“Players Need Fundamentals Before they Can Play the Game”
This Twitter thread generated a lot of engagement from coaches across multiple sports. Most of the support for the thread came from coaches outside of basketball. Some of the comments received by basketball coaches included: “There is a tipping point. Young kids, maybe even high school, need to learn how to pivot, shoot etc.” And “If a coach doesn’t know what fundamentals are, he is not a coach and should not teach young kids.”
➡️ The notion of fundamentals are something adhered to by many coaches who talk about players requiring fundamentals before they get the chance to play games or perform more “advanced skills”. Fundamentals are often coupled with explicit instruction. Why is this a problem? pic.twitter.com/kWntphqW5A
— Alex Sarama (@AlexJSarama) January 21, 2022
Here is the thread listed below as a refresher:
The notion of fundamentals are something adhered to by many coaches who talk about players requiring fundamentals before they get the chance to play games or perform more “advanced skills.” Fundamentals are often coupled with explicit instruction. Why is this a problem? Firstly, coaches who believe in fundamentals suggest that players have to be taught something explicitly before doing it in a game. This is simply completely false. Just watch a normal game and see the number of solutions players use which have not ever been taught.
This idea of being taught something explicitly before using it in a game is incongruent with how learning actually works (a non-linear process). Every player has different action capabilities based on the interaction between individual, environment & task constraints. This interaction of constraints is ever-changing. This means it’s simply impossible to teach a “fundamental” and expect all players to use it the same way in a game. An additional problem with fundamentals is the way the coach prescribes only one way to execute the technique.
Where did the idea of fundamentals come from? I believe this stems from coaches wishing to emulate successful NCAA, EuroLeague & pro coaches. They may have had success teaching fundamentals, but what about all the coaches who didn’t? This links to survivorship bias later on… Additionally, what if there is an even better way waiting to be discovered? “One of the biggest barriers to adopting modern approaches is that coaches are afraid to swap something they are comfortable with for an unknown better alternative” – @Chris__Oliver
Another great chapter in Myths of Sport Coaching shares the role (ineffective) coach education has in spreading myths within sport coaching. This is prevalent in basketball, especially in coaching clinics and some all access video productions.“The myth of fundamentals emerged from the mid to end 20th century motor learning literature, grounded in the idea that coaches must reduce the amount of information to assist the learners’ brains in processing information.” (Rudd, Foulkes, O’Sullivan & Woods, 2020).
On this topic, it is hard to believe that materials such as the below are STILL being used by national & global federations in their coach education. When would a player ever perform a skill without thinking?! We are humans, not robots! This just adds to this myth.
Figure 1.1 – coaching education material used by a European Basketball Federation to educate their coaches. This is the information-processing model, a theory prevalent in the 1990’s before newer research highlighted its flaws. Coaches are effectively being taught material which is more than 30 years out of date.
Every solution in a game is different. Furthermore, as the game has evolved coaches remain married to fundamentals which no longer have much relevance in the modern game. For example…
- Step slides which are impossible to contain athletic players in the modern age.
- Chest passes made in a straight line across a short distance (never possible with a defender in front)
- Choppy step close-outs (impossible to prevent an effective shooter).
- Line drill pivots
When coaches adhere to players first having fundamentals, they are actually just holding their players back from fulfilling their true potential. Players do not need to perform a chest pass before being able to make a one handed pass. Let players explore the skills they will actually use. Rather than telling a player what to do, as coaches we can create an environment where players can learn implicitly. Little or no instructions are given, and the player learns by doing. Players do not need fundamentals before having the opportunity to play!
This is the opposite to how most coaches teach, but the one hugely supported by evidence as to how people learn best. As coaches, we have to put our ego aside to avoid running scripted drills and instead design a practice where players can develop a variety of movement solutions. As coaches we must embrace the evidence vs being scared of it. When the evidence is referenced, many coaches become defensive and point to their extensive experience of basketball vs the science. Combining experience WITH empirical evidence is the best way to advance our sport.
Many coaches who believe in fundamentals were often coached themselves in traditional, linearized learning environments. The players who were successful being brought up with “fundamental” explicit coaching exhibit their success to the drills they use… However, we never hear of ALL the players who didn’t make it training this way. This is the concept known as survivorship bias that I referenced earlier on in this thread, as well as what I believe is the biggest thing holding European basketball back. More on this coming soon!
What are Fundamentals?
Before reading this blog, I’d like you to spend one minute coming up with a clear and succinct definition of what basketball fundamentals are. Once done, please continue reading.
Harjiv Singh shared a great Tweet on the topic of fundamentals, which is embedded below:
The issue is we have no idea what “fundamentals” are. This typically stems from not knowing the difference between skill and technique. Especially at the elite level – this can make the difference between more optimal practices for learning and less optimal!
— Harjiv Singh, PhD (@singh_harjiv) January 23, 2022
One of the reasons basketball coaches are so married to the myth of fundamentals is because many coaches mislabel biomechanical techniques for skill. This misinterpretation leads to even bigger problems at the youth and collegiate levels, holding back thousands and thousands of basketball players around the world from fulfilling their potential and enjoying all that our dynamic sport has to offer.
When coming up with a definition of fundamentals, it is likely that a number of specific techniques came to mind as opposed to the perceptual considerations. Indeed, many coaches believe that making a two hand chest pass in a passing line, finishing a lay-up 1-on-0 with the ‘correct’ hand, pivoting and passing in the same direction to a teammate, or shooting with neat and tidy one hand follow-through are examples of skill. Performing techniques in a closed environment – without defenders and with pre-determined movement sequences – is not skill.
Basketball coaches are stuck in a conundrum passed down from senior coaches that fundamentals are important. All the motor learning and evidence-based material on what constitutes skilful behaviour has basically been ignored.
How Learning Works
To unpack this fundamentals myth and understand what skill really is, coaches must understand how learning works. Information-processing theory is the dominant view held by many basketball coaches. This theory suggests that to teach basketball “skills” (actually techniques), the coach has to demonstrate or express one technique which players must then copy, without any variation. Once players can replicate the technique, they can progress to more advanced techniques or maybe playing a game with live defenders. The techniques taught from the isolated practice will then supposedly show up in the game.
Through this approach, basketball coaches believe that lots of repetition will help players reach a level where they can perform skills in a game without even thinking. With this approach, coaches believe that techniques must be performed the same way amongst every player. Variability is reduced until a performer can execute a motor skill efficiently and reliably (Schmidt et al, 2018).
With this traditional traditional approach, coaches add movement variability later on because the essential repeatable technique has to be developed first. This is particularly notable within finishing, where coaches stop youth players using great solutions such as finishing with one foot or the opposite hand in favour of the traditional 1-2 overhand lay-up with the ‘correct’ hand. Coaches believe that youth players require this technique in order to perform different types of lay-up when they are older. The irony is that if these players become more skilled, they essentially have to re-learn these skills to finish in different ways because coaches have coached them out of using these solutions from the start.
The reality is that to be a skilled basketball player, players must use several different movement solutions because the environment is always changing. Location on the court, the positions of offense and defense, the time and score, fatigue levels, sizes of defenders etc are never the same. This means every single movement must be different in response to the interaction of all these constraints. Shooting is arguably the skill coaches have misinterpreted the most over the years, believing that every shot is one highly repeatable technique. Focussing on one shooter during the course of a game, and noticing the variability within each shot, will very quickly lead coaches to other conclusions.
This belief of requiring specific techniques to play games was evident in many of the replies to the Twitter thread. Coaches replied saying things such as “how can a young player play a small-sided game without being able to dribble” or “how can a player score without knowing how to shoot correctly?” This shows how dominant the information-processing theory is within basketball coaching.
Non-Linear Learning and the CLA
Human development is non-linear, which means the process of developing basketball skills is also a non-linear process. The best way to explain this is through an analogy used by Mark O’Sullivan: “If you have multiple children, did they both learn to walk on the same date & time — 11 months, 3 days, and 2 hours on a Tuesday?” Humans begin things at different stages. One player may develop the ability to pivot to protect the ball from a defender early on, while for another player it could take several months. It is impossible to teach one specific technique devoid of any game context, and immediately expect players to use that situation in the chaos of a game. Yet this is what traditional coaches are expecting by using their approach of teaching techniques 1-on-0 in a block, constant format.
A linear process is the dominant approach, whereby coaches believe that the more specific techniques they teach, the more skilful a player will be. There is simply no evidence base for this being the case. The brain is not a computer which holds specific information for players to unleash at certain moments of the game! Basketball players are complex systems. Players act in highly unpredictable ways resulting in unexpected patterns of self-organisation, and therefore unexpected movements and techniques emerge.
Karl Newell’s constraints model is something that every basketball coach should understand, as this is the foundational piece in myth-busting the concept of fundamentals. This is FAR more important than the linearised coaching methods we see of what specific moves to teach to players at specific ages, as well as the obsession with X’s and O’s that currently exists. This pyramid of constraints provides the theoretical underpinning for truly understanding the X’s and O’s and how they are executed (or not executed).
Figure 1.2 – Newell’s constraints model and perception-action coupling. Movement (m) is a function of information in the environment (I). M = f (I)
Basketball Case Study to Understand CLA
Let’s now make basketball sense of this. We will use LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio as case studies to specifically understand the role of constraints. This is not something which only applies to NBA players! One of the biggest misinterpretations is that non-linear learning concepts can only be applied to players who are already at a certain level. If anything, this approach can be even more effective with youth players and give them a more enjoyable experience of our sport. NBA players are only used for ease of understanding, given that coaches will be familiar with the players referenced above.
LeBron James dominates the court with his combination of size and athleticism. This enables him to do things which are simply impossible for other players. In other words, the affordances (opportunities for action) provided to him are very different when compared to a player like Ricky Rubio. LeBron could rebound the ball, break-out dribble and be at the other end within two or three dribbles ready to posterise any defender that lies in his path. The odds of Ricky Rubio doing this are much slimmer. His height, weight, wingspan and vertical jump are not the same as LeBron. Therefore, the rebound is more likely to fall to one of his taller teammates, so the affordances to rebound and break-out dribble occur less. If he receives the ball, it will more likely be from an outlet pass from one his teammates as opposed to getting the rebound.
Additionally, Ricky is confined by the expectations and role of his position. He is more likely to be the one finding his teammates and throwing them alley-oops for highlight reel dunks, as opposed to finishing the play himself. Furthermore, Ricky’s unfortunate recent ACL injury is going to affect his movement solutions when he returns to court. He will have to adapt his movement solutions as a result of the injury, potentially being less explosive. Psychologically this could lead to attempting less explosive movements in an effort to avoid another injury, so highlight plays such as dunks over defenders are less likely to be attempted. Individual constraints can change over varying timescales. Some factors could change very quickly (e.g. quality of sleep affecting perceptual skills), whereas others may take more time (e.g a youth player growing, or the impact of a strength and conditioning program over time impacting various individual constraints).
This doesn’t necessarily mean LeBron is more skilled than Rubio. Rubio, just like many other great guards such as Nash, Curry, Campazzo etc, has masterfully adapted to make the best use of the individual constraints he has. His vision, deception and general playmaking abilities enable him to be a highly effective NBA player. Now let’s use Nikola Jokic and Kyrie Irving to highlight the role of environmental constraints in shaping different movement solutions. I’ve picked Nikola and Kyrie because both are playmakers for their team, but have very different individual constraints as well as their environments being somewhat different.
Firstly, Nikola plays in the high altitudes of Denver, Colorado while Kyrie is in downtown Brooklyn. Regularly living and playing in Colorado has allowed Nikola to adapt to playing with lower oxygen levels. Furthermore, Nikola is playing this season while vaccine controversy has curtailed Kyrie. Less games leads to less opportunities to develop. While this is unlikely a problem for Kyrie, for younger players this is a big problem. This could hinder the development of a player, and lead to missed opportunities or losing minutes in the the rotation to other players.
Sociocultural considerations are a key part of environmental constraints. For instance, growing up in a country where basketball is extremely popular vs a country where other sports, such as football (soccer) may be more dominant. Back to the case study, Kyrie may prefer living in the centre of Manhattan with his close friends, making the most of what New York has to offer. On the other hand, picture Nikola living with his family close to the practice gym in a quiet suburban neighbourhood. The quiet area enables him to have great sleep every night, while his family life is smooth and comes without distractions. He has an amazing personal assistant who takes care of everything from nutrition, to laundry to PR. On the other hand, living with friends means Kyrie frequently likes enjoying the New York nightlife. With the notorious NYC traffic, it makes it hard to get to the practice gym easily to work with player development staff. Meanwhile for Nikola, the commute to the gym is a 10 minute walk.
Starting to understand the impact of environmental constraints? Let’s deepen this by reverting to the comparison between LeBron and Ricky. LeBron was raised by his mum in a single parent home. He has spoken in the past about what a great job his Mum did raising him, and how much he wanted to become a pro to pay her back for all the work she did in his younger days. I picked Ricky for this case study because I had the privilege of being around him and his family on numerous occasions to deliver camps and clinics with the Rubio Foundation. Ricky’s family is incredibly supportive, but tragically he lost his mum to cancer at a young age. What impact did this have on a young Ricky Rubio, and how did this shape his path to the NBA?
Additionally, LeBron and Ricky were developed in two completely different developmental systems. LeBron grew up taking the high school and AAU approach, skipping the NCAA to declare for the NBA draft. Did skipping the NCAA help make him a much better pro? A change in the rules shortly after prevented players of high school age taking the same steps as LeBron. How many players could have been star pros if they were drafted and played in the NBA instead of spending a year in College, where coaching, injuries and playing styles could have stifled their progress?
With Ricky, he grew up in the Badalona development system. The Spanish school of coaching is notoriously different to youth basketball in America. A much greater emphasis is placed on training and developing skills. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of watching Ricky play a EuroCup game at the age of 14 years old against my hometown team, the Guildford Heat. The opportunity to play at such a high level from such a young age undoubtedly shaped the development of his skills and his ability to handle playing at such a big stage.
Coaches may now start understanding the importance of this pyramid. This is why coaches at every level must understand the impact of constraints. These are not just applicable to professional or NBA players. Mark O’Sullivan makes the reference of a child living in the upper story of a 12 storey apartment, being raised by a frail grandmother without any siblings. Meanwhile, another child lives in a large house with a garden, basketball hoop and older siblings to play with. This child goes to a sport school, and gets to play basketball on the playground during every lunch break. Mark articulately highlights how players arrive at a practice with a whole bibliography of different experiences and opportunities afforded to them at that moment in time. The potential of the child who hasn’t had the same affordances may be amazing, but they haven’t received the same opportunity due to the constraints of their family situation. Listen to the full podcast with Mark here.
Well-Designed Task Constraints vs Teaching Fundamentals
Task constraints are the most important part to understand as coaches, and this is why they get their own section. Coaches who work with players at all levels, from beginners to NBA players, can design more representative practices and move away from using linearised coaching methodologies through having an understanding of how they can manipulate task constraints.
Task constraints can take basketball players away from potential movement solutions, but also create new ones (Gray, 2020). Many coaches believe that using the Constraint Led Approach (CLA) is just a case of setting a small-sided game up and letting the players figure it out. This could not be further from the truth. Many coaches commented saying that small-sided games aren’t brand new as handicap situations have existed for years. This is correct, however what coaches are referring to these with the use of these games is a different coaching methodology known as ‘Teaching Games for Understanding’ (TGFU). While this shares some similarities with the CLA, it is not the same. Coaches that use TGFU typically just set up the game and leave it at that. Task constraints are not manipulated, and when players use that game again in practice, they typically always play the same version of it.
Within the CLA, coaches may have a base small-sided game but they will frequently manipulate the task constraints within the game, leading to new situations and skills emerging. When players play the game, there will always be different outcomes based on the interaction of the individual, environmental and task constraints present at that moment in-time. They will not be attempt to problem solve the same situation every time.
What are some examples of common task constraints?
- Number of players involved in the game
- Rules of basketball (one coach commented on the thread saying their players always travel, so they have to be taught how to pivot 1-on-0 first. Simply refereeing in small-sided games is a solution to this!)
- Rules of the small-sided game (e.g. cannot pass ahead, can only use a particular trigger, two dribble limit per player etc).
- Points system: a point weighting system can influence certain skills emerging, for instance a reject off a Pick and Roll being worth double. This will lead to the defense attempting to take it away, while the offense aggressively looks for it.
- Role of feedback given by the coach.
Within small-sided games (SSGs), players search for affordances. These are best-described as opportunities for action (J. Gibson, 1979). Subject to their interaction of individual, task and environmental constraints, players will either be able or unable to act on these affordances. For instance, a player in possession of the ball during a 3-on-3 may sense an opening to drive the ball due to his defender being out of position. However, his defender his positioned on his right hand, forcing the player to use his left hand. The player is not comfortable using his left hand, and so misses out on the affordance that was presented. The coach may spot this consistently within a SSG and then design a new SSG which nudges players towards opportunities to drive using their non-dominant hand.
Skilled coaches who use the CLA framework ‘constrain to afford,’ which is something frequently spoken about on Stuart Armstrong’s excellent Talent Equation podcast. Within the CLA, coaches design effective small-sided games (SSG) from 1-on-1 to 5-on-5 (remembering that 5-on-5 is essentially still a SSG) which nudges players towards certain solutions. There is so much within the game of basketball, that it is naive to imagine that players will develop a variety of movement solutions, thus becoming skilled players, if solely playing 3-on-3 and 5-on-5. This would simply be impossible, given the number of possessions experienced by each player would likely not lead to enough affordances for self-discovery occurring with certain skills (e.g. using a reject in a Pick & Roll, using a pull-back dribble to create space vs a trapping defender). This is where the answer lies in using a variety of small-sided games of different numerical configurations, especially 1-on-1, 2-on-1 early on, as well as 1-on-2 and other disadvantaged situations when players become more skilled by exhibiting a wider array of movement solutions.
Traditional coaches assume that players cannot do something and that they must be teach it for the skill to show up in the game. This is completely incongruent with how learning works the non-linear nature of human development. Furthermore, if traditional coaches do get to using a small-sided game, if players make mistakes they then digress to 1-on-0 practice. The answer lies in task simplification, as opposed to task decomposition. This is a phrase from Rob Gray (Perception & Action Podcast and Author of How we Learn to Move). Basketball is never played without defenders, so instead of decomposing the task and creating an activity which is like nothing the game, the task can be simplified. This is when coaches can manipulate the task constraints, such as the example shown below. The defender is constrained with their movement, providing the offensive player with more affordances to find her window and finish at the basket. No solution is wrong, and the player is constantly exploring her environment! Every single repetition is different, and perception and action is integrated as opposed to only working on the action (technique) component. For the coaches who find players struggle too much in more open small-sided games, the answer lies in simplification vs stripping back completely and going to isolated practice.
💡Hybrid between Perceptual Lay-Ups & Smile 1-on-1
🏀 Develop pivoting footwork and the ability to find finishing windows at the rim. Great alternative to traditional Mikan Drills
🔗 Def live but constrained. Find out how to intro this and add other loads on @BBallImmersion pic.twitter.com/fRD2IyhYSf
— Alex Sarama (@AlexJSarama) November 27, 2021
Limitations of Traditional Coaching
In traditional fundamentalist drills, there is no purpose as players only do something because it was prescribed by the coach. Many times, especially with novice youth players, they have no idea as to how the techniques fit within the context of the game. Coaches believe players will perform the technique and also understand the perceptual considerations of when to use it in the game. Players will supposedly then be able to use the technique at the right time. Developing basketball skills is not like plugging in pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. By removing perception action coupling, players basically have to re-learn the skill later on. Even worse, a negative impact could occur with players using taught techniques in completely the wrong situations. This is particularly evident when offensive patterns are taught in 2-on-0, 3-on-0 and 5-on-0 formats. Players run the pattern instead of acting upon the relevant affordances within their environment.
Furthermore, what approach is more fun? Let’s be honest. 95% of us reading this article coach youth basketball, and the likelihood of our players becoming professionals is slim. Even if you are not willing to consider the scientific evidence, surely as a coach you want to create an environment of joy? Retaining players in basketball and giving them a great experience is far more likely to occur using the CLA as opposed to being a drillmaster and giving players mindless, robotic sequences to act out. Coaches must remove their ego and shift from being a fountain of all knowledge, expert teacher of fundamentals, to instead being a well-attuned orchestrator of small-sided games with different affordances, allowing players to develop several different movement solutions.
Additionally, the teaching of fundamentals typically comes with a heavy serving of explicit instruction. Coaches refer to specific joints and body positions which must be in certain places to perform the technique correctly. Much research has been carried out that suggests that even elite athletes find it difficult to implement explicit instruction and alter technique. A whole blog will come on implicit vs explicit feedback shortly.
James Rudd, Jonathan Foulkes, Mark O’Sullivan and Carl Woods have an excellent chapter within the book “Myths of Coaching” (Amy Whitehead and Jenny Coe). Within their chapter, they suggest rephrasing the term fundamentals for functional movement solutions.
“Functional movement solutions refer to the repertoire (cognition, perception and action) of behaviours which allow an individual to navigate the environment, interact with others and negotiate tasks to achieve intended goals” (Chow et al., 2020).
For coaches interested in non-linear pedagogy, here are five key tenants of this approach as suggested by Rudd, Foulkes, O’Sullivan and Woods.
1. A representative learning design. This essentially means that the players are doing something in practice which represents the game. There is a continuum of representative task design, which ranges from extremely not task representative – such as training with equipment such as tennis balls, floor mats and cones – to not task representative. This would be any form of practice with pre-determined movements and no defense. On the same end of the scale lacking task representativeness but not being as far left on the scale would be an activity like a 3-on-3 but saying that everyone must touch the ball before scoring, or that only 3PT shots can be scored. While this is a SSG, the constraints do not reflect what happens in a real game. To achieve task representativeness, the small-sided game should look and feel like what actually happens in 5-on-5 basketball so that the perceptual cues are accurate.
2. Movement-perception coupling must be maintained. This means techniques are not broken down and executed, as this strips away all perceptual cues. No more blocked constant 1-on-0 where the same technique is produced over and over again. I do forms of 1-on-0, but most commonly this is with differential learning applied and so every single movement is different. Differential learning is not CLA, but another non-linear methodology which align with non-linear pedagogy (blog on this coming soon).
3. Using an externalised focus of attention, which allows for self-organisation of movement. Coaches do not give explicit, internalised feedback making reference to body movements, joint placement etc. Evidence suggests that too much of an internal focus of attention breaks down under game pressure anyway.
4. Manipulation of constraints, specifically task constraints, which shape self-organisation and the emergence of a new functional movement solutions.
5. Infusing movement perturbations within the learning process. Introducing movement variability and noise as being a good thing as opposed to only executing a technique one specific way. “As long as the skill is functional and achieves the intended outcome, it is accepted as a solution.”
In conclusion, as basketball coaches we may wish to consider refraining from using the word “fundamental” when evaluating players and making reference to other coaches. It is meaningless, lacks clarity, and comes from a different era. Instead of teaching fundamentals, as coaches we should strive to develop players who love the game, exhibit self-confidence and can demonstrate as many varying movement solutions as possible. Bernstein said that “dexterity is the ability to find a motor solution for any external situation, that is, to adequately solve any emerging motor problem.” Being skilled as a player therefore means coming up with new solutions as opposed to just repeating the same old solutions over and over again, which is the essence of teaching fundamentals.
One of the barriers for the basketball community fully embracing CLA lies in the fact that many coaches are intimidated by the evidence. It is a radically different way to coach, and coaches would prefer to keep going with the status quo as opposed to acknowledging that what they did in the past does not align with the evidence as to how people, and basketball players, learn best. If coaches would spend 10% of the time attempting to learn about skill acquisition as opposed to cutting up X & O breakdowns or scrolling through Instagram, our sport would be in a much better place.
Many traditionalist coaches talk about the fact there is no proof, and that the traditional ways have produced many basketball players throughout the years. Fortunately, there is a very compelling and strong evidence base which supports the information shared within this blog post. This goes back several, several decades to the pioneering work of Nikolai Bernstein. Some starting points for coaches who say there is no evidence base for this approach are listed below this blog.
Another argument used by traditional coaches is that they’ll wait 20 years to see the results obtained by basketball coaches who embrace CLA, before they consider changing their coaching methodology. Players of all levels deserve the best coaching they can get, which is supported by empirical evidence and allows them to develop in a positive, autonomy-supportive environment. This type of environment often contrasts to the one created by fundamentalist coaches, as the coach is seen as being more important than the players. It’s also a shame to think of the numbers of players that could be held back from reaching their potential because of their coaches not being well-informed and reluctant to change in-light of the evidence which exists.
The last point to unpack is the idea that traditionalist methods have produced many players over the years, so therefore coaching methods should not change. These players become great players not because of the fundamentals and drills their coaches used, but in spite of them. This comment is the very essence of survivorship bias. For all the players who were successful being brought up with “fundamental” explicit coaching, we never hear the stories of ALL the players who didn’t make it training this way. LeBron James doing a zig zag drill, spot shooting and three-man weave is still going to be LeBron James!
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect that core belief, they will rationalise, ignore and even deny anything that does’t fit in with the core belief.” Frantz Fanon
Mark O’Sullivan – https://footblogball.wordpress.com. Mark coaches at AIK Football Club in Sweden and is a big inspiration for his work in non-linear pedagogy and the approaches being implemented at AIK.
How we Learn to Move, Rob Gray. Rob is also the host of the excellent Perception & Action Podcast.
Myths of Sport Coaching, Amy Whitehead & Jenny Coe
Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition, Jia Yi Chow, Keith Davids, Chris Button & Ian Renshaw
Talent Equation Podcast, Stuart Armstrong