On-Court Decision Making – IFTTT
Back in the early 80’s when I was in college, before the internet, laptops, or smartphones – so basically the stone ages to most of my clients – I took a computer programming class. I don’t remember if the programming language was Cobol or Basic but I do remember one of the frequently used logic statements – If Then Else. Basically the code said If a given value matched a certain criteria Then do this action, Else if it doesn’t meet that criteria then do a different action.
Fast forward over 30 years to 2015 and I found out last week that there is an App IFTTT which stands for If This Then That which in essence builds the same type of logic. For example, you can set up with logic that says If I post a video to Instagram Then automatically upload it to YouTube (look at me getting my Social Media on).
By now you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with basketball. As I watch high school games, and certainly in the summer during AAU games, it becomes apparent that one of the skills lacking in so many young players is decision making. It’s really decision making that determines basketball IQ. Typically a player that makes good decisions will be said to have a high basketball IQ and vice versa. So the question becomes how do you develop players who make good decisions?
This is where I draw the parallel to the If-Then-Else or If This Then That logic. At Next Level we like to use small group play and teach players to use “reads”. Examples of reads that we may use are:
- when coming off a screen and you don’t have the ball IF your defender is trailing Then you curl, Else If your defender shoots the gap Then you flare
- when you are setting a ball screen IF they switch Then you roll Else If they hedge and recover Then you pop
- when your teammate is dribbling at you If you are being overplayed Then go backdoor Else go dribble handoff
Like any skill, developing your decision making requires reps. No matter what system you play in there will be multiple reads/decisions you need to make. Sometimes your read is based on what the defender does. Sometimes its based on what your teammate does. When you are not in-season we can help improve your decision making with physical reps through our small group sessions as previously mentioned. However, during the season a great way to accomplish this is by getting mental reps through film study. You cannot make good decisions without having good court vision. You must be able to “see” the game and film study also helps with that. So my final IF This Then That logic statement is – IF you are interested in using film study to get your mental reps and improve your on-court decision making, THEN contact us at Next Level ASAP!