Now is the best time to simplify

Now is the best time to simplify

I recently came across a story that I think applies to the Read & React (and perhaps basketball coaching in general). It’s the story about an Indian Fish shop (actually, you can find it in a variety of cultures) and you can read the original blog post here.

When Vijay opened his store he put up a sign that said “We Sell Fresh Fish Here.”

His father stopped by and said that the word “We” suggests an emphasis on the seller rather than the customer, and is really not needed. So the sign was changed to “Fresh Fish Sold Here.”

His brother came by and suggested that the word “here” could be done away with — it was superfluous.

Later, his neighbor stopped by to congratulate him. Then he mentioned that all passers-by could easily tell that the fish was really fresh. Mentioning the word “fresh” actually made it sound defensive as though there was room for doubt about the freshness.

Now the sign just read: “FISH.”

As Vijay was walking back to his shop after a break he noticed that one could identify the fish from its smell from very far, at a distance from which one could barely read the sign. He knew there was no need for the word “FISH.”

It seems that we always want to add more to the equation: one more Side-Out Play, one more drill, 10 more minutes to our practices. Or, in the case of the Read and React Offense, one more layer, one more adjustment, one more Quick Hitter. And, don’t get me wrong, those are great things to work on, but especially right now as the post season looms close, are they the best things to spend your practice time on?

Don’t let the adding of more detract from the fundamentals, from the basics. In pressure situations, will your players remember those additions? Spend the time you have before the post season sharpening the tools you already have rather than adding to your pouch. In the end, it will pay off.

And, Read and React coaches, know this: a handful of sharp layers will always outperform a bucketful of dull ones.

Do you agree?


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