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.  […]

Monotony, pickup games, and free play

My newest book, 21st Century Guide to Individual Skill Development, features a chapter on pickup games and a section on free play. I argue that these environments are ideal for skill development, and I use examples from my development, as well as research, to make my point. Of course, most basketball people (such as Stan Van Gundy and Kobe Bryant) argue against games for skill development, and many people view the number of games during the developmental years as the problem with skill development in the United States.  […]

Coaching Frosh Basketball – Week 11

Last Wednesday, my professor in my Motivation Theory course asked me why my players play basketball. I did not have a definitive answer. They are fairly typical freshmen, trying to fit in at a new school, make friends, and expend energy. I don’t know that any of the guys are Basketball Players. I think that they like basketball and like being on a team and like walking around school in their basketball gear.  […]

Playing Time: Why Do You Deserve to Play?

After my last game, several players looked dejected. We have no shot clock, and games fly. I play 14 players per game while remaining somewhat competitive. It is hard. I know players are not playing as much as they want. They are not playing as much as I want them to play. But when a team holds the ball for 90 seconds running the Flex and refusing to shoot anything but a lay-up, the time moves pretty quickly.  […]

Steve Jobs, CEOs and Basketball Coaches

In 2009, I asked if CEOS and basketball coaches were similar. I cited an article by Stanford professor Bob Sutton who wrote:

Jeff Pfeffer published a paper in 1977 in the Academy of Management Review showing that leader’s actions rarely account for more than 10% of the variation in organizational performance, and often, account for much less. […]

Maintaining Players’ Motivation

David Sirota, Louis A. Mischkind, and Michael Irwin Meltzer wrote an article titled “Why your Employees are losing Motivation” for Harvard Business School. They open with a powerful statement: Most companies have it all wrong. They don’t have to motivate their employees. They have to stop demotivating them. Coaches make the same mistake. Many coaches Read more about Maintaining Players’ Motivation[…]

Creating the idea

The mark of a great coach is sustained success. Success often breeds success, so once you win, it makes it easier. 8th graders enroll at the high school with the most success, so it continues to feature the best players. Colleges recruit based on success, as the more successful programs have a better chance to Read more about Creating the idea[…]

Coaching a pro women’s team: Dealing with losses

Published by Full Court online, March 2003.

After two lackluster performances, and a lack or practice time due to a big indoor soccer festival and the Damligan All-Star Game, we had 10 days to prepare for our very important match against the defending champions, Solna Vikings, and their new American player, Charmin Smith.
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