Friday, October 5, 2012


I love practice - I absolutely love practice.  I love helping our players learn and understand how to most effectively use their unique gifts and talents.  Practice is the ultimate classroom for players and there is so many ways to deliver your message in this environment.  Sometimes a direct message from you to the players is enough to get the job done and sometimes we as coaches let the players figure things out on their own.  I love when players have that "Ah Haaah" moment on their own and all you have to do is point out the lesson already learned.  A great example of this happened yesterday in practice.  The following is a transcript of exactly what happened:

We are doing a 5 x 0 drill.  One of our post players is running hard down the middle of the floor "main street" and seals the coach holding a pad to receive a "paint / post catch." While that is going on our other "BIG" is settling into the top of the key area, "trail spot."  The post player gets the ball locates middle as she is taught while the trail big stays at the top of the key.  The post player then begins to go to a drop step to the middle as the trail big begins to dive to the opposite block.  The post player then stops.  The trail big then stops.  The post player goes to some uncertain weak unaggressive shot while the trail big stands in the paint.  I blow the whistle.

"Hold up," I say..... "Hold up." as I hold out my hands to signal for the ball to be passed to me.  I tuck it under my arm and begin walking back down the court.
"Let's go back..... we're alright," I say in my most calm and soothing voice.  "We have a great thing here." The players all give me a quizzical look.
"Our post player got a post catch there," I say pointing to the post area.  I turn to the post player, "Did you want to score that?"
"No," she said.  "I wanted to pass it to the trail diving."
I turned to the trail post player and asked, "Did you think your post player was going to score?"
"Yeah," she said.
"Okay - this is great!" I exclaim again being met with 16 quizzical looks.  "We now have another absolute to add to our list of things we know for certain........ Our post player and our trail person..... Those 2 players....." (I pause for dramatic effect)  "DO NOT HAVE MENTAL TELEPATHY!"
(chuckles from the team)
"They don't!" I say.  "And know we all now know that!" "So we are gonna have to TALK," I say once again very calmly, a Louisiana drawl making a slight appearance in my delivery.
"Me and the guy who drives the ice cream truck in my neighborhood, we may have mental telepathy because he always seems to show up when I am in need of a little treat!" I exclaim in a rising tone to laughter from the team, the quizzical looks now turning to looks of understanding with that "Ah Haah" moment firmly established on their faces.  
"But we now know you two players do not!" 
"Let's GO!" I yell as I throw the ball back up off the rim to start the drill, and the players emphatically and enthusiastically talk to each other while racing down the floor intent on using their new found knowledge for the rest of practice and hopefully the rest of the season.

The message behind this story..... I have yet to meet players who have mental telepathy.  Get your team to talk....... Get your employees to talk........ It absolutely takes guessing and misunderstanding out of the equation and gives your organization the best chance to always stay on the same page!


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