The Basketball Podcast: EP32 Stan Van Gundy on Philosophy and Tactics
In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss basketball philosophy and tactics.
Before becoming the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, Stan Van Gundy previously served as the head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 2014 to 2018. From 2003 to 2005, he was the head coach of the Miami Heat. Van Gundy then coached the Orlando Magic for five seasons from 2007 to 2012, leading them to the 2009 NBA Finals.
Learn from Stan Van Gundy here: Special Situation Basketball Plays
Stan Van Gundy Quotes:
“I think any of us who teach understand that you need that immediate feedback to be able to make corrections.”
“I think it’s a necessity that when a mistake is made, it’s addressed as soon as possible . . then you come right back to another repetition.”
“NBA players understand that . . for them it’s very, very important that they have somebody they think can help them get better and, if coached, I think that they respond to that very well.”
“A lot of times it may be an effort thing but . . that still doesn’t address what you’re expecting out of the player . . what is it you want him to do harder? Does he have to make his rotation quicker? Does he have to run harder on the fast break?”
“If you avoid those [difficult] conversations . . with a certain player, a couple of things happen. Number one, it’s not fair to the player, because you’re judging that player on things he’s not aware you’re judging him on. And then secondly, it’s very tough for your team to perform effectively if people don’t understand their roles.”
“As you get into role definition, besides just being honest, you have to let the player know how it’s going to benefit him and what you’re trying to do to put him a position to succeed – play to his strengths, disguise his weaknesses.”
“Being able to sell the way the way you want to play and what your expectations are is huge.”
“If you can’t answer the question of why we’re doing it this way, then you haven’t done a good job of thinking it out and you shouldn’t expect players to buy into it.”
[On defense] “. . be the second jumper. It is very, very hard, things like that. But, as we’ll say to players all the time, winning is hard. And it requires discipline.”
“A lot of defense involves your eyes and where you’re locked in . . any time you’re ball watching you’re very susceptible.”
“Our rule was basically, you’re going to play with enough cushion that you never get beat by the first step.”
“You want to limit penetration to the basket. I do think being able to influence players to their weak hand . . is very important. The technique of that is important . . most of the time when you talk about forcing a guy left is they don’t force him left, they give him left.”
“You have to be careful on the technique and on the mindset. It’s not good enough to simply let the guy go to his left and beat you . . we still want to contain the ball.”
[On player development] “It always will go back to fundamental things. And the more that players can learn those things and learn to execute fundamentals at game speed, the better off they’re going to be.”
“If something isn’t being done well, that is something you need to go back and work on. Dick Bennett . . once said, ‘Watch your team and they’ll tell you what you need to work on.’”
“You can’t coach worried about criticism . .The biggest thing you have to be prepared for, as a young coach especially, is you’re going to get criticized.”
“Both for support and for learning, you’ve got to have relationships with other coaches.”
Click below to listen in if you listen on:
Stan Van Gundy Breakdown:
1:00 – Introduction
2:00 – Learning by Playing Philosophy
3:30 – Full Court Work
5:00 – Philosophy of Providing Feedbacks
6:30 – NBA Players Want to be Better
7:30 – Discussing Criticisms to NBA Players
9:30 – Need to be Specific than Generalize
10:30 – The Term “We”
12:30 – How He Handle Struggles for a Player
13:30 – Figuring Why Players Cannot Execute
15:15 – How We Help Players Accept their Roles
16:00 – Need to have Honest Conversation to the Players
17:00 – Positive on Giving Roles to the Players
18:30 – Limit of a Coach because of the Tradition
21:30 – Judgement of Coaches Plans
23:30 – “Coach the Why”
24:30 – Coach Game Day Card that He have in Every Game
27:00 – Main Part of his Game Day Shootaround
29:00 – Some Type of Their Recall
30:30 – Strategies to help with Timeout Focus and Understanding
32:00 – One Thing for Assistant Coach
34:00 – Strength and Weaknesses of his Staffs
36:00 – Stay Down or Challenge Shots by Leaving our Feet?
37:30 – Balance Keeping Elite Players
40:00 – Defend a Mid Post Up Strategies
41:30 – Situational Denial
43:30 – Extend the Catch
44:50 – Perfect NBA Defense
46:50 – Switching Things
49:00 – Limit Threes
50:30 – Best Methods of Handling Dribble Handoffs
53:00 – His Term Use in Practice
55:00 – Is it able to drop and Ice Dribble Handoffs?
57:30 – Forcing Direction at Other Levels?
59:30 – His Philosophy on Pick&Roll
1:01:00 – Fundamentals, Fundamentals, Fundamentals
1:03:00 – Methods to Evaluate his Own Coaching
1:06:00 – Decisions to Careful On
1:08:00 – Taking Criticisms
1:09:30 – You’re Going to Get Criticize
1:10:30 – Evaluating Objectively
1:12:00 – Final Thoughts
Stan Van Gundy
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