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  • Jack Fleming

Brett Brown — Annual Coaches Clinic

Clinic notes from thePhiladelphia Annual Coach the Coaches Clinicin 2016, lead by Head Coach Brett Brown. Some great phrases and coaching points that will help you with your team. The clinic video and more resources are at the bottom of the page.

Pygmalion Effect

  • When we expect certain behaviours of others, we are likely to act in ways that make the expected behaviour more likely to occur.

  • A coach can have a profound impact on a players life.

Coaching Your Best Player

  • There needs to be a shared ownership in your program.

  • Culture is the most abused word in sport.

  • Truth without trust equals chaos.

Angela Duckworth — WOOP

1. What’s your Wish?

2. If you achieve that what would the Outcome be?

3. If you failed what are the Obstacles?

4. What’s the specific Plan?

Transition Defence

  • The second the ball leaves your fingernails, we are taking off.

  • There is no correlation between offensive rebounding and winning.

  • If the ball gets to the middle you are most vulnerable.

  • You are most vulnerable in the first 6 seconds

D Trans Drill

  • Breaking the court into thirds: if the ball comes own the sideline, you cannot have anybody in the opposite third.

  • One big at the rim, one big at the nail, wings on the lane line, ball keeping sideline.

  • We beat LeBron James just doing this.

  • Russell Westbrook HAS to see a crowd.

Defensive Philosophy

  • Are you on the line and up the line, or are you a shift team who takes away the paint?

  • At the highest level if we deny it’s below the ball with contact.

  • Low eye and High eye of help, get the ball under control and then get into your denial.

Small Ball vs Big Ball

I would take speed over size every single day of the week. I’m taking mobility over height. The game is not slowing down.
  • Finding the mismatch hurts you more than it helps you.

  • Small: come masterful at fronting posts, pressuring the pass and loading up the high and low I.

  • Rick Majerus: the most overrated part of offence is high low, the turnover chances are very high.

  • If you get stuck behind, our favourite way to trap the post is from the baseline. Low and high I, then fill the strong side elbow.

Situational Play

  • All our game is in the NBA is situational.

  • Have “NEED’ plays: need a 2, need a 3, need a lob

  • Have a ‘Home Play’, something you can build anything from.

  • D’Antoni was the best when coaching Nash, a common look with some wrinkles out of that.

Team Building & Culture

  • To hold a roster, co-exist when you never win is the greatest challenge I have had.

  • Parents having kids: the power of 3. Applies to your leadership group too.

  • If somebody walked into your practice, what would you want them to see within 5 minutes?

  • Philly: I hope you see a gym that works, has chemistry, are privileged to be there, and move quickly.

  • Breakfast meetings, 76ers went to NASA, players present on different topics.


  • Think of the times when you feel very vulnerable, it’s when I haven’t put in the time.

  • We can’t fool ourselves, you have to earn the right to be confident.

  • Vision: when they can see themselves do something well, I think that is far more powerful than the negative.

  • Praise in public, then criticise privately.

Bad Attitude

  • The most powerful thing we have as coaches is playing time, even more than money.

  • “It’s not personal, it’s professional.”

  • Pitino: who here doesn’t have a watch? When you get a watch you will turn that 15 minutes ahead, and you will be here early for the next 4 years. If you are 1 minute late you will regret the day you were born.

Low Numbers at Practice

Be a math teacher, maximising the numbers, how many balls, how much time and how many baskets do you have?
  • WMI: What’s most important?

  • Warren Buffett: write a list of 25 things you want to achieve, then cross out the last 20 you wrote.


  • If you can find a drill that is multi-faceted and purpose, you don’t have to explain it all the time. Swiss Army Knife Drills.

  • This can make practice more fluid.


  • Flat hand and the snake eyes, three shooting fingers. Your thumb locks in the snake eyes.

  • Feet: are you stepper or a hugger? Are you an inside foot or preferred foot?

  • Hands: “We don’t throw it, unless you show it.”

  • Mechanics: “LOAD, LEAVE, LAND.”

  • Rick Pitino the great innovator: lay ups or 3’s. The dunk, the free throw and the corner 3 are the most efficient shots in our game.


  • If you don’t have a team that wants to pass, you are very much at risk of a lack of chemistry and togetherness.

  • The pass is king, good to GREAT.

Summer Time Drill

  • Push passes, NBA spacing, moving off the ball, drive and dish.

  • Work shot fakes, jab steps, floaters, finishes. Swiss Army Knife.

  • Sweeps & Scrapes — we don’t play through strike zones.

  • What do you when the play doesn’t work? That is what matters most.

Defensive Close Outs

  • What happens the most frequently? It’s going from your shift position to a close out, hand above the ball, being second off the floor.

  • Jeff Van Gundy: ‘use appropriate help’ — are we helping on straight line drives or flat line drives?

  • Shot closeouts: from help to ball, hand above the ball on the catch.

  • Long closeouts: from the paint, very very difficult.

Want to Connect?

If you would like to continue the basketball conversation, provide your thoughts or ideas please message me on Twitter @jackfleming1 or e-mail me at

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