Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brandon Bracy: The Importance of Player Development

"From youth basketball, to the pros, the development of players is what makes or breaks players. There are players who show flashes of their potential, but don't develop their talent as far as they could due to lack of player development. In contrast, there are players who get better every year because of how much they add to their game, such as Stephen Curry, Paul George, or even Kawhi Leonard. As we analyze the importance of player development the question becomes, what is player development?

To some coaches and trainers, player development is simply putting athletes through skill development drills daily to improve on their weaknesses. To others player development can be more mental, as the player may have mental issues that prevents that player from reaching their full potential. As a trainer, a Varsity AAU coach for Team Rampage, and freshmen coach at Vallejo High School, there are definitely different ways to attack player development. As a trainer, player development should consist of more one on one time with that particular player, focusing on their weaknesses, as well as sharpening up their strengths. For example, NBA player development coaches spend countless hours working with players individually. This gives the players enough confidence to expand their moves in game situations. For coaches, player development changes as you focus more on the team concept. Coaches have to find the best way to develop each player to buy into the team way of doing things. For example, Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue has been able to help Shooting Guard JR Smith, develop and mature as a player. The player development of JR Smith mentally, has enabled him to be a key factor on the Cavaliers championship run.

Player development can mean so many different things, but it is about the position that the coach and/or trainer is in. It is also about what situation the player lands in as well. Would Kobe Bryant be the same Kobe Bryant had he played his career in Charlotte? Would Kawhi Leonard been able to expand his game the way he did, playing behind Paul George in Indiana? Player development has to be able to work from all angles, in order for the player to reach their full potential."

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