New Age Skills for New Age Players

“Teaching the new age player old school skills.” That’s what they promise to do at the 76ers Skills Academy.

This is a common assumption. That the young players should acquire the same technical skills their predecessors did.

Yes, they should. A two-handed chest pass is still needed, and so.

But in addition to old school technical skills, new age skills are needed, too. Otherwise, how can people effectively play new age basketball?

On the average, coaches are slow to adapt their technical teachings according to the new age skill demands. So, if a coach or an organisation does that well and quickly, they can create a competitive edge.

It’s impossible to know exactly where basketball is heading. Also, it’s heading into different directions in different contexts. Yet here are some suggestions for new age technical skills.

Offense

  • Shooting 3PA from deep beyond the 3P line.
  • Go & catch versus close-outs.
  • Accelerated passing techniques (e.g. one-handed passes and no-follow-through chest pass).
  • Utilising extra spin on the ball when passing and dribbling.
  • Finishing above the rim off alley-oops and offensive rebounds.

Defense

  • Chasing shooters off the 3P line.
  • Contesting jump shots without fouling.
  • Contesting passes the offensive player makes to her side (i.e. not just penetrating passes).
  • Defending above the rim (e.g. grabbing shots as they bounce off the rim and deflecting alley-oop passes).

These are definable technical skills, or skills that some players are already using. So they are new age skills whose new age is already here.

More interestingly, there are undefinable new age skills. Skills whose new age isn’t here yet. Skills that in the future, players will need, learn and utilise technical skills even though the skills don’t exist at the moment.

How can we prepare them for learning that type of skills? Though we don’t know what those skills will be? And though players are still learning technical skills they need right now?

That really is something to think about.

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