Skill Development With Purdue Assistant Beth Couture

Beth Couture heads into her second season with the Boilermakers, coming to Purdue after one season as the associate head coach at Cleveland State University. Her short stint with the Vikings came after head-coaching stints at Converse College, Butler University and Presbyterian College.

Her first season with the Boilermakers was an impressive one, helping them to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and one of the most impressive late-season runs in program history.

Skill Development at Purdue

This pre-season Purdue focused on perfecting their fundamentals. They won 23 games last year and felt several of their losses came from not being as fundamentally sound as they could have been. For example, they drilled a lot on passing this pre-season but not with your typical goals in mind. They zoned in on hitting specifically targeted spots of the receiver’s body and not just an area of the body when making passes.

Suppose a player is making a dump-off chest pass to a post player in the paint area because their man helped over on the drive. Traditionally, you would hear coaches saying to hit players in the chest with the ball when making this pass. Technically, the “chest” could range anywhere from the waist area and go up to the eye level of the player. Purdue looked to specify the targeted area within the traditional “chest area.”

Whether it be hitting players with the pass in the neck area so it takes less time to raise your arms and finish at the rim or hitting post players near the belly button so it takes less time to put the ball on the ground to make a 1 or 2 dribble move near the rim. Specifying a targeted range increases passing accuracy and gives the receiver a better chance to execute when catching the ball.

Using Film for Skill Development

Purdue emphasized reviewing practice and workout film with players more than ever this pre-season. Initially, the players would review the practice film with a coach individually with a program called XOS Technology. XOS Technology breaks down practices for teams and functions similarly to a common program many NCAA coaches use to scout opponents called Synergy.

Coaches were tasked with gaging how long every player’s attention span was when watching film as an individual and showing them what to watch for when watching themselves.

Targeting each players attention span was very important because the coaches wanted to maximize the players learning ability and experience with film time to insure no time was spent unproductively.

Lastly, each player has their own login to XOS Technology and teaching them what to look for when watching film ensures they are learning what they can improve on when they watch film on their own. For example, sometimes as coaches, we watch film as a “fans of the game” and keep an eye on the score and if our team is winning or not. Subsequently, there are other times when we are watching games and looking to steal plays and processes of other good coaches. We know how to identify what we are looking for when watching a game, and that is not always the case with the players.

Follow Coach Beth Couture on Twitter @CoachCouture21


Guest Writer: Tobias Pinson – Assistant Coach for Winthrop University 

Tobias Pinson is in his first season with the Eagle basketball program after being hired in June of 2017. Pinson went to Winthrop after serving as an assistant coach of the women’s basketball program at the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2016-17. Prior to his job with the Spartans, Pinson was a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team at Walsh University (2015-2016) in North Canton, OH. He also served as head JV coach for the women’s basketball team. He began his coaching career as a volunteer basketball assistant at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC while pursuing his undergraduate degree. Pinson is in the U.S Air Force Reserves in Air Transportation for the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Army Airfield in Fayetteville, NC.

Follow Coach Tobias Pinson on Twitter @tobiastalks_

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One thought on “Skill Development With Purdue Assistant Beth Couture

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