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Thread: Canada's reason for struggles?

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Default Canada's reason for struggles?

    Sorry, didn't know what category to put this in, but it was a really nice story.

    My coach, Collin MacDonald, a former assistant coach of the University of British Columbia, told my team a story about Canada basketball and their struggles to win during training camp.

    During camp, we were working on basic fundamental passing and dribbling. After the segment of camp, he told us an interesting story that relates to being able to have a capable handle, and the ability to move the ball.

    He was at a conference a little time ago, and was discussing with former coaches PJ Carlesimo, and Jay Triano. They were discussing Canada basketball, and such, and to quote what my coach was told by Triano.

    "We most definitely have a top 10 talent team in the world, we are a hard-working bunch, but yet we end up bottom of the pack. The reason why, is we just can't PASS THE BALL. The women's and men's team both have troubles in everything to do with passing, turnovers, movement, etc. We only had one guy who could EVER do that over average, and of course, it was Steve."

    Than of course, our coach went on to teach that the need to protecting the ball, passing it, giving the right pass to the right target, etc is extremely important for us to be successful.

    Any thoughts? I knew ball movement is CRUCIAL in International play, being there is barely any superstar type game-play like the NBA, but I found this extremely interesting, and with our new young guys in Joseph, Wiggins (future), Thompson, Sacre, it could be something to look forward too.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    Interesting question. How do you teach passing? And you would think it should be taught long before anyone get's to the national level. Given that Canada Basketball recruits aren't good passers, you would think that they would be teaching it at THAT level. Remedial passing classes after every practice. It's either that or develop offensive schemes that avoid passing :-)

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    Raptors Republic Starter KHD's Avatar
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    Quote Puffer wrote: View Post
    How do you teach passing?

    Find kids who've played both soccer and basketball. The passing in soccer is all about open space, as in, you pass where your man is going, rather than where they are at the time. Passing like this is what sets Nash apart from many other guards.

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    Since his name did come up, I just wanted to mention that, for the first time since the Raps got started, I may be watching two teams progress through the season. The Steve Nash show in LA could be epic. He's never had a roster like that, to pass to, I don't think. How they don't completely dominate the West...hard to imagine them not coming out of it on top.

    I know it's a Raptors forum, but I can see a "Steve Nash as an LA Laker" thread coming.

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    Raptors Republic All-Star RandomGuy's Avatar
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    Well, the results of any national team, players, performance depends, mostly on the youth coaches, the system of basketball in your country. I'll take Lithuania as an example. There are less than 3 million people in this country (almost the size of Toronto) but we manage to maximize the talent available, just because of the system we have, what includes good youth coaches, who are often forgotten after the players are successful at their careers, but they are the ones, who should be most rewarded, next, many basketball schools, with old traditions, youth leagues (from town/city leagues, to basketball schools league) which grant experience and great competition for the youngsters.
    These stages should learn these fundamentals, and one of the fundamentals should be to play team game, I see North America as culture in overall, self oriented, self achievement/success oriented and I bet this reflects in basketball. Do whatever it makes to reach the top, fight for yourself. Up here coaches try to implement and make players understand that there are way more talented guys outside the countries borders, who would crush them individually, but as a team they could beat anyone, maybe it's also a leftover of old soviet structure of collectivism, which is still visible in basketballs traditions (what's one of few good things CCPS left here).
    So to sum up this messy list of thoughts, in order for players to be better passers, they have to be trained better from earliest days and to be trained as a team, from the very start. I believe that it's the issue of being too individualistic, what's the result of Western Culture and NBA.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Puffer's Avatar
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    Quote RandomGuy wrote: View Post
    ...in order for players to be better passers, they have to be trained better from earliest days and to be trained as a team, from the very start....
    I think that's the crux of it right there. There hasn't been serious coaching, training and opportunities for youth to play in Canada. Thankfully that has changed somewhat. My sister-in-law has both of her kids (11 and 14) on rep teams, and they have been for several years. I think what makes it possible is that she has been out of the work force for a few years. Goes right back to whatisname's book, Outliers. Excellence demands 1,000's of hours of quality practice. I believe he used figures around 8,000 - 10,000 hours for outstanding athletes. If you think about some kid getting into a sport at 6, and practising 1.5 hours a day, every day, it would take them till they're 26 (rough estimate). That kind of opportunity hasn't been available (QUALITY practice, not just playing pick-up ball or Drew League) until quite recently in Canada. A lot of European countries have a "club" system for basketball, akin to the way Soccer has been run for a couple of generations. That is an excellent way to develop talent.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Katman's Avatar
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    Quote RandomGuy wrote: View Post
    So to sum up this messy list of thoughts, in order for players to be better passers, they have to be trained better from earliest days and to be trained as a team, from the very start. I believe that it's the issue of being too individualistic, what's the result of Western Culture and NBA.
    I don't think it is a reflection of Western Culture but the influence of the ESPN (and all sports networks now) hi-light on TV. Over the last 20ish years kids growing up are enthralled by individual althletic play vs the team play. This acceptance is embraced by the NBA in the name of marketing & entertainment.

    Another point is that in Canada most of the elite athletic kids gravitate to hockey, but that appears to be in decline which should bode well for basketball and soccer. Basketball Canada should be focusing on coaching development at the grass roots level.

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    I am dating myself, but Eli Pasquale was a great passer.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote Katman wrote: View Post
    I don't think it is a reflection of Western Culture but the influence of the ESPN (and all sports networks now) hi-light on TV. Over the last 20ish years kids growing up are enthralled by individual althletic play vs the team play. This acceptance is embraced by the NBA in the name of marketing & entertainment.

    Another point is that in Canada most of the elite athletic kids gravitate to hockey, but that appears to be in decline which should bode well for basketball and soccer. Basketball Canada should be focusing on coaching development at the grass roots level.
    I'm gonna be honest, I am one of those kids growing up to watching hoopmixtape, the youtube mixes, etc. I've always had a voice in the back of my head saying "scoring in sexy ways will get you noticed." As a point guard though, I do a really nice job of cancelling that out ;P

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    Raptors Republic Starter IROR's Avatar
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    Very true points. In Canada, basketball is simply not large enough at a grassroots level (although there are hotbeds throughout the nation). There are not enough good coaches in youth leagues with skill and experience to teach a difficult fundamental like passing to young kids.
    My experience in the Ontario Basketball Association was that (apart from the few elite teams that do produce players to go the the college level) most mid-level and small youth basketball clubs' coaches are one of the players parents, or volunteer from the community-- not experienced coaches (students of the game) who have the ability or knowledge of the game to properly teach young kids fundamentals like passing, catching, ball movement. High numbers of these coaches just have not been bred yet.
    So from the very start, these kids are at a disadvantage compared to those young players in the US, or Lithuania for that matter. Canada seems to be bucking this trend, as the sport continues to grow. We are starting to produce better coaches at the grassroots level, and in turn, producing better players-- but it will take generations to catch up to the leading hoops nations. Not to say we can't compete with them in the near future, but Canada is a long way from having a deep basketball heritage like the US or LTU.
    Last edited by IROR; Sat Oct 6th, 2012 at 04:54 PM.

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    Super Moderator ReubenJRD's Avatar
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    Quote IROR wrote: View Post
    Very true points. In Canada, basketball is simply not large enough at a grassroots level (although there are hotbeds throughout the nation). There are not enough good coaches in youth leagues with skill and experience to teach a difficult fundamental like passing to young kids.
    My experience in the Ontario Basketball Association was that (apart from the few elite teams that do produce players to go the the college level) most mid-level and small youth basketball clubs' coaches are one of the players parents, or volunteer from the community-- not experienced coaches (students of the game) who have the ability or knowledge of the game to properly teach young kids fundamentals like passing, catching, ball movement. High numbers of these coaches just have not been bred yet.
    So from the very start, these kids are at a disadvantage compared to those young players in the US, or Lithuania for that matter. Canada seems to be bucking this trend, as the sport continues to grow. We are starting to produce better coaches at the grassroots level, and in turn, producing better players-- but it will take generations to catch up to the leading hoops nations. Not to say we can't compete with them in the near future, but Canada is a long way from having a deep basketball heritage like the US or LTU.
    I think the reason for not having those grass-root type players/coaches, was the growth of basketball in Canada. Basketball in Canada at this moment seems to be starting to hit a prime. Nash in the front office, recently high draft pick of Canadian Tristan Thompson (also, other Canadians being drafted e.g. Cory Joseph) Andrew Wiggins, the #1 player in high-school, number of large programs for younger players.

    For example, here in BC. There are two major programs, the 'Drive' basketball program, and the Provincial teams. Going by age, all the way to U-17, there are teams within the program that suit your skill level, and the coaches are ones who have played at the highest level, been successful, have great experience, etc. I would expect much from Toronto, that they hold a good number of programs as well.

    Basketball is a bigger sport now in Canada than it's been in the past. We are starting to experience that. More coverage, more people watching, playing basketball. It has to start with the country overall to really get into the game.
    Last edited by ReubenJRD; Sun Oct 7th, 2012 at 02:21 AM.

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    Default Wiggins Reclassifies!

    Last edited by stretch; Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 07:11 PM.

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    I've never seen wiggins play. I can't imagine we will have the number one draft pick in two years. But how can this not happen? We have been dying for a wing for.....forever. The best ones we had left for their hometown, more money or both. And now the number one pick is from thornhill?! What would we mortgage to get him.? Maybe we're the destination after the rookie contract. Maybe that's what takes us from mediocre to a contender. Maybe I'll stop thinking about this and pay attention in a couple of years

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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    Quote Jclaw wrote: View Post
    I've never seen wiggins play. I can't imagine we will have the number one draft pick in two years. But how can this not happen? We have been dying for a wing for.....forever. The best ones we had left for their hometown, more money or both. And now the number one pick is from thornhill?! What would we mortgage to get him.? Maybe we're the destination after the rookie contract. Maybe that's what takes us from mediocre to a contender. Maybe I'll stop thinking about this and pay attention in a couple of years
    I'd love that. Wiggins signs in Toronto as a FA... i can see it now

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    This may have been posted elsewhere already, but here is Wiggin's Hoopmixtape from this summer 2012:


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    I think Stern fixes one more draft lottery on his way out.

    Toronto gets the #1 pick in 2014. I can feel it.
    Last edited by Lark Benson; Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 11:50 PM.

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    Raptors Republic Starter IROR's Avatar
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    Quote NoPropsneeded wrote: View Post
    I'd love that. Wiggins signs in Toronto as a FA... i can see it now
    "I've decided to take my talents to T Dot"

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    Raptors Republic Veteran NoPropsneeded's Avatar
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    Quote IROR wrote: View Post
    "I've decided to take my talents to T Dot"
    haha. Instant champions!

    We should just gather all the Canadian players in Toronto. Wiggins, Kabongo, Thompson, CJ, Nicholson

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