Omelette du fromage,
Today we played a very exciting game against a very interesting club…Espacio Torrelodones…this club was taken over by very high level Serbian coaches and stands out in Madrid for its different style, tactics and technical skills. Both teams played very well and it was close through out. They had an unbelievable point guard…tiny…great cross over…also combined crossing the ball back to create space and once the defender started to close out he would spin. Here is a photo of their court…crazy thing is…there is a sports facility like this in every little town. So, every 5-10 miles a 3 court facility with seating for 500+, amazing. We have many international readers of this blog who will think this is normal…but to UK readers…facilities like this are few and far between.
The true method of knowledge is experiment…
To carry on with the coaching styles…I’m going to talk about a coach who worked with 12-13 year old boys. Very calm and cool coach. Very simple way of working. Every exercise would be 10 minutes long. At first he would start with a skill, for example….a step away jump shot, he would demonstrate the skill very quickly, 1 or 2 repetitions…then let them get on with it, step back and watch them work. He would watch for a minute…see who needs the help, see who has picked it up. At this point, he and his assistant coaches would go out and coach on the fly, giving tips and hints…those fine technical details that make the difference between good and great players. Then with a minute to go, he would step back and let the players get on with it and assess what will be happening next session, progression or stay the same…or take notes to see who needs something a little more advanced.
To follow a technical skill, there would be 10 minutes of 3v3 full or half court, with, for example, extra points for an attempt at the skill and the shot hits the rim or maybe a good read…not focusing on the execution…but the attempt. The attempt is very important and plenty of praise too. Players tense up if they don’t score or they make what they think is a mistake so the coaches are quick to say that it was a great try or great decision. Its the same with, for example left hand lay ups, after every miss there is a loud…”Good left hand” just to show the player that it was the right decision…this is the same even in the close games…the players start to learn that trying to do the right thing is crucial for their development. I have seen games here lost for the sake of development…whether it was sharing out minutes or a missed left hand lay up or a turned over behind the back pass. If they were the good decisions or for the players development…they were the right things to do.
Back to the coaching sessions…so that 20 minutes, taught a skill then tried it in a game situation.
The same would go for tactical… break it down into say…1v1 plus a passer to work on playing without the ball. Then play…try to use the skill. An interesting thing I seen a few years ago here, to introduce screens, was to have a screener, standing still on the free throw line, a passer with a ball on one wing…and offence and defence on the other wing…the offensive player with out the ball had to get free.
Now, no demonstrations had been given…and the players automatically curled to the basket/flared etc etc…they tricked defenders and got themselves open…there own skills/style came into play too… the shooters figured out how to get shots off by working to get open for 3s and the bigs curled and spun to receive under the basket. These players were left to search for ways of getting free using a screen…then…play 3v3…
This idea put them in a situation to read react and experiment on the court. With no pressure!
This method of learning a skill/tactic then playing in training was always popular with the team as players love to play. So if the players are learning, experimenting and having fun…its a good place to be!
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