Developing players is a futuristic project. We need to prepare players to face the challenges of high-performance basketball as it is played in the year of 2020. Or 2025. Even 2030 is only sixteen years away…
At the moment, the game is changing at a furious pace due to e.g. the breakthrough of the performance analytics. Looking back just a few years, it was a wholly different game.
So how should we go about developing future top-performance players when we do not know what the future top-performance basketball will be like?
At least these things should be considered:
The tactics and techniques that the players learn today probably will not serve them until the end of their career. Everything must be varied and modified – during a career and, as a reflection of that, during every practice session. Continuous motor learning is a necessity, and hence motor learning skills should be emphasized in player development.
Whatever else will happen in the evolution of basketball down the lane, the game will probably become quicker and quicker. Hence players must also become quicker – not just physically but also tactically and technically quicker. We should e.g. critically assess every single technique we teach: Is there a quicker way to do this?
The higher the level of play, the more important it becomes to realize what a player’s future position will be, what the skill requirements will be at that position, and what he will need to do to excel at the required skills.
There have been arguments that in the future, positions will disappear – that all players will be interchangeable. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Here are some comments on the subject.
The next time around I’ll discuss how these predictions, if taken seriously, should affect training at… let’s say #3 position.