Basketball Queensland’s Club Coach Development Manager, Peter Pollock, spent some time with the Cavalier’s Basketball Club Coaches on the court with their players giving some insight into the value of using games rather than drills to maximize learning and retention of skills for games.
At the junior level, statistics have revealed turnovers become a key factor in determining the outcome in a game. A lot of those turnovers come off the back of poor pivoting and passing. This game made the learning exciting and incorporated a bunch of other concepts and skills in the process (evasion skills, awareness of space, communication and teamwork). Coaches learnt how to manipulate the games by altering the rules to achieve a desired outcome whether it was, to ensure a player was successful or make it more challenging for more experienced players, by constructing an advantage or disadvantage, or by changing the space or limiting the use of certain skills or enforcing time constraints or the points scoring system for each game.
Motor learning research has shown that by executing skills in a “game like” or “random” manner rather than in a specific isolated manner (in “blocks”) when doing repetitions of a skill, the process, has a far better retention and carry over of those skills into a game, because players have to make a read, devise a plan and then do the skill.
Peter Lonergan’s (Basketball Australia’s High-Performance Coach) decision-making shooting game was popular with Austin Worship’s U9 Cavalier’s team. Coach Worship was able to adapt the game to suit the needs of his players. He found that players started to prepare better for the shot and learnt when to pass and when to shoot.
“Players started to anticipate when they were going to shoot and started to communicate better with their team mates”, Coach Austin said.
Club Coach Development Manager Peter Pollock had this to say about the change in the Cavaliers U9 team in just a few weeks,
“Just by changing the nature of drills to make it more game like, Coach Austin now has an environment that has more energy, more engagement and more excitement at training. The players have had, as many or more repetitions then before, but also created opportunities for his players to develop essential decisions on “when” and “where” a skill can be executed and not just the “how” a skill is executed. It was great to see Coach Worship, in the third week, change the rules slightly to make it work better for his group”.
“‘Game sense coaching’ is a fun way for parents to feel comfortable coaching their kids’ team even if they don’t have the technical knowledge. The game will teach them to find the right skill or the right decision for a solution to a situation. All the coach has to do is introduce the games and enjoy watching them learn!”
If you feel that your local club could benefit from some coaching from Basketball Queensland’s Club Coach Development Manager, Peter Pollock, please contact us today!