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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

MEASURING WHAT'S IMPORTANT AT PRACTICE

I'm a big believer in the proper usage of statistics.  Yesterday I posted on the importance of "deflections" to let Rick Pitino know about the effectiveness of his team.  We also chart deflections -- in practice as well as in games.  As you will read below, if something is important to measure in a game, it should certainly be important to measure in practice.  Here is a post I wrote some time ago on practice stats.  From the book "Practice Perfect" are more thoughts on charting practices.

You should measure two things:

1. The effectiveness of your practice
Does doing something in practice actually enable people to do it in performance?

2. Practicing the right things. 
Are you practicing the things that need to be practiced in order to improve performance?

The typical coach will often watch a game as an unfolding narrative.  Coaches may look back at a game and have a general idea of how it went:  "We played well."  "We struggled to play together as a team."  "We had trouble on defense."  But to determine what it is that you should be practicing, you should look at games (or lessons, surgeries, or sales pitches) as a series of date points.  Instead of subjectively evaluating how your team played, look for specific data that reflects the skills you have practiced.  For example, how many players made diagonal runs? How many teachers asked their students to do something again if they didn't have 100% participation?  How many times did a particular sales strategy result in a sale?

Collecting and measuring date on performance post-practice allows you to evaluate your own effectiveness in facilitating practice.

From "Practice Perfect" by Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway and Katie Yezzi

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