This topic of knowledge vs. action is extremely interesting to me. The most interesting part is that little “vs.” that’s in the middle. It’s that bridge. It’s that link between the two that is actually not so little at all. In fact, it’s quite a gap that most people ever truly fill. It’s that process of becoming a doer instead of just a knower that really separates us.
Knowing stuff is easy. There’s so much information out there. The Internet puts information galore at our fingertips. There’s no excuse not to know. As we’ve discussed, it’s not enough to know. We gotta do. We have to act. We must execute. As we know, going from knowing to doing is hard. So let’s dig a little deeper into that process — from a player’s perspective.
Even the casual fan can identify a highlight or a blooper in a basketball game. It’s not too difficult to identify a play as “good” or “bad”. If you can’t do that, then you probably have never watched a game of basketball much less played in one. Most any player at any level can appreciate a “good” basketball play, and they are often the first to criticize a bad one no matter what level they are watching. Can that same player tell you why it happened? Can they tell you how it happened? Can they tell you why it was good or bad? Most importantly, can they correctly evaluate themselves?
It’s easy to sit in the bleachers, on the bench, or on the couch and provide commentary on events. Who can and who will take these observations into the gym? Who will work on making the good things they see part of their game? Who will learn from other people’s mistakes? Who watches Tim Hardaway’s shoulders and feet on his crossover? Who watches how Richard Hamilton or Ray Allen uses a screen? Who watches the details of how John Stockton successfully executes the pick and roll time after time, even when the whole world knows it’s coming?
Now, who takes what they learn and works on it? Who perfects it? Who says I’m going to be great? Who actually works to be great? Who has the commitment, work ethic, patience, and coaching to take full advantage of their opportunity? Who gets thousands of repetitions without defense? Then who gets hundreds of high-intensity reps so that they can be successful on a high percentage of the ten reps they might get in a game.
This is where coaches can make a huge difference. If we do our jobs well, we can help our players be more efficient. We can help them have more good reps. We can help them improve more at more things. It doesn’t mean we have to be there all the time. Being with our players doesn’t change the fact that they have to put in the work. In fact, the more they are willing to work on their own, the better. However, if we’re checking in regularly on their progress, we can provide them feedback that can help them along the way.
Players like Richard Hamilton and John Stockton weren’t athletic phenomenons. They weren’t a 6’9″ point guard like Magic. They didn’t have the athletic prowess of a Lebron or Shaq. I give credit to these athletes who are amazingly gifted. They worked hard to maximize their abilities and be dominate players.
However, there are numerous examples of players who turned knowledge into successful repetitive actions that weren’t elite level athletes. They have built bridges between knowledge and action. They could have been better, no one fully maximizes their abilities. Even the best can get better. However, the bridges they built helped them be Hall of Fame players. They won lots of games with their respective teams. They took the knowledge and turned it into action.
Today’s players have so many great examples to follow. When will they take hold of that knowledge and make the effort to transform it into action? When will we help them build that bridge?