Sunday, November 21, 2010

Talent Is Not Static

Last Saturday I had a chance to sit down with Coach Ken Novak from Hopkins High School. He gave me a lot of great information during our talk, but one of the great pieces he shared was that talent is not a static thing - especially when it comes to basketball skills. I think this is an important thing for coaches to grasp, as we tend to peg players with certian titles early in their career and then continue to believe that label throughout a player's career.

What this means is that we watch a kid early on and make judgements like "he's not a shooter", "he is a bad passer", "he is weak", "he doesn't run the floor", "he can't handle the ball", etc. We make this judgement about a player and then we don't always believe that it can be changed. The player is always going to have that tag. The truth is, however, that it can change - and often does. If players want to work at it they really can become better shooters, rebounders, ballhandlers, etc over the course of their career, from one year to another, and even over the course of a season.

What does this mean for you as a coach then? All it means is you need to constantly monitor and assess the true skill level of players. This allows you to have a grasp of where they currently are - not where they were 2 years ago. It's a hard mindset to break frankly, but its' one that if you break it will allow you to be far more efficient. It will also better allow you to reward players for working hard on their game - to realize the strides they have made and then let them use those gained skills.

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