The game of basketball has evolved over the last generation, but basketball practices have changed very little during my 30 years in the game as a player, coach, clinician, and consultant. Today’s game more closely resembles the game that we played on the playground than the one that we were taught in practices. The 21st Century Basketball Practice is an attempt to modernize the youth and high-school basketball and catch up to the evolution of the game.
I have coached at every level over the last 15 years, from u9s to professional teams. I have worked in the United States and Europe (and spent time in Africa and India). I completed a doctorate in Exercise and Sports Science, largely by studying basketball. My experience has provided a unique perspective to comment on practice and coaching. I have a practical perspective influenced by coaching at different levels and in different countries, and a theoretical perspective influenced by the latest research.
Tremendous amounts of learning occurred on the playgrounds and during pickup games for people of a certain generation, and players today often miss this learning to attend organized practices or sessions with a skill trainer. The 21st Century Basketball Practice attempts to reincorporate this learning that once occurred in unstructured settings.
Random and variable practice, task constraints, and contextual interference are academic words that describe ideas that coaches use daily in their practices. The 21st Century Basketball Practice briefly explains the background of these terms to explain the reasons for changing some fundamental drills and incorporating more small-sided and modified games into practices.
This book addresses what to do and what to say at practice and references my experiences with an under-9 AAU team, high-school freshmen, and professional teams. It is not a drill book, although numerous drills are explained and used as examples. Rather than list a number of drills, the purpose is to demonstrate at approach that generates countless drills, and drills that promote better performance in games.