30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who Am I Responsible To?

In today's society, we are often taught to believe that we are responsible to no one, but ourselves. Therefore, if we do anything that just might let someone down, it would be their problem and not ours because I am responsible for myself. I think that I just may totally disagree with that assessment. As a coach and as players at Henryville H.S., I believe we are responsible to many, many different groups of people and sometimes they may overlap in these different groups.

1. I believe that when you decide to play or coach basketball you become responsible to the team. Your actions can decide how the chemistry of the team will emerge. It can decide playing time and can upset the delicate balance that is chemistry within a team. It never amazes me that someone may risk their memories of basketball for a short term "feel good" moment. When in reality, they won't be responsible to anyone in the near future and can participate in anything they want. They won't let anyone down on any team at that point.

2. You are responsbile to the coach and the coaches to you. Both sides are working hard towards a common goal and if either upsets that respect for each other, it can lead to a bad season or bad chemistry.

3. You are responsbile to your school. Your school is giving you the opportunity to play and be recognized in special ways that doesn't occur for other students and won't occur in the near future.

4. You are responsible to your community. There are people who come ever single game and have for generations to see us play and hopefully to win. You owe them your best effort both on and off the court.

5. You are responsible to your family. They have run you from here to there, gotten you to practice on time, gotten you to games on time, been there for your events when you win and lose.

6. You are responsible to your friends. Especially those who don't have the same ability as you and would do anything to be in your position.

7. And finally, to yourself, yes yourself. You have gotten to this point, don't ruin what could be a lifetime of memories over one stupid decision.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What is Leadership?

In my book, there are two types of leadership. The vocal, boisterous, often in-your-face type of leadership. And then there is the quiet, work hard and hope that everyone notices and follows suit type of leadership.
The vocal leader is often the true leader of a team. They are the one who is both quick to get on their teammates by helping "coach" them, but is also the one who is quick to pat them on the back. Often his teammates will take the negative because he also gives the positive, but also because they see that he is going above and beyond the expected. That guy is busting his behind every possession all the time, diving for loose balls, working so hard they stagger when brought out of practice or a game. If someone like that is giving their all, it is almost ridiculous that you would get aggravated when they expected more from you.

The quiet leader is the guy who shoots hundreds of shots even when no one is looking. He is the guy who is working on ball handling even when no one is looking. He is the guy who does the same things as the vocal leader, but does not give the negative or positive reinforcement. He is the guy who does what he does and feels that others should see and do the same.

What kind of leader am I? You would probably have to ask the players and my assistants, but I think depending on who you ask, you would get different answers. I hope that my assistants and players work hard because they see me do it. My players, I will be the vocal leader in that area, but with my assistants, I hope they see and do the same. With a team, I have to be more vocal, but sometimes saying nothing gets the same point across.
With my assistants who are grown men, they should be smart enough and open minded enough to learn. One of the things I did early in my career was sometimes think I was smarter than the head coach. How wrong I was....sometimes I may have done things differently, but I was not smarter, just thought differently. Which, believe me, there is more than one way to play the great game of basketball.

As I enter my 18th year of coaching basketball at different levels, I have learned so much. I will learn even more this year. When you stop learning, you might as well hang it up. So am I a vocal or quiet leader? I would say both, but as I said on some days when you come into Furnish Gymnasium, you might not find too many of the guys who think I am being soft spoken.