Upcoming Clinics

Basketball Coaches and Sushi Chefs (Or, Do you need to make more rice?)

Seth Godin recently wrote the following on his blog:

Fledgling sushi chefs spend months (sometimes years) doing nothing but making the rice for the head chef.

If the rice isn’t right, it really doesn’t matter what else you do, you’re not going to be able to serve great sushi.

Too often, we quickly jump ahead to the new thing, failing to get good enough at the important thing.

Sushi Chef Preparing Sushi

This easily applies to you as a basketball coach.

  • In your rush to put in as many layers of the Read & React as possible are you sacrificing the gains your team could achieve by mastering the first few layers?
  • In your practices are you pushing your players into more and more complex basketball drills when they could most benefit from more repetition?
  • Do you allow your players to train far beyond their abilities when they should be focused on the fundamentals?
  • Are you worried about getting to the next level before your feet are firmly planted on this level?

None of those things are inherently wrong (in fact, some might be right for your team), but next time you are working on your coaching philosophy, practice plan, or off-season workouts just ask yourself…

Do we need to make more rice?

4 comments

  1. You know it’s really embarrasing watching a lot of practices which have drills that are not related to the system…its worse watching the games!! I took a risk, threw out all of the fluff and unecessary stuff, even peeled back the layers of the onion if you will and ran Read and React. The team I coached won the Consolation Championship in our state tournament, the #9, #10, #11, and #12 men played in that game and it didn’t effect us at all. We kept moving, passing, attacking, breaking pressure, playing awesome basketball. I even took this stuff internationally and the we were able to move up to the top division finish 3rd, in our league as well as an international tournament. No one else was using it.
    I keep wondering to myself, when will I meet up with a team that does so. Fortunately for me, I haven’t.

  2. was this article written for me? :)

  3. Every drill offensively and defensively is read & react in my practices. Rick basically said all in or go home if you want this offense to work correctly. This will be our second full year in R&R and all the programs are running it (5th-8th AAU, 7th & 8th MIddle School, and High School). You can plug any one of those kids in and the offense still works and is productive. You can’t beat that result for a great future in Varsity Basketball.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly but find the players and their parents can lose patience with the journey, especially those who already get it and know how to make the good decisions. They can get frustrated waiting for the others to lock in and allow us to move on.

Leave a Reply