The Process: Knowledge vs. Action Part 1

Published by Aram on

The Obvious

Most of us know what to do. Do we put that into action? So many coaches and players like talking about “The Process.” This is not a commentary on Joel Embid.  This is literally about the process of becoming great, whether in playing basketball, coaching basketball or any area of life.

I would estimate that 90% of players could correctly tell you what to do in 90% of the situations that they face on the court. I think most players know what to do most of the time. What percentage of these opportunities are executed correctly? When do they do what they need to do when they need to do it?

I think most coaches can tell you what their teams need to do to improve. There are millions of sideline coaches who can certainly tell us what we need to work on.

Our Responsibility

There are thousands of decisions made in every practice and game by each coach and player. Besides the decisions they consciously make, there are so many decisions that they make that they don’t even think about. Whether those are good habits or bad ones, we only have time to work on improving a few of them at a time.

The best coaches and players make and execute good decisions more than most.  The better teams follow the same pattern.  It’s clear that many of these instincts and habits are poor at all levels of our game even though the knowledge might exist.

Our job as coaches is to bridge that gap. We have to help players turn knowledge into action. We have to develop physical and mental habits that enable players to make good decisions and then execute them precisely.

There is no secret formula. There is no silver bullet or magic pill. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Players must work to transform their knowledge into habits. It is a process.  It can be a long process.  This process should be filled with failures that are very uncomfortable.

Helping Ourselves

We must help them. Shouldn’t we be working to do the same as well? Shouldn’t we be working every day to take what we know and turn it into what we do? Who is helping us? Are we willing to help each other?  Are we willing to accept help from each other?

It’s easy for a player to get in the gym and work on a skill.  That process is pretty well defined.  There are hundreds of trainers and drills for players.  Building muscle memory only takes physical repetition.  Building “mental muscle memory” is quite different.  That process is not so well outlined.

Yet that’s what we are to do as coaches.  We must know what we teach inside and out.  We must understand the teaching process, the communication process, and the relationship process. These three things are always evolving and changing.

What Are We Doing?

Are we practicing?  Do we have someone telling us where we can improve? Do we listen?  Do we understand the process of getting better as coaches? There is plenty of knowledge out there. There are tweets and blogs and books galore about what we should do. There are plenty of people who know.

How many of us DO? How can we DO it better? We tell our players what they need to DO to be able to DO things better. Get up shots. Think differently.  Talk to your teammate. Do these drills to work on these skills. Talk to yourself. Set goals. Work harder. Change your perspective. Lift weights. Run sprints. Jump rope. Eat better. Sleep more. Be different.

There are countless sentences that we speak to our players on a regular basis that give our players ways of turning the knowing into doing.  We use these sentences to help train their minds and their bodies on how to perform.

However, what sentences do we use for ourselves?  What do we do to turn our knowledge into doing? What do we do to build good habits?  How do we take what we learn from books, blogs, conferences, twitter or just a conversation and turn that into action and habit? Who is coaching the coaches?  Who is demanding that coaches improve? Who is holding coaches accountable? For those of us who want to hold ourselves accountable, what is our “workout plan”? What is our process for getting better at turning our knowledge into action?

Athletic directors aren’t coaching coaches.  They might be holding them accountable but only at the macro level.  They aren’t a part of the daily process. Athletic directors hire coaches who can win the press conference and “trust” them to do the job anyway. Then they fire them when they don’t get the results.

Hoops College Can Help You

We don’t care what offense or defense you choose.  We don’t care what drills you like to run. Finally, we don’t care if you’re picked to win a championship or the worst team at the lowest level. We just want to help you do what you do better.

We want to be your trainer, your sounding board, your guide through your process of improvement.  We want to help you turn what you know into action.  We won’t do it for you. We can’t.  However, we can help with your process of turning knowledge into action.

Sign up for a consultation today.


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