The Coaches Roundtable is an initiative started by John Carrier who is the head boys basketball coach at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. I was fortunate to be asked to speak at the Roundtable when I was in Minneapolis this past summer. These are the notes from the Roundtable taken by Coach Art Errickson. I discussed my coaching philosophy, zero seconds skills training and basketball decision mind training.
Lessons from the Coaches Roundtable
Evolution through practice: took every coaching opportunity possible as a young professional, which gave him the opportunity to experiment with new ideas
Random vs. Block practice
- Lack of implementation of these concepts worldwide.
- Initial learning = Block practice is OK.
- Game-like vs. Confidence. Shooting ten three-point shots from the top of the key increases player confidence but does little to improve game performance.
Zero Seconds = Skills Training | BDT = Mind Training
How His Coaching Philosophy Developed
- Training Simulates Games: Steve Kerr and Chip Engelland training example: Sit and talk on the bench, run up and down the court, shoot a few threes and sit back down, repeat.
- Decision-Training Concept: Joan Vickers (The theory of the decision training model in sport).
“Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training: The Quiet Eye”
- “Hard first instruction”: Begins most camp sessions with three times between the legs into a shot. Can often tell the best 5 players just from watching this activity. Coaching to the top 5%. Giving the rest a sense of what is necessary to reach that level.
- Basketball Decision Training provides cues for players when performing two or three player shooting drills.
- Read more on Basketball Decision Training
- Mixes skills and concepts, rather than training one skill in isolation (Philosophy of Combining Skills in Training).
- Establishing the Growth Mindset
- Analogy: My daughters get told they are cute a lot. How do they learn to reach beyond that? Tells them to respond ‘Sure I’m cute, but I’m smart too.’”
- Agreement with players prior to season = “May I correct you? Yes or No?” (How to Build the Coach-Athlete Relationship)
- Correction is necessary for learning. Mistakes are necessary for learning.
- Effort should be rewarded. Great effort that led to a mistake is positive for growth.
- Correction (Foul = Mistake, Recreate, Demo, or Question).
- Hard coaching days. Choose a player and correct every mistake they make in a specific practice. Forces them to apply psychological coping strategies (parking, positive self-talk, focus).
- Do you coach your best players as hard as possible? You should coach to the highest level. (See “Hard first instruction”).
- Priority in practice is to create an environment for competition. Your team can be less skilled, less perfect with technique or tactics, but can still have a chance if they know how to compete.
Games Approach to Coaching
- Athlete satisfaction…his players help him understand what they like and value about practice. Evaluation approach = Talking to players about what they like and don’t like (Google Surveys).
- It is random practice, which provides the most transfer.
- Involves a majority of players.
90% vs. 110% Effort
- He wants players to play at 90% effort as they are more relaxed and able to make better decisions. 110% effort is unrealistic and causes over-trying concept.
The Speed of the Game
- Good offensive actions, individual and team, usually occur in a two count. This is why BDT is designed so all actions and decisions happen in two claps. (NBA Touch Time Study)
- A post-up is different. The game slows down in the post, in a ball screen action and a high post isolation. Probe, patience and find the advantage while reading the defense.
Offense vs. Defense Spacing Concepts
- Offense looks to create space.
- Arm length from a defender = Shot
- Shoulder to chest positioning relative to a defender = Dribble Attack
- Defense looks to take away space (Stay in front of the ball arms and maintain chest to chest positioning).
Questions Asked by the Coaches in Attendance:
- Fight for your feet concept (1, 2 stop vs. Jump stop)? Not focused on technique debates. Does it work for a player? That is good technique.
- Do you teach your players the concept of a Mistake Ritual to deal with the metal challenge of making mistakes? Yes, park it or using a mistake ritual (Let Go of Mistakes).
- Do you preset the “fouls” in your practices? Yes, pick two or three things to focus upon. Learn what a “Foul” is and how we using coaching interventions in out practices:
- Reducing options for players that can’t shoot. Drive it into space or pass if you have space?
- Do you use more than the inside cut on the corner fill on the guard to forward pass in the Triangle? Will often send guard threw and off a screen but inside cut gives forward opportunity to drive as guard brushes forward’s defender.
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