Utilizing Differential Learning in Basketball Training

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Up to a point, variability enhances the efficiency of motor skill practice, and differential learning enhances the variability. Thus the differential learning method should be utilized in basketball training.

However, in praxis you can’t just start doing differential learning even if you wanted to. Rather you need to run drills where the method is utilized. Traditionally, such drills are not a part of a basketball coach’s repertoire.

Another practical problem is that the variability needs to take place day in and day out. Thus, coaches need to plan it daily. That is why differential learning drills should be such that varying them they day to day does not take much time.

Here are two such drills – one with the emphasis on passing, the other with the emphasis on shooting. The key is that the variability in both is achieved by drawing different variations from a list put together beforehand, maybe over several years.

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Complexity, Creativity, and Everything

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“Basketball is interaction between the two teams and the rules of basketball.”

That was my definition of basketball I wrote in a previous blog. In this blog, I tried to justify the aforementioned definition. Then I discussed what it implied regarding coaching, practicing, and playing basketball.

Questions about complexity, collectivism, creativity, variability, and mindfulness emerged. All the way through, I drew practical conclusions from the theoretical musings.

As James C. Maxwell remarked: “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.”

I wrote this piece by piece. The last addition was made on Monday May 1. The update starts with the subheading Practical Conclusions, Part 5: Always Consider the Context.

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Improving Andre Drummond’s Free Throw

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In a previous blog entry, I wrote about shooting and practicing shooting at a general level. Here I try to show how to implement those ideas into a real-life situation.

To make this concrete and familiar, let’s have a look at a much-publicized dilemma: an NBA player’s free throw shooting technique that is flawed and produces bad results. In other words, let’s look at Andre Drummond’s free throw shooting.

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Remarks on Shooting and Practicing Shooting

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This entry is an attempt to combine some principles and some nuts and bolts regarding shooting and practicing shooting. Originally, I published this post in March 2015.

In November 2015 I put it back together piece by piece and also added some new remarks. The latest additions were made on Monday Nov 30. Drills related to this entry can be found in this blog entry.

Shooting Accuracy and Efficiency Are Not the Same Thing

For starters we must define the primary goal of shooting practice. That definition is a prerequisite for any intelligent discussion about the subject. That is because if we do not know exactly what shooting practice should accomplish, it is impossible to assess its efficiency.

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Ideas on Building a Fast Fast Break Offense

All solid offenses run breaks that are fast up to a point. In this entry I’m trying to see how we could accelerate the offense beyond the point set by conventional wisdom. This is where the title comes from: “fast fast break offense” refers to an offense that is visibly faster than a solid, reasonable offense on the average.

I am writing and posting entry this piece by piece, chapter by chapter. The 14th and last chapter Improve Relevant Techniques was posted on Friday March 9. Please let me know if you spot loopholes in my thinking or if you want to share some of your ideas.

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Let Us Re-imagine Basketball

We should re-imagine basketball.

The current equipment and rules are designed to suit men’s top level. Elite players can go coast-to-coast in a flash, palm the ball, throw end-to-end passes, dunk the ball thunderously, hit threes as if they were lay-ups. You know, do all kinds of cool stuff.

The rest – kids, women, recreational male players – are left with a ball game that’s nice not really suited for them. This could be changed. We could modify the rules so that players of all levels would get to really enjoy the game.

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Coach, Why Do We Practice This?

Recently I started putting together a practice plan, as I usually do. This time it proved to be a laborious task because I couldn’t stop asking this question:

What should players practice?

This wasn’t just an acute question regarding the content of that particular session. Rather the question concerned me at a more general level. Meaning, what types of tasks should be included? Scrimmaging, running, ball-handling, shooting, defensive footwork? Yes? No?

And, most importantly, why?

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