I do not like assigning roles or restricting decisions of players until I’ve given them a chance to TRY ON everything in the Read & React. I would encourage you to make no assumptions about Tempo, Scoring Opportunities, Formations, Leaders, or Play-Makers until you have had a healthy amount of experimentation. (Yes, I know that TIME is always a factor!)

Players change from year to year. Teams change from year to year. If you are a TRANSFORMATIONAL coach, this should not surprise you! Players are going to develop; they’re going to improve and grow – even (perhaps especially) during season!

Every time I look at players or a team and think that I know what would work best for them, I get surprised (another way of saying that I get proven wrong!)

Players that I would not give 2-cents for, (in terms of their skills with the ball), wind up being good decision-makers without the ball. They find some aspect of the Read & React that makes sense to them or allows them to use their athleticism or their craftiness, and their role winds up enhancing the players around them.

Players that I thought were too slow compared to their teammates wind up being the player that keeps the pace of the game where it should be. The ball DOES “stick in their hands” longer than other players, but it winds up allowing the action away from the ball to develop properly.

These kinds of things have happened so often, that I now tend to try a little bit of everything over the course of time; different formations, different combinations of players, speed them up, slow them down, require more screening, require less screening, etc. And sure enough, a combination unfolds that looks natural and effortless. The team plays at the right speed, turnovers are fewer, spacing is better, shot selection has improved.

Regardless of my preconceived notions,

Regardless of how I think the game should be played,

Regardless of what style of play I know best,

Regardless of what I’ve been successful with in the past,

Should I not simply go with what allows my team to perform their best?

The answer is: Of course.

But I still see square pegs being forced into round holes. And I’m the one with the hammer!