30 second time outs

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Free Throw Goals

The only Free Throw goal that we had was to "Make more Free Throws than they shoot". The first part addressed our offense (how many FT we got) and our effectiveness at the line (were we making enough of the ones we got) while the second part dealt with our defense (were we fouling and putting them on the line?)

As I think about it, does talking about achieving a certain percentage motivate a kids to get there? Or does it get kids worrying about their shot when they fall short of the goal? Ask the Memphis Tigers. Or Shaq!

I'm starting to think that, while it is harder to chart, an *effort goal* of getting enough arc, holding their follow thru, and using proper technique rather than a *result goal* might help kids get there quicker.

Just thinkin' out loud.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Coach/Official Relationships - a work in progress!

When I played, my coaches rarely said anything to officials and I always felt they didn't stick up for us. So I set out to be the opposite. Soon I figured that if the other coach got up to "work the official" that I had to match that and "work him" a bit harder. Punch - counterpunch.

Players definitely should not be the ones to EVER talk to an official. The coach needs to be the one doing the communicating, outside of the team captain, who can be a good buffer by building a good on court relationship wit the officials. However, when the coach does talk, he needs to pick his spots. If you chirp all the time (and I did) they stop listening. It could also backfire on the coach. A coaching friend of mine tells a story about a ref that asked him if he thought it was a good call. When the coach proceeded to tell him all of the reasons that it wasn't, the ref said, "then wait 'til you see the next one!"

Officials are human - as much as we wish they weren't. If the only time you talk to them is when you think they missed one - you're going to get a worse performance from the ref than had you said nothing at all. Studies show that people perform better when they experience more positives than negative interactions with others in that environment. Officials are no different. So it is beneficial to take a "kinder, gentler" approach. Help them by keeping your players under control. Ensure quality crowd control, to whatever extent possible. Laugh with them. Back them up when they make a good call by "re-instructing" your player to avoid what they just got called for. Admit when you think that they made the right call against your team. The official will at least *think* that you feel they made a good call.

On the other hand, I'm not sure that they like coaches to say, "good call!" when one goes your way. That implies that you think they made some bad ones. Maybe, tell them, "yes he did" when one of your guys reaches, charges or walks. They'll respect you more. And you *might* get the benefit of the doubt a couple of times.

I also tried to convince myself when we made a couple of nice plays after I had a little tirade that I "fired the team up". Then I realized, while they might have been a little excited for a while, it wore off pretty quickly - just like a fire & brimstone pre-game speech. Wouldn't it be better if we could just get them to play "inspired" all the time? If we have to coerce our team into playing hard by going ballistic, we're not going to be very good anyway. Convince them to play hard every possession - because it is the right thing to do!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Pick-Up" Leagues

I've often thought that it would be a service to kids to provide a league that was NOT refereed - but merely "moderated". Allow the kids to call their own - and give them a minimum time to agree before the moderator steps in. Kinda like we used to do at the park. Players no longer have (or don't take advantage of) those opportunities.

And how much do you learn about *life* by settling your own disagreements, admitting that you made a mistake (foul), or having
the courage to call someone on one of their "transgressions", and coming to a consensus in a timely fashion ?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why they call you "COACH"

The small, 14th-century, Hungarian village of Kocs is located on the main road along the Danube between Vienna and Budapest. These two great cities needed well-built, fast vehicles that would carry more than two people over the bumpy roads of the day in as much comfort as was then possible. So in Kocs they began to build superior wagons, carts and carriages.

One of the best of these multi-horse carts was called, in Hungarian, "kocsi szek√©r" or a "wagon from Kocs". Its design was so compact, elegant and sturdy that the design spread throughout Europe. The German-speaking Viennese started to call this vehicle a Kutsche, which is how they heard Hungarians saying the name of their little carriage-making town. From Vienna these lively vehicles traveled to Paris and the French, adapting the Austrian word, called it a coche. When it arrived in Rome in Italian, it was a cocchio. Eventually, the English called it a coach. When Anne of Bohemia married England’s Richard II in 1382, she brought carriages from Kocs, Hungary with her to England. Wealthy squires had their servants read to them as they drove in these coaches about the countryside or on long trips into a nearby city.

So the first coaches took very important people from where they were – to where they wanted to go. And many of them learned along the way.

Are we taking kids where THEY want to go? And are we teaching them other valuable life lessons in the process?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Team Communication - be seen AND heard!

Communicating on defense is crucial, but for some reason is very
difficult to get players to do. We can`t get them to be quiet in
class and can`t get them to talk on the court - go figure!:?)

To just get them to talk, and also help foster a better team
attitude, we would use a "Buddy System." Whoever your pre-practice
shooting partner was is your "Buddy" for the day. It was up to you
to recognize EVERY positive thing that your "Buddy" did and let them
know. In order for that to happen players had to watch, recognize,
and understand what they were praising. Soon players will be doing
it, on instinct, to players who are not their "Buddies" also. So it
also helped to keep players engaged and positive - leaving them more
receptive to coaching.

Simply encouraging players to talk at all times helps, but having an
organized method gives players specific verbal cues to go with
situations and fosters effective team defensive communication.
Here's our defensive communication system

"BALL"- The most important thing to guard is the basketball. The
player with the ball is the only man that can score. Every time a
pass is throw, someone should let everyone know, verbally, that they
have the "BALL". If you are playing defense and do not hear this,
theoretically, you should turn and look to go cover the player with
the ball.

"BASKET"- The next most important aspect of team defense is to
protect the basket. Once the ball is covered, a player needs to
reteat to the key and call "BASKET". The player responsible for the
basket is usually the furthest man away from the ball, on the side
opposite the ball(weakside).

"HELP(left or right)"- It is helpful if the player guarding the ball
knows if he has any defensive help to his left or his right. The
next defensive player in either direction of the ball should holler,
"HELP"(left or right)". If the offensive player sees(and hears) a
player in position to help, they might not even try to penetrate via
the dribble in that direction.This also allows the defender on the
ball to pressure with a little more confidence.

"CHECK"- When a defender is guarding a player on the weakside of the
floor, many times they are responsible for the basket. In some
offense their man may "flash" to the ball side. The defense should
"check" that cutter in a denial stance and verbally let the team
know, by saying "CHECK". This verbal cue reminds the player to
"check" his man and also reminds the rest of the team to "CHECK" and
see who should be responsible for the "BASKET" next

"CLEAR"- Sometimes an offense will "clear" out the weakside, and
take away the "basket" defender. IF a player has the basket and his
man clears, he should yell,"CLEAR" to let any player in the post
area know that the basket area is clear and there is limited help.
This also could cue teamates to see if , maybe, they can drop and
help protect the "BASKET".

Lok's Ledger