrupps wrote that there are three things that separate Guardiola from his peers: Never ending quest to learn, relationship with players, and never ending tactical innovations.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 30: Semifinals

We entered the week down 1-0 to the top seed (21-1 in regular season). We had two practices to prepare after a 14-point loss. Nobody in the club gave us much of a chance; the club manager stopped me Thursday before our game and asked if we were going to practice on Friday. He was implying that we would lose Thursday night, and our season would be over. I said, “Of course we’re practicing. We’re not losing at home,” and walked away. He told me over the Christmas break that reaching the play-offs would be a good accomplishment, but not reaching them wouldn’t be the end of the world. The club hadn’t beaten our semifinal opponent in four seasons or  been past the semifinals, and nobody believed that would change now. […]

Key Coaching Concepts with Mike Woodson

Earlier this week, Henry Abbott linked to an article by Lang Whitaker about Atlanta’s Head Coach Mike Woodson. The article describes a scene that we rarely see (team meeting at the hotel on the morning of a game), but is an essential aspect of coaching, especially at higher levels. This team has a chance to Read more about Key Coaching Concepts with Mike Woodson[…]

Phil Jackson and Servant Leadership in Coaching

In The Way of Adventure, Jeff Salz writes about his adventure travels throughout the world and the lessons that he learned and conveys to companies through his public speaking engagements. In one chapter, he talks about Servant Leadership and growing invisible as a leader: Leaders of successful expeditions gradually stop taking the lead and start Read more about Phil Jackson and Servant Leadership in Coaching[…]