The Basketball Podcast: EP41 Alan Keane on Rethinking Traditional Ideas

RELEASE DATE : 15/05/2019

In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, Great Britain Under 18 National Head Coach, and current Reading Rockets NBL D1 Head Coach, Alan Keane joins the podcast to help us rethink some traditional coaching ideas. Ideas like the pre-game, half-time, timeout interactions and interventions coaches traditionally use are discussed, along with methods for better empowering players in the coaching process.

Keane is currently the JMA Basketball Academy Head Coach (Performance pathway for players & coaches), the Reading Rockets NBL D1 Head Coach (Second division pro league) and the Great Britain & England U18 Head Coach.

The Great Britain teams, that Keane has been instrumental in helping to lead and develop via many roles, achieved their highest European finish for Junior and Senior programmes in 2018. He has been recognized for numerous successes as a teacher and coach with the English basketball and teaching community. Keane also holds a PhD in Coaching Science (Basketball performance environment focus) and an MSc in European Basketball Coaching Science.

Learn more from Alan Keane:

Masterclass with Alan Keane

Observations from the European Basketball Championships

Listen Here:

Alan Keane Quotes:

“To have a better understanding of the impact I’m having, I record every pre-game, every halftime, every time-out.”

“I like to give the players a voice . . especially pregame . . so I’ll often ask the players, ‘What are the keys for today’s game? What’s important for us? . . What’s the one thing that will make the most difference?’”

[At halftime] “The first thing we will ask them to do is review their behavior . . did you commit? . . Did you commit to the stuff we said we were going to do? If we did, then we review the execution of that commitment.”

“Before we leave the changing room, before we leave any timeout . . I’ll ask them, ‘Remind me of what we’re planning for now.’”

“This is a skill set they’re developing: the skill to analyze, the skill to reflect, the skill to communicate effectively to different teammates.”

“I’m trying to develop better decision makers on the court who can be self-sufficient, who can self-regulate under pressure, and who are poised under pressure and at their best in these moments.”

“It’s a long term process. The thing that makes us feel better as coaches is to be on the sideline giving the solutions, giving the answers.”

“We do that after every game . . we’ll always review the game in three tiers. So as coaches . . we review ourselves first, then the team, then the coaches we worked with.”

“We do the same with the players . . all the players have to review the game or the practice with themselves first, with the team second, then they review us as coaches.”

“Underpinning all this [empowering players] . . you have to be very clear . . there may be a lot of push-back and it’s a patience game.”

“It’s a process that takes a long time to get right but . . coaches need to understand your players are going to be on different levels with this.”

“We get our players to call a timeout in the practice and to run that timeout . . sometimes we have to re-align them and bring them back to what the success criteria is.”

“The other rule we have is, when we call a time out . . if somebody says ‘No [we didn’t commit]’ . . that’s the end of the timeout . . we do not review it unless you’ve committed to it 100%. Otherwise, we’re effectively reviewing poor practice.”

“I don’t like to do any drills unopposed . . the decision making element of the skill is just as important, if not more important, than the technical execution of the skill. “

“There’s no doubt that the player can improve . . a pattern without the defense . . you’re practicing a pattern, a proscribed action . . however, when the defense is on the floor, every action is unpredictable.”

Alan Keane Breakdown:

1:00 – Introduction
3:00 – Value of Pre-Game, Halftime and Timeout
6:00 – Discussion During Half Time and Timeout
10:30 – Filling on the Gaps and Moving Forward
11:40 – How do Handle Conflicts during Half Time?
13:00 – The Rule of 3
14:00 – Benefit of Athlete-Centered Approach
17:00 – Example of the Approach
18:00 – Being Best as an Assistant Coach
21:00 – Permissions and Agreements and Facilitating Players
23:30 – Whatsapp Groups and the Right Environment
26:30 – Handling Timeouts
30:30 – Queuing Players About the Right Conversation
34:00 – Freedom of Players
36:00 – Reviewing Terms and Phrases During Practice
38:00 – “Bring it to Life and then Discuss it Later”
40:00 – Analyzing of Player’s Strengths and Weaknesses
44:00 – Train Hard to Find Easy
45:30 – Process on Applying Scouting Reports to Players
46:40 – Feelings
50:00 – Reimagining Scouting Reports
53:00 – Improving Themselves
54:00 – Drill and Skill Transfers
58:00 – Isolation
59:00 – Conclusion

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