May 21, 2004, Newsletter Issue #163: WHOLE-PART-WHOLE TEACHING METHOD

Tip of the Week

When learning, it is important to understand the end result that you are trying to attain. Once that "whole" part is presented, the task can be broken down into smaller "parts" to practice. This is evidenced in learning how to shoot, pass or dribble just as much as it is apparent when developing team defense or executing an offense.

Shooting cannot be "fragmented", otherwise the shooter looses rhythm and power. It must be a smooth, continuous motion. Dribble moves will not be effective unless the "parts" of the move are precisely timed and sequential.
Similarly, an offense must have precise timing to free players at the most opportune moment. A teamís defensive rotation must occur instantaneously otherwise the offense will be free for an open shot.

When the player, or team, recognizes the ultimate objective it can then practice each minute detail separately. Once each part is learned the task then becomes one of blending these parts back together and learning the transitions.

This brings us back to, and reinforces, the whole-part-whole teaching philosophy mentioned earlier. The whole action cannot truly be understood and performed without an understanding and proficiency of the individual parts.
The use of the whole-part-whole method is a most effective teaching tool to achieve maximum understanding and performance in any basketball skill, technique, or strategy.

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