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

Friday, September 30, 2011

How to Increase Interest in Your Program to the Players

What we do:
1. Have two camps per year.
2. Send Holiday and Birthday cards to any camper that comes until they are in HS and don't play.
3. Give out many different kinds of prizes to kids during camps.
4. Started a team camp out for HS teams.
5. We have a facebook, website and I use twitter and this blog to spread interest.
6. We go to colleges during the summer for tournaments.
7. We focus on offense in the summer and defense during the season.
8. We throw in other Indiana basketball type trips while away at colleges.
9. We play in two tournaments, a conference and post season tournament.
10. We feed the kids and have them over to our house during the season.
11.  I have gotten involved with the Indiana basketball Hall of Fame to give us better chances to use the facility for trips.
12. I have taken foreign trips gaining connections for our guys in college and possibly pro spots in Europe.

We do all of these things and teach the game of basketball in a tough way during the season.  Yet, I find that the number of players wanting to play dwindles every year here.  Is it only here at my school?  Is it everywhere?  We cannot put together a pure freshman basketball team, it is now a "C" team and have a JV and varsity.  I am afraid each season that enough players will opt out of playing "Indiana's game" enough that we will be down to a bare bones roster.  This all coming while jumping up in class to 2A with more students.

Email me with your thoughts if you have any.  I will probably use any responses I get, but will NOT use names with them in a future blog.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Servant Leader

Who am I talking about? My wife.  Her to the right of this picture....yep, she has my back.

My wife has supported me in many things in our time together.  From being supportive of me taking the head coaching job, to allowing me to go to Europe twice to work camps, to allowing me to leave early in the mornings when I have things to do, to...well, you get it.  Kristi is a special person.

She is the one who is there and steps in when something needs to be done at our intramurals or keeping the book at our games.  She is the one who cooks for the team or puts together fundraisers for the basketball team or FCA.

My wife is the one who listens to criticisms and quietly keeps them to herself unless she thinks I need to hear about it.  She is the one who watches me take arrows from many different directions sometimes and when I am ready to give up she reminds me why I do what I do.  She watches how much effort we put into the game and then watches and listens to the lack of appreciation by some.  She is the one that when good times come (and there are many) she stays in the background and sometimes because she is so busy doing something for us, doesn't even know we won a game (yes, that actually happened.  We won our own tourney two years ago and she was working and cleaning up in the concession stand when the game ended.  We all went out to eat a couple hours later and we were talking about it was crazy that we won and she asked "we won?!")

But more importantly, she is the one who is raising our children more than I am.  She is the one who drops them off at the babysitter.  She is the one who usually picks them up.  She is the one who has to put them to bed most often.  She is the one who has to discipline and love them too often more than I.  She is the one explaining to them where Daddy is and why he is there (during the off months, not as much).  She is the one who when I come up with a "great idea" backs it up until I run myself ragged and figure it out myself.

She is also the one who was a quiet, patient Christian until her stubborn, know it all husband came around and figured it out.  She is the one that I have to worry zero about drama in our lives.  She is one of the 3 people that I do everything make her proud and to do what we both know our purpose is here on this earth. 

I hope she knows how much I love and appreciate her because I could do none of this without her.  Well, I guess I could, but it wouldn't be in as happy or fulfilling life that I have now and would probably make her miserable and unfulfilled.  If you want to talk about servant leadership, I know no one who gives more of herself for others than my wife, Kristi Hunter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to Avoid Grievances

From Coach Don Meyer's handouts.

1. Get all the facts: what went wrong...not who is to blame.
2. Stay calm: find solution together...Don't permit emotion to take over. Reason.
3. Criticize in private: Listen if you want to be heard.  Disagree without being disagreeable.
4. Commend before and perhaps after you criticize: Help save face.
5. Keep your criticism consturctive: Criticism is to correct, help, improve, and prevent...not to punish.

Some of Don Meyer's 101 Ways to Cope With Stress

1. Get up 15 minutes earlier.
2. Prepare for the morning the night before.
3. Avoid relying on chemical aids.
4. Don't rely on your memory, write it down.
5. Make duplicate keys.
6. Say "no" more often.
7. Avoid negative people.
8. Repair anything that doesn't work properly.
9. Ask for help in jobs you dislike.
10. Unclutter your life.
11. Smile
12. Be prepared for rain.
13. Say something nice to someone.
14. Walk in the rain.
15. Be aware of the decisions you make.
16. Say "hello" to a stranger.
17. Whistle a tune.
18. Do a brand new things.
19. Stop a bad habit.
20. Pay attention to your appreance.
21. Find someone to be your vent partner.
22. Work at being cheerful and optimistic.
23. Practice grace under pressure.
24. Look at a work of art.
25. Plant a tree.
26. Maintain your weight.
27. Exercise every day.
28. Get to work early.
29. Play with a child.
30. Watch a movie and eat popcorn.
31. Leave work early (with permission)
32. Go to a ball game and scream.
33. Keep a journal.
34. Practice a monster smile.
35. Remember you always have options.
36. Get enough sleep.
37. Talk less and listen more.
38. Freely praise other people.
39. Relax, take each day at a have the rest of your life to live.
40. Know your limitations and let others know them too.
41. Throw a paper airplane.

There are 60 more on the handout from his powerpoint..  It is good stuff and just typing these 41 has helped me to remember some things I have already forgotten.

12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children

I got this from Coach Don Meyer.  The Houston Texas police department used to distribute a little leaflet with the above title.  It was a satire on parents who don't control their children.  Let's take a look at what they Houston Police department finds are the causes of delinquent children.  Here they are:

1. Give the child everything he wants.  In this way, he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.

2.  When he picks up bad words, laugh at him.  This will make him think he's cute.  It will also encourage him to pick up cuter pharases that will blow off the top of your head later.

3. Never give him any spiritual training.  Let him wait until he is 21 when he can "decide for himself".

4. Avoid using the word "wrong".  It may develop in him a guilt complex.  This will condition him to believe later when he is arrested for stealing that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing responsibility for others.

6. Let him read and watch anything he wants to.  Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized, but let his mind feast on garbage.

7.  Quarrel frequently in his presence.  In this way he will not be too shocked when his own home is broken up later.

8.  Give a child all the spending money he wants.  Never let him earn his own.  Why should he have things as tough as you had them?

9.  Satisfy his every craving.  Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10.  Take his part against neighbors, teachers, policemen.  They are all just prejudiced against your child.

11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, "I never could do anything with him."

12.  Prepare for a life of grief.  You will be likely to have it.

-John Thiesen

Monday, September 26, 2011

Most Parents are Great, but Some Do "Bad" Things

I feel that I have been relatively blessed throughout my coaching career in having supportive parents, both mine and my players'.  Of course, you are going to get some parents each year that are not on your side on all things, but rarely have I had some that are intentionally (or unintentionally) trying to implode your team.

There are bad parents out there when it comes to having teams, most are very good, but there are some that need to reassess what they are doing when it comes to support of a player, team, or program.  There are behaviors that I have observed in 20 years of coaching sports and will help me to be a better parent.

If parents are consistently bad mouthing other players, there needs to be some reflection done on their part.  Most times those players are just doing what the coaching staff has told them to do and jealousy is a huge issue here.  Unfortunately, there is competition and sometimes that competion goes back a generation or two.  You can bad mouth the coach (though it isn't helping or changing anything...probably), but other players should be off limits unless it is about behavior issues.

Those parents who do not or rarely attend their child's games.  I realize that many people are working and working and working, but your children should be a priority.  That is why I will not continue to coach if I am missing my own children's events.  I remember when I was a kid, my parents attended most of my events and I didn't think it was a big deal at the time, but looking back on it, it was.

If you are allowing the violation of team rules or worse yet, hosting "parties" in which team rules are being violated, as a parent, you need to reflect on what kind of example you are setting.  This defiance of not only rules, but universally agreed upon good parenting skills is a negative that needs to be reflected upon.

Finally, there are parents who will not pay for items or help fund raise out of spite of the coaching staff or school.  If your child chooses to participate in athletics, you should pay your fair share.  Also, you should help in fundraising despite your feelings about the coaching staff as your child will benefit from the items that are bought.  I do understand that times can be tight, but some communication would be helpful.  Most coaches are willing to work with parents to make sure your child can participate in sports.

What is interesting about the "bad" parents is that they are highly defensive and will flat out lie for their children and their own bad bahavior. They will also justify what they do because they are dealing with a horrible coach, a jerk of a coach, or....well, whatever.

I probably deal with one or more of these kinds of parents every few years.  It isn't a yearly thing, but it has existed and will continue to do so.  I am so thankful for those parents who help with our program by getting their children to practice and games on time.  Those parents who help in observing our team rules.  Those parents who pay for their items and help us fundraise in a time when the economy is bad and jobs are hard to find sometimes.  Those parents who will give you an encouraging word or email when things don't seem to be going the way we all wished they were.

I am sure we all have some "bad" parent in us for selfishness or necessity, but I think it is something that we need to look at.  It is like any of our behaviors, we must reflect and then be honest in that reflection.  Are we doing things to help or to hurt the team?  Are we doing things out of spite or anger?  Or are we allowing our children to participate, have fun, compete, and allowing for a positive atmosphere?

Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 Henryville Athletics Golf Scramble

Henryville High School Athletics
Golf Scramble
October 15, 2011
Champions Pointe Golf Club
1:00 PM Check-in 1:30 PM Start
Come join in the fun at the
2011 Henryville High School Athletics Golf Scramble. This event represents an opportunity for you to experience fun and excitement while also supporting Henryville High School Athletics. Your fee will include the following benefits and opportunities: 18 holes golf with cart, door prizes, long drive contest, closest-to-the-pin contest, prizes for winning team, dinner (soups, chili, desserts), and awards ceremony.

Format: Four-Person Scramble. Organize your own foursome or we can assign you to a group.

Dinner & Awards Ceremony: Immediately following scramble.

Club Rules: No metal spikes, shirts must have collar, no cut-off shorts or gym trunks.

Information: For more information contact Chris Hall (812.670.0129) or Robin Embry (812.294.1789)

Event Sponsor: Includes primary advertising at the event & all post-event communications, recognition at dinner, logo on winning team prizes, and 4 teams in the golf scramble.

Eagle Sponsor: Includes advertising at the event & all post-event communications, recognition at dinner, and 3 teams in the golf scramble.

Birdie Sponsor: Includes advertising at the event & all post-event communications, recognition at dinner, and 2 teams in the golf scramble.

Par Sponsor: Includes advertising at the event, recognition at dinner, and 1 team in the golf scramble.

Hole Sponsor: Includes advertising at the event and recognition at dinner.

Event Sponsor—$2,500 (includes 4 teams)

Eagle Sponsor—$1,500 (includes 3 teams)

Birdie Sponsor—$1000 (includes 2 teams)

Par Sponsor—$400 (includes 1 team)

Hole Sponsor ($125)

Foursome ($300 per team)

Individual ($75 per person)

Name ___________________________________ Company ______________________________________

Address _________________________________ City/State/Zip ___________________________________

Phone __________________________________ Email _________________________________________

Team Captain ____________________________ Player _________________________________________

Player __________________________________ Player _________________________________________

Please make check payable to: "HHS Athletics" (contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Write it Down

I recently got into a discussion about coaching clinics with a friend and writing everything down.  I made the comment that you can tell the new/younger coaches because they write everything down.  Older more experience coaches (from my experience) write less down.  Someone made a great point that the longer you coach, the more secure you are in what you are trying to get done and now what can or cannot be used for your program.

That sounded much better than my thoughts.  When I was younger I would write everything down and then clutter my mind up with so much new stuff that we rarely used any of it because I could remember everything.  I don't write as much down to keep it simple for me, to not clutter my mind.  I will write down 3-5 things and I can much better remember that than 3 pages of notes.

When I went to listen to Coach Meyer speak, he did say, however, to "write it down".  We can't expect with all that is going on to remember everything.  I have started to keep a notebook with me all the time just for that very thing.  It has helped...with little things that I often forgot.  I already write down my schedule in a calendar book, but writing down in the notebook little things that pop into my head helps me to remember them.

So, I guess in wrapping up that I "write it down", but not too much which I think is what you should do.  You shouldn't feel that everyone is writing down all of the things coming out of a coaches mouth at clinics and you should and vice versa.  There is no right and wrong with writing things what is best for you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I Won't Do For My Friends From Coach Don Meyer

I won’t steal for my friends.

I won’t cheat for my friends.

I won’t act dumb for my friends.

I won’t do drugs for my friends.

I won’t disrupt the class for my friends.

I won’t disrespect, laugh at, or ridicule others for my friends.

I won’t intentionally fail for my friends.

I won’t behave irresponsibly for my friends.

I won’t knowingly hurt others for my friends.

I won’t destroy my life or anyone else’s for my friends.


Monday, September 19, 2011

To Whom Much is Given

I have a friend, she is a single mother and her son has SMA.  It is a disease that attacks the muscles.  She blogs about her experiences, and  I can tell you that blogging helps to get certain feelings and issues out and to help things not get bottled up.  But you can read and admire so much what they deal with by reading her words.

When you read about their issues it helps to put certain things I/we deal with in proper perspective.  I get pretty much fed up with certain things that go on as a teacher and coach, but in the grand scheme of isn't that big of a deal.  Many of the things my players deal with may seem large to them, but in the grand scheme of things, it isn't that big of a deal.

I try to get through to our guys how fortunate they are in that they get to play Indiana and sometimes I wonder if they get it.  I think I need to get across more so that they are lucky that they get to play basketball...period.  There are many people who would love to trade them places and there are many of those people that admire them simply because they can run up and down the floor playing a game.

How many of my guys take that for granted?  I would bet most if not all and the reason I know that is that I was a dumb kid once, too.  The kind of perspective to understand how special and lucky you are, I fear, only comes with the benefit of experience and suffering through that experience brought on by bad decisions.

My goal is to get our guys involved in more community service and to visit those who are less fortunate.  Because I do believe that for those to whom much is given, much is expected....and we should be expecting more from ourselves.

Friday, September 16, 2011


The longer I am around people (it's been 41 years), I notice in myself and in other people two things, jealousy and selfishness which I guess are pretty related.  I wrote about jealousy the other day, today I want to write about being selfish.

Being selfish.  It is a fine line as a coach.  We teach our kids to be selfish in positive ways.  Do what you can do successfully, selfishly to help the team.  I know, I kinda twist it at the end, but if we have a kid who can score the basketball, we want him to shoot it...a lot.  If he can't score and he shoots it a lot, it's a bad selfishness.

But I am not talking about playing.  Selfishness, a bad selfishness, shows its ugly head off the court more than on.  If you are partying and participating in negative actions that could harm the team either by your poor play or being suspended is a bad selfish.  If you are not keeping up with your academics, of course getting help when needed or at least asking for help, to remain a member of the team, you are selfish.  If you are hanging out with the wrong people casting negative thoughts and words to be said about you bringing a negative image to the program, you are selfish.

To be part of a team, you must remove the negative selfishness and thrive on the positive side.  It is hard enough for a 41 year old man to do so, it is harder for a young man to do so.  Peer pressure is strong and if you are not a leader, it is easy to succumb to your own selfish behaviors.  You want your entire team to be a group of leaders, but a team full of leaders has no one to follow which can harm on the court cohesiveness.

Yep, you are getting it.  Coaching isn't that easy and much of what we deal with deals with a lot of psychological stuff.  I teach psychology so I get it and I do tell the kids that psychology is is mental toughness which so few possess and is our job to develop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coach Them Like I Would Want My Own Child Coached...OK...Maybe Easier

Last Saturday in the youngest group of our intramurals, we had a boy who did not want to participate.  He was crying and his parents finally took him out, probably angry, I don't know I didn't see it happen.  You know that the basketball form went home for intramurals and the boy wanted to play.  Mom and/or dad probably said "Are you sure? We aren't going to pay for this and you back out."  Then they get to camp and it can be overwhelming.

It happens every year.  Some child cannot handle all of the balls bouncing around, all of the kids running around, and all of the noise.  The first 5 minutes or so, we let them have a good time trying to get some of the nervous energy out.

BP (Before Parenting) I wouldn't have too much patience for a kid like that.  "Get out here and let's go, quit acting like a baby!!!"  AP (After Parenting) I see it a lot different.  I can understand how it can be overwhelming to a young kid especially one not around that type of stuff consistently.  My own son last year (and he is around this kind of thing a lot) was so overwhelmed that he decided after one day he was finished with basketball camp (that has since changed, he is going crazy having fun with that and soccer, yes Coach  But I can say that when dealing with my own children, I am still BP acting, but when it comes to other people's children and watching the parents of these kids, I am very much AP.

I feel for the kid, but I feel for the parents.  Being a parent is quite a confusing thing, for me any way.  You want them to be tough and independent, but yet still want them to cling to your leg and need you and if we could pick the times of what and when we wanted the behavior it would be better.  But we can't, they are little kids.  They are the ones in charge of their behavior and often it doesn't quite mix with what we want at that point and it can be embarrassing and cause you to get angry.

So what do we do?  I try to make it better for all involved.  If the parents want their money back, we give it and keep them on our birthday list.  If they don't come back one single day and don't want their money back, I will find the child and give them their shirt that they bought and keep them on our birthday list.  And this week, I went and found the boy gave him one of our basketball bracelets and told him we wish to see him at the next camp date.  Will it help?  I don't know, but it is how I would want my child treated and that is the kind of coach I have developed into....mostly.

Sometimes Music Soothes the Soul

Building 429: Listen to the Sound

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thin Skin vs. Thick Skin

I deal with criticism in different ways.  I can't explain why, but sometimes certain criticism stings and some times it doesn't.  Again, I can't explain it, but sometimes it bothers me.  I think the criticism that bothers me most is by people who are coaching or have coached, but have gone on to never been seen again.  One thing you notice if you coach long enough is that there are people who don't care about the program (maybe a little, but mostly deciding if you are qualified for their future star), then they really care about the "program" for four years, and then you hear nothing from them again.

What happens is that they care about the "program" only when their son is involved with the program.  I get that, it does make complete sense to me, but it does make it harder to stomach while in the middle of a career in which there is an unrealistic expectation on their son because of where you know it is heading; them gone.  Meanwhile we have been part of the program before, during, and after their son graduates.  It also never ceases to amaze me how someone who coaches or has coached can be so vocally critical of other coaches on staff at their school in public.  I have learned that you aren't going to agree with everything a coach does, but you will rarely hear me critisizing someone who is putting the time in to help my child.

The jealousy that occurs between players is nothing compared to the jealousies that go on between and among parents and coaches.  Many coaches have told me they will never coach again anywhere than in an orphanage.  That might seem like an ideal situation, but I have found (knock on wood) that most parents at the least will leave you alone if they believe you are working hard and being relatively fair.

Criticism does sting.  It depends sometimes on my own thoughts on the person critisizing whether it bothers me as much or not.  You have to take in whether it is someone who complains about every coach, or someone who clearly is worried not about the program, but about their own child.  I do understand that better now that I have children.  As I have written, at camps, I want to focus only on my own children, I have to force myself to go and help others.  So I understand where this selfishness comes from with our own children.

When you decide to be a leader or coach a sport, you will be critisized, it is a part of it.  There isn't any whining that goes on, but we as coaches have complained to each other at times.  We are the ones who expected to be professional often holding back all of our thoughts and opinions so we have to vent to each other.  But ultimately when you decide to coach, when you decide to be a leader do not sit in the big chair if you cannot handle criticism, some times extremely personal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More from the Don Meyer Leadership Seminar: Essay Questions and My Answers

Don Meyer Leadership Seminar: Nashville, September 6, 2011

1.       The following statement was discussed during the workshop: “Your example is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.” Explain what this means.  Provide examples.

If you are in a position of leadership, people are watching.  Depending at what level or what kind of leader you are depends on the eyes that are upon you.  The words that come out of your mouth mean little compared to the actions that you perform.  Those actions must connect to your words or you lose all credibility.  Credibility may be considered “the only thing” when it comes to leadership because without it, you are not a leader.

Examples are dependent, often, on the opinion of the person observing.  Certain individuals like a basketball college coach like John Calipari and even President Barack Obama is dependent on your opinion of them if you believe that they “walk the walk”.   I believe it has more to do with the leaders that are in the daily lives of those that they lead.  When you see a teacher/coach/administrator arrested for a DUI, the actions are not consistent with positive leadership.  It is hard for these leaders to recover to the point that they were before their failure.  Unfortunately, many of the greatest leaders/people that have ever walked the earth will be known only to God as they did their good deeds by not keeping score and under the anonymity of life.
2.        Explain the acronym “TEAMS” and describe what each letter represents.  How do you plan to apply these characteristics in your professional and/or personal life.

TEAMS – Tough, Effort, Attitude, Motives, Servant Leader

Tough is mental toughness.  Mental toughness is everything.  You can be physically tough, emotionally tough and any other kind of “tough” you want to be, but mental toughness is what gets us through anything.  We must be mentally “tough”.

Effort is how much time you are putting in.  If you are putting in the extra time and working intelligently, you are showing good effort.  Lots of movement done in an ignorant way is not effort.

Attitude.  I think the best example of that comes from the book Fish! By Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul, and John Christenson in which they describe how we choose our attitude…every day.  A positive attitude is easy when things are going well, but when they are not; we must continue to be positive which takes us back to mental “toughness”.

Motives describe why we do what we do.  Are we doing them for us to look good or to genuinely help?   I think this is something that we struggle with if we strive to have unselfish motives.  Because as we do things to help, it is natural for us to feel good about it, to want attention for something we have done therefore we must fight to be less selfish.  By doing so, we will lose the negative motives.

Servant leader is everything.  I have found that the more I care less about myself, the better my life is.  I think the goal here is to give it all, as Jesus Christ did for us, and expect nothing in return.  This is another thing we will struggle with as we grow in being a true Servant Leader.

I have tried to implement these in my daily life as teacher, coach, but more importantly as father.  It is my job as the man of my house to make sure I practice these parts of TEAMS and to pass them on to my children.  I realize also that I am going to fail, probably more often than is needed, but I have to get up, dust myself off and continue on.

3.       Explain the “Lamar Hunt Goals” and describe how you plan to apply these goals.

1.       Determine what you really want.

2.       Find out what it will cost.

3.       Decide if you want to pay the price.

We use this often in dealing with our basketball program.  I coach a high school program, so we get quite a few players each year who start with conditioning and don’t make it through.  It doesn’t make them bad people if they do not decide to continue they have just decided what they really want and they are not ready to pay the cost.

We also use it with players that do make it through our conditioning.   What do they want?  Do they want to start?  Do they want to play?  Do they want to just be on the team?  In each example they have to decide the cost for what they want and they have to decide to be willing to pay the price.  However, hard work does not guarantee success, but not working hard does guarantee failure.

We have found that when we have unhappy parents and maybe even unhappy players when we sit the players down and have an honest conversation, they admit that their decision to pay the price does not equal what they said they wanted.  However, that price does equal what they really want or are “ok” with because of what they are willing to give up.

4.        Explain how the “Sound, Solid, and Simple” concepts are applied to teamwork.  Describe how you plan to implement these concepts.

In all things, we should be Sound.  Sound is described by Coach Meyer as fundamentals and servant leadership.  We need to have the basics to anything that we do in life or with our basketball program.  Start from the ground level, build to the big picture and then let them play.

Solid is character, team attitude and work ethic.  We hope that from day 1 through the summer our example as a coaching staff and what we will accept shows what we believe solid is.

Simple is what I call the KISS method.  We try to implement the keep it simple stupid for the players, but also for me as a coach.  I believe that if you are sound and solid, you can be simple and be highly successful. 

Bob Knight believed that if you did what you did it wouldn’t matter what the other team did.  They played man to man defense and ran a motion offense his entire career.  Teams were able to scout them and know what was going to happen, but his teams were able to do what they do, to execute. 

5.       “Get mad; Cool Down; Act Mad” – Explain the concept.  What does it mean to you?

It means to respond with wisdom, love, firmness, and positive self-control when not happy with behavior, performance or the response of others.

What this means to me is to not react with our first feelings when not happy.  I believe that the first thing we do when confronted with something negative is to react in a negative way.  It may be saying something negative or, God forbid, doing something physically that hurts someone.  This means to get mad, but don’t react.  Calm down, think it out, and then let them know in a firm way that you are not happy.  We will do less harm to them and ourselves if we act in this way.

6.       Explain “Mark McCormack’s Rules” – How do you plan to implement these rules?

Mark McCormack believes that you should get a system, any system; stick to it; and write everything down.  In basketball, you should get a style of play in all ways that you believe in and when things are not going your way, stick to your beliefs.

Last year we struggled and many people wanted us to change what we were doing and we did manipulate a few things.   But we stuck to the “style” that we had come up with maybe to the detriment of the team, but we stuck to our style.  Changing styles in the middle of the season would not have made things better and may have made things worse for us.

We have always written down our practice schedules, but I plan on writing down even more stuff.  I plan on carrying a notebook with me everywhere I go in case new ideas come up.  We can’t expect to remember everything and good to great ideas can be lost without writing it down.

7.       Explain how you will use the “Stop and Think” card and the four questions that are asked.

What we have done is gone to and made our own type of cards.  We use the Stop and Think, but also the same questions and on the back we have printed my mobile phone number, my home number, and my wife’s mobile number.  We put the thoughts on the front to help them remember, but we put our numbers on the back because as leaders, we believe that if they find themselves in situations that they need to be removed from, I want them to call me…24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it is my responsibility and my wife agrees and is supportive of this idea.

Also, we took the card and on, we have created a banner that we have up in our locker room.  An assistant coach said that what we need to do is put plexiglas over it which we have done, and then have a ceremony about following the Stop and Think banner and understanding that to not follow is a sign of selfishness.  The assistant said that we should have all the players sign the plexiglass with a dry erase marker which we will do.  Finally, I am going to take a picture of the banner signed and give copies for the guys to put in their lockers at school.

8.        Explain the “3rd Place” concept.

Third place is a place for you to get away, to recharge your own batteries.  What I got from it was that there is your family “place”; there is your professional “place” there needs to be a “place” for just you.  You have to have alone time to read, pray, to prepare for the day or to wind down at the end of the day.

If you don’t do this, if you don’t find a Third Place, you will wear down and not be as effective a leader as is needed.  It will allow us to pour out our cup, fill it, and pour it out again.

9.        Explain how you will implement the “plan, prepare, practice, and play” model.

Everything we will do in the future will be as Lon Kruger put it.  We must not be satisfied with what we are accomplishing because if you are not moving forward you are moving backwards.  We must do all of these things as if we lost our last game.

It is usually after a loss that a sense of urgency comes across the program.  That sense of urgency should exist all of the time.  In preparing to win, you must have the will; you must be willing to give the effort to prepare to win and doing so as if you lost your last game.

10.   What is a “Need Assessment”?

What IS subtracted from What Should=the Need.

I believe that as a servant leader that you should look around and not complain about what is, you shouldn’t complain about how no one does anything.  I believe that as a servant leader you should look around and be willing give of yourself and do more than is expected not for yourself, but to help others.

I truly believe that Jesus Christ willingly died for my sins and if I believe that then I need to pay back the greatest gift ever received.  I should be willing to give away and help others trying to earn a grace that has already been given and that I could never earn.

11.   How do you plan to implement the “Beswick Scale”?

I think the best way to implement it is to understand who we are dealing with on our basketball team.  We need to understand what we have and where or how to put them in situations that will make them successful individually, but more importantly, as a team.

12.   List the 5 C’s (the five daily vitamin C’s).  Explain each in more detail.






Concentration is being able to focus on the moment to “know the situation”.  We must be able to make the main thing, the main thing.  We have to be able to filter the needless information and overblown situations into information and situations that are serious and need to be dealt with.

Courtesy is realizing that every single person we encounter is dealing with something.  That something may be big or may seem big to them, but we should treat everyone the way we want to be better, in fact, probably better than how we want to be treated.  I recently gave the Baccalaureate speech at our graduation and I said there are certain words that can open doors and calm situations immediately.  Some of those words are “Thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “I love you”, and “You are welcome”.

Communication is making sure they hear what you are saying.  Because you may know what you want accomplished and you know the words you are using, but if they don’t understand it doesn’t matter what great idea you have.  There are certain words that you should avoid in communication such as “You never”, “You always”, “all people”, and other sayings that leads to confrontation.

Competing is something I believe you have to do every day.  To me, it goes along with mental toughness.  You compete when you get up every single morning with a good attitude to go and make a difference.  You will compete in trying to get your classes to be better, to get students to think.  You will compete at practice to get players to do things they don’t think they can do as well as the team itself.  You will compete in getting proper rest and using your Third person, and you will compete again the next day doing it all over again…hopefully better.

Consistency is doing what I said with competing, every day.  It is living and leading with actions for the words you use.  If you are not consistent people will see it, in fact, they will seek it.  They will seek to try and find your inconsistent behavior.

13.   Which concepts in the Family section really struck a chord with you?  What changes do you anticipate that you will implement as a result of the suggestions provided in this section?

All concepts in this section struck a chord.  We will implement the “What I won’t do for my friends” on a banner in the locker room.  We will go over “The Easy and the Hard” every day before practice.  We want to enforce and reward positive behavior. 

I believe that if when I finish all they can say is that I was a good basketball coach then I will have been a failure.  I want to use the podium I have to stand up for more than wins and losses.  I want to stand up for more than being revered as a basketball person.  I want to stand up for Christ and spread what I believe a servant leader should be to as many students and players as I can until my time is finished here as a teacher and coach.

The End of Western Civilization....or Maybe Not

As adults, it is our job to complain about children and where our society is headed.  It is mandatory...every generation does it.  But when I watch videos like this one, it makes me feel a little bit better about the direction of our society.  At least for a small moment.

Always Learning....Pay Attention

If you aren't trying to learn something new every opportunity that you get, you are moving backwards.  I honestly believe that.  It can truly be a sign of arrogance to think that you know everything there is to know about everything.  I watch older people, mostly basketball coaches, that are much older than I am and yet they are constantly striving to learn something new.  I guess it is the respectful side of me that if I am watching people older and more importantly, more successful than I maybe it is something I should be doing.

We recently had Paul Hoover come in and give a shooting clinic to 4th-8th graders and he had some different ideas.  At first, the rigid part of me didn't appreciate some of the things he was saying or I should say "how" he was saying it.  His ideas on shooting, some of it was radically different and some of it was just little techniques to help what we teach already.

But I paid attention as he worked with young kids.  I paid attention because I want to find something that would help my guys out.  I paid attention out of respect.  I paid attention because he has been successful with his techniques.  And I paid attention because it's basketball...come's basketball.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Resolution for Men

Just started reading the above book. is no joke.  So far it is honest and challenging.  Well worth the read if you are courageous enough.

It is from the movie Courageous.  The movie follows a group of police officers and fathers.  In the movie something terrible happens that makes the group want to be better. 

I want to be better....good enough isn't enough.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coach Don Meyer's Leadership Seminar in Nashville, TN

This week I attended about an 8 hour seminar presented by Coach Don Meyer in Nashville TN.  It was located in Brentwood Hills Chruch of Christ and it was him talking the entire time about his philosphies on leadership, life, and coaching which to him are all one and the same.

I have no idea what to write about.  If I were to start writing about everything I learned or was impressed by, I would be writing all day.  If you want to see the stuff he covered just go to his website...great stuff here.

The power point that he covered is here.  Just go to the top of the page and follow the directions.  However, I am not sure a website and power point can do justice for what this man knows and is doing with it now.

If you don't know his story just click here.  You know that in all of his wins (all time winningest men's coach in college basketball) that he knows something about coaching and leadership, but you get an understanding that he has changed.

He has changed since his accident, there seems to be a different kind of attitude coming from him.  But he feels a sense, and may have whether he had an accident or not, that he should pass on his philosphy.  In his words yesterday he said that he is not coaching anymore, but is still coaching people like us which may be more important because he is reaching many more people than just 12 players per team.

Coach, your time and efforts didn't just reach 12 players per team.  Those people who played for you took your values and philosphy and are spreading it around.  Like the "soaking rain" you used often, your former players and coaches are doing that now all over the country and world. You admire Coach John Wooden greatly, you can tell by how you speak of him, but there are many people who feel the same way about you. 

To spend that short period of time around Coach Meyer this week reinforced what I believe coaching and leading are to be.  I just hope that I have half the influence that Coach Meyer has had.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

When I Retire or Resign or Am Fired

When I finally quit coaching basketball as either the head coach or as an assistant, I want to be remembered for more than just being a basketball coach.  If all that people can say is that he was a good or bad basketball coach, I will feel that I didn't do my job.  I realize that more people will be vocally critical, it is something I have come to grips with, but is it only basketball these guys are getting from me?

I have spoken to other coaches and I often wonder how they feel especially when I listen to the words they speak.  Unfortunately or fortunately, our lives as a coach are controlled by teenage boys or girls if you coach females.  I can tell you from experience as a teenager that I often had no idea what I was doing I just listened to people in charge.  Those people in charge might be teachers/coaches, but they just might be peers on any given weekend night.  The fear I had as a player of letting people down kept me on a relatively straight and narrow path.  I remember one time my father coming home and saying "Perry, you have a lot of people that you could let down because I was just over in town and some people talked about how much they admired you.  If you ever do anything stupid, you will let many people down."

You can imagine as a 16 year old kid how weighty that was, very similar to what I felt when I got the head coaching job.  A weight that seemed like too much of a burden to carry.  Now, it is a burden that I fully accept.  What is the difference?  The difference is that I realize that the "burden" I thought I felt was nothing more than self pressure.  I find it pretty easy to stay out of trouble...always have.  To embrace what I already have is easy.  It is like embracing the love of basketball or the love of my wife and kids, or loving teaching.  It isn't complicated, yet knowing that I can fail and will because everyone's expecation is different is not something that keeps me awake at night.

When I finish coaching, if all they say is that I was a basketball coach, I will feel that I didn't use the platform that I had been given.  In fact, I think I want my former players to talk less about basketball that they learned, but as they age to understand what we tried to teach them about life.  Their life and serving the lives of people surrounding them is what I want them to understand.  I want them to listen and see and hopefully learn because of my poor example how to be positive men; how to be positive husbands and fathers.