The Basketball Podcast: EP259 with Adam Forde on Game Models
In this week’s coaching conversation, Cairns Taipans head coach Adam Forde joins the Basketball Podcast to share insights on game models and tactical periodization.
Between 2013 and 2019, Forde was an assistant coach with the Perth Wildcats and won four NBL championships. After a season as an assistant coach with the Sydney Kings in 2019–20, he served as their head coach during the 2020–21 season. He was appointed head coach of the Taipans in 2021, and in 2023 he was named the NBL Coach of the Year.
Forde has also coached in the State Basketball League (SBL), most notably guiding the East Perth Eagles men’s team to their maiden championship in 2014. He also spent a season as a West Coast Waves assistant in the WNBL and briefly coached the Hawke’s Bay Hawks of the New Zealand NBL in 2021.
Adam Forde Quotes:
“I want to put these guys in a situation where they look back and say this was the best time of their playing career . . I want to try and get them out of their comfort zone, I want to try and do it respectfully, but also, I want them to enjoy the experience.”
“We have a lot of rules and non-negotiables in place on how we wanted to defend and which worked really well for us . . offense really became a reward for what we wanted to do defensively.”
“What we’re going to touch on with the tactical periodization was everything we did in a practice had to be transferable to the game . . so, it was really important that when we drilled it and it was transferable, that when it did happen [in a game] that we highlighted it and we celebrated it.”
“One of the things . . was what is the city? And how does that city identify itself? . . So, when we adopted this model, the first thing I really took away was to say, the game model on how we want to play and how we want to represent Cairns has to include an element of how does the city identify itself and what is valuable to them?”
“On the tactical periodization side of things, there are four moments in the game. And those four moments are: your half-court organization on offense, your half-court organization on defense, the transition from offense to defense, and [the transition from] defense to offense. Everything you do in building out your game style and your day to day practice . . had to fall into one of those four moments in the game.”
“What’s really important, especially with the game model, is that no matter what you do, it has to tick all three boxes: conditioning, tactical, and decision making. Every drill that we do, whether it’s a low day, a moderate day, or high day, we tick those three boxes.”
“If we’re talking about allowing the boundaries of exploration and learning in a practice, that also applies during the game . . The learning process may take longer, . . but the recall when you see it during the game happens more instinctively and sooner than me trying to remind them every second week of the same thing I keep telling them.”
“This is a high day. Don’t overcomplicate it. Coach on the run for the non-negotiables and everything else, let them [the players] figure it out. Having those days almost became conditioning to say . . to my coaching staff, ‘Today’s a high day. Don’t overdo it. Let them roll with it.’”
Adam Forde Breakdown:
1:00 – Team Accountability
4:30 – Freedom
7:00 – Ignition Drills
13:00 – Clips Applied in a Game
15:00 – Tactical Periodization
25:00 – Game Model
28:52 – 29:26 – Basketball Immersion AD Jan 2023
29:30 – Tactical Dimension
35:00 – Coaching Philosophy
38:00 – Providing Guidance
45:00 – Creating Trust
48:00 – Make Mistakes
51:00 – Putting Players in a Situation
55:00 – Ways to Manipulate Intensity
59:00 – Building Program
Adam Forde Links from the Podcast:
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