Learning vs. following directions

In an historical context, our sports system grew out of our school system ,which was designed to produce workers for the industrial revolution. Consequently, our school system is designed to produce students who follow directions and can recite answers back to a teacher as the teacher said them, but who may not excel at creating new things or synthesizing multiple ideas, or explaining the answer with a different analogy.  […]

Artificial intelligence, deep learning, and skill development

I have compared parents and coaches attempting to control the every movement of their children on a basketball court or soccer field to fantasy football. On Twitter, Innovate FC gave this type of behavior a more eloquent name: Playstation coaching. An article about robots and artificial intelligence provided another metaphor. […]

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. […]

The Peak by Friday Mentality in High School Basketball

Prior to my game this week, I spoke with the opposing coach. He made a comment about another team in our league. He said something about their players being talented, but undisciplined, and how they just needed the coach to work with them. I joked that I imagine outsiders say the same thing about me and my team. Especially here, where most teams like to slow down the game and run set plays or Flex every time down, since there is no shot clock, we look wildly out of control in comparison. You never hear me calling out a play or telling them to slow down. Definitely different, and oftentimes we make mistakes or look disorganized because we have versatile players who play multiple positions and I encourage every player to push the ball rather than slowing down to give the ball to the point guard. In fact, I have gotten on bigger players for not bringing up the ball, but haven’t gotten on any for a turnover created when they did attack. From the outside, however, I imagine that we oftentimes look like we have a clueless coach. […]

Coaching is just Running Plays, Right?

On socalhoops.com, I saw this post from a Southern California coaching association: SCIBCA Fall Coaches Symposium 9:45-10:00am Presentation from Officials Association on New Rules 10:00-10:15am CIF Power Point explaining Playoff Divisional Structure 10:20-10:45am Break Out Session #1: Man Offense, Set Plays, Out of Bounds 10:50-11:15am Break Out Session #2: Zone Offense, Set Plays, Out of Read more about Coaching is just Running Plays, Right?[…]