Reflection from National Conference Keynotes

The 2024 Basketball Australia National Coaches Conference attracted 217 coaches from throughout Australia and combined a series of on-court clinics and keynote presentations from coaches and experts from Australia and abroad.

Over two days, coaches attended six on-court clinics covering a wide range of skill, concept and tactical components, as well as engaged in six keynote addresses in the Ric Charlesworth Theatrette at the AIS.

Here are some brief reflections from the keynote series –

Patrick Hunt – President, FIBA World Association of Basketball Coaches

  • “Why do you coach?” – valuable exercise to reflect on why you coach, engage in conversations with colleagues on this
  • Importance of curiosity as a coach- “ratio decidendi”
  • “Not what, but why”
  • Experiential learning key for growth
  • Players need to be independent for own performance & interdependent for teams performance

Joerik Michiels – Founder, Elite Athletes Belgium

  • Drills alone can’t mimic the complexity of the game
  • The 7 types of constraints for practice – player limitations, space, scoring, tactical, defensive, tools, time
  • Embrace the mess
  • Don’t be a “PlayStation coach” – you can’t control every action or decision like a video game
  • Managing your interventions as a coach – rewind, remind, demo, question

2024 National Coaches Conference

Mark Alabakov – Head Coach, Bendigo Braves undefeated 2023 NBL1 National Champions

  • Concept of increasing your “luck surface area” – what are doing in your program to expand your ability to take advantage of luck and opportunity?
  • “All streams seamlessly” (offensive efficiency)
  • “Rigid in outcomes, flexible in methods”
  • Aim to be reliable, not remarkable – concept from Brisbane Lions, now part of the fabric of the Braves program and organisation
  • “Be a lighthouse” – shine light on others

Aneeka Smith – Physiotherapist, Australian Under 19 Women

  • If you’re not a good mover first you have nothing to get strong for
  • Your past injury is your next injury if you don’t keep working on it
  • Everything in life is a load, the key is how the body adapts in response to load
  • We need to support athletes in becoming physically robust and resilient people for their sport and in day to day life

Kate Thomas – Lead Consultant Centre for Healing & Justice Through Sport

  • Relationship building strategies – learn names, check in regularly, ensure they know their worth, provide opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways, be predictable
  • Importance of high fives (tactile communication)
  • Be as present in failure as you are in success
  • More resources 

Peter Lonergan – Basketball Australia

  • Apply the WMI filter – what’s most important
  • Manage the “environment of more”
  • Will it make the boat go faster?
  • “Tired is the enemy, not the goal” – Andy Reid
  • Are you a “human doing” or “human being”? – Phil Matthews
  • “Guard your energy” as a coach & leader – Mike Dunlap

Basketball Australia will be reproducing video content from many of the sessions in the coming weeks and providing detailed notes from all on court and keynote presentations.