“ADAPT OR DIE” PHILOSOPHY
Recently I watched the movie, “Moneyball” for the umpteenth time. If you are a coach and you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out. It is a movie about out of the box thinking.
There is a scene in Moneyball in which Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane says to his top scout, “Adapt or die.” There In one sentence is how I look at shooting a basketball.
We were all taught to shoot a basketball from our coaches. Who taught them? Probably their coaches. Much of the information we have been taught over the years regarding shooting has been handed down from generation to generation. And there lies the problem. A VERY high percentage of what many coaches believe about shooting are beliefs from the 1930’s.
As coaches we are generally a product of our past. We want to believe what we have been taught is correct. I have actually had coaches tell me, “My coaches would never lie to me. So I believe them.” It’s not about lying, however. They often don’t know.
Accurate shooting is about biomechanics– The body (muscles, bones, tendons) working together efficiently to produce a comfortable and tension free shooter. Shooting a basketball is really Kinesiology 101. Accurately shooting a basketball is also about physics as well.
Coaches that believe in our shooting system generally are Math, Science and PE people. Their brains work to solve problems. They see the athlete in a different light. Most understand that physics and biomechanics are huge in determining an athlete’s success on the playing field. They often see basketball as a never ending evolution.
Coaches that have History backgrounds often see basketball in a historical light. I have heard history coaches actually tell me, “This is the way I was taught how to shoot and this is the way my dad was taught how to shoot and this is the way I will teach it.” In other words they don’t believe in the “Adapt or die” philosophy.
Please understand that there is no one way to shoot a basketball. Trust me, when you host 600+ camps a year, you see every way possible to shoot. There is, however, more efficient ways to shoot a basketball.
When I think back to what I was taught in regards to shooting a basketball, it is a wonder I ever made a shot. “Square the feet. Bend those knees. Start your shot high. Don’t dip the ball. Shoot up and down. Shoulder width.” I heard those commandments every day and yet these are all biomechanically flawed concepts.
We would hope you take time as a coach this summer to think about Billy Beane’s words of “Adapt or die.”
There are different reasons why some coaches coach. Some do it because of the money and perks. Some do it because they have a sense of power when they stand on the sidelines. We would hope the majority coach to help young athletes become better players and people. That being said, isn’t improving the player’s shooting skills important?
I created the below video last month, but I believe this needs to be shown once again to fully understand the power of having an open mind, trust and what we teach often has a lasting impact decades later.
Our website has over 80 videos that focus on biomechanics, physics, and change. They are all free and I hope you get a chance to look at these videos. Summer is a great time to take a step back and evaluate on better ways to improve your players. We hope the Pro Shot System is in your plans.