The Basketball Podcast: EP318 The Dave Love Podcast on Skill Acquisition Concepts for Shooting

RELEASE DATE : 01/05/2024

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Chris Oliver joins NBA Shooting Coach Dave Love on the Coach Dave Love Podcast to share insights on skill acquisition concepts for shooting.

Chris Oliver stands as a leading figure in integrating motor learning and skill acquisition principles into basketball training. With a track record of consulting for numerous NBA teams and National Federations globally, Chris brings a wealth of evidence-based coaching approaches to the table.

Throughout the episode, Chris and Dave, and host Matt Robertson, dissect their top five Skill Acquisition concepts, providing invaluable insights for coaches looking to enhance their training methodologies. This episode serves as a beacon for those new to the realm of Motor Learning, offering a comprehensive starting point. Tune in as Chris and Dave delve into the nuances of skill acquisition, providing actionable strategies and practical advice that coaches can implement immediately. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to coaching, this episode promises to equip you with the foundational knowledge needed to elevate your coaching game and unlock the full potential of your players. If you’re ready to take your coaching to the next level and optimize player development, this episode is a must-listen.

Basketball Shooting Concepts

Listen Here:

Dave Love/Chris Oliver Quotes:

Chris:  “I feel that people focus too much on form over function, and that connects to too much repeatability, not as much adaptability . . but there’s variability even within the best shooters, within their range of motion.”

Chris:  “The simplest way to understand this concept of contextual interference is that we’re trying to interfere with remembering. Well, why do we want to interfere with remembering? We want to interfere with it because we want a player who’s learning how to shoot to constantly be mindful. We don’t want them to . . shoot the same shot from the same spot over and over again . . We want them instead to be able to be adaptable in different places.”

Matt:  “When I was playing pro, I was coming off the bench and sometimes sitting for 30 minutes before coming off the bench and really struggling. I had a coach who said, ‘You need to practice like you play.’  And so, go hit shots in different spots for six minutes and then sit back down again. It is the earliest version that I have of a game representative situation.”

Dave:  “I want people to understand internal and external cues . . understand that the words we use matter and that it’s not just explaining, ‘Bend your wrist back.’ I start with an internal [cue] . . then go into an external cue that makes sense to me, but almost immediately I’m asking guided questions . . to search for an external cue that makes sense to the player.”

Chris:  “I’m not saying, ‘Don’t plan.’  Go through that mental process, but I’m saying, ‘Be adaptable.’ You want your players to be adaptable, you be adaptable.”

Chris:  “What we know about transfer from practice to game, the most important thing that leads to transfer is this perception.  Skill is the third part of it. So, I want to have a practice filled with perceive and decide opportunities, and that’s where we want to maximize it.”

Dave:  “There are a couple of ways that I use decisions  . . and one of them is forcing the adaptability . . early on in relearning the biomechanical shooting form, I’ll use an either/or decision as a distraction from the movement that they’re making.”

Dave:  “Blocked vs. variable/random practice. I had to learn that doing the same thing over and over and over again doesn’t lead to transfer to games and then also understand that practicing in a game like environment isn’t necessarily the perfect environment to learn in. And so, block practice has advantages, random practice has a lot more advantages.”

Chris:  “You’re more of an expert than the player. So, remove your ego from it. Coaching is not constant instruction. Coaching is, in fact, a removal or reduction. Bandwidth feedback is the term in motor learning . . I don’t need to give them information on every rep.”

Dave:  “I see so many coaches in a learning environment coaching to the result and not the process that’s going to eventually improve the result. And so, where are we directing attention at what time and in what situation? When you’re outside of the gym and you’re setting your goals, great. Have the knowledge of results. That’s when to talk about them. When you’re in the gym working on a habit, it’s habit-based. Be aware of the performance that’s going to cause the result.”

Dave:  “I never track anything, especially early on in practice. I’m never like, ‘Okay, you’ve got to make five. If that’s what I’m teaching, if that’s what I’m cueing to, then the player is going to do whatever they want, whatever they feel is necessary to get that meaningless result. And I’ve got the long game in mind. I’m trying to build a new habit. So, all my feedback is directed towards the habit.”

Chris:  “The most important part of player development is psychological safety for the  player in knowing that what they’re going to work on is going to help them in the games.”

Dave:  “I want people to understand the challenge point . . Know the habit that you’re working on, and then adjust the level of difficulty of the drill. Make it as game representative as you can while guiding towards the habit that you’re working on. We should be constantly adjusting the level of difficulty of the drill because the player is probably getting better at the skill.”

Dave Love/Chris Oliver Breakdown:

3:00 – Basketball Shooting Form and Practice Methods
8:00 – Improving Skill Acquisition
12:30 – Importance of Adaptability
17:00 – Internal vs External Cues
21:30 – Perception and Adaptability
26:00 – Skill Acquisition Strategies
30:30 – Reducing Instructions
37:00 – Focusing on Habits
40:00 – Teaching Cues
44:30 – Coaching Techniques
48:00 – Constraint-Led Approach
54:30 – Player Development
58:30 – Personalized Approach

Dave Love/Chris Oliver Selected Links from the Podcast:

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