Flashback from 2012: The Era of One Truth

This is the blog entry The Era of One Truth as it was posted in 2012.

Henrik Dettmann’s One Truth is bad for Finnish basketball.  That’s the conclusion I come to in my article in Kymen Sanomat August 1st 2012.

I write about the so called Our Way (Meidän tapa in Finnish), or the playing system of the Finnish basketball national teams.

One of my points is that the Our Way hinders the success of youth national teams. It’s obvious, isn’t it: you can’t use the same system of play with wholly different teams and expect to succeed. It just doesn’t work that way.

Plus the Our Way is not that great a system to begin with.

The Our Way includes a somewhat outdated type of “aggressive” man-to-man defense: force baseline, double the post, hard hedge on the pick and rolls.  At the offensive end the Our Way is a version of the triangle offense.

Why should we put our faith into this stuff?

Well, because of the halo effect. Head coach and sports director Henrik Dettmann has achieved so much with the German and Finnish national teams that even his not-so-good ideas – like Our Way – are taken dead seriously, too.

So far the Our Way has been good to the men’s national team, but that’s bound to change. (About the secrets of the success I write in the Kymen Sanomat article.) Dettmann has driven Finnish basketball into an era of One Truth, the one truth being the Our Way.

The junior national teams play in the B divisions of the Euro Championships. So the young Finnish players are not getting the experience and exposure they need to develop optimally.

Capable coaches who will not go along with the Our Way are being left out in the cold. As the critical voices get muted, the development of the Finnish basketball slows down.

The Finnish Basketball Association has put in a rule concerning the level of coaching education the head coaches at different levels must possess. And the Association has a monopoly on providing that education. So, in the long run, the Association chooses who has the opportunity to coach in the best Finnish leagues.

This how we have entered the era of One Truth. The problem with all one truths is that they are never truths but always illusions.

2 thoughts on “Flashback from 2012: The Era of One Truth

  1. Interesting thoughts Coach.
    I wonder what other coaches from Finland think about your thoughts in this article?
    Secondly, from your perspective what is a better approach? I am just curious.
    Thank you.
    Alan Keane

    1. Alan, I re-posted this entry from 8 years back because there’s now some discussion about the subject in Finland (and in Finnish). The entry provides some context for the current discussion. But coach development within an organisation remains an interesting and relevant subject. As an answer to your question, I’ll put together a blog entry where I’ll discuss indoctrination and critical thinking, variability and common features in coaching within an organisation.

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