Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cheap Medicine or Weighted Balls

I was watching the old Nolan Richardson video "Razor Back Attack" from his days at Arkansas. He was working a three man weave with what he called "water balls" which are simply basketballs filled with water.

What a great, cheap way to get medicine balls or those heavy balls that cost so much! We all have a few worn out or older basketballs lying around that we don't use anymore. Why not fill them with water and make them useful again? I wouldn't dribble those things on the floor, but for passing and medicine ball work they would be great.

I haven't tried it yet (and a google search turned up nothing), but I would assume that all you do is put the needle in the ball and slowly pour the water through the needle - of course deflate the ball first or you'll have a mess! One thought is to fill the bathtub, deflate the ball, and put it in the tub with the needle in and let the water flow in. Any other thoughts? Reply and let me know!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Coaching Blog

Just wanted to drop a link for a coaching blog I have found helpful. It is a soccer blog, and is selling some type of soccer reports, but the blog itself is great coaching material. Nothing Xs and Os related of course, but a lot of good general coaching ideas. Hopefully it helps.

Zoom Reports Blog

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.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Six Sections of Your Life

This is more of a personal growth for coaches piece than anything else. If you are looking for some brilliant Xs and Os stop reading here (but I guess if you were looking for that you stopped reading long ago!).

I got this idea from Don Meyer I believe and it's a GREAT ONE for trying to keep our priorities in life in order. It's something we have to do in coaching when many of us have a "real job" along with our passion for basketball coaching - and if you coach at the college level it's almost the work of two full time jobs. Sometimes other things, important things, get lost in the shuffle of life and that just can't happen. So what I do is use the "Six Sections of Life" format that I believe Meyer uses.

Take a piece of paper and fold it twice so you have three sections on each side. In each section write something that is a priority in your life putting the word better before them. During the week when you do something to fulfill one of those categories you write it in. It helps you to visually be able to see where you are spending your time and to make sure you are not forgetting something important in your life.

I only have 4 since I'm just not talented enough to get more in. Mine are "Better Coach, Better Teacher, Better Husband, Better Friend". When I talk better I'm talking better than normal - so you could write things like Good Husband, Good Coach, etc. So each week I write in what I'm doing in those areas to be better in them. For instance this week:
Better Coach - Listened to two Bob Hurley Webinars, read "Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars", helped to give a clinic to our youth coaches, watched some tape and did some reading on the PACK Defense, etc.
Better Teacher - Researched a new way of cooperative learning, had my lessons planned well in advance, etc.
Better Husband - Bought flowers, took time to listen to her vent about her day, etc.
Better Friend - Called two friends I hadn't talked to in a while to touch base.

There is nothing wrong with having the same things each week. I'll take time to listen to my wife vent every week, probably a few times a week. But it's just the idea that I am trying to make time for that is what's important. This is nothing special, but the whole idea is that it keeps you a more well rounded person and you don't get focused all on one or two areas and let the others go by the wayside. When that happens you eventually end up with real problems.

Anyway, this is nothing outstanding, but hopefully it will help you keep your life in order during the busy season coming up.

And before I forget, GOOD LUCK to all the coaches out there starting up a new season. I know mine will be a blast again this year and hopefully yours will too!