With respect, I want to move forward. A brief story about Coach Development

 

I have to admit that my daily schedule could be boring for some people at the first look. In fact, for me is entirely enjoyable and this is why I feel the day is too short.

But, let me tell you what my routine is.

I woke up at 6:30, and after the kids are leaving for school, I drive my wife to her office. When I get back home is already 08:30. I make my coffee, I grab my breakfast, and I open my computer. From 08:30 to 13:00 I read, I study, I watch, I reflect, I plan, or I write (like now for example) everything that relates to basketball.

Around 13:00 I have my lunch sometimes in front of the computer, which I know that is not healthy, but the passion wins. After lunch I take a shower I am ready for the practice.

I go to Copenhagen International School where I am coaching right now the U16 and U8 teams. Usually, I start at 15:30. After I finish the practice, I take my kids, I pick up my wife, and we all go home around 18:00. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays I come back to the school at 19:30 to play basketball and soccer with some others.

In the other days of the week, I have dinner with my family and after I watch Euroleague or Eurocup games live or recorded. I go to bed around 23:00.

Looks boring? Not to me. The first half of the day is so enjoyable that sometimes I forget to take the lunch, maybe because my brain is like an endless sponge that never fills with water if we talk about basketball and what is related to coaching.

So, now that I told you my schedule, I will share my coach developmental plan, and what exactly I study and I do right now.

Since the starting point of every developmental plan is to assess the coach’s strengths and weaknesses, here are that I consider being mine:

Strengths:

  • Excellent understanding of the game,
  • I am pointed only to teach excellence,
  • I believe in developing strong core values for players as well as skills,
  • I am very passionate about what I do,
  • I am a long-term hard worker and also a team worker,
  • I am persistent and tenacious; I put all my effort to do something and keep doing it until the end, no matter how hard it is,
  • I have a tremendous amount of energy coming from my passion which I transmit to the players,
  • I understand correctly what the perfect technique should be for skills and tactics and what strategy to adopt for teaching them to every age level,
  • I am aware of Long Term Athlete Development Model,
  • I am resilient, and my wife recently told me while I was talking with her about coaching: “ You know what I like at you? You are so confident that I envy you! I don’t know how you do it!”, so I can also add confident,
  • I am very strict when I reflect on me, and I can self-evaluate with accuracy.

Now my weaknesses:

  • I have partial knowledge of Physiology and Nutrition,
  • I have incomplete knowledge of Motor Learning,
  • I have partial knowledge of Sports Psychology,
  • I have partial knowledge of Leadership or better how to train me as a leader,
  • Lack of practice for live game analysis and video analysis,
  • I have a lack of exercise in reading or getting information about an opponent in real time,
  • I didn’t study in detail all the major offensive and defensive systems used in the game,
  • I am not involved in a talent development program,
  • I don’t have a network of coach colleagues and clubs.

Let’s see what I do about these.

Right now, I am reading Positive Leadership, Motor Learning and Performance, and The Essentials of Strengths Training and Conditioning, all of them considered power books in their field.

After I finish, I want to read more books about Leadership and Sports Psychology.

I also bought a video analysis software, and I plan to use it once a week after I record a Euroleague game.

Also, I study in detail Triangle Offence with all its aspects and the way how different teams ran it, but also the way how to practice and implement it. I plan to study all the major offensive and defensive systems used in the game.

I will attend at the end of the month the first module of Masterclass with Erez Bittmann – The Denmark National Team Coach. The first module will take place where the men’s national team is in preparation for their upcoming game against Belarus. Several of the sessions will, therefore, use the men’s national team training as the medium. Coach Erez will be teaching most of the courses himself. I believe it is an excellent way to grow my knowledge and also to start creating my relational network.

I also plan to register for the FIBA Europe Coaching Certificate Programme, although I have all the paper requirements I am still working in finding a way to attend it.

I left for the end the part with practicing of getting information about the opponent.

I consider that everything we do in this world, starting with walking as babies requires practice. So I decided to practice it.

First, I will stop watching Euroleague basketball as a fan and limiting to observe particular plays or o recognize some actions and to say: Wow! From now on I will analyze in detail every game that I will watch.

How will I do it? I will use the following form as a tool, and I will take notes on it:

 

Opponent My notes
Team Defence  
“Man-to-Man” Defence  
aggressive or passive?  
pressure on the ball?  
get to the “split line”?  
rotate to “help the helper”?  
“block out”?  
double team post players?  
deny passing lanes  
release early to trigger a fast break  
guard ball screens (switch, double, through, over or push)  
guard off ball screens (switch, through, under or over)  
Zone Defence  
alignment  
trapping?  
do they deny foul line area  
do they deny short corner  
are they easily screened  
Press Defence  
alignment  
pick up point  
trapping areas  
trigger (free throw, time-out, score)  
Particular game situations Example:

10 points down with a few minutes to play, they went to full court press

 

Team Offence  
Fast break  
do they look to break?  
What triggers it?  
Half court  
What alignment?  
How well do they move the ball?  
Do they cut well?  
Offensive Sets  
do they play any particular set or action (e.g., ”Flex” or “Horns”)  
How do they signify what play to use (verbal or visual signs)?  
Tempo – are they a controlled team or do they prefer a quick pace?  
Do they chase offensive rebounds – guards, forwards  
Are they organized against a zone defense – do they look for inside shots or outside shots?  
What screens do they use?

Do they “screen the screener”?

 
Opponent players  
Which is their preferred hand?

Are they a “shooter” or a “driver”?

Do they look to pass?

Which direction do they prefer to drive (often a right-hand player may prefer to drive to their left)

Do they “block out” in defensive rebounding situations? Do they chase offensive rebounds?

Are they a screener or do they receive screens?

Do post players turn to their left or right or face the basket?

 

 

I found this tool in a FIBA Coaching Book, and I find it very useful for my goal.

After each note, I will try to think of what should I do if I would be the other team coach and I will compare my thoughts with the coach actions.

This plan is my Own Developmental Strategy, and I am aware that every plan supports a lot of changes and adjustments and I am pretty sure that in time will be more consistent.

In the end, I don’t know how far I can go. But here is the thing:

With respect, I want to MOVE FORWARD!

And I believe you want it too.

Never move back!

MOVE FORWARD! MOVE FORWARD! MOVE FORWARD! …

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