There is a growing trend in the coaching community revolving around best practices for player development and team preparation.  If you haven’t had the opportunity, I would encourage you to take the time out to watch a few clips from Chris Oliver’s Basketball Immersion.  There are a few others that I have linked on the side that offer great conceptual practices as well.

Chris Oliver has pioneered the movement for #BasketballDecisionTraining(B.D.T.). This concept focuses on the implementation of decision-making into the majority of drills, skills, or scrimmages during practices. An oversimplification of B.D.T. is to add a live defender to any drill simulating more game-like scenarios. From a textbook standpoint, it challenges the notion between block style practices to games-based approach.  Taking from traditional methods coaches use, then apply adaptations to it that may serve more beneficial in the cumulative training of a player or team (see video above).

*Let me preface by saying, they may be right. Maybe.* 

The concept of “Add a Defender” may have merged into a slightly more condemning trend of #FakeFundamentals. If you see #FakeFundamentals anywhere, read with caution. We will assume it is well-intended. The right intentions, satirical videos of skills trainers that employ gimmicky tactics seen below:

The other side of #FakeFundamentals surface from coaches that take from the philosophy of Basketball Decision Training and insist that older methods don’t work. An attempt to expose #FakeFundamentals that exist in traditional approaches. We will assume the intentions are to improve the coaching community. As I had said, maybe they are right. Maybe, drills like the 3 Man Weave are antiquated when it comes to players’ skill development.

Or maybe, the drill accomplishes passing, communication, spacing, scoring/finishing at the rim, and depending on the structure, situational pressure. Tell me one coach that doesn’t emphasize those fundamentals, and I’ll show you someone scouring HoopDirt for a job opportunity. The point being, drills are used at the discretion of the coaching staff. If Coach A at University X decides that defensively they have been undisciplined over the previous 2 games, then the staff may decide to do step slides to start practice. Is there a decision being made in that drill? No. Does that coach have a message that is being sent? I would lean toward yes.

Where there can be an issue is the notion that one coach’s philosophy is the right way to do things versus offering an alternative to consider. The adage of a million ways to skin a cat could not be more evident than during the NCAA Tournament. I reference a few things to look for while Watching March Madness this year. Coaches have had success forcing sideline-baseline defensively, others utilize pressure packline. Offenses may be micromanaged to execute a different set every possession, while the coach on the opposite bench is targeting D’Antoni’s “7 Seconds or Less.” The objective is to prepare your program to be in the best possible position to be successful, ideally for a sustainable period of time. Basketball Decision Training offers an approach that could be beneficial to your staff, while Fake Fundamentals could either give you a laugh or appear as targeted criticisms.

As coaches, we are challenged with being open-minded to new approaches, but deliberate in the methods that we apply. There is an abundance of philosophies shared – #BasketballDecisionTraining and #FakeFundamentals are just a view of the latest ones trending.


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