Raising Basketball IQ Part 3 – What Causes Player Stupidity?

Raising Basketball IQ Part 3

Basketball coach drawing a strategy for winning the game. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786766][img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40117171/sport.jpg[/img][/url]

Have you ever wondered why some players just do not seem to be able to grasp any concept that you teach, why do they always look dumbfounded when you are talking to them and end up doing the complete opposite of what you told them to do? Or better yet, the exact same thing they did last time that you just told them not do do????? This can cause a ton of frustration for both the player and the coach. As the coach you can become frustrated or angry with the player, give up on teaching that kid and move on to those “who listen”, “who follow instructions” and “who are coachable”. For the player they can lose self-confidence, get defeated, stop trying and eventually they will quit if only in spirit.

I have experienced all of the above as a player and as a coach. From a coaching stand point continually trying to teach someone who “just can’t get it” can push us over to a point where we now get out of teaching and into the use of punishment (which we can term as discipline), we can use force with our voices hoping that it “gets through to them”. Yet neither really seem to fully resolve what we are running into and the problem, yet less, continues to rear its ugly head throughout the course of the year.


So what is it? What is the actual cause of a player’s stupidity? You may think this answer is too simple and so not correct. You may insist that there has to be something wrong with that particular player mentally. But the continued stupidity in any subject is simply caused by not knowing the nomenclature or the terminology being used in that subject or an associated subject. When one continues to read, hear or use words they do not know the meaning of the student becomes dull to the subject and then they get dissociation from that subject. They stop having an ability to observe that subject, to learn it and they eventually do not want anything to do with it (which is when they quit). These are all proven facts and apply to any subject in life. Shutterstock_psychology-brain-wheels-1280x960


Now that the real reason has been identified it can then be handled very simply. You start by having the players learn the meanings of the terminology and the words used in that subject. And you make sure they can apply each of the words not just memorize the meaning and robotically spit it back to you. They need to be able to do the action, find the area on the court etc. For example one of the terms we have them learn is a “rip move”. They would have to be able to tell me what it is, when they would use it and demonstrate the proper technique and be able to use it in a live situation.


Does this take time? Yes. We spend the first days of our workouts strictly on our terms. But what your players will get from doing this is astounding. They become more certain, they begin to communicate more with you and one another about the game, the offense, the defense, their abilities or lack their of. See now they can talk about the subject in an educated fashion and that alone will increase their IQ in that subject. If you don’t do the above you will continue to run into a lack of execution or no execution, players won’t get better, players will not seem coachable they will seem “stupid” and they will quit on you if only in spirit. Yet they are not stupid they just have not been properly educated in the field. So now knowing the above don’t be the stupid one.


The amount of slang used in basketball is astounding and the words and their meanings change from camp to camp. Sometimes the same words can mean very different things to different coaches. This really can put a player (who is trying to impress the coach) in a difficult situation. Show some compassion and teach them your language. A great example is going to a foreign country where they use different terms for money. Say England, there they have a Pound, a Quid, and a Pence. Not only are the terms different the values are different, a Pound being worth around 2 Dollars but is constantly changing, who knows what a Quid is worth?? The point is, what effect does that have on you? Do you just drop into apathy eventually and just put your money on the table and let the clerk take any amount they want? That is not how we want our players to act out on the floor is it?