Why I (Rick Torbett) Can Help You Become a Better Coach

It started with the question, “Are you happy?”

A little more than a decade ago immediately following another average season, my assistant coach asked me if I was happy. I trusted him (he had been with me in the trenches for a while now) so I answered plainly, “Not particularly”.

I was frustrated with this past season (the last few actually), with coaching, with… myself.

“What if you could start from scratch? How would you do it differently?”, he continued.

I had been thinking about that question almost every day. “I would teach our kids how to play entirely by principle‚Ķ while teaching the fundamentals”.

His next question was obvious, but struck my heart nevertheless, “Why don’t you do it?”

I couldn’t hide the honest answer: I didn’t know how.

I had been a math teacher for 25 years, though, so I looked at it like a problem to solve. I locked myself in the video room searching for something, anything that would lead me to the answers.

What I found drove me to where I am now: Better Basketball, Read & React, all of it.

The previous season we had only scored 20% of our points off of my set plays – the set plays that I loved. That left the 80% from, you guessed it, principled basketball: broken plays, transition, etc. And, as I looked through my past practice plans, I was spending 80% of my practice time on those ‘pet’ plays and less than 20% on principled basketball.

It turns out Pareto (Italian mathematician) was right. 20% of my time was creating 80% of the points. There was something entirely wrong with that equation.

I built Better Basketball to change that equation.

Coaching fulfillment could not be found by doing the things the way we had always done them. It couldn’t be found inside a set play. Or, by doing two-line layups after the weave.

So, I took my training as a teacher, added my experience as a coach and applied it to teaching the game in a new way. One that teaches players how to play. One that teaches coaches how to gain more control and more fulfillment by letting go. One that I believe is better.

This site addresses those thoughts (along with others), but for a complete picture visit my other sites as well: Better Basketball and The Tribe.

About Rick Torbett

I still consider myself a teacher (I spent 24 years as a high school coach and math teacher). And, despite the fact that I haven’t had a team of my own in a few years, if someone yells out “Coach”, I’ll turn as if they’re calling to me. Sometimes I miss coaching – having your own little laboratory to experiment in, helping kids mature, the excitement of competition – but now I get the most energy from teaching coaches to think differently about the way they coach.

Although, this blog is just getting started, I’ll be posting once a week on coaching theory, quick tips for coaches at any level, occasionally about the Read & React Offense (for more on that visit the Tribe), and also about my faith in Christ.

I started Better Basketball in 2001 and since then have put together a series of player development DVDs as well as a comprehensive offensive system, the aforementioned Read & React, which I consider my manifesto on basketball offense.

If you want a snapshot into my coaching philosophy check out some of the below articles (currently posted on the Tribe):

Origins of the Read & React Offense
Flea Training and Heretical Basketball
Freedom Versus Control, Part 1
What the Read & React Looks Like
Have You Killed Your Sacred Zombie Cows?