Should the U.S. develop players like Europe?

There is a popular undercurrent throughout basketball circles in the United States (R.C. Buford, Kobe Bryant, Stan van Gundy) that the U.S. need to develop players more like European countries or Canada. Typically, this rhetoric never is supported with actual plans or suggestions as to the differences between development in other countries and the U.S., and when I argue in favor of some of the primary differences between the systems in FIBA countries and the U.S. (24-second shot clocks, small basketballs for youths, lower basket height for youths, longer high school season, fewer games per week, etc), these same people argue against their feasibility. Rather than change the structure to match the European structure, it seems that there is some mythic drill or philosophy that coaches in the U.S. are missing. […]

Specialization vs. Generalization

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, July/August 2015.

During their high-school years, I trained two brothers. They were bright and athletic. When I first met them when they were in middle school, they mentioned a desire to play basketball at Stanford University in the future. Despite their similarities, they differed. Everything appeared to be easy for the older brother, whereas the younger brother tended to work harder. The older brother had varied interests, whereas the young brother focused more on basketball. The older brother was regarded as the better player almost until the day that he quit competitive basketball, but it was the younger brother who set records at his university and played professionally. The older brother, when he chose to quit basketball, pursued his other interests in music and found success.  […]

What comes first: lack of footwork or lack of calls?

In my volleyball game last week, the opposing setter used a “deep dish” set for the entire first set. Between sets, I asked the lead official if this was now legal. He replied that the setter did the same thing every time. I asked if that meant that my setter could catch the ball and Read more about What comes first: lack of footwork or lack of calls?[…]

Parent’s Guide to Talent Development

Talent development is a process and developing the proper psychological skills and mental approach is as important as developing one’s vertical jump or shooting mechanics. Unfortunately, when evaluating talent, recruiting players or drafting prospects, one cannot accurately measure a player’s mental and psychological skills and talents. How do you measure a player’s work ethic? How Read more about Parent’s Guide to Talent Development[…]