Blog

How much is too much

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, 7.22 (July 2017). Buy Volume 7 as a paperback or a Kindle. 

A few weeks ago, I watched a high-school player practice and listened to her coach and parents discuss her progress and training. Their discussion caused me to fear for the player. Unfortunately, her story is becoming increasingly common.  […]

Coach Education, Coaching Clinics, and Development

Every so often, a Twitter storm erupts about the need for mandatory coach education. There is a belief that coach education will solve every ill in basketball in the U.S. U.S. Soccer requires coaching licenses at various levels, including the Development Academy. Their coach education programs are further along than USA Basketball’s, but every complaint Read more about Coach Education, Coaching Clinics, and Development[…]

Developing a Successful High School Program

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, Volume 7. Subscribe here.

As I think about the realities of youth sports today, the most important person in the development of a successful high-school athletic program may be the elementary school physical education teacher. We know athletes specialize. We know athletes engage in less free or unstructured play. That does not appear likely to change. We also know this specialization has adverse effects in terms of basic movement competency, general physical literacy, overuse injuries, and emotional burnout. […]

Steve Kerr and players running the show

Originally published in Hard2Guard Player Development Newsletter, 8.3. Subscribe here.  Steve Kerr allowed Warrior players to run the huddles during their game against Phoenix last night. His decision has inspired praise from those who view it as empowering players and derision from those who view it as disrespecting an opponent or evidence that the Warriors Read more about Steve Kerr and players running the show[…]

How to play defense: No Fake Fundamentals

My friend and future NBA coach Jon Giesbrecht put together the above video on Oklahoma City’s Andre Roberson’s defense. Many consider Roberson to be the NBA’s best perimeter defender, especially with Kawhi Leonard’s persistent injury problems this season. As I watched the video, I noticed two things. More specifically, I noticed the absence of two Read more about How to play defense: No Fake Fundamentals[…]

Social Shift Pivotal to Next-Level Jump

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, Winter 2018. As a 6th grader dominated a camp that I directed, I asked the organizer to move up the player to the older age group that worked out later. He said that they had asked him to move up, but he wanted to stay with his Read more about Social Shift Pivotal to Next-Level Jump[…]

My 2017 Reading List

In the tradition of lists from 2014, 2015, and 2016, here is my reading list for 2017. The Athletic Skills Model: Optimizing Talent Development Through Movement Education – Rene Wormhoudt I admit that I have waited for this book for nearly 5 years and the authors are preaching to the choir. It is a very Read more about My 2017 Reading List[…]

The Via Negative approach to talent development

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, Fall 2017. My earliest sports memory is playing the Cosmos, another team from my soccer club in a downpour on a field that would make Tough Mudder competitors proud during my first season of youth soccer then I was in kindergarten. I played for a club linked Read more about The Via Negative approach to talent development[…]

Steve Nash on Mike D’Antoni’s Genius

When I presented for Positive Coaching Alliance working with Ray Lokar, he often said that coaches work in the fish bowl; everyone watches the coach from the outside, often without knowledge of the environment, but the coach always is in front of an audience. This pressure from the fish bowl shapes many of the negative behaviors that we see from coaches: I once watched a coach who would yell loud enough for everyone in the audience to hear him, “Player, we practiced that yesterday for 20 minutes. How can you make that mistake?” There was no information; in essence, he was saying, “Look, I did everything that I could at practice and it is your child who is messing up, not me.” I was appalled, but I see this behavior to some degree fairly often.  […]