Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 18-25 Readings. "Technology and Teaching Today".

Technology helps Libraries
This article focused on the use of technology and how it has helped librarians.
For example, blogs can be used as diaries. Various people in the community can make brief entries. The benefit of a blog is it can be updated at anytime- hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. It also mentions the ways blogs can be used, mainly for information to clients. Librarians can inform clients on changes, new information on book releases and current events.
One example a blog is useful for is as a professional awareness tool. It helps them stay ahead or can be used to talk about current events in the profession. Podcasts can also be used as training tools to update people in the community. The idea is technology provides a way to bring together the staff and clients. It can help to resolve problems, share information and communicate with the community. With technology librarians are able save money and be more efficient.

How Technology Can Increase Learning
The purpose of the article is to explain how technology can support learning styles. What is interesting is all the ways technology is helpful to students. For example, facilitates the formation of new learning communities, helps students engage and reflect and enhance the overall user experience. It first explains the traditional learning styles prior to technology. Usually teachers were in the class and their to help students move toward their goal. With the expansion of technology, instructors were starting to incorporate new technology into the classroom. For example, Duke university distributed ipods to all their incoming freshman in plans to facilitate learning. Students could use it to download documents and lectures from professors. This way of thinking is great example of adapting to change. Ipods are used by everyone in today’s society with music, why not adapt and use it for learning? The ability to use technology to adapt with students is a great idea. Personally, I love the convience of MP3 format. When I miss church on Sunday, I have the opportunity to download the sermon onto my ipod or listen through a MP3 format. This gives me the option of listening everywhere I go and at anytime. With the great advancements there also are so problems. One example is Wikipedia. With the convience of information, it’s been said that from an education standpoint the information is not completely accurate. Because everyone can subscribe and add to it, it also leaves the option of error. This is not the person’s fault but part of the gift of social networking. Who is printing or saying what. Overall very useful and interesting article.

Social Networking
The last article on social networking had an interesting point regarding age distribution. With the benefits technology has to offer will older generations adapt to the change? Many older individuals are use to doing things one way. They will stay with it because they have done it for so many years. There is nothing wrong with this however, I believe their eyes would open up if they knew about some of the features it could offer. For example, Face book would be great for any older individual to find out what their old high school classmate is doing or locate a colleague in the profession.
Also, the article mentioned the different motivators for social networks. Some are looking for profit such as sites that require monthly charges. Sites like face book and my space are socially motivated. I believe most of the sites seek exposure. The creation of you tube has helped recruiting for players and coaches. Players are able to put on their best games and showcase their talents over the web. Coaches now who cannot fly out to seek recruits play can access video at no cost over you tube. Where five years ago coaches would exclusively see the player in person, with the new technology it has given coaches the opportunity to recruiting over the web.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Food Drive 2009

Food Drive 2009
Originally uploaded by ctang2009
This is a picture of our men's basketball team participating at a Food Drive. It was part of community service we try to involve our players in each year. The service consisted of loading up boxes of food into big trucks for Thanksgiving families. The food was delivered to food shelters throughout the Denver areas.
At first, our players didn't find interest in the project however once we started working they began to work together and enjoy themselves. The project gave them a sense of giving as they at times are always on the end of receiving. I think our players enjoyed working together and knowing the their efforts served a "purpose". Many of our players come from poverty and single family homes. The food drive game them a feeling of giving back to the community and less fortunate. It was a great oppertunity to give back to the community. Attached is a photo at the end of our project.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Simplicity with Detail

Teaching Concepts not Patterns
Today I will be discussing the importance of teaching your players concepts on offense. First, the why always needs to be answered? Why teach you players concepts instead of a set pattern?
Before answering this question two things must be identified:

#1. The Who (You have)
#2 The What (You do)

In Jim Collins book "Good to Great" the single most important thing is the who. "The who he states is more important than the what". In supporting this statement, Collins adds "you must also have the right people in the right seats". Much of your offensive and defensive philosophy will come from what you have to work with. Building requires having the right materials.
Many high school coaches are not fortunate to have the recruiting opportunities and scholarship advantages as college four-year programs. The lack of selecting your personnel, coaches use more structure "patterns" to guide them in their offensive planning. This gives them the best opportunity to win with who they have. Take example the Flex offense. The Flex is a five man passing game involving screening, cutting, and ball movement. Overtime it becomes a very structured and patterned oriented offense. One common entry starts with a guard-to-guard pass. After the pass is made a baseline cut is made by the weak side forward. The baseline screener positioned who set the back screen at the low post will then receive a down screen by the guard up top. The sequence is then performed again (flex pick, down screen, flex pick, down screen). There are various counters depending on how the defense reacts.
As my coaching knowledge developed I became a firm believer in taking certain concepts such as a flex screen and incorporating it with additional concepts I believed were difficult to defend. For example, three things that are most difficult to defend:

# 1. Dribble Penetration
# 2. On-ball Screens
# 3. Post or Elbow Entries

Identifying what is most difficult to defend, I like using these concepts on the offensive end to support my offensive philosophy. In addition there are certain things I value in an offense:

#1. Ball Movement - 2 reversals shifts the defense side to side.
#2. Player Movement – cutting, dribble penetration, inside/out attack.
#3. Shot Selection- right person taking the right shot at the right time.

Teach your players concepts not one repetitive pattern on offense. I'm a firm believer if you teach your players concepts and let them problem solve, your players will be more successful in the future. A few other reasons to teach conceptual ideas:

1. Less teaching time. For example, there are 3 different ways on reading screens (curl, fade, coming straight up). This can take much of your practice time if it becomes a staple on offense.
2. Let your player’s problem solve vs. you solving from them.
3. Harder to scout. There are not exact patterns each time, just concepts.
4. Unpredictable.
5. Players can utilize their individual strengths within your blueprint of concepts. Best of both worlds.

Coach Newell at his "Big Man Camp" teaches post players perimeter moves on the first day of camp. The question is why? Placing post players on the perimeter forces them out of necessity to use more skill sets. With the basic fundamentals and proper footwork, they become skilled and comfortable on the perimeter. Who wouldn’t want a post player on the perimeter if he could give your team an advantage by shooting the ball? Now, there is a fine line with how much time and freedom you will give them on the perimeter, but the point is to skill each player regardless of size or quickness so they are never under prepared in a game situation.
As season approaches, keep your players in more specific areas where they will be in a game. For example, our bigs attack from the low post, short corner and elbow areas. We consider the elbow area a post touch and is a great area to attack and operate from. If a player can make 8/10 from 3 he has the option to pick and pop off the on-ball concept. My point is teach your players as many skill sets as possible and put them in the best areas through your offensive concepts. No matter what defensive or pressure they face, they will have the skill set to handle the situation.
Teaching your players as many skills as possible is essential in player development. If you always teach your players to attack a certain way, for example your players are right foot dominant, what happens when a team forces you left. If you teach your players ambedexitry, using both pivot feet, they are equipped with more skills to combat the defense. If opposing teams notice this they may be exposing a weakness that will provide problems game time. We’ve found 75% of teams in our conference are right hand dominant. Therefore, we make each player go left. This is a slight advantage but can be a big advantage come game time.
If your job is to prepare your team at all cost, why are you dictating what they are doing verses teaching them skills and concepts then letting them problem solve. One argument as a coach is "I want to control what shot, where, and how it is coming from every possession". This is a valid point but bottom line this game is about players, not the coaching. Your players are making the reads and at the end of the day win you the ball games. You are not predicting what your players will do; you are giving them concepts and letting them play to their individual strengths. Now your players are thinking versus you having to micromanage them. Ultimately, your players win you games. I’ve once heard “It's not about the X's and O's, it the Jimmy and Joe's”.
Players want to play however they don't have the information and understanding of how to play successful basketball. By teaching your players concepts (elbow action, rules of penetration, on-ball screens) and letting them use their individual strengths (penetration, quickness, shooting) with sound execution of the fundamentals (balance, footwork, maneuvering speed) you have recipe for success.As we all know as coaches, one the game starts, it has a mind of it's own.
The team that is best equipped with who they have and what they do (concepts or patterns) will be the victor.