Punishing a Lack of Talent

Last season, our volleyball team had an opinionated senior captain. We also had a number of junior varsity players who could not get their serves over the net. Now, a high school player should be able to get her serve over the net, but we had several first-year players and smaller than average players. When Read more about Punishing a Lack of Talent[…]

The First Step to Athletic Greatness and Lifelong Physical Fitness

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness. At the gym this week, I watched a seventh grader work with a personal shooting coach for an hour. After his lesson, his mother spoke to another coach and had the coach watch her son and offer pointers. Then, the child shot for another hour as his Read more about The First Step to Athletic Greatness and Lifelong Physical Fitness[…]

Early Specialization

When I coached in Ireland, young Irish players believed that basketball greatness was beyond their genes. They said that Irishmen were not athletic. Meanwhile, the Irish Rugby Team crushed its opponents in its preparation for the 2007 World Cup. While basketball and rugby require different skills, each features athletes who are fast, quick, agile, strong Read more about Early Specialization[…]

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[…]

Coaching the Correct Level and Age-Group

In 1st grade, I played soccer with a number of 2nd graders. Our club had two teams in the same age group, and we played each other late in the season. It poured, but we played anyway. We had so much fun. Our uniforms were green, but my team wore white t-shirts for the game. Our t-shirts were brown by game’s end, and our running and sliding in the mud tore apart the field. I cannot remember which team won – the Blitz or the Cosmos – but I remember that it was a blast to play. […]

Free Play

Play: activity, motion, fun, sport, freedom. Everyone loves to play, to move, to have fun, to be active. Sports are a form of play. Before children join organized sports teams, they play unstructured, informal games. They chase each other around the school yard, play keep away or shoot hoops at a park. Nobody tells the Read more about Free Play[…]

Gatherers vs. teachers in youth basketball

While in Las Vegas, I met with some AAU coaches who called the programs who recruit to fill their needs “gatherers.” In the recent online arguments about AAU vs high school basketball, the true argument has centered on gatherers vs. teachers. The perception, especially on the high school side, is that high school coaches are teachers and ALL AAU/club coaches are gatherers.

Concussions and the Peak by Friday Mentality

I saw a tweet with a link to an article about a concussion victim with short-term memory loss. George Visger says: “Coaches need to be more cognizant of when kids get their bells rung…They need to know it’s not OK to put them back in the game. They need to look at new helmets and Read more about Concussions and the Peak by Friday Mentality[…]