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May 5th, 2016

10 In A Row Passing Drill - Mike MacKay

This competitive drill improves spacing, passing, pivoting, moving without the ball, cutting, communication, and decision making. There are many variations that can be...

Villanova's Horns Curl Play

This play is from the 2016 national champion Villanova Wildcats and coach Jay Wright. Wright, one of the best coaches in college basketball today, called for the Wildcats to run their Horns Curl Play in their...
Mailbag, Feedback, and Other Resources

In today's newsletter, we have...
  • Record-breaking video sale & “Best Skill Development DVDs I Own, hands down.”
  • Moving up players in high school basketball - should you do it?

Record-Breaking Sale and “Best skill development DVDs I own, hands down.”

In mid-March, we had a record-breaking sale. And this is a little surprising considering that the DVD wasn’t brand new.

It was Don Kelbick’s Attack & Counter Skill Development System. So what happened? Why did everybody start buying?

For the first time ever, we did a detailed, educational series on the Attack & Counter System. If you’re interested, you can see the 5-part series here, here, here, here, and here. From the feedback we got, you really liked this because we explained Don’s unorthodox methods in detail. In addition, we showed how all of the methods connected together, how this amplified the effectiveness of his system, and how this accelerates skill development.

And we are still getting great feedback. This one just rolled in.

Best skill development DVDs I own, hands down. We spend so much time putting our guys’ reaction mode....this program helps me breakthrough and apply an attack philosophy to individual development as well now.

Mike from Coon Rapids, MN says (5-Star Rating)

Moving up players in high school basketball - should you do it?

In a recent article on Jeff Haefner’s Coaching Blog, there was a discussion on how to handle moving up players in high school basketball. Here is the conversation...

Dan says...

OK, this is the 3rd time I have tried to post this comment. I hope I get it right this time! I have coached at a small school for almost 20 years. You mentioned in this article that you moved up 3 freshmen. We have this issue come up all the time, at all grade levels. Here are some of the points that get thrown around. 1) Were the 3 players who moved up the best players on the freshmen team? 2) Do they start on the sophomore team when they come up? 3) Was their experience on the sophomore team more worthwhile for them, than it would have been with their peers on the freshmen team? 4) When moved up, did they take time away from sophomores who would have played more? 5) How can players be expected to develop, if younger players are moved up into their grade? 6) Is there a certain grade where such a move does make sense (is it high school)? 7) Does it make sense to make these moves with younger players, like 6th, 7th, 8th graders? 8) What criteria do you use to move players up? Do they have to dominate at their grade level? Or, if they are better than the player ahead of them (in the next grade, that is)? We have made a lot of these moves. Some of them worked, and some of them didn't. The reasons for moving them up were never quite the same. I just wondered how you guys decided to do this. And, if anybody else has a comment about it--I would appreciate it.

Jeff responds with...

Dan - Those are all great questions that a coach needs to ask when making a decision on whether to move players up. Every situation is unique and I think the answer to those questions changes depending on the year, team, and situation.

In our situation, we only had 6 sophomores available to play. So moving up freshman was a no brainer. In our case we moved up the players we thought were both the best at that time and also would fit in with the rest of the team. If they move up, they are going to play. 2 freshman started and 1 came in off the bench. We had an 8 player rotation... they played fairly equal minutes. 1 soph (the 9th guy) did lose lots of playing time since we moved up the freshman. He was not ready in my opinion... I gave him chances to earn a spot in the rotation during the course of season but he did not do what it takes to earn that spot. That's just how I do things... right or wrong. And I hope players learn from the situation whether they succeed or fail.

In our case, moving up the 3 freshman was a great move. With only 6 players, I am not a good enough coach to get players extremely hard on the offensive and defensive end for the entire 32 minute game. Maybe someone else can do that but for me it's tough. We had an 8 player rotation and all the players played extremely tough and hard on defense. If they did not, they sat on the bench. They usually played in 3-6 min stretches. I feel like having 6 is not enough and the players would have picked up bad habits and played fundamentally unsound basketball. So again, it was a great move for everyone except maybe one player.

I don't have good answers to these questions. Like you, sometimes we make good decisions and sometimes not. There's always a balance of giving players chances and opportunities... and creating the best competitive environment that you can. And you hope that you handle things in the right way so players learn and grow as people whether they succeed or fail. I think sometimes you learn more from failing (not getting playing time, starting, or making the team) than you do from succeeding.

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