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Post Up: 3 Reasons It Still Works

Post Up: 3 Reasons It Still Works

One of my basketball ‘pet peeves’ is being invited to a gym and seeing less and less emphasis on the post up. Players are posting up less and less and it’s a shame. The post up in basketball has almost become like a lost art, going from essential to almost non-existent. However, to me the post up is still essential to the game of basketball and here are a 3 reasons why.

Post up

1. It makes ‘the two easy points’ even easier
Everyone knows that the easiest shot in basketball is the layup. The whole point of the post up is to get a layup. Therefore by using footwork, shot fakes in the post; a layup is what the player posting up will almost certainly get. Even if that is not the end result for the player posting up, that player will make cutting opportunities much more dangerous and can set up high percentage shots in the paint.

2. It is a nice back up plan when the outside shot is not falling

Here is a little secret… Sometimes even the best shooters can simply have off shooting nights from the perimeter. Case in point, Steph Curry. Steph ‘Dell Curry Jr.’ Curry will probably go down as the greatest shooter ever when he decides to call it a career but we have seen that even he will go cold from deep. When that does not work out, a nice plan B can help the team out. No I am talking about a contraceptive, I am talking about posting up for layups. Klay Thompson type players are rare but many, many teams can decide to play big when deciding to execute a game plan. The post up is usually done best by the biggest and the strongest. There is a reason why Shaq was so efficient. Thus if your team’s shooters are struggling, having a post player that allows you to change strategy mid game is a really nice asset to have.

3. It’s another great way to get an open perimeter shot

Fact is the post up is not only for the shot but it’s for the pass and it is probably the most ruthless pass in basketball. If a player in the post draws a double team, an open shot is ALWAYS available. Usually the open shot is in the paint, which is ideal, but it is a harder pass due to the simple physics of turning into the paint and rifling a pass through a double team. Thus the pass to the outside is not only easier but sets up some many things. Besides the fact that the pass is a simple chest pass away: it’s going to an already set shooter, it sparks ball movement, and it forces the opposing team’s defense to play both the perimeter and the post more honest or at the very least make the opposition think twice about doubling.

The post up is still effective so to all coaches out there… Please spend some time emphasizing to your players, especially big men, how important it is to master the post up.

Raising Basketball IQ – Breaking Habits Part 2

Raising Basketball IQ – Breaking Habits Part 2

Breaking Habits: when you have a player who will continually do the same thing under similar circumstances you have a player who has a habit. It does not really matter if what they are doing is wrong or mostly right or successful some of the time. If they are “just doing an action” then it is a habit. Most habits can be small things like traveling or having extra movement in their shooting form that interferes with the ball actually going in the basket.

What I am going to say next, and you will have to decide whether you agree with it or disagree with it as it is a big statement and a large part of my coaching philosophy. It affects every decision I make when I’m training athletes and developing players.

And that is that the player when acting purposefully will always out perform any automatic reaction they have had “built into them”. Training a player to play “automatically” or by “habit” drowns out their natural ability and dilutes their skills.

Even a good habit, if only eventually, will inhibit the player from performing at their highest level.

As a coach I consider it my job to bring out the ability of the player to their highest performance. Not drive in habits like a trained circus bear.

Once a player has formed a habit it can be quite maddening for a coach. Because despite all the assurances the player gives you that they will change it they go right on doing the same thing, especially in stressful game situations when you want them to be on the top of THEIR game the most. This is where habits really show up.

So how do you break a habit? I found the answer to this question from the American Philosopher L. Ron Hubbard.

“There are three rules on the resolution of automaticity (habit). You just make the “player” do it all by (them) self, and if you just make him do it instead of having it done for him – and he’ll recover from that automaticity (habit).

“Now that’s the basic law: You make him do it (the habit) and he owns it. Now, if you can’t make him do it right away, you can make him change it or you can make him alter it, some slight fashion.” 

So what you do is you drill the player to purposefully do the habit that they keep repeating until they can confidently do it. Pretty simple right?

The player will most likely have some hesitation or resistance to mimicking the action they have been berated for performing. But let’s say the habit is picking up their pivot foot prior to dribbling. So you will ask them to do it the same way that is their habit. Have them purposefully travel by picking up their pivot foot prior to dribbling.

Drill them over and over again until they are certain they can do it easily and freely. Since you are the coach you should be able to see that they can do it easily and freely and that they do it purposefully. Then make it more difficult and put them in a game like situation and have them travel in the exact same manner that they travel in a real game until they are sure they are doing it. It will be pretty clumsy at first and then as the player starts to take control over the habit it will smooth out. When the player can control the action it is no longer a habit.

Of course after they break their habit you now need to drill them on the proper way to do an action or move. But the habit will no longer interfere with your drilling them correctly and they will be able to learn the move quickly.

This may need to be repeated a few times if the habit reappears but this has been very successful for me. One precaution is this is not a punishment, it is a drill like any other drill. Do not treat or let the player treat it like a penalty.

Read more about player habits if you missed Part 1 of my series on Raising the Basketball IQ of a Player.

 

Raising Basketball IQ Part 1 – Habits

Basketball Habits by Coach Julia Allender

Habits can either make or break players and ultimately decide the outcome of a basketball game. Coach Julia Allender shares her thoughts on developing a basketball IQ.

[bctt tweet=”My intent is to raise the Basketball IQ of the player…then let them play the game.” username=”juliaallender”]

basketball coaching habits

Basketball IQ

There has been a phrase around sports training for a long time, maybe you have heard it? “Developing good habits” It has been used when coaches have been discussing training female basketball players and, in fact, it is used in the entire sporting world. Coaches have proclaimed that they want to “break their girls down, strip them of what they do wrong and then create and develop good habits”. You hear and see this at all levels and all ages. From Youth Leagues, AAU programs, High School, Junior College, Division I’s, II’s and III’s, the WNBA and NBA. It’s everywhere.

You have to ask yourself do you want to be (or even need to be) broken down? I don’t know about you but that sounds rather unappealing.

So what is a habit?

A habit is something that you do unconsciously or a way that you act in certain circumstances and situations. It is always something you do, at least partially unknowingly.

One example of a bad habit I have seen a lot of is a players traveling with the ball. There are as many different ways to do this as there are players. But what is interesting is how unaware they are of what their body is doing when they travel. This is a habit, they are doing it without deciding to do it and they are for the most part unaware that they are doing it.

With that understanding of what a habit is, then the real question is: Are there actually any “good” habits? Do you really want to unconsciously have to act a certain way because of some unknown and unseen force? Or would you rather be the one playing the game?

My view of this is, you don’t need habits. You need to understand the game of basketball well enough to respond and react to each situation as it occurs and you need to have practiced and learned well enough each of the fundamental basketball moves so that you can respond.

You need to understand basketball well enough so that as the action occurs and the defenses change you know instantly what you need to do and can do it.

When I coach a player I do not want to create habits, I want the player to have an increased awareness of what is happening around her on the court and to have the skill to respond to it, I want to train players to knowingly act! I want actions, which are based off of their knowledge I want them to use their judgment. There is another term for this it is called Basketball IQ.

My intent as a coach is to raise the Basketball IQ of the player and the physical skill then let them play the game.

Coaching Nuggets with Coach Kelly Wells

Coaching nuggets. We are all trying to find the newest answers to our coaching problems; Coach Wells shares the right answers for us. Coach Kelly Wells of the University of Pikeville shares some of his championship basketball coaching philosophies and nuggets of wisdom. Follow Coach Wells @coachkellywells on Twitter.

coaching nuggets with coach kelly wells

Championship Coaching Nuggets

RECOMMENDED READS:

StrengthFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath

UBUNTU, by Stephen Lundin (Tribal tradition of TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION. Philosophy of: I am because we all are! The success of the group MUST outweigh the success of the individual.)

The Little Red Book of Wisdom, by Mark DeMoss

Success is a Choice, by Rick Pitino

COACHING MUSTS:

  • Hire GREAT coaches (only as good as the people around you)
  • Put your family ahead of basketball
  • Lifelong Learner (Coaches have to be Coachable)
  • Work Ethic, (Required Work vs. Unrequired Work) (Greatest Asset)
  • Power in Belief (In yourself, your players, your situation)
  • Dream bigger than MOST think is possible / Guarantee Little, Deliver Much
  • Relationships Matter: Care about your coaches/players and their lives
  • Shared Commitment: Players love when you sweat with them, more about what you bring than what you know.
  • Self Evaluation: Would you want to play for yourself (why/why not)
  • Take players where they won’t take themselves, best version of each player
  • Have a Philosophy and Beliefs that fit your situation (Be Flexible)
  • Organized
  • Handle Media, Parents and Community Relations (Own PR Department – staff, players, parents, fans, admin, etc.)
  • Communication (truth, upfront, often)

COACHING NUGGETS: WINNING ON THE ROAD:

  • Must Defend
  • Eliminate Transition Baskets
  • Take away offensive rebounding
  • Play through runs (Resolve)
  • Eliminate turnovers and Vomit Offense

POINTS FROM THE PRO’s:

“Complexity is the enemy of execution” –Brendon Suhr, LSU

“Young men need more models, not critics” -John Wooden, UCLA

“Transactional Coach or Transformational Coach” -Jon Gordon

[bctt tweet=”“We can’t have a championship program without championship actions” -Bob Starkey, Texas A&M WBB” via=”no”]

“A coach will have more impact on lives in a year than most in a lifetime” -Billy Graham

“The greatest sin a coach can commit is to allow kids to slide by. In classroom as well as the court” -Hubie Brown

“Interest VS. Commitment” Interest = Doing it when convenient / Commitment = All the time -Shaka Smart

“No one is bigger than the team. If you can’t do things our way, you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are” -Gregg Popovich

“Empower the people around you, from the janitor to the AD. You do that by being sincere, caring about others, and then putting it into practice” -Sue Gunter. LSU WBB

“What we do as basketball players/coaches is abnormal. If you want abnormal results them give abnormal actions. NORMAL=NORMAL” -Billy Donovan, OKC

“YOU determine your value (wage) with what you bring to the table. Our paycheck is OUR responsibility” -Kevin Eastman

COACHING NUGGETS: FAVORITE QUOTES / SAYINGS:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better BE RUNNING. –African Proverb

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. –Nido Qubein

There is no passion to be found playing small – In settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. –Nelson Mandella

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. –Walt Disney

[bctt tweet=”Never let the pressures take away the pleasures. –Kelly Wells, UPIKE” username=”@coachkellywells”]

coaching nuggets by coach kelly wells

FIVE Components to be ALL IN:

1. Unselfishness –
o Remove “Me-ism”
o Sacrifice
o “Check your ego at the door; the only stat that matters is team success.
2. Compassionate –
o Nobody cares what you know until they know you care
o It not the VALUE you receive, but the VALUE you give to others.
3. Goal Oriented –
o A ship with no port of call is sure to get there—NOWHERE!
o Put your plans in writing! “Bucket List”
4. Togetherness –
o It amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit
o Amway Philosophy: How many people can you help be successful? In return you will be successful.
5. Leadership –
o Action / Not Position
o Be an authentic leader: Show you care, lead by example, develop leaders

Post Game Processing Sheet

Post Game Processing Sheet by Erick Blasing

Post game processing or the time period immediately following the game is an important window of opportunity for players to learn. Coach Erick Blasing shares a simple tool that he uses with his team to utilize this teaching time.

I mentioned in my last post that one of the best decisions I ever made as a coach in Sparta was to research “Train to Be Clutch” by Josh Metcalf and Jamie Gilbert. Their process is directing people to transformational leadership and increasing mental preparation for life. I am currently reading through their book, Burn Your Goals and it is fantastic. I highly recommend it. Please check out their site for more information on everything clutch as well as a lot of free resources:  http://t2bc.com/.

As a team we spent time pre-game as a team with no noise and used a simple visualization process to prepare for that night’s games.  While we used the pre-game routine every game we never rolled out the post game processing sheet. As I mentioned before, our pre-game went fantastic and made us a better team. The post-game form is very similar and something that I wish I would have utilized. I plan to implement this fully in the future.

I think a major piece that is often missing from teams is the ability to comprehend the ending of the game.

Often players will either internalize the responsibility for the game’s outcome or place blame on others around them to an extreme that is not proportional with reality.

Using the processing sheets, players can attempt to bring their emotions in check and understand what can be improved upon.

Game 2 of the Western Conference’s 2nd Round, San Antonio and Oklahoma City is a prime example of a game where post game processing could help the team improve. In a crazy ending that saw multiple missed calls against San Antonio, the Spurs still had a shot for the win in the end but did not prevail. While everyone is focusing on that high pressure ending with miscues and sloppy execution, processing sheets can help the players understand that in a 1 point loss, a turnover in the first half could have made the actual difference in the game. If you encounter a similar scenario, the processing sheet can help players look at the game with a clearer vision and understanding.

Coach Sherri Coale of the University of Oklahoma shared something very similar that they do every post game.

The post-game is a little more in-depth and would be very useful to have players complete immediately after the game or on the bus ride home.  These sheets would be a great help for the players during film study. I hope these help you and your team improve down the road!

Check out this link for your Post Game Processing Sheet

Enjoy the journey,

Erick