top of page
  • Jack Fleming

Chris Oliver — Basketball Decision Training

Chris Oliver is the founder of Basketball Immersion and The Basketball Podcast, two of the greatest current resources you will find on modern basketball coaching. Chris’s philosophy is based upon current research and centred around a games approach to teaching. If you haven’t signed up for his annual membership website I highly recommend you do so — he provides complete access to practice video, game edits, clinic notes, playbook and drills that will stimulate your thinking like you’ve never seen before. His notes below are from the 2018 Florida Coaches Clinic, you can access this clinic if you’re a member on his website.

B’s of Basketball

1. Be an Earner

2. Be Impactful

3. Be Determined

4. Be Grateful

- If I can connect my players with gratitude, this can take them out of the other emotions faster.

- I value modelling being a Father and a Husband for my players, because I’m grateful I have a family that supports me.


- How can I get you think about: what would a player enjoy about your practices and workouts?

- I want to connect my players to the joy of improving. Seeing players get better in basketball and life.

- Smart people ask all the questions. When I met Rick Carlisle he hit me instantly with questions.

Games Approach to Coaching

- Not 1 drill without defence last year for the whole season EXCEPT for some isolated skill development.

- Scenario with guided or live defenders, where we then coach within the moment.

- Coaching within the context of where the mistakes are.


- I go into every practice I know the coaching points I want, but every situation provides me an opportunity to correct.

- We stop it every single time there’s a mistake, because we want them to think.

- We want to HEIGHTEN MENTAL EFFORT — because thinking relates to decision making.


- Hold = stop where you are.

- Recreate = go back to the situation we want to discuss.

- Use questions if we have time, or we will correct.

- Too often as coaches we ask a question, and we don’t delay, giving them time to answer.

Blocked vs Random Practice

- Blocked practice = same thing over and over again with no difference in repetition.

- We don’t play repetitive shooting in basketball.

- There’s a difference between memorising and learning.

- Random practice = every repetition is unique.

- Study done = 85% of the shots at the 2012 Olympics were contested.

- Early in learning, blocked practice is proven to be effective. But if you do it for too long, then your team is not getting better.

- We have to layer challenge into learning.

Why We Do It

- Mixing = contextual interference — the degree of interference generated when two or more tasks are practiced simultaneously.

- Every shot from a different spot, every shot slightly different.

- If 85% of shots are contested, then not every shot is performed with perfect feet and timing.

- Random practice produces superior performance in retention or transfer of learning.

- We get immediately to the context of the game, we don’t waste time on things that don’t transfer to the game.

- We do skill development, and mix skills together where they don’t memorise but have to recall what they learned.

- Form Shooting: one foot, one foot hops, one hand, drop the ball between your legs.

- There has to be optimal struggle, to fight for learning.

- I don’t want perfection that means I’m not doing my job.


- If it’s more than 2 players we will address the whole team, if not we will take them aside and coach.

- We don’t want to interrupt the flow of practice.

Constraints = boundaries that shape learning, something you exclude or include.

2v1 Shooting

- Drill: offence on wing and corner, defender with ball underneath basket. Defender pass and close out, can take away extra pass. Offence must shoot or pass, cannot dribble or cut.

- We still coach the skill, be ready to shoot it, fight for your feet etc.

- Constraints B: first catch has to drive, if you can’t get to the charge circle you must pass out of penetration reaction.

- If your player knows he has made a mistake before I coach him, then he is LEARNING.

- Teaching: every catch is 1v1, and only becomes any different if somebody helps. Some things change that = extra pass.

- Shoulder to chest = offensive advantage, chest to chest = defensive advantage.


- Listen to yourself, how many times do you say okay? That’s the word I overuse the most.

- We all have our own pattern of speaking that we can correct if we become conscious.

- You must record yourself.

- I’m trying to use the term “keep” and “add” — eg. Keep fighting for your feet, add follow through.

Individual Workout

- I think I can each every single concept relevant to us in a 2v1 situation.

How to teach 5v5 without 5v0 Repetition

- Teach within the context of the defence, what the game is actually like.

- Constraint: teach 5v3/2, only allow 3 guys to score.

- Provides game passes and decisions, but gives the advantage to the offence.

Opponent Preparation

- We spend so much time within game scenario’s, we have usually done it before.

- We then walk through it 5v5 to provide context, and play it 3v3 or 4v4 live.

- As a coach you control intensity and duration, control how long you go and where the drill starts and where the drill ends.

  • We don’t do water breaks and we don’t do free throws, the game is fatiguing that’s how we build game conditioning.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page