Sunday, August 23, 2015

Communicated vs. Revealed Knowledge

Image courtesy of southsouth.info
At our round table last Monday we were lucky enough to have Doug Novak of Bethel College (MN) speak. Coach Novak did an outstanding job of sharing his basketball philosophy. I came away very impressed with his approach to teaching the game - and got a lot of notes in the process. Among many things that he talked about was the concept of communicated vs. revealed knowledge. 

Communicated knowledge is the knowledge we get by reading it or hearing it from others. Revealed knowledge on the other hand comes from real world experience that you have applied. Revealed knowledge is far more valuable than communicated knowledge in the long run.

Coach Novak shared a story to outline his point. He talked about how early in his career he studied Dean Smith and ran the Carolina Break with his 4 man always taking it out. He did it because Coach Smith was successful at it. This was an example of using communicated knowledge. He then ran into a pressing team that forced the ball back to his inbounder (his 4 man) and then forced the four to bring the ball up. This didn't go well for his team. Because of his experience he started having his 2 man take the ball out so there was another ball handler in the back court. His knowledge went from communicated to revealed.

Another example he used to illustrate the point was how player's stop. Everyone has always taught the jump stop - as did he. But Coach Novak found that players had a hard time balancing when they stopped with a traditional jump stop. When he watched tape of NBA players he saw them using the "stride stop" method. Because of the film study (revealed knowledge) he started teaching the stride stop method instead of the jump stop.

I think it's important to examine what you teach - is it communicated or revealed knowledge? If it's communicated - then you'd better spend some time critically evaluating it so it becomes revealed knowledge. Ask yourself how you can tweak what you teach to make it better or fit your players better - that's how you turn it into revealed knowledge.

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