Monday, February 14, 2011

Coaching Basketball

In this dribbling drill, the kids have to go around sitting teammates in a weaving fashion. It's fun, especially when the kids try all kinds of "modifications" to stymie the ballhandler. One kid sitting on the edge actually moved next to the wall to prevent anyone from passing him. I thought of the line from Lord of the Rings: "You shall not pass!" :-)

Update: if we apply a legal perspective to the dribbling drill, we can see that some people will always try to game the rules, which is why laws ought to be as narrowly-defined as possible. In other words, the key issue in drafting a law isn't the potential good it can cause, but the potential harm "gamers" can cause.

Also, I just realized I posted this on Valentine's Day. I suppose I like the practice of law, but I love coaching basketball. It's so much fun being able to correct a kid's shooting form or defensive stance and see the player improve within a few hours. Even the advanced players benefit from coaching. I had one kid who is amazing on offense, but not so much on defense (he's smaller compared to others at his grade level). I taught him to immediately go back on defense and try to steal the ball from behind if he gets beat. He did it on Saturday, getting back on defense, stealing the ball, and changing the momentum of a very close game.

Just out of curiosity, if anyone reading this in 2011 has an available job coaching 2nd to 6th graders in basketball anywhere in the world, please let me know. Why 2nd to 6th? I don't have experience coaching 7th to 10th graders, and beyond the 10th grade, coaching is more about physical conditioning, adopting the correct style of play to maximize your players' skill sets, and teamwork than fundamental skills.

Also, pre-hormones, from a teaching perspective, kids are wonderful. By the third grade, they start to get their own personalities and quirks, which is fun to see. After the sixth grade, however, most teenagers tend to immediately rebel against authority, making teaching fundamental skills more difficult. The lesson? Teach 'em when they're young, because after elementary school, if they haven't learned the basic skills, it might very difficult to play catch-up.

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