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The Tribe

The question often comes up, "How do I know when our Read & React team should add new layers?" Simple answer: when the previous layer (or bundle of layers if you're implementing a few at once) are habit. Unfortunately, that leaves a rather unfulfilled taste in my mouth because the question you really want answered is, "How can I test to see if my team is ready for more layers?" Ok, the answer to that question: use a diagnostic test. Place 5 players on the floor without defense. Ask them to perform the offense using as many layers as are already in their arsenal with the intent to score on a specific action. In the video below, Rick Torbett asks for the following progression: • pass and cut for a few passes • dribble-at a player • the player who is cutting from the dribble-at leg whips into the post and receives the post feed • the passer Laker cuts for the score Actually, Rick asks for the score in the second (then third) Laker cut, but you can demand whatever you want. In fact, you could simply demand that they use all their known layers before they are allowed to score. There are a lot of ways to do this. Your job as the coach is to note where they are struggling. And, if they have it down to your satisfaction, then you have your answer - now is the time to push forward.

In conjunction with a couple of surgeons, Better Basketball has just released a new book cryptically titled Understanding Sports Injury. The idea was this: we know coaches wear a lot of hats - one of those being injury consultant. Add to that the fact that injury is a hungry monster when it meets athletes. In fact, there are an estimated 1.4 million sports related injuries every year in high school athletics alone. And, most of those happened to your best players! (just kidding, but not really) You are called upon to make decisions all the time about an injury's severity and the immediate next steps - whether an athlete should walk it off, ice it, compress it, keep playing, or go to a doctor. This book can help make those decisions a little easier. Check out the excerpt below or click here to download Chapter 2 (twenty pages) on the Shoulder. That should give you an idea of what this book is all about. Or, you can learn more of the details and watch an interview with the author at Better Basketball.