2018 NBA All-Star

NBA coaches sharing teaching techniques in eCoach program

eCoachBasketball is a growing library of video instruction from current and former NBA coaches and assistants

LOS ANGELES – Just because your NBA team of choice is shut down for a while over the All-Star break doesn’t mean you can’t brush up on skills, work on your game or otherwise pick the brains of the league’s brightest coaches.

eCoach, the instructional platform “powered by” the National Basketball Coaches Association, launched across all tech platforms Friday and began offering a seven-day free trial subscription in conjunction with NBA All-Star 2018.

eCoachBasketball is a growing library of video instruction from current and former NBA coaches and assistants, accessible now on both Android- and iOS-based devices, including phones, tablets, Apple TV, Amazon Fire or online via computer. It offers a wide range of tips and drills, can be customized to a user’s areas of interest and even allows for interactive analysis via videos shot and uploaded by subscribers.

From Friday through March 1, people may register and opt-in for seven days of free unlimited access to the site’s premium content.

“I’ve never been more excited about a business-and-basketball endeavor that [the NBCA] has done,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, president of the coaches association, told NBA.com. “This is a phenomenal opportunity to influence the way our game is taught throughout the world.”

More than 20 NBA coaches began working on the project more than a year ago, shooting skills and strategy “vignettes” in their NBA cities or, in many cases, during the Las Vegas Summer League last summer.

Eventually, if the partnership with eCoach is a financial success, Carlisle said, proceeds would be used to aid and benefit past and present NBCA members. Premium membership for the site’s features costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually.

For now, though, the Mavericks coach said eCoach is exciting for its scope and potential impact.

“The audience possibilities are wide-ranging,” he said. “Anything from young kids looking for ball handling and shooting drills to practice, to accomplished coaches in countries all over the world.”

Taking a “test drive” of the site via a smartphone, a user accessed the following hoops wisdom in a matter of minutes:

  • Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford demonstrating a “flip and pick” offensive technique.
  • Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens putting players through a rigorous 3-on-3 halfcourt defensive drill. “When you guard great shooters setting pick-and-rolls and you’re not able to switch,” Stevens said in the video, “you’ve got to be able to cover as a team.”
  • Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey put a lone defender up against a battery of perimeter shooters to hone shot-contesting skills and proper box-out and rebound position.
  • Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, a former NBA 3-point threat, started out with the basic of shooting, instructing viewers in everything from proper grip and foot placement to a helpful one-handed shooting drill.

That’s a wealth of information from the top coaches in basketball, all accessed with a few pokes at a touchscreen or a keyboard.

“For many years, coaches have been doing clinics worldwide,” Carlisle said. “But there’s always a desire whenever they leave for more information. ‘How can we stay current? How can we stay up to date?’ This is what eCoach is going to provide.”

Said Detroit’s Stan Van Gundy: “eCoach gives us an opportunity to share what we have learned with coaches and players around the world. For somebody like me, who’s constantly looking for new ways to improve, new ways to do things, better ways to develop our players, there’s now a library of information that I can access quickly and easily.”

It’s hard to imagine any of these competitive individuals giving away trade secrets, right? Then again, every team gets scouted down to the most minor detail now. Every moment of every play of every game has been captured on video for years now. What’s secret often boils down to execution and resourcefulness at the right time.

“Where we’re coming from is,” Carlisle said, “it’s better to share and raise the level of everyone’s game, and push the envelope for more creativity, than to just keep things ‘secret.’”

To learn more about eCoachBasketball and register for its free seven-day trial subscription, go to www.ecoach.coach/basketball

Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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