The Basketball Podcast: EP89 Peter Lonergan on Coach Education and Player Development

RELEASE DATE : 15/04/2020

In this week’s coaching conversation, Basketball Australia’s Head of High Performance Coach Development Peter Lonergan joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss coach education and player development. Best practices for teaching dynamic shooting, mentoring coaches, the “Fantastic Five” of player development, two-way teaching, small-sided games and so much more are outlined.

Peter Lonergan has been an influential coach educator impacting coaching development around the world. Australian Opals Assistant Coach, a highly successful State Director of Coaching in Victoria and New South Wales, and a national, and an international clinician for FIBA.

Peter has worked in basketball development for 25+ years.

His achievements include:

  • Head Coach, Australian U17 Womens Team – FIBA Junior World Championships 2010.
  • Assistant Coach, Australian Opals Senior Women 2006- 2008
  • Assistant Coach, Australian Opals 2006 FIBA “World Champions” (Gold Medal)
  • Assistant Coach, Australian Opals 2008 Olympic Silver Medallists (Beijing)
  • Two-time Basketball Australia Junior Male Coach of the Year
  • Former Director of Coaching at Victoria Country, Northern Territory & New South Wales
  • Assistant Coach –Sydney Uni Flames WNBL 2010/11 – 2011/12.

Peter Lonergan

Peter Lonergan Quotes:

“I’ve long been a strong advocate of the importance of form shooting.”

“The concept of form shooting is practicing things in a controlled environment that are going to happen In a game.”

“Coaches need to stay engaged . . make corrections but allow players to explore and develop that feel and muscle memory.”

“I think you teach and drill shooting in three phases. Form/technique, then volume – what you need to get your reps, then situational.”

On ‘Skill is the foundation of joy.’: “The ability to make plays to be creative, that’s where the real joy comes from . .it’s something coaches need to be more cognizant of . . We’ve got to try to make it fun . . and create that level of joy. With that you’re going to have a higher level of learning.”

“The Fantastic 5 . .is pivot, pass, dribble, shoot, guard your man . . I’ve started using almost as a checklist. If you want to assess how good youth coach someone is, can you put a tick next to all those five in terms of how the players have developed.”

“We talk about get more drill out of each drill, get more practice out of each practice. Those combination drills are so important . . The game’s multifaceted, so why are we teaching it in single stages so often?”

“Enjoyment, learning and growth are intrinsically linked.”

“We talk about basketball should be athlete-focused, coach driven and administrative supported . . I’m a big believer that learning is oxygen for any coach.”

“I think attending practices is huge . . it’s not the drills . . it’s not the x’s and o’s . . its their [the coaches] ability to take a lot of information and put it into a really succinct phrase and action terms.”

“I really encourage coaches need to seek out a mentor . . It’s just someone you feel who can connect with you and that’s got a good, sound understanding of the sport and who is brave enough to share their thoughts and brave enough to challenge you.”

“In any staff there’s an element of group think . .so having someone come from outside is key to make sure you’re continually reassessing.”

“Part of interventions is your positioning . . from where you’re standing can you see what the players see, can you hear what they’re saying.”

“One of the big themes we’ve had this year in our coach development is: more conversations.”

“Dribble penetration is the hardest thing to defend in the modern game.”

“As the game’s morphed toward that dribble penetration, we’ve lost that beautiful art of creating really high percentage opportunities for shooters using screens.”

“The most important situations of numerical advantage are in the quarter court . . as soon as I create a split, we’ve got a situation of numerical advantage . . how can we thrive in that?”

Peter Lonergan Selected Links from the Podcast:

Rex Nottage

Mike Krzyzewski

Duke University

Mike MacKay

Canada Basketball

Basketball Queensland

Rod Popp

Milwaukee Bucks

J.J. Redick

Andrew Bogut

Peter Lonergan Breakdown:

1:00 – “Kaizen” and the concept of Form Shooting
4:00 – Thoughts on Traditional form of shooting
6:00 – Off-Hand Down
8:00 – Technique Volume Situational
10:30 – Skill is the Foundation of Joy
12:00 – Fantastic Five
13:00 – Doing More Drills
15:00 – Retention
16:30 – Concept of Developing Coaches
18:00 – Things He Learned from Attending Practices
20:00 – His Best Practices about Mentorship
22:00 – Concept of Coaching Interventions
25:00 – Continually Moving and See the Play
26:30 – Feedback using Video
28:00 – Value of Basketball Clinics
30:30 – 6-Point Checklist
32:30 – Spacing and In-built by Reversal
34:00 – Opportunity for Dribble Penetration
35:30 – Screens
37:00 – Developing Post Plays in Australia
38:30 – Pivoting
40:30 – Numerical Advantage and Disadvantage
42:30 – Sound Creativity
45:00 – Basketball Resources in Australia

Peter Lonergan:



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