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  • Jack Fleming

Overrated or Underrated? A Fun Exercise for Every Coach

Stole this idea from Dan & Pat on the Slappin Glass Podcast, two wonderful basketball minds doing a great job with their podcast and newsletter. So here we go, I encourage you to develop your opinion and follow along. All of these things I have done before so I'm more being critical of myself than others, and not right but a result of some experiences in certain contexts.



The 1000 page pdf made on Fastdraw that you circulate to everybody, that nobody reads. You made it at the start of the season, you've changed half of it or and don't run the other half of it by the end. Over rated.

Yes of course if you have a staff, short time frame etc you need one so everybody is on the same page.

An idea - have a base playbook that's much shorter with your initial series or spacing, then filter in your counters or wrinkles as you go. Don't give it to your players, unless they ask for it.

Post Ups


How do most people do shooting drills? With a passer underneath the basket, well there's no more similar situation than the post kick out 3 as being a great shot.

Rim pressure comes in different ways - dribble penetration, cutting, post touches, offensive rebounding. I wouldn't go as far as cutting off one of your options.

KYP - maybe you have a big guard, or maybe you have a dominant post. And you're not going to throw it in because it's an inefficient PPP?

Having a Hobby Outside of Basketball


I know there's the famous stories of Jerry Tarkanian asking during his assistant interviews whether they play golf, as a way of emphasising he doesn't want anybody who does anything but basketball.

I get the point nobody wants a lazy ass, but it's been fairly proven the empty time outside of the sport allows you to be more fully engaged and do your job more efficiently when you are there.

“Yes, we have important duties—to our country, to our coworkers, to provide for our families. Many of us have talents and gifts that are so extraordinary that we owe it to ourselves and the world to express and fulfill them. But we’re not going to be able to do that if we’re not taking care of ourselves, or if we have stretched ourselves to the breaking point…Man is not a machine. Work will not set you free. It will kill you if you’re not careful.” — Ryan Holiday, Stillness Is The Key

Elevator Plays

Maybe this is just my experience of coaching juniors not seniors, but for me - overrated.

I just see so many things that can go wrong, more than the benefits for an open 3pt shot. One of the screeners defenders simply getting in the way screws it up. Would be happy to be proven wrong on this one and hopefully one day I will try again. Here are some nice ones as a reminder.

Pick & Roll 'Solutions'

Haven't decided yet.

For context it's that as a team you have a concept to attack every counter - eg you Boomerang versus switch, Gortat versus the drop and it continues on. When you practice if they make the wrong read it's a turnover or corrected.

I like the idea that there is an answer offensively to every coverage, but I don't necessarily believe that there is one solution and it should be so absolute.

This might be more of a skill adaptation view, but I'm more of the approach you should direct their attention towards certain information but not so dogmatic that there's 1 answer. By alerting them to that answer before they have experienced it can actually limit decision making ability and hinder it. I don't believe that this way of coaching is much different than offensively making players 'run the pattern' instead of solving the problem.

My language might be that the ball handler needs to see '3 outlets' against the hard hedge, but if he turns the corner himself because he's quick on his right hand and the screeners defender was late the problem has been solved.

Still something I am thinking about, and a lot of WHO & WHY to consider with the context. Time frames, environment, game prep or learning experience, experience of the athlete. Interested to hear thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

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