Big Fuzzy Questions

Last year I had a job interview with a club. We discussed how the efficiency of practices could be developed, and I presented some ideas also presented in my e-book Complex Basketball Coaching.

Later when I thought about the interview I wasn’t too happy. I thought that what I suggested was maybe somewhat novel, yet unsatisfyingly conservative.

So I tried applying this viewpoint: if you had all the resources imaginable for research and performance analysis, what kind of big fuzzy questions should you start asking and solving? Questions that could lead to improving the efficiency of practices.

1) Why are there no high-volume shooters with a 3P% of high 60’s?

Or even high 50’s? Why do great shooters miss almost as often as poor shooters do?

The difference between a great and poor shooter may be just 10 percentage points – or just one shot in ten. How can great shooters become greater? Or if they can’t, why can’t they? What limits the improvement?

Through performance analysis we could find out where a player misses his shots – and by how much. Short, long, left, right? By how many inches? If we found clear tendencies, it might be possible for the player to learn to adjust his sight, like rifle shooters do.

2) How can we allow great defensive players to use all their defensive skills?

Defense tends to be very concept-oriented, more so than offense. Meaning that on defense, players must be at certain pre-determined spots and must do certain things no matter what their skills are.

How can we change this? How can we allow great defensive players to use all their defensive skills, their full potential? And yet keep the team defense together.

3) Why do not all players make great passes?

The performance analysis should find out what types of passes lead to turnovers. Passes from which position to which position? From whom to whom? In transition, in a set play, during a broken play?

Then there is a different set of questions for the coaches. Why are the passes made that lead to turnovers? What can be done to minimise the risk? Should we change the design of the offense? Or have players practice certain passing and receiving skills?

And there are more difficult questions: Why are certain passing opportunities missed? What types of beneficial passes are not even tried? Are there tendencies? What can be done improve the situation? What type of practice could lead to passing virtuosity?

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