More Complex Can Mean More Mistakes

Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Jesse Murmuys says to be deliberate in what specific mistakes you focus on with your athletes, as constructive teaching that is more complex can mean more mistakes.

Because basketball is such a mistake-prone game, Murmuys makes the argument that for coaches and players, “less is more.” If coaches can communicate things in simple ways for their athletes, their athletes are more likely to grasp it. Coaches should avoid trying to teach too many complicated ideas at once, and instead focus on teaching fewer things very well. If coaches try and accomplish too much and are teaching too many things at the same time, not only does the coaching quality decrease, but players are less likely to grasp the ideas being put forward. While it’s easy to over-coach with so much information at your fingertips, it may be better for coaches to focus on one lesson at a time so that players make fewer mistakes.

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Positive Coaching Alliance develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. In addition to 1,000+ free audio-video and printable tips and tools at, PCA has partnered with roughly 3,000 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver live group workshops, online courses and books that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.

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