Friday, December 9, 2011


The following is an excerpt on an article written by Coach Ray Lokar on process oriented teaching.  It is an outstanding article and I hope you will click on the link at the bottom of this post to read all of the article in its entirety -- you won't regret it!

When I construct a practice I try to ensure my staff knows which drills, games, or activities are focusing on "teaching" and which we would like to be more competitive. In a *teaching* drill we want to stop instruct a bit more often than during a more competitive phase of practice. I like to treat these competitive sessions like a game, and you can't stop a game to correct every single thing. We want players to develop the confidence to be able to self-correct without waiting for a coaches instruction.

The best way for a coach to assist this process is to create "Effort Goals" instead of goals that are result based. Learning and improvement is more about the process than it is the outcome. For example, in basketball, we have a few non-negotiables that are all effort-based in nature. I encourage players to Be Big on the Little Things.

#1 - Stay in Stance - Always stay in stance. It is your point of maximum explosion. Be just like a track sprinter coming out of the blocks. Be ready to move. You will get open on offense more often. You will guard your man on defense easier. The lowest person usually wins.

#2 - Contest EVERY Shot - The only person who can score is the one with the ball. Go guard him even if he is not your man. Help your teammates when there man is open. Go guard him. Get a hand up on every shooter and contest the shot - even if it means leaving your feet, but don´t fall for a head fake too easily!

#3 - Two Hands - Catch the ball with two hands--concentrate on the catch before you do anything else. Rebound with 2 hands--and try for every one. Pick up a loose ball with 2 hands--pick it up, don´t dribble it. You will get more possessions for your team and each possession is another chance to score.

#4 - Run Hard - You will usually break the opponents will with your first three steps. Get ahead of the defense and your teammates will throw you the ball. It will help you get easy shots on offense with your fast break. If you beat the offense back, they may not even try to run their fast break. Getting back on defense will help stop their fast break

#5 - Pass to the first Open Teammate - Passing the ball is faster than dribbling it. If you move the ball, you make the defense adjust and they might make a mistake and leave someone (maybe you!) open. If you see an open teammate--throw them the ball. Don´t wait for a better pass. Remember - "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

Each of these five "non-negotiables" are effort based and something any player can decide to do without getting any better at any one particular skill. Just by making the effort to do these things, a player can actually be better - right now! When the player feels that improvement they will begin to develop more and more confidence. There are "little things" like this in all sports - and it's up to the coach to find them.

PLEASE read all of this outstanding article at: