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29 years coaching experience/ 7 years as a varsity boys' basketball coach, now assisting

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random Thoughts on Another Year

Technicals: I received two technicals this season. That is unbelievable to me. I am a coach that tries to talk with the officials, I rarely get upset with them and I try to treat them in a way I would want to be treated. I officiate a little bit myself, so I know how hard of a job it can be. So, I will tell you what I did this year to get the technicals that I received. I did not use profanity at any time. #1 vs. Borden this year, I believed that one of their players committed a foul at mid-court in front of the official. After watching on tape, I could see that I was right, however, what I didn't see was our guy nudge him first....definite foul on HHS. As I told the official right in front of me that there was a foul (I did it with a lot of emotion), he turned and with equal emotion said "on both of them". I responded with "then call it on both of them then"....again with probably too much force. I was t'd up. The second one came at the sectional final. I felt the game wasn't being called consistently which it probably was being done so. I don't think officials can decide a game, but.....anyway. Out of my frustration, a foul occurred right in front of me and the ball bounced my way. What I was thinking of doing would have gotten me t'd up immediately, but after thinking about it, I flipped it to another official. Then I let the official know what I thought, again, with no profanity. He was talking back and I told him to give me a T. The off official asked me if I really wanted one, I said yes, and turned to sit down and then I heard the whistle blow.

Winding down: When a season ends, other teams still are playing. I get inundated with coaches asking for copies of game tapes as they prepare for Regional. I do that, I stat the last few games and get the awards ready for awards night. Also, I then organize the players stats into the record book that I have accumulated through the years and built on from former coach Terry Rademacher. I will post these changes on our website if any are noticeable. Also, I love to go and watch games at this time of year. I will attend the 6th and 7th Region final in Louisville, I will attend the Regional at Seymour, the semi-state and State Finals, and I will go and watch one day of the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. If we aren't playing, I love to watch games at this time of year. Finally, there are two coaching clinics/conventions that I will attend. Each Spring, the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (the largest h.s. coaches association in the country) has their annual clinic at Lawrence North H.S. I will also attend the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention in Indianapolis which is held in conjunction with the Final Four in Indy.


Winding up: As everyone else turns to Spring sports and summer, I will begin almost immediately scheduling for Spring and summer. I will schedule some type of camp for our younger basketball players, and I will schedule where we will be going to play this summer. Already, I have tentatively scheduled trips for us at Purdue University, Indiana University, and Olney Central Jr. College in Illinois.


Odds and Ends:
I will be heading to Europe this summer. After we finish with what we are doing, I will travel by plane (first time in my life) to Serbia to work a major camp there in Zlatibor. While there, I will visit with my friend Tane Spasev in his home country of Macedonia. I will also speak at another basketball camp at Lake Ohnid, Macedonia. I look forward to the experience because that is what life is about. Risk, getting out of your comfort zone.....
Coaching in Indiana is so much more than just the season, it almost never stops. There is always something to do, and when I feel that I don't enjoy that, I will probably step down. As of now, if they want me back next year, I will be there. I have changed so much throughout life as we all do, but the changes the last two years have made me a much different person. Maybe not as good of a coach, but a better person.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coaching Them All

In coaching at a small school, I must take into account all the kids who play in the program. We had 22, I believe, who started out this year, but ended up with 20 players. Of those 20, I have to provide a competitive atmosphere for our varsity and j.v. and I desire to have a third team so that our freshmen do not sit an entire year without play.

First, I do not cut if I can keep from it. I see no reason in cutting freshmen and older kids who have stayed with the program, deserve the loyalty to remain a part of the program if they desire. That is my belief and not shared by all, and I understand that. When a season begins, I have rarely had thoughts that "I won't play that kid even if he is on the team". I start out with the idea that everyone can earn playing time. Sometimes things occur like injuries, being sick, not being at school, and missing many practices can lead to someone not getting the playing time they thought they would get. It is in these situations that we get tied up as coaches because rarely do people know that goes on or does not go on at practice where playing time is earned. I can tell you as a coach and my staff that rarely what happens in basketball games decides playing time, but it is those 10+ hours per week where it is gained or lost....a total of 68 practices to date.

If I choose to cut someone it can have ramifications on the entire program. By keeping those who want to be part of the program, it allows for me to bump kids down giving younger kids playing time on another team.

As coaches, we deal with negative situations all too often. Each situation is different, but I try to be fair and have taken criticism in one situation all too often by someone who benefitted from a decision I made in the past. We as coaches put so much time in away from our families to be with other people's children that the players become like our own kids. Throw in my supportive wife who has spent many hours away from me for the same reason, or has cooked food for the players, decorated their lockers, decorated the locker room it doesn't sometimes make sense.....

I have recently been called ignorant, having double standards, having a big ego, incompetent, absolutely corrupt, wrong, a bad person, and an overall idiot. That is hard to take because they are things that I don't feel are true...except the big ego part. I don't care who you are, if you have any kind of feelings and are honest, it does affect you. If doesn't affect me as much, but it does my wife and my own parents. I know that it is part of the job, and I accept it as such.

I was told that when I was a parent, I would be a different coach by some upset parents in the past. They were right. I am more tolerant than I was in the past and treat my players the way I would want my children treated. I can promise also that the experiences I have had as a coach will make me a better, more supportive parent when my children participate, if they choose to participate in sports or anything else.

I want to thank everyone who supports the boys' basketball team, Henryville H.S., my family, the coaching staff and me. You make it worthwhile. We have ended another regular season and are headed into sectional play. One way or another the season will end shortly, and I hope the team knows that I care for each of them and that the seniors are welcome back as part of the program.....anytime.