Thinking too much
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Author:  Coach Rob [ 29 Jan 2013, 14:51 ]
Post subject:  Thinking too much

My son is a good player, he's 6'1, has a good outside shot, can take it to the hoop and understands how to play physical basketball. Currently playing 8th grade highest competitive level.

One thing I've been seeing and my assistant coach notices also is he'll think to much on the court. For example, he'll flash to the elbow and receive the pass, turn and square up, but not make a move, even if his guy isn't challenging him. He can make that shot all day. He's definitely a threat when his instincts take over, but I see him hesitate which is all the defense needs to recover. When he gets the ball in the paint or near it, usually it's a score or he's on the FT line, but lately he's been kicking the ball back out. Could be the competition is a lot better since we're playing up, which would make sense.

I tell him before games to relax, have fun, and just play like he was on the street with his friends. I can tell he tenses up when I give him that advice, like he's aware that he's too mechanically out on the court. Honestly, I just want to see him loosen up and have fun. He seems too tense out there.

Do I need to give him rules that when he gets the ball in or near paint, it's time to just make a move?

Any thoughts?

Author:  Coach Sar [ 29 Jan 2013, 15:23 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Rob - remind him that this is a game.. go out and have FUN!

When you get the ball in or near the paint... make your best move and go for it! Make or Miss, give it your best shot - no pun intended.

Coach Rob wrote:
Could be the competition is a lot better since we're playing up, which would make sense.

Or maybe someone on his team has said something to him?? Somebdody questioning the number of shots he takes? Just a thought.

Has his behavior changed at home or in school? Something else going on in his life that you don't know about? Teenagers aren't too talkative when it comes to personal things. Take him out for a high school game and a pizza etc.... and have fun, see where the conversation goes.

Author:  JeffHaefner [ 30 Jan 2013, 07:04 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

As I read this the first through that came to mind is that he should go to a Don Kelbick basketball camp. Most of the camp is about mentality, not worrying about mistakes, and aggressiveness. Pretty unique.

Beyond that I can try teach the "attack and counter" mentality yourself.

With my players (who are not related to me, which can make a big difference), here's how I handle it...

We run lots of shooting drills that require you to make a certain # (ex: 6 out of 10) before moving back. We do a 2 up 2 back drill. We do some competitive shooting drills. You essentially figure out a players range, who can shot, and who can't shoot. Here's what I had this year...

- One kid who is playing competitive ball for the first time. He consistently makes shots in practice and gets all the way back to 3pt line in the drill. But he won't shoot outside in scrimmages or games. I talked to him and explained that we have proof from practice he can make it from outside. And he needs to start shooting when he's open. It's no big deal if you miss. He still didn't shoot. So one time he turned down a shot and then made a turnover. I yelled at him for not shooting. He shot the next shot and it went over the backboard!! :) One week later, we did another competitive shooting drill. He got second place and a Gatorade. He was lights out. Now he is shooting outside in both practice and games.

- Another kid has always played inside. Now he needs to play both. Won't shoot outside. Same thing in drills. He gets out there in drills but won't shoot in games. All I had to do was explain that we have proof he can make that shot and he should be shooting it in games. That's all it took.

- Another kid has struggled shooting this year. He has an outside shot and floater. He hasn't been pulling the trigger on his outside shot and floater as often. After he had an open shot for his floater and turned it over (because he didn't shoot), I really got on him and told him he better start shooting. I explained the exact play where he could have shot his floater. Next time down the court he had the same play and nailed it. Ended up having a nice game.

I don't know if this helps but that's kinda how it has gone down for us. I always tell kids, if you're open shoot! If you have an open lane to drive... then drive!!!

Author:  Coach Sar [ 30 Jan 2013, 11:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Great ideas Jeff - I think its all about us as coaches instilling confidene in our players.....Rob, along with all this, I would tell your son to TRUST HIS INSTINCTS. He didn't get this far by being afraid to shoot .... he got there because he was aggressive. Whats that old saying... " You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. " You can find a lot of quotes from Michael Jordon about shooting and how many big shots he has missed.... but you can bet he was never afraid to take it.

Good luck and I hope the things that Jeff has sent to you and my thoughts will help.

Author:  Coach Rob [ 30 Jan 2013, 13:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Great input from both of you. Sar, I was thinking someone might have said something or about possible changes at school or home. He's doing great in school and even has a few girls bugging him. I'm a stellar dad, so that can't be the problem. ;) Being a dad/coach can be extremely tough though.

I honestly think it's a confidence issue. Strange, because I never get on my kids about missing shots, unless it's their third attempt at a 3 pointer or they just threw it up hoping for a foul while under the basket. Other than that, I tell them to shoot. It's possible a teammate said something, but we have really good kids and I've only heard them razz each other in practice about an occasionally airball.

The more I think about it, I really don't emphasize the shooting aspect as much as I should. In practice, we really haven't gone over the drills in your link Jeff with any kind of emphasis. The entire article makes sense and I can honestly say, I've never taught this way. Makes me wonder if I've given them enough tools to feel confident about shooting. I will take a hard look at your link Jeff.

Back on the dad/coach thing (that's a great topic for another thread). Obviously I was joking about being a stellar dad. I'd like to think I've been a good dad to my son, however, I've been his coach for the past 9 years. That in itself can be a slippery slope if one is not careful. It was pretty easy when we were at the rec levels, but when we bumped up to the competitive levels several years back, it was tougher to be that chill dad/coach.

I try hard to chill and just enjoy watching him play, but that's easier said than done. I'm not a jerk, but I've gotten in his face a few times more than I would another player because he's my son. I always make sure he's cool after a game and reassure him all of that is back on the court and done. We move on with our day and I think he's ok with everything. We have other shared interests outside of basketball, so my hope is that helps to put this whole 8th grade basketball thing in perspective for both of us. I learned early on, the car ride after the game isn't the time to critique. It's been a unique learning process for me as a father and coach. Humbling would be a good word to describe it.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 30 Jan 2013, 14:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Rob - You have a tough gig... coaching your son for 9 years... wow... I cant imagine coaching someone for that long unless its Michael Jordon. :-)

You have to remember that your son has a lot of thiings going on in his life now,,,, teenager, hormones, girls, school and NOW his dad coaching him AGAIN. :-) They have so many things going on in their lives. I wonder what he and the rest of the kids are thinking about that??? You sound like a caring person/dad and coach to all those kids.

My suggestion to you for when things get a little dicey ( and I tell all coaches this - darn, where was this advice when I was coaching haha ) TAKE A STEP BACK before you make any rash decisions or comments.... and try to treat him the same as everyone else on the team. I know that can be tough, thats your SON. Like I said before, go out after the game, pizza or even just some ice cream, anything to cut the tension..... don't bring up the game, talk some fun stuff... you could kid him like this... " how is your girlfriend? " I say that sometimes to a kid (13 now ) and his reply is KEN!!!
LOL .... then I laugh.

Coaching is humbling in itself.... let alone coaching your son. And its even worse when it somebody we REALLY CARE AB0UT. Instead of talking to your son about shooting ( at home ) talk to him about being a leader on the team, somebody who will step up and lead the way for the rest of the team. There are a lot of good players out there.... but how about being a good player and a leader.

I just got an e mail from an X player when he was on my sophomore team... a lot of small talk about playing for me and his son who is a bball junkie. He is 10 and a good player according to his dad... aren't they all good. :-) I suggested that he work with his son about being a leader too.... the game along with life is short on good leaders!
He is now a Dentist with a good practice, he goes around and gives motivational talks too... I am very happy for him and proud. He will be in Chicago in mid March, we are going to meet for lunch, should be fun.

Author:  Coach Rob [ 30 Jan 2013, 17:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Coach Sar - great advice as usual. Much appreciated and needed.

Jeff - appreciate the links, using some of that in tonight's practice.

Author:  Coach Sar [ 31 Jan 2013, 19:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Coach Rob -

Let us know how this goes... good luck.

Author:  officemanager3514 [ 02 May 2016, 13:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Thinking too much

Great Comments. I truly appreciate the positive reaction to thinking too much.

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