The Basketball Podcast: EP209 with Noah LaRoche on Player Development

RELEASE DATE : 30/03/2022

In this week’s coaching conversation, player development basketball coach Noah LaRoche joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights into researching and tinkering with basketball.

Noah LaRoche is owner of integrity hoops and as a player development consultant and coach he helps college players prepare for the draft and he works with pros like Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Harrison Barnes, Paul George, Victor Oladipo and Diana Taurasi to name a few.

After his playing career at Saint Joseph’s of Maine playing for Rob Sanicola, LaRoche linked to Mike Procopio at Attack Athletics in Chicago, and for two summers he worked under world-renowned trainer Tim Grover, whose elite client list includes Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Charles Barkley, and other NBA stars. This experience earned LaRoche a job at Tilton Academy in New Hampshire, followed by a stint with a successful Chinese Basketball Association team. The next year, he made it to the NBA, working with the coaching staff of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Today, Noah LaRoche splits his time between the East and West Coasts. As a player development consultant for the Wasserman Media Group, an agency that represents over 50 WNBA and NBA players, he flies each spring to Los Angeles, where he helps college players prepare for the draft. In the summer, he works with pros. And in the fall and winter, it’s back to Portsmouth and Integrity Hoops, where he helps players develop skills, character, and “basketball IQ.” The mission of Integrity Hoops is to positively transform lives through basketball.

Noah LaRoche

Listen Here:

Noah Laroche Coach Quotes:

“The research suggests that you want practice to represent the games . . representative learning design.”

“The mind is what separates people, whether you’re an athlete or you’re a businessman . . it is the mind and your ability to anticipate and make decisions . . that is the hallmark of skill performance.”

“The two most important tactical skills . . in elite basketball players are positioning and decision making.”

“Mistakes are the bridge to development, no matter what you’re trying to do. And, and if you’re afraid to do that, or if there’s pressure on you not to make mistakes, you’re never going to have that growth period.”

“I wanted to practice coaching . . I wanted to become a better coach. If I believed that players developed through deliberate, thoughtful, representative practice, I needed to practice what I preached.”

“If they [players] were going to spend time and money with me, I was going to do the same as a coach, I was going to constantly try to get better. I was going to spend time and money on myself. The thing I find interesting is . . a lot of coaches don’t really spend a lot of money on themselves. A lot of coaches don’t have coaches.”

“Before you shoot the ball in a game, what do you have to do? You have to make a decision. So, if you’re shooting without a decision . . is that really shooting practice?”

“If you want to dribble through cones, you don’t need me for that. you’re not paying me for that. I’m not gonna let you pay me for that. We’re here to create the environment based on what you need to get better at as an individual learner.”

“We’re trying to affect the mind . . so these guys can anticipate and make better decisions . . And the irony of all this is that we actually don’t want to teach players moves. We don’t want them to be parroting back moves. We want to create environments, where they can self-organize and create the moves they need based on manipulating time and space.”

“We teach principles on defense, but we teach plays on offense. Why don’t we teach principles on offense? When we teach principles on offense, not only does our team get better, but it gives us the opportunity to practice in a way where individuals get better at the same time. So now we’re ultra- efficient.”

“If you do beat your defender, what do we want your offensive teammate to do? I’ll tell you what we don’t want them to do, we don’t want them to stand. Because now the defensive player could just help and recover. They’re just playing shell defense . . we don’t ever want to make anything easy on the defense, we will always want to make it hard.”

“At the end of the day, we’re just talking about what’s the most efficient way to build a confident player and a confident team. That is what we’re trying to do.”

Noah Laroche Breakdown:

1:00 – Blake Griffin Scientific Offseason
4:00 – Positioning
8:00 – Applying Evidence-Based Ideas
17:00 – Job Preservation
23:00 – Feedback
28:00 – Playing Offense
30:00 – Individual Player Development
33:00 – Player and Coach Led Development
36:00 – Differential Learning
42:00 – Independent Decisions
48:00 – Shared Cognition
50:00 – Random and Variable Reps
56:00 – Intervention
59:00 – Workout Coach
1:01:00 – BDT
1:08:00 – Jerome Robinson
1:12:00 – Conclusion

Noah Laroche Links from the Podcast:

The Playmaker’s Advantage: How to Raise Your Mental Game to the Next Level
Gannon Baker
Ian Renshaw
Derek Panchuk
Doug Lemov
Rob Sanicola
Hank Smith
Jerome Robinson

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