How to Use the Dr. Dish with BDT to Stimulate Retrieval Practice

The Dr. Dish Shooting Machine is a great product to help a player get more reps. It can become an even better product by adding Basketball Decision Training (BDT). Dr. Dish with BDT adds decision cues to help a player get more reps without being repetitive. This stimulates the mental retrieval process that leads to better retention.

Dr. Dish with BDT is mind training. It bridges a gap between skill development and game applications of those skills. It increases player’s enjoyment, retention and transfer. Every repetition is random and game-like in that a cue provided by a coach or teammate causes a player to think before they shoot. Instead of mindless reps, each rep is now mindful and gives game context to skill development.

Not sure what I mean by BDT? Learn more here from this free webinar:

Basketball Decision Training: The What, Why and How

In this video Dr. Dish with BDT is demonstrated. A number of possibilities are presented.

Here is what was covered in the video:BDT with Dr. Dish

The basics of BDT cues to the shooter that lead to a shot, pass, or drive. You can prescribe any type of finishing move that you value for your players. In these videos the player is working on The Push Shot.

BDT can become more game-like by adding movements. After each pass, the offensive player can relocate to simulate moving off the ball prior to a catch. Each time the player catches the ball they must Fight for Their Feet and execute a decision they perceive based on the cue provided by a coach.

Once you introduce movement you can also add penetration reaction, dribble handoff and ball screen sequences. The challenge with Dr. Dish with BDT is learning the timing of the next ball. You can shoot the next ball or continue into BDT with the decision cues. 

The advantage of using Dr. Dish with BDT decision cues really becomes clear when you move the coach to a position off the ball. Why? Because the Dr. Dish Shooting Machine takes care of the rebounding the coach or teammate can move away from under the basket. This creates more realistic perception and decision opportunities for the shooter.Dr. Dish with BDTHow to Stimulate Mental Retrieval Practice that Leads to Retention

A challenge for any coach is to load drills with desirable difficulties. Perfect is not learning. Learning is stimulated through optimal struggle that requires a player to fight for their learning. Having players struggle might sound like a bad thing, but the reality is that learning is simply more effective when it’s challenging. We add struggle by mixing shooting, dribbling, passing and BDT cues.

The concept being applied here is mixing. Mixing or interleaving as it is often called in the evidenced based literature is a learning technique that involves mixing together different forms of practice in order to facilitate learning. Mixing provides coaches and players with the tools to work on retrieval practice that helps maximize long-term recall.

Long-term recall or memory is key to successful basketball performance. Long-term learning requires retrieval practice. A memory becomes more accessible every time that memory is retrieved. Mental retrieval also helps players create mental representations of complex concepts that leads to the ability to solve new problems. Using a technique that helps players to remember more effectively like mixing, can help make skills permanent. Thus, we want to design practice that helps move information to long term memory, rather than short term memory. In simpler terms learning involves a permanent change, rather than just a one time performance.

When you use blocked practice and isolated skills training you are not stimulating the retrieval process significantly so this does not lead to long term memory retention. For a player or coach, a key part of practice design around retrieval practice is taking the things you are trying to learn, putting them aside, and spending time actively retrieving the information.

This is not done when we shoot repetitive blocked shots from the same spot as is often done with a Dr. Dish Shooting Machine. It is a bit better when variable shots are shot by changing spots on each shot using a Dr. Dish Shooting Machine but it still does not stimulate the retrieval process as well. Using a Dr. Dish with BDT mixes in different skills and decisions at the same time. When using mixing and BDT on each repetition a player must engage the retrieval process to recall what to do based on the BDT cue and the biomechanical skill required to execute the BDT cue that was perceived.

Think of it this way. If the brain doesn’t have to work very hard then it is less likely to stimulate the retrieval practice that leads to retention. The harder the brain works within capabilities the more likely it will stimulate retrieval practice and retention. Blocked practice does not work the brain very hard. Random practice, especially when skills and decisions are mixed together makes the brain work considerably harder. Mixing causes constant retrieval practice that helps us also to transfer skills and decision to other problems that require solutions.

In the sample video the player’s brain is working hard to figure out what skills to apply based on their perception and decision relative to the decision cue presented. In basketball, no skill is executed two times in the same way. Skills are used in combination with decisions. When practicing technique in isolation you are removing one of the key components of game transfer, and that is the decision that leads to the skill application.

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