Level 2 Coach Training in high gear

The first-ever Basketball Coach Level 2 training to be held in the Marshall Islands completed its second full-day on Saturday January 5, 2013 with 13 coaches in attendance. The training is being led by Coach Tom Newell, a former NBA coach, who is sponsored by the US State Department's Sports Ambassador program.

After the first day, on Friday January 4, Coach Newell said it was as good a session as he has had anywhere else that he has led coaching clinics — and he has so far worked in 40 countries around the world. Thirteen coaches are gaining the benefit of Coach Newell's lifetime of basketball coaching, which includes stints with the Seattle Supersonics, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Japan's national team, and teams in China.

The clinic is combining classroom training with on-court sessions to provide coaches with examples of practical coaching skill-building drills. 

Coach Newell has brought not only great knowledge and experience, but a delightful sense of humor that helped disarm high school students who were at first a bit wary of trying out the drills Coach Newell outlined. But after he called out, "let's do the Dwayne Wade move" (and later) "let's do the Kobe," the players jumped in to try the full-court dribbling drills. 

He has also emphasized key points to the coaches and players, such as: How many habits are there in basketball? Answer: Two. What are they? Good and bad. When players dribbled with their eyes on the ground, he asked them: is that a good habit or a bad one? Their answer: Bad. Then don't do it! replied Coach Newell. When one of the players didn't adequately bend his knees — "getting low" in basketball parlance — on a dribble drill, Coach Newell told him: "Get low, not 'J.Lo'," he said showing the difference between getting low on a dribble (good) and bending over (bad). The players got the message and a laugh.

The Level 2 will continue through Tuesday when all coaches will take a written examination as well as make presentations to Coach Newell on different parts of coaching (practice organization, out-of-bounds plays, etc.).

On Tuesday afternoon, January 8, at 2pm, Coach Newell will provide a clinic for basketball referees, at CMI RH122. 

Coach Newell goes to Kwajalein Atoll on Thursday January 10, where he will spend several days running a Level 1 coaching course as well as trainings for referees and players.

To the players: If you miss layups in practice when there is no defense, what will happen in a game? Answer from the players: We'll miss the shot. Coach Newell used this to underline the importance of "perfect practice," which he described as a choice the players make about how they practice.

See related photo galleries, right.

Photo: Coach Tom Newell working with Majuro high school students during the clinic. Photo: Isaac Marty.


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