Reliance on Analytics in Basketball

As many people have read and are learning, the world of basketball, and sports in general, is putting more and more weight into the difference analytical processes that are surfacing everywhere. There is no doubt that this data is useful and can significantly help in making coaching decisions, designing workout programs, and especially with preventing injuries and keeping players in top shape.

Many of the stats that have been produced have helped players make adjustments in their game, and work on specific deficiencies in their games. So there is a lot of good coming from this data analysis – no question.

But, as someone who has developed players, and seen every kind of player, for almost 20 years, there will always be an element of data that needs to be let go – and players need to just, at some point, go out and play. Having trained Kevin Garnett and Chauncey Billups throughout their whole career, without a strong reliance on data, I can tell you that much of the work we did was not so complicated but rather relied on attention to detail in what we saw in their games, and, maybe most importantly, their burning desire to get better every day as well as their competitive fire as players, and as people.

As many tests as we may come up with to produce data, there will never be a measurement of heart, desire, focus, commitment, intensity, and all the other intangibles that make players great.

Basketball is not that complicated of a game – all you need to do is watch one film of Jerry West playing, in a time when there were no analytics, and see the grace and skill he, and the other players, had at that time. So, while we pay close attention to the data we collect and are given at Impact, we stay committed to maximizing the skill of every player that comes through our door with teaching them importance of consistency in their training, their mental approach to each workout, and ultimately, their ability to get it done when the lights come on.

Joe