I was listening to a podcast the other day and the guest was a famous basketball coach. He was discussing Cause and Effect in terms of basketball. His theory was that most coaches are more interested in the CAUSE of winning or losing games rather than the EFFECT. For example, coaches are focused on preparation. They write about scouting reports, watch a lot of film while trying to expose the opponent’s weaknesses, and hide the shortcomings of the team. In the end, coaches have no real influence on the EFFECT or the outcome of the game since they are not playing. They can only hope that the work and preparation that they have put in gets through to the players and they are essentially able to perform the actions that the coach has put forth. Players, on the other hand, are more interested in winning or losing. Because they are on the court, the intensity that they must bring to each game, causes them to focus less on the actual game plan, but instead, they rely more on instinct. They may know and understand the game plan, but if that player feels he/she can keep the offensive player under control in a pick and roll situation that differs from what the coach is demanding, the player will act instinctively. The players have more of a vested interest in the outcome rather than the preparation.
I conducted a poll in my Instagram story asking my “teammates” (my followers), which one was more important in their opinion. I found it interesting that from those who took part in the poll, 71% thought the Cause was more important and 29% thought the Effect was. If I break it down from that 29%, all of those people were current players. From the 71%, there were very few current players. Most of those people were either coaches or retired players. That data correlates to what I wrote earlier in the first paragraph. Players tend to think about winning and losing, and coaches (or those now outside of the game) appreciate the preparation.
Because I was both a professional player and coach, I was able to think about it in both scenarios and I found it intriguing to think about. I understand that poor preparation will likely result in poor performance, but there are times when I have won games, yet felt the preparation wasn’t good. There have also been games that I lost but thought the game plan was fantastic. There are far too many factors to decide which is more important. They go hand in hand. In the short term, yes you can win a game or two without proper preparation, especially if you have a lot of talent. Long term though, I do not believe a talented team can win a championship without being prepared. That is just my humble opinion.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!