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 16

After reading through some of my old blogs, I realized that I had gotten too far away from a skill development emphasis. One reason is the lack of an assistant coach – when I split up posts and guards to do some position-specific skill work, one group is by itself. Generally, this group does not go as hard as if I was watching them, so the skill work is less effective. I stopped the guard/post breakdown for a period of time for this reason, and because there were two weeks when we were missing all of our true post players. This week, I decided that it did not matter; we needed more of an emphasis on skill development.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 15

Nothing demonstrates a seriousness about improving quite like having a starter miss your Monday practice without a call or a text because, according to what I was told later, he overslept (we practice at 8:30 P.M.). Not to be outdone, the same player skipped Friday’s practice and Saturday’s game to take a course in another town. We had to forfeit a 3rd Division game on Sunday because only four players could play – now that several of the u20s are playing a lot of minutes on the 1st Division team, only two of them want to play the 3rd Division games. The others seem to feel that they are better than the 3rd Division, even though our 3rd Division team lost by 20 on Thursday. The 3rd Division games are an opportunity for the role players to expand their roles and take on more responsibility, but they skip a Sunday afternoon game because of homework. The club manager said it was a weak excuse, but one that we have to accept. I just don’t understand. I cannot fathom being 18 years-old and turning down the opportunity to play in games. […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 12

Another frustrating week. We had one practice canceled due to Bingo having the gym, and never had 10 players at any of the other three practices, meaning I had to play. I had wanted to put in some new things, but with the lack of players, and the changes in the line-up, I only added a new defense. I primarily wanted to teach the defense to the u20s, but we didn’t have any practice time this week either, so I taught it to everyone. Our first division team for the weekend was our u20 team plus 2 players anyway.  […]

Coaching a European Club – Week 3

Bad week. On Monday, our hardest worker tore his Achilles tendon in the middle of practice. With his loss, our bench is substantially smaller. We have now lost four of the team’s top seven players from last season, and added only two new players plus youth players. The team only played six players consistently last season, so the youth players are basically rookies. The player who was injured also filled a number of gaps, as he could serve as a starting SG or a back-up PG, as he is our second best ball handler. Now, all of our back-up guards are 18 or younger.  […]

Concussions and the Peak by Friday Mentality

I saw a tweet with a link to an article about a concussion victim with short-term memory loss. George Visger says: “Coaches need to be more cognizant of when kids get their bells rung…They need to know it’s not OK to put them back in the game. They need to look at new helmets and Read more about Concussions and the Peak by Friday Mentality[…]