Drew Dawson coaching staff for i Dawson spent the Lafayette College, two years as the O'Hanlon's staff. Lafayette, Dawson O'Hanlon's former players to join him on the sidelines. Dawson also orchestrated several junior high school developmental clinics and began an annual coaches clinic in 2005. In 2005, Dawson's article on foundations of player development was published in American Basketball Quarterly.
While tactical creativity augments a team's ability to out maneuver their opponent, it is generally accepted that their success relies heavily on maintaining a structured approach targeted at achieving the group's goals. Specifically, success in basketball requires an athlete who can collect external stimuli, visualize an effective response, and convert the response to physical movement. Clearly, there are differences in the physical movement capabilities of athletes, generally referred to as athleticism. This includes such things as speed, lateral quickness, vertical, and strength. However, given the rigorous selection process at the NCAA Division I level, differences among athletes are relatively small. Generally speaking, the physical differences associated with athleticism are not nearly as important as the "response gap" in an athlete's game.
The response gap has two components, Basketball IQ and Movement Efficiency.
The former consists of selecting the correct actions and the latter is the speed at which these actions are executed. Basketball IQ is relatively straight forward; it is understanding the X's and O's of the game. This is built through playing experience, breaking down film, studying offensive and defensive sets and schemes, and building a response repertoire through situational analysis i.e a player's ability to back cut when overplayed, etc. A high basketball IQ enables the player to make the appropriate read and select the best action. Movement Efficiency is associated with seeing, thinking, and doing. It is the time between a player's decision to act and the initiation of the correct physical movement.
At the University of Hartford, it is our belief that high levels of Basketball IQ are essential however, a successful outcome cannot be realized without efficient movements. In fact, there are many times a game is won or lost in the movement efficiency of the players. A key to improving this efficiency is making fundamental basketball movements second nature to the player. In terms of perimeter play, players must learn to effectively separate from screens, successfully catching the basketball ready to score. To do this, players must have efficient footwork.
All players can improve footwork, but it is generally more critical for incoming freshmen. As a freshman begins a college career, he often finds many shots are tipped, blocked, or never shot at all. For many of our freshman this becomes frustrating, which opens the door for us to break down their game, expose inefficient footwork, and provide corrective action conducive to higher levels of production. A regime of the drills is used to build up a player's game and burn efficient movements into muscle memory.
The intent of this article is to articulate in a concise way our program's perspective on the importance and build-up of proper footwork, specifically, with regard to our perimeter players. With this, there are hundreds of drills available that reinforce the notion of movement efficiency including those as basic as:
1. Catch and shoot.
2. Catch, shot fake, one dribble and pull-up.
3. Catch, shot fake and explode to the basket (finishing high on the rim).
The above series is a simplistic progression; however, your primary goal as pertains to this particular article should be the urgency to make effective fundamental movement associated with successful play second nature to your players.
Finally, our coaching staff uses a variety of shooting drills during segments of our off-season workouts to build up proper footwork.
We use a shooting instrument known as the Shoot Away to assist with overall productivity, and our players compete against each other throughout our shooting progressions.
The competition more accurately reflects game situations where winning or losing, making or missing, truly counts.