I am often asked what is it like to coach in the world? How does the game of basketball differ in each continent?
I have been fortunate to have used basketball as a tool to get an education, and as such it has provided me with opportunities from leading the country in scoring to having had that honor of playing professionally and now coaching. As a player back in the late 80s, the games were physical with an emphasis of body development and a use of screens and low-post play. I can remember having gone through screen after screen and learning that If I set good screens, I would be the one who was open to shoot the ball.
The philosophy of the teams and the players were a lot of UCLA-type offenses at the time. The pass to a wing, a high-post cut, then a down screen to get back open, and perhaps even another down-screen or back-screen to get open shots. But each country has different personnel, and thus coaches have to make changes to help their respective teams stay successful.
Currently in the USA there is a change in the system or style of play. It's open court, spread with players trying to utilize their athletic abilities to get past the defender and into the defense and thus try to make plays from there. The dribble-drive system, for example, is having a huge impact on getting players to spread the floor, create space, and find their teammates open because of the help that comes from having beaten a defender. Each country has different personnel however and that is the beauty of the game.
Much like what we saw in the NCAA tournament, each coach had a different philosophy on how to get his players to win the game. Some used screen/roll action, others spread the floor with dribble-drive options, some used pass, cut and back screen action. Each team was successful as was each coach, because they were trying to play to the strengths of their personnel.
The same in the other parts of the world. Coaches are educated in other parts of the world. Not all of them, just like here in states. There are good and bad, but for the most part, coaches are taking tests, reading materials and learning how to improve the game. It still comes down to the personnel that is on the floor. When I was in Bahrain, my players were not big, so playing an inside post-up game wasn't a strength, so I had to adjust according to what would be in their best interests.
Coaching in other countries, there is size and a different exposure to what is out there, so the attacks can be adjusted.
Most of the time in the other countries, the daily routine is one in which there are academies that they have been used to. By that, I mean the players are coming from an environment of training and development. Most of the time, games were 1 time per week as that is based on the soccer experience. Pressure to perform one game per week. That time spent during the week has got to be well spent, and that is with the execution of what you believe in as a coach and the strengths of those players who are under you.
If you ever get to coach abroad take into consideration that you will have to be flexible and adjust according to those players that you have. You will have a great time!