REVIEW - Sunday's NBA Coaching Clinic with Dawn Smyth and Mike Mackay

Sunday’s NBA Coaching Clinic proved to be a big success thanks to the input and wisdom of Canada Basketball’s Dawn Smyth and Mike MacKay. Both presenters provided a great level of knowledge and interaction for the coaches in attendance, covering a wide range of topics and prompting plenty of debate, discussion and learning.

With over 100 coaches present at CitySport in London, Smyth and MacKay covered the theory of Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), an on court session detailing “Purposeful Practice” as well as a “Games Based Approach” to practice and training sessions.

“Some of the challenges we’ve left the coaches with here are to take what we’ve discussed and put it into application,” said Smyth. “Take your favourite drill for example and see what you could do differently. Is it a teaching drill? Or a learning drill? Or a competitive drill? What changes could you make to your drill to take it from one to the other? Take 5 or 10 minutes to grab a concept and compare it to what you currently do, and embrace those potential changes to how you work.”

The clinic was supported by players from Charnwood College Riders who were able to assist in the afternoon sessions whilst MacKay and Smyth went through their thoughts on how to structure practices to get the best from the players you’re working with.

“We all got a lot out of the sessions, not just doing the drills but listening to Mike and Dawn, their culture and how they do things,” said Charnwood’s Niahm Kelshaw. “It provided a lot of learning for us and how we can take different approaches and understanding why we do something in training.”

The clinic was organised by Basketball England and the NBA as part of the activities leading up to the NBA London Game 2019 between the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks. It was the first in a series of three coaching clinics spanning across Sunday 13th, Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th January 2019. There are also a number of Jr. NBA clinics planned before Thursday’s showpiece game, plus two Officiating Clinics on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th January 2019.

“I want to thank both Mike and Dawn for the fantastic insight provided to those in attendance today, and the NBA and Charnwood Riders for helping to make the clinic such a success,” said Basketball England’s Coaching lead Brian Aldred. “Events like this are integral to coach development and a must for coaches looking to broaden their own horizons. Today was a great start and I look forward to the other clinics we have planned over the coming days.”

We’ll have a comprehensive recap from Brian tomorrow morning, looking further into some of the topics and theories covered in today’s clinic. The full video of today’s event will be available on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks.