Thursday, April 18, 2013


The following comes from Mike Neighbor's most recent newsletter -- simply one of the best things out there for coaches wanted to learn their craft.  This particular post comes from notes used by Mike when he spoke at the Canadian Super Conference on Skill Development -- it's really good stuff!

Thanks Mike!

Skill Development is not a few magical drills or some mystical Yoda-like training session. It’s a constant, consistent relationship between coach and player where the player is taken out of their comfort zone to a place they never knew they could go. It’s a relationship built around trust. It’s a relationship that requires as much of the coach as it does of the player.

Today I hope to give you some thoughts on how to make the map, plan the path, and then execute.

1) Identify and state the end objective for each individual

2) Determine manageable and measureable criteria for determining success

3) Set sequence of steps necessary to reach the objective

4) Determine tactics and situations that will motivate each individual to reach the objective

5) Get to practice

Throughout the clinic today, I will reference two actual situations from last season’s skill development sessions as we were transitioning from Xavier University to the University of Washington. Regina Rogers will be our example for post players. Jaz Davis will be our example for perimeter players.

1) You must have core skills in place and mastered to reach the next level but not why you think.

- when do you do your best thinking?

2) We try to be 5% better at 10 things rather than being THE BEST at one thing.

- choose wisely and focus. You will get what you tolerate.

3) Spend 80% of our time on the most important 20%.

- Pete Carril "Be good at things you have to do a lot"

4) Activity is often mistaken for productivity.

- an hour practicing something that doesn't help meet objective is an hour wasted

5) Drill for mastery.

- fill time in a workout is a cardinal sin of coaching

6) HARD WORK is the most over evaluated attribute in skill development.

- as coaches we tend to give too much credit to a hard worker who doesn’t produce and give too much scrutiny to players who make things look easy. Hard worker can be disguised as poor practice habits if you examine closely

7) A talented player is often mistaken for a player with good practice habits.

- the Amber Harris syndrome…

8) Beware of the skill development coach… there are GREAT ones and there are BAD ones

- anyone with cool gear and Photoshop can charge 75.00 an hour and someone will pay

9) Have a 5 to 1 Practice to Play ratio

- very hard with the above mentioned skill coaches and 100 game summer schedule

10) 7 Laws of Learning all mention a "willing participant as a LAW"

- there are 100’s of different LAWS but this one is common to almost every one you find

11) If you are a feeder program or have control of yours:

-don’t let players shoot on a 8 ft goal until they can shoot with proper form on a 7 foot goal

-use the smallest ball available until hands are big enough to handle it

-don’t keep score (at least traditional ways) until they can pass, dribble, AND shoot

-cover up the three point line until half the league can shoot with proper form

-make sure you and your players are visible