The evolution of a master teacher takes years of skill development. The outstanding coach is an exceptional teacher. We believe that there are fundamental steps that should be considered when teaching your team:
1) Know the five laws of learning
2) Know how players learn
3) Teaching techniques
4) Use the four steps of shaping
5) Talk less, do more
6) Recognize the power of observation, listening, and gathering information
7) Role declaration is paramount to a coaches’ success
8) Know your audience, circumstance, and be ready to adapt or change course
9) Competition means time, score, and personal records (e.g. individual/group)
We are teachers. We are trying to create an environment of learning. Hence, mistakes must be encouraged as a form of discovery. Certainly, we want to correct the problem and move on in a timely fashion. The more teaching skills that we have at our disposal - the better. If we are comfortable with our style, the player will adjust quickly. Effective communication is the instructor’s greatest tool. Learning is a step-by-step process. We keep it simple, as we know that the player responds best to precise instruction.
We believe that the coach should work off a blueprint of conceptual teaching. This means teaching cognitive ideas through a specific process (i.e. drills that are directly linked to the whole). Our shooting drills come directly from our offense and they may change from one season to the next, yet the ingredients of competition and effort level are never compromised.
The what, where, how, when, and why are always foremost in our minds when explaining our philosophy. The “when” and “why” are the most important to us. We want thinking players who can react quickly under pressure. Hence, we create that environment in our practices with consequences for actions.
We teach winning basketball. We are not interested in just playing. The enjoyment for the player comes from learning, interaction with others, and measurable improvement. We teach that perfection comes from an all-out effort.
The standards for winning must be defined. The coach should have measurements both offensively and defensively that represent a system. When pressure is applied confusion will reign unless there is structure. Moreover, that is when communication breaks down. We cannot have this. We see the first signs of a successful culture when the players start saying and teaching “Our Way” when times are tough. We like that.
In conclusion, we can only do one thing at a time. Simplicity is our guide. We constantly evaluate our system under the most severe circumstances. Teaching techniques define our system.