August Coaching Nuggets

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Here’s the best stuff I’ve come across the last month or so…

Buzz Williams (Virginia Tech): Don’t lament that players have changed. Don’t expect them to adjust to your teaching style. You should adjust to their learning style.
Terry Stotts (Portland Trail Blazers): The toughest thing as a coach is you want to exploit a team’s weaknesses, but at the same time, you don’t want to get away from doing what you do best. That’s a fine line you have to walk.
Mike MacDonald (Daemen): Often times your best coaching/teaching is to play 5-on-5 and manipulate the scoring to what you’re trying to teach emphasize (examples: turnovers = -5; offensive rebounds = +3; made catch & shoot three-pointers = +5).
Kelvin Sampson (Houston): I think the old adage “the worse your talent, the slower you should play” is wrong. With bad offensive talent, if you sit in the half-court and try to grind out possessions, you’ll end up shooting 35% percent because your guys can’t generate enough high-percentage looks and will be forced into (low-percentage) late clock situations. When your talent is bad, I say you should play faster and get those players in the open floor for high percentage transition opportunities.
Kevin Eastman (Los Angeles Clippers): The foot gives you the advantage, the ball creates the separation.
Tom Richardson (Pitt): We are very technical with teaching the footwork of shooting, but will refrain from tinkering with player’s shooting motion (a guy’s shooting stroke is a very complex motion). We’ll work a good deal downstairs, but leave the upstairs alone.
Mike D’Antoni (Houston Rockets): Illegal screens are the big’s fault. If the guard goes earlier than expected, don’t feel you need to hit that guy. Just turn and go (roll to the rim).
Sue Enquist (former UCLA Softball head coach): Our calling as coaches is to affect the way our players believe in themselves.
John Calipari (Kentucky): The assistant coaches on a staff should be each other’s PR directors (“Our guy does a GREAT job with the bigs”)
Dave Paulsen (Bucknell): Coaches ask me all the time, “Give me a good backdoor. Give me a good screen-the-screener.” Your best sets will come directly out of your offense. Where’s a spot in your offense where a guard is on his own side of the floor coming to the ball? There’s your backdoor. Start with what you run and add actions on top of it for your sets/counters.

Past Editions:
July 2015 Coaching Nuggets
August 2015 Coaching Nuggets
September 2015 Coaching Nuggets
October 2015 Coaching Nuggets
Final 2015 Coaching Nuggets
March 2016 Coaching Nuggets
April 2016 Coaching Nuggets
June 2016 Coaching Nuggets

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