A comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of basketball coaching.
Basketball is a complex game, and its coaches need to not only have a firm grasp of basic strategies, but also need to know basic principles of training, leadership, and motivation. Debut author Frood, a former coach for Queen’s University’s varsity men’s basketball team in Kingston, Ontario, provides a synoptic look at the game’s elements—fitness and training; offense and defense; and teamwork and strategy. This instructional guide looks at how to organize practices and drills, inculcate specific skill sets, and inspire enthusiasm and camaraderie. Frood also touches upon more intangible subjects, such as team “synergy,” or collaborative chemistry—an elusive but very real concept that’s necessary for seamless teamwork. The author treats each subject in painstaking detail, often including helpful, illustrative diagrams. He naturally gravitates to more general discussions about the nature of the game and its psychological underpinnings, but his strategic counsel is always actionable and concrete, hewing to “game-specific” concerns. Also, Frood prudently understands that every team needs a plan of attack that’s designed for its particular idiosyncrasies. Along the way, he provides counsel on how to score and record a team’s progress in various areas. Overall, this teaching manual is remarkably thorough. One drawback, though, is the fact that Frood invents his own “special basketball language”—he calls it “Beeballese”—designed to allow players and their coach to communicate with greater precision. It’s less a language than a glossary of concise terms for various strategies and exercises, and is unlikely to be very useful to coaches who have their own names for such things. Also, the author’s prose is unusually convoluted for an athletic-coaching primer; it’s sometimes reminiscent of dense academic writing: “The coach’s interruption of or incursion into any learning process should be catalytic, an influence that gets things done for the better.”
A valuable source of information for coaches who can patiently navigate its circuitous prose style.