The Value of 3v3

I coached a high-school varsity girls basketball team this season that was a varsity team in name only. There were more absolute beginners on the team – girls who have played any sport on an organized team – then there were players with basketball experience. There was no a single player on the team who played on a high school basketball team last season.  […]

The effect of mixed messages on player performance

Early in an u11 boys soccer tournament championship game, with his team trailing 1-0, a fullback went to take a goal kick. Up to this point, the goalie had taken the goal kicks, but he could not kick over the first line of defense, and the parents on the sideline near the goal kicks were anxious. The players sensed the anxiety and yelled at the biggest player, the fullback, to take the kick. […]

My 2015 Reading List

Last year, I produced a list of the best books that I read in 2014, inspired by Verb Gambetta, and throughout the year, I have been asked for book recommendations (Of course, my first recommendations are the four books that I wrote in 2015: Fake Fundamentals, SABA: The Antifragile Offense, Fake Fundamentals Volume 2, and 21st Century Guide to Individual Skill Development). This year, I decided to publish the list prematurely in the event that people needed a Christmas present for their favorite coach, parent of an athlete, or athlete. […]

Why do we use drills?

I start with the premise that the game is the best teacher. In every moment of a game, players make decisions. Even when I stand in the corner, I make the decision to spot up rather than cut to the basket (of course, this is different when the coach controls everything and tells the player to stand in the corner, regardless of what happens, but that’s not how I coach). […]

The three-person weave, drills, and progressions

People love the three-person weave. Since publishing Fake Fundamentals and Fake Fundamentals: Volume 2, that is my major takeaway. I argued against 20 drills and teaching points that are pervasive in basketball at every level, and the only one that angers people is the three-person weave.  […]

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.  […]

The evolution of basketball, play, and practice

Kobe Bryant’s comments earlier this season about the lack of skill development in American players highlighted the angst felt by many who are involved with basketball in the United States. Whether right or wrong, basketball has changed over the last generation. I find it hard to argue that the U.S. cannot produce skilled players anymore when I watch NBA games with Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and others, but when I watch recruiting videos of 18 and 19 year-old non-elite players from the U.S. and Europe, I find myself favoring the European players (Of course, part of the argument that is missing is that I am comparing players who play for the junior national teams in their home countries to players who would be ranked well outside the top 250 players in the United States).  […]