Seven things learned during the EuroLeague Coaches Clinic

2019-07-29T11:48:29+00:00 2019-07-30T18:45:18+00:00.

Aris Barkas

29/Jul/19 11:48

Being present in the first-ever EuroLeague Coaches Clinic was a unique experience and you can also have it in the comfort of our computer

By Aris Barkas/

Coaches interact with the press almost on a daily basis. However, it’s quite different to talk about a specific game and try to get a headline and speak about coaching in general.

That’s why being present in a coaching clinic can always be an enlighting experience. It helps you, as coach Ettore Messina eloquently put it, see the game with “the same glasses” the coaches do.

And if you are a coach and missed the chance to be at the EuroLeague Head Coaches clinic during the first week of July, you can still watch everything that happened by getting access to the videos via HUDL.

And if you do that, there are several hundreds of users like you from all around the globe that you can reach via the HUDL messenger either as a group or individually. This network can exchange knowledge with each other and grow with your presence inside of this group of coaches.

What you will get? The masterclasses of Ettore Messina, Georgios Bartzokas, Pablo Laso, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Xavi Pascual and Zeljko Obradovic.

And here are seven points, worth remembering from Badalona.

Three things for the win: There’s a beauty to simplicity and even if you don’t agree, there’s a reason in scouting to keep things as simple as possible. Coach Ettore Messina described the process used by the Spurs in scouting opponents. The bottom line? “Coach Pop ultimately wanted us to present on one page the three things that we had to do in order to win the game, simple as that”, explained Messina. So, analysis is great, but you can’t lose your main focus.

Obradovic‘s play shared by the Warriors: Coaches borrow ideas from other coaches and there’s a never-ending give and go all over the world. As Messina explained, you may have watched a game, seen something you liked, make a quick draw and let it hang for the rest of the coaching staff to see. And after some time, you see it integrated into your playbook. That’s how the Warriors tried – unsuccessfully – to score in the closing seconds of Game 6 of the NBA Finals using the “Winner” play of the Boston Celtics. However, this play is also part of Zeljko Obradovic’s playbook, while Stevens also was using it during his college coaching days in Butler. It’s a small basketball world after all…

Don’t try to over-coach: Xavi Pascual is notorious for his big playbook. Still, he knows better than anyone that some things simply take time. On his own words: “If the players are not ready to accept new information, you have one practice to talk about one, or two topics”. So don’t try to do more than your players are ready to accept and practice successfully on the court.

There are always egos: Pablo Laso coaches Real Madrid and he was asked once more how he can handle the egos on his team. His answer was gold: “You know where I was coaching before Real Madrid? In San Sebastian. Do you think that there were no egos in San Sebastian? How many of you are youth coaches? You don’t have egos in your teams? And in some cases, it’s even more difficult, because you have also to deal with the egos of the parents. So, egos are always part of life. And dealing with those egos is coaching”.

Saras is really good with people: As a player, Sarunas Jasikevicius was a showman on the floor and his charm remains intact in the role of the coach. While he made clear that he didn’t have much to say about the subject of his masterclass which was full-court zone press breakers and full-court zone pressure defense, the audience loved every word that came from his mouth. His charisma is one of his main assets and while you can’t imitate charisma, as a coach you simply must have a way to reach people.

Be prepared: When you have to be part of a clinic with some of the top coaches in Europe, you must be prepared in order to make a splash among your peers. And coach Giorgos Bartzokas did just that, by using the jumbotron to show clips of action during his lecture about switching defenses, before moving on the court and giving live examples with players. It’s not a first, still, he was the only one who did it in the clinic and stole the show.

Gone in 0.5 seconds: What’s the holy grail of coaching? There’s no simple answer to that question. However, the 0.5 seconds concept which was created by the Spurs can be a main candidate for that. Remember the 2014 Finals? The Spurs ended up winning the title with 4-1 wins while playing arguably the most beautiful brand of basketball ever witnessed. The key was the idea that each player had 0.5 to decide what to do with the ball once he got it on his hands. “Of course, having players like Manu, Diaw, Parker, Leonard, and Duncan helped”, said Messina, but if you want team-game perfection, that’s the nearest you may get.