relationships

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

Friday, December 20, 2013

Arsenal Tech vs. Huntington Prep

(high school shot clock?  No thanks!)

Last night, I watched an Indiana high school beat a basketball factory on ESPN.  It was the second time this season, really within a week, that Tech beat Huntington Prep in a basketball game.  It was nice to see Tech win again because, well....Indiana.  But the announcers got into a long discussion about a shot clock for Indiana high school basketball.

We have a shot clock, it's 8:00 minutes long.  Anything other than that...forget it.  We don't want it.  Thanks Dan Dakich for defending why Indiana is truly the essence of high school basketball.  Something outsiders will never get unless they move here and immerse themselves in our sport.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You're Only as Good as Your Last National Championship


There are certain men's college basketball programs that seem to never be happy with their current college coach.  When that team loses, the sky is falling, and it is only early December.  Many fans believe that the answer to the question is a new coach, one who can win championships.  The problem with that is that there are only 11 current head coaches at the men's level who have won a national championship.

I will list those guys and see which one who would actually leave their current program to go take another job at another university and I think you will find that it isn't likely.

John Calipari, he is not leaving UK for another college program.

Rick Pitino, he is not leaving U of L for another college program at this time and close to retirement.

Bill Self, I just can't see him leaving Kansas for another college program.

Tom Izzo, he is Michigan State.  He's not leaving unless something happens.

Jim Boeheim, he isn't leaving Syracuse and is real close to retirment.

Coach K, you think he's leaving Duke for another college job?

Larry Brown, I read somewhere that he is the king of the 3 year contract.  You want long term, he isn't your guy.

Roy Williams, he is not leaving North Carolina for another college job and is close to retirment.

Tubby Smith, great guy, good coach...I just don't think he would get many fans excited at top programs.

Steve Fisher, another great guy, but his national championship with Michigan in 1989 is one of the great stories.  He would not bring excitement to many top programs.

Billy Donovan, he is the only guy who has won a championship that could be hired and excite a top program.  However, after his flirtation with the NBA, realize he had it good at Florida and staying there, I don't see him leaving.  And if he does, it would have to be an elite program, one that he wouldn't have to build, but that is already in the national championship talk each season.

I think it's important to realize what you have when you have it.  There are great coaches like Tom Crean, Bo Ryan, Thad Matta, Sean Miller, John Groce, Shaka Smart, and Brad Stevens, etc who have never won it all.

Many on this list of non-winning coaches will be on the above list of successful championshp coaches before their careers end, and then they might get the proper respect they deserve now.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Good Stuff Here

Thanks to Silver Creek Head Coach Brandon Hoffman for this.


I...uh...well...you know...because!

I sometimes struggle for the words to explain how I feel.  Then I find something like this that does it perfectly.

The Best



I am a picky eater, but I know what I like.  What's this post about?  Nothing really.  What's the picture have to do above with the post?  Nothing really.

Best pizza:  Mama Rosa's in Salem, IN, close second is Goodfella's in Henryville, IN
Best coca-cola: Tumbleweed in New Albany, IN on Charlestown Rd.
Best queso:  Same as above.
Best Big Red: Taco Bell in Sellersburg, IN
Best garlic bread: Spaghetti Shop in New Albany, IN on Charlestown Rd.
Best mashed potatoes and gravy: Any Kentucky Fried Chicken
Best hamburger: Steak N Shake or W. W. Cousins
Best dessert: Big Boy's hot fudge cake
Best french fries: McDonald's or Steak N Shake
Best bacon: Budroe's Bus Stop in Henryville, IN
Best biscuits: McDonald's
Best breakfast food: Chick Fil A's breakfast littles or McDonald's Sausage McGriddle
Best rolls and cinnamon butter: Texas Roadhouse
Best spaghetti sauce:  Prego...my wife makes the best spaghetti.
Best chicken sandwich: Some little restaurant in Zlatibor, Serbia
Best chicken tenders: Some little restaurant in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Best baked potato: W.W. Cousin's
Best turkey sandwich: McAllister's on a croissant bun
Best roast beef: Arby's in Memphis, IN only
Best donuts: Lon's in Scottburg, IN
Best french toast: Cracker Barrel

Yea, so maybe I eat out too much, at least I know what I like and I am sure I will add to this post as other things come to my mind.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Bragging Father...or Am I?

 


My daughter attends elementary school and is pretty athletic.  Don't just ask me, ask anyone who has seen her doing flips all over the place.  Anyway.  The Elks Club is a local club that puts on a free throw contest each year for the local schools, and can eventually become a national competition.  My daughter "won" her age group at her elementary school and got to move on to the next level.  What happened next was a great learning experience for her.

Because both of my children have been around sports their entire lives, they aren't too bad when it comes to sports.  Yes, as others grow and learn they will catch up with them, but now they are a little more advanced than kids their own age, and this has caused a little air of cockiness.  I have said over and over that they both need to be put in their place by experiencing some sort of failure.

My daughter finally got a taste of it last week.  She went to the next level of the Elks FT contest and was excited, she was nervous, but looking forward to competing.  She got up to shoot her free throws, out of ten, and missed her first eight.  She hit the last two and waited her turn for the final round of fifteen free throws to be shot.  I could tell by her body language that she wasn't happy, but she was doing a good job of hiding it.  By the time it got to her, she couldn't miss a free throw in the last round to keep going.  She missed her first one and she was out.

What happened next was a great life lesson explained.

In so many words, as we drove to get something to eat (just her and I), I asked if she tried her best.  She said yes through the tears, but didn't feel that way because she did so poorly.  I told her that I bet she tried her best, but didn't do her best.  Trying doesn't always necessarily mean doing.  I explained that once you understand that, it will make you want to work harder to strive to be good.

As she continued to cry, I asked if she were embarrassed.  She said "yes".  I told her that was a good thing.  It showed that she cared and wanted to do well and then when she didn't, it shows that she wants to be good.  However, if she were embarrassed for failure, it is best not to show it immediately if possible especially if you are embarrassed because others "saw" you fail.  It is hard.  But she was afraid that everyone was looking at her and laughing, making fun of her.  I explained that very few, if anybody, knew about her failure (the gym was full and most people were watching their own child), it was only after she started to cry walking across the gym floor that it drew negative attention towards her.

We went out to eat.  Her mom and I both explained how much we love her no matter how good or bad she does in something like that.  We explained that we will always love her.  We explained that if she does it next year, we will practice more, but it still doesn't guarantee success. 

Her response "I don't want to talk about it anymore!".  Poor thing, seems to have too much of her competitive parents in her.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Only Reason I Would Want to be Famous

To be able to do things like this...all of the time.  Zach Randolph from Marion, Indiana may have his flaws (we all do), but this is pretty cool.
 

Yay for You!?

 


What's the greatest attribute for someone in life?  I have no idea, well I might have a few ideas, but when it comes to sports there is something that makes me feel like we are headed in the right direction. When I see this one attribute in most of the team, hopefully all of them, we got something good going on.  What is it?

When they seem genuinely excited and/or happy for the success of their teammates.

When you start to see that behavior in most of the players, it means that win or lose,  you can enjoy being around your team not just as a team, but as human beings.  What it does is if most players are showing that happiness (real or unreal), then those that are selfish are in the perceived minority, and they will start to participate so they are not left out.  Peer pressure can be a good thing.

To be fair, it is a hard attribute to attain.  We are born selfish, we grow up in a world that is all about...."me", and we strive for individual excellence usually at the expense of someone else.  It is hard to be happy for someone who may get what you want...playing time, shots, accolades, but when that culture starts to permeate a team, you have something special.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pure Awesomeness

Little girl with deaf parents wanted to make sure her parents would enjoy her Christmas pageant.
 
 

Ring....Ring....Ring....


I listen to contemporary Christian music, it's good.  It reminds me of the music I hear on the radio, you know, the regular channels.  Some Christians think it's not that good, some think it's sinful because it is "of the world".  Maybe they are right on the sinful part, but I would rather hear my children singing the lyrics of rock songs like "if you don't know what to say, just say Jesus" from Seventh Times Down "Just say Jesus" than "red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere" from Miley Cyrus's "Can't Stop.  But that's a different issue.

Back to the point.  When these radio stations have their telethons, these channels are run only from money donated to keep them on the air, I feel a little uncomfortable.  I am sure those people working do also, but I just wonder why they have to give things away, why do they have to entice us?  "Call and donate now and we will throw your name in a drawing for a free iPad or a vacation!"  I know it's necessary because, unfortunately, most people won't donate without the opportunity or possibility to get something for it.

But what really makes me feel...weird... is that while they are on the air talking about the telethon, there are phones ringing in the background.  That's something new. Before there were no phones ringing now there are.  What's the point of that?  Are we to feel like we are missing out on something that everyone else is doing and need to be involved?  Or does it make you feel that they are so busy that they don't need your money?  Either way, my initial feeling is that I am being deceived.  Probably incorrectly feeling that way, but it's how I feel and in today's world that's all that matters, right?

This is in no way a rant against them asking for money.  They would probably run for free if they could, but people work there, the lights have to go on, air conditioning and heat need to be used, there are financial needs.  I just don't like the idea of their manipulation, but to be honest, I am probably more upset that they feel the need to manipulate.  Which says a lot more about their listeners than the radio channel. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

5 Keys to Happiness


There is so much more to happiness, but I think if you do these 5 things on a regular basis, you will be much happier.

1. Understand how blessed you are.
2. Get out of bed and do something positive.
3. When in a storm, perspective...it can always be worse.
4. Help others and expect nothing in return.
5. Enjoy your life and learn to suffer well.

How do You Win?


I know no way that will guarantee that you will win, but I do know that if you don't do the things I am going to write about, you will lose.  Unless, of course, you are just so much more physically gifted than the other team.

You must compete.  Every day, every drill you must play hard.  What does playing hard mean?  It means to compete.  What does competing mean?  It means never giving up or giving in.  Sometimes toughness, competing, or playing hard can be hard to explain, but you know it when you see it.

So what do those three terms mean in my opinion on a daily basis?  First, how well do you take coaching?  Are you listening and trying to change because your coaches are telling you better ways to improve.  Second, are you attempting to do at a high level what you've been told to do?  Are you moving your feet, bending your knees, keeping your hands away from your body, are you diving for loose balls, blocking out?  I think, sometimes, you can see competitiveness more through the efforts of defense, but it is a different type on offense.

On offense, are you hitting the offensive boards, are you taking care of the ball, are you taking great shots, are you being unselfish?  Are you passing ahead?  Are you getting someone else open?  Are you feeding the post or driving and looking for the places that the coaches have told you there will be open players?  Are you using correct footwork and skills you've been shown?

All toughness is mental.  Are you mentally tough?  Then show us.  Show us that you can do most of the things I have written about.  Show us by staying away from the crowd and getting into trouble when others are doing things that risk their futures.  Show us...please...show us!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanks Coach Don Meyer

We did this at Henryville my last year (I got the idea from Coach Don Meyer) and had very few problems compared to the previous two years.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  We did it at SC the other day, I guess time will tell.

 
 
Feel free to hold any names on here accountable by reminding them of their signature on this poster.

Why so Angry?



Maybe it's me and maybe I pay too much attention to social networks, but it seems that the people who post the most on twitter, facebook, etc are unhappy people.  Most of the discussion online is not...uh...nice.  There is a lot of anger and it seems that many people want to vent.

The more anonymous, the more venom.  It's unfortunate because so many good things can come from social networking.  I have met people throughout the world, gotten back in contact with people from my childhood, and keep up with current and former students.  But the spewing of hateful opinions makes me often rethink if I should stay online or not.

Why are people so angry?  Why do they feel they can go online and vent and get away with it because I have often confronted some of the ignorance spewed forth.  I probably shouldn't.  I probably should just ignore it or not search it out, but sometimes that stuff is brought to my attention and then the Curious George in me wants to look for it.

Too often people have opinions about things that they know either nothing or very little about.  They take that bit of information and then spread it online.  Others get hold of it that know even less than the original spreader of half truths or lies and it takes off as truth.

What's funny to me (ok, not really) is that my name gets dragged into situations that I have had zero or little to do with.  But it gets played out in people's heads as the truth and the next thing I know, I am responsible for something that's just not true.

I know I do this and I have made a pointed effort to not spread anything that I don't know for sure (I guess that's the problem, everyone seems to think they know for sure).  What I have gotten good at is typing something out and realizing it could be taken wrong and then deleting it.  That usually makes me feel better.

But the thing that keeps me from typing hateful things so often is I know how it feels to be on the other end.  And I am trying to be better....I am trying.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Scars...


Scars, who doesn't have them?  You are trying to be perfect and that you have it all worked out.  You are dealing with childhood issues, divorce, weight issues, saying the wrong things, being a good enough parent, wishing you hadn't done or said that in the past, and a multitude of other things.

As you have tried to get past your scars, you are reminded from time to time about them from someone from your past.  They don't know you, they don't know you have tried to change and are trying every day.  Which causes maybe some more scars.

What should we do then?  Share your scars.  Share them because I guarantee that if you are dealing with scars (and aren't we all) someone maybe able to relate to something you have been through.  How do I know you have scars?  If you could see emotional scars the way you could see physical scars, you wouldn't be able to recognize what I look like.

I am scarred and so are you.  Help each other, love each other, and help heal each other from these scars.  You might as well use that bad thing that happend to you for good, to help others in the same situation or experience.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Other Words Necessary


The Thinker


There are so many questions that exist in this world and so many different opinions on the answers.  And I have been thinking on these two sets of information lately.

What we know.

We know that we are born.

We know that there is good and evil in the world.

We know that we die.

Those three things there can be no debate, it happens and exists.

What I believe.

God created you.

He wants you to live in good, defeat evil, and grow in a relationship with Him.

We will be held accountable for what we do and allow to happen in this world after death.

I think about these six pieces of information often.  The first three everyone agrees upon and because of those pieces of information, it has made me wonder contemplate even more the last three pieces of information.

I challenge you to think about those first three pieces of information and their ramifications.  Feel free to contact me any time by email if you would like to discuss not only anything in this email, but anything I write about.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shelby


Last Tuesday at YFCA (Youth For Christ/ Fellowship of Christian Athletes), after a small devotional, I asked the students who were there if any of them had not been baptized.  Shelby Basham raised her hand and that started a conversation that ended with me baptizing her the following Sunday.

She had concerns that she was not ready to take the plunge, so to speak.  She didn't feel that she was good enough.  My response was no one ever is and that I could see that she had been growing in her faith the last few months.  I could tell by her attendance at YFCA and in some of the postings online of scripture and he reliance more and more on God.  I realized that she had been going through some rough times (I don't know all of the details, it's not important nor my business) and had grown quite a bit.

Many people in her life had gotten her to the point of baptism, but after our conversation, I told her I wanted to be present when her baptism occurred.  I thought it would take a few weeks for her to get things settled and to make the final decision, but I offered our church and offered the services of our pastor.  Her response shocked me and scared me at the same time.  She claimed that it would make her most comfortable if I was the one who did the baptizing...and it was an honor.

I am sure it was just as equally shocking to her mom and dad who I have known much of my entire life.  Meaning, they have known me too and realize that I am in no way "good enough" to be doing this type of thing.  But as an ordained Deacon I was as qualified as you can be, I guess.

During the baptism, I actually stopped and was choked up a bit.  To me, this is a highly important decision to make and to do.  For me to be the one who did it...I still feel inadequate, but wonderful to have been a small part of it.

Learn to Suffer Well


I was listening to a pastor on the radio coming into work this morning and his sermon was on learning to suffer well.  It's the kind of stuff that I really enjoy because it's true, it's real, and it isn't all "love Jesus and suddenly everything is perfect".  It isn't, in fact, once you make the decision to have that personal relationship with Jesus, life will get harder.

Anyway, his point was that life is full of suffering.  No matter how much we try to keep it from happening, it will happen.  Money issues, death issues, job issues, kid issues, etc, etc.  There are many things that will cause suffering. 

So we must learn to suffer well.  We must understand that what we are going through can either kill us or help us thrive.  We must learn to appreciate that we only grow through adversity or we can become bitter.

Nothing in this life worth having comes without hard work and adversity.  If it is easily obtained, I would probably reevaluate if it were really good for you.  You must suffer to persevere to become stronger.  I don't care if it is basketball, with your children, or co-workers, we must suffer.  I pray that we learn how to suffer well because it is inevitable. 

Now the decision is yours.  How will you handle suffering?  Me...I will do better sometimes and do poorly others.  Hopefully then, I will have people who will help pull me up and dust me off.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gameday

Today begins a journey that started from the moment last season ended.
 
 

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Monday!

Every once in awhile, I need a reminder that every day, even Monday, is a good day.  I wasn't too far from this on March 2, 2012.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dreams Do Come True

One of the things on my bucket list was to sit in the bleacher seats at IU for a men's game.  I was able to do it last year with my and this year I was able to share it with my daughter and son.  Below is a picture during the game.  Second row behind the bench, towards the end of the right side,  you can see him and me...if you try really hard.  He's in a white practice jersey with a red shirt underneath and I am in a red polo.  The row in front of us is vacated at this time.

 


 

Is it in You?


I don't bicycle, but I do compete at lots of things in my life.  To me life will either use you or you can fight until the very end...I plan to never give up.  Back to the picture, I don't bike, but I do compete and I do get this picture.  How many of us have that desire inside of us to do what this guy is doing?

I can remember as a kid when someone told me that I couldn't do something, I would not quit until I could do it.  Once, my cousin just jokingly flipped a basketball up to the top of a door that was sitting against the wall from where it was open.  The ball bounced off and then I tried.  He told me I could never do it...I tried for over an hour until I was able to finally do it.  It is just something that I believe was born in me.  However, as I aged, I did have to learn other mental toughness, I had to learn not to listen to the little voice that says "quit"

How often do we quit because it's too hard or that we just can't win because some perceived wrong has happened to us?  How often when the going gets tough, do we just stop?  Mental toughness is everything.  Physical toughness is important, but you cannot have that without being mentally tough.

Mental toughness will bring you through anything and even having you compete until the end...just like in this picture.  Never give up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why I am a Christian



I was agnostic looking for a reason to believe and kept searching.  Being a social studies teacher, I was exposed to many different religions and have taught about them all.  However, Christianity offered something that no other did.  Free redemption.  I didn't have to do a number of things to be saved, I just had to accept Jesus Christ as my savior.  I did that, but didn't feel different.

About 3 years ago, I started growing and felt The Holy Spirit for the first times in my Christian life.  That growth made me into a different person.  I can't really explain it other than to say that I became a better father, husband, person, and didn't mind wearing pink anymore.  What's that got to do with anything?  My pride and ego (which I still deal with) wouldn't allow for me to look what I thought was silly, but now a lot of that is gone.  I am not perfect and still deal with my sinful nature, but I now see things clearly and I am trying.

I am not telling you that you are wrong if you aren't a Christian, I am telling you that accepting Christ as my savior and living according to His teachings has changed me in a good way.  I have seen it happen to many other people, too and when I see people struggling or writing things online that you can tell they are hurt, I want to share the love of Christ.  It is a cure. 

I promise, if you truly look for Him, you will feel better and then instead of worrying about how you feel, you will learn that by selflessly helping others you will lose yourself and all of the old will become new...and better.

If you would like to every discuss this or what I believe feel free to contact me.

Authenticity



We are marketed to, fooled, and growing every more cynical because we don't believe much of anything we hear and a lot of what we see anymore.  Because of that we are drawn to authentic things and people, people who do things for the right reasons and not because they will gain something for it.

I have been drawn into the whole Jennifer Lawrence thing.  She is a beautiful actress, but even better person who seems to be who she is no matter how famous she is becoming.  She is so authentic that she seems almost attainable for the regular guy.  Not the 44 year old, happily married guy, but the 25 year old me who was searching for the right person guy.

Here is one of the reasons I love that she is authentic and using her fame in the right ways.

Jennifer Lawrence comforts crying fan.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feed the Post



When it comes to offense, I don't care at what level getting the ball into the lane is the absolute best thing you can do.  There is a reason you are only allowed 3 seconds in that rectangle next to the basket and that's because it's a dangerous place for the defense to allow the basketball.

You must get the ball into that rectangle.  One great way is to drive the middle.  When this is done,  you can get a great shot, but any help that occurs will leave someone else open whether it be on the wing or on the block.  If that doesn't get someone open enough for the shot, what it does is get the defense playing catch up and can possibly create another shot within two passes.

But, in my opinion, the best thing to do is pass the ball into the post or on the block.  When the ball is passed into the post, the post can score, the passer can dive or relocate, the post player can pass to the opposite elbow and then follow his pass, or any other amount of things that can be done.  Statistics will show that the best 3 point shots come from reversals and inside out and not just settling for open 3'.  Also, you will get so many more free throw attempts and one statistic I have always wanted and liked is to be able to hit more free throws than your opponents attempted.

Yet, especially in high school, players have a hard time passing the ball into the post.  I have been told that a post player must be open 10 times to get it 3.  Why is that?  Players may not know how to pass into the post or they could be afraid of making a turnover when doing so. 

What we have to do as coaches in teach how to pass into the post (for me, all post passes should be above the shoulders or below the waist...easier to catch), we must teach how to move after the pass is made into the post, and we must allow players to experiment during practice to see what will be successful and what will not be. 

Finally, show practice and games on tape to your team.  It is has been my experience that a lot of times players have no idea what you are talking about until they see it for themselves and the only way to do so is watching game film.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sirens in Bloomington, IN and a Big Thank You!

(Coach Cooper on the right with Victor Oladipo)
If you know me and/or you have followed my blog, you know that my wife and I were in the Henryville schools on March 2, 2012 when an EF-4 tornado hit our school.  It was a scary time in our lives, something that we will never truly get over, but we use to make our lives stronger.

Seth Cooper, an assistant for IU men's basketball program, is somebody I contact when I want to watch IU practice.  We have texted and spoken a few times throughout the years and I texted him to tell the team that they were providing a time away for people in our community during the NCAA tournament run that year.  He passed that info onto Coach Crean and that started a small relationship that exists even today.  IU football coach Kevin Wilson and the team also reached out and were unbelievably good to our community.  Coach Wilson and some of his staff are from Oklahoma, so they understand what going through this type of thing can do to a community.

Yesterday, we had tickets to the IU vs. Stony Brook men's basketball game.  We set out knowing that the weather could get bad that day, but we weren't going to let that keep us from going and enjoying the day.  We ate in Salem, IN, then headed to Bloomington a few hours early.  My wife and I may be over reacting, but we wanted to have contingency plans, no matter what happened.  We arrived at the mall in Bloomington, knowing that they have bathrooms that could provide safety, and did some shopping.  As we were leaving, we could see that rain was on the way, so we headed to Assembly Hall.

As we got to the front doors, we were waiting in line and I heard the sirens on campus going off.  I started receiving texts that the campus was under a tornado warning, so we headed off to the tunnels below Assembly Hall.  As we got down there, the security didn't know the sirens were going off, but allowed us to stay there.  We were eventually told that the situation was being monitored and they had a plan in case that AH would need to be evacuated. 

We just happened, really, it was an accident, to stop and stand outside the men's locker room.  So my son and daughter, who were starting to get scared saw Yogi Ferrell, Will Sheehey, and others, but it wasn't helping.  They were shaken, especially my daughter.  My children were safe in Sellersburg on March 2, but in the following weeks, they had seen the devastation and understood that mommy and daddy could have died.

As my daughter started to cry, assistant coach Seth Cooper saw us in the hallway.  Cooper, being the person that he is, approached to say hello and to speak with my children.  He saw that they were upset and I explained why.  Seth was kind and reassuring to my children that they were safe where they were and if something did happen, we would be fine.  He explained to my scared children how strong the tunnels of AH were built and we couldn't be safer there.  He was so kind that it actually helped them very much, and maybe reassured mommy and daddy it would be fine also.

Sports reporter Rick Bozich also walked by and saw us.  Bozich did an article on my friends and I during the March 2 time, so I had spoken to him a few times.  He recognized me and stopped to shake hands and could see that we, I mean, my kids, were shaken up.  He also was kind in speaking with my children and reassuring them they would be fine.


(Sports reporter Rick Bozich on the left)
So what's the big deal?  Two guys showed they were human?  The big deal, to me, is that two guys who were extremely busy doing their jobs took time out of their schedules to speak to me and my family.  Not just to speak to them, but to reassure them that we would be fine.  As a father, it was hugely impressive to me.  I mean, they took time to speak to my children when they could have said hello and moved on.  They took time to speak to my children when they could have just ignored us.  Instead what these two guys did was reassure two little kids that they were going to be ok and helped my wife and me in dealing with this stressful situation.

And for that, we say thank you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Question for You

AIA in Indonesia giving back

What have you done today to give back?  Yea, you.  The one so blessed that you have time to get on the Internet and read blogs.  Yea, you.  The one who has a job, family, and life to live and that you enjoy more often than not.  Yea, you Coach Hunter!  What have you done today?

The Idea is Not as Fun as the Doing


We have been having intramurals the last month for kids 1st-5th grade.  We started with a camp and have had games since.  It is something that most coaches do not really look forward to, and I would be one of them.  However, the idea of camp and intramurals is not as fun, to me, as actually doing camp and intramurals.  Once I am in the gym, I love it most of the time.  There is just something about being around kids that makes you feel like a kid.  I mean, I never really have to grow up because I get to hang out in a gym, teach basketball and be around young people...every year.

Even practice is that way for me sometimes.  There are days I am not feelin it being at practice.  But once there and I get myself engaged, I love it.  I love it.  I love many sports, but basketball is special to me.  I don't know why.  I was good at baseball, both of my grandfathers and dad worked more with me at baseball, but I love basketball.

I truly enjoy getting to meet new people because of basketball and seeing old friends because you are brought together by a game that will be played.  I hope my love for the game that has given me so much is seen in my passion.  Whether it be working with little kids, coaching high school kids or helping the head coach with details that can sometimes be mundane, I love the doing way more than the idea most times.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tough Lesson Learned



Loving something, working hard, spending many hours at something while working hard at the something you love does not guarantee you success at that thing you love.  It doesn't.  It just doesn't.  If life were fair, I would have won many post season championships because I love coaching and I work hard at it.  Sometimes harder than those who have had more success.  Does it make me bitter?  Not as much anymore.  Does it make me want to change my outlook and work less?  No way.

Because love and working hard does not guarantee success  but it doesn't make me want to quit.  It makes me want to continue on because if you quit working hard because success is so hard...you will never be successful.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Unconditional Love for an Aunt


My daughter loves her Aunt very much.  She recently did the below article (hope you can read it) about her love for her Aunt who recently underwent a double tranplant, both heart and kidney.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Never Forget That Freedom isn't Free


Something to Remember




When I was younger and much smarter than I am now, I thought I was the center of the universe (I used the word "I" four times in the opening sentence alone!).  I believed as a basketball coach/ baseball coach that I could single handedly through my shear will win games.  I thought that programs didn't exist before me, were lucky to have me, and would be worse when I was gone.  The difference between me and some of you reading this is that I am willing to admit it (see what I did there?  Even though I've come a long way, I still think I am pretty special, I mean, I have a blog with my thoughts and pictures all over it, so I still have many narcissistic tendencies).

Then I had a conversation with the New Washington boys' basketball coaching legend and A.D. at the time, Jim Matthews a few years after I started coaching.  His simple comment was something that I had never heard before, it was shocking, I mean the guy hired ME.  But he said, "Perry, the games are scheduled, they will be played."  It was a simple comment and makes complete sense, but what it said to me was, look, you are doing a good job, but they've played the games before, they will this year and they will when you are gone.  I was minimized to a caretaker for a short time...and it was awesome.  Because he was right.

No matter how great you are, the games have gone on before you were there.  The games will be played while you are there dependent on what kind of time and effort you put in, and once you hang it up, the games will go on again.  In fact, you probably won't be remembered as a coach within a few short years unless they put your name on the court or the gym.  Even then, it will be "who?" by most of the following generations.

It isn't about you.  It isn't about you as a coach, and it isn't about you as player or fan.  It is about the program that you are the caretaker for at that time.  What kind of time and effort will you put in?  What kind of lessons will you teach (and I am not talking about what kind of press, offense, or defense you will put in)?  What will you do with the time that you have where you are?  Will you make it about you or will you understand that there is the weight of both the past and the future on your shoulders?  When you leave, will the program be better off or worse than when you inherited it? 

I guess that is up to you and what you believe.  You may think I am full of it after reading this, and maybe that says a lot of things about a lot of things...or not because I don't claime to know everything and sometimes....anything. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 Rules to Live and Play By


1.  Respect

-Yourself

-Others

 2. Take responsibility

          -Yourself

          -Others

 3. Develop and Demonstrate Loyalty

          -Integrity above All Else

 4. Discipline Yourself and Others Will Not Have To

 5. Establish Good Habits

          -Work Hard

          -Work Smart

 6. Put the Team before Yourself

 7. Compete

          -Be Persistent

          -Never Give Up

          -Make the Other Team Earn Victory

 8. Communicate

          -Talk, Talk, Talk

 9. Accept Change

          -Sign of Maturity

 10. Handle Success and Failure the Same

          -Have and Show Class

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to Judge Character


Don Meyer Quotes from Leadership Workship



You wish that some leaders/people could live forever and Coach Don Meyer is one of those people.  His wisdom far surpasses the game of basketball, but he has done a great job of spreading his knowledge to those of us who will listen.  Below are some of his quotes from a leadership workship I attended a few years ago.

"Be a noticer of people in need and you'll never be at a loss for things to do."

"A rock never shines because it absorbs light, but a mirror will because it reflects it.  Are you a rock or a mirror?"

"All great empires are destroyed from within."

"Most of us would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism."

"On a good team, a few people will do the dirty jobs.  On a great team, everybody does them."

"Humility precedes honor, I have never seen a wise person that wasn't humble."

"The devil wants to tear down the best.  He doesn't go after the .220 hitters.  He goes for the .330s.  The more successful you are, the more you have to watch out."

"You can tell a lot about a person when they're getting their butt kicked."

"Loser's limp"

"It's not who you play or where you play, it's how you play."

"Our example isn't the main thing in influencing others, it's the only thing."

"Be who you are...Everybody can spot a phony."

"You can pick captains, but you can't pick leaders."

"Whoever controls the locker room, controls the team."

"Today might be the last day of your life."

"Every situation is an opportunity for growth."

Levels for Leaders:
Unconscious and Incompetent: you don't know that you don't know.
Conscious and Incompetent: You know that you aren't very good.
Conscious and Competent: You know, but no flow.
Unconscious and Competent: everything flows.

Great people talk about ideas.
Average people talk about things.
Small people talk about other people.

"It's not what you achieve, it's what you become."

"You need a soft rain."

Don't Get Blurred by all the Negativity


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No Complaining Rule, Yea Sure


Yesterday, I posted about a book about not complaining.  It is a very good book, but anyway, last night we had our intramurals for 4th and 5th graders.  Our family is dealing with my sister in law being back in ICU (hopefully things are fine), my wife is in Nashville with her while she goes through this (leaving me as Mr. Mom for my two kids, it is amazing what my wife does and I just help) and I am responsible for both kids, and I have my responsibilities here as well as getting back into shape as I officiate our games for our intramurals.  So I was tired last night, real tired and aggravated, and mentally weak, and...well, I hope you get the picture.

In other words, life is happening, I am busy and I wouldn't want it any other way.  Yet, after posting about the book and the "no complaining" rule, I felt all I did last night was complain.  "I am tired, I wish Kristi were here, why can't my kids listen, why are these little kids running their mouths?" Etc, etc.  It made me feel better, I think, but it is something that those around me do not need heaped upon their already full lives.  Full lives with things they would very much like to complain about.

I think as professionals, especially coaches, we are striving for perfection.  We are striving for perfection in others and in ourselves.  And really, how dumb is that?  Perfection does not exist.  It is something that exists in our minds, but not in the real world.  However, I think it is that need to reach perfection which makes so many professionals successful.  How?  Because by striving perfection, you will reach pretty darn good.  If you reach for pretty darn good, you will reach good and so on and so forth.  I guess I am stuck with this then as it is part of my DNA and feeling of inadequacy that I grew up with, the need to be "good enough".

I guess no matter how many books I read, no matter how much philosophy I read and agree with, I am human.  I won't be able to completely cure my inefficiencies or lack of selfishness, but I can temper it.  The greatest thing I am doing this morning is recognizning what I did last night and that I will try to be better.  I won't be perfect, but I will be better, or at least try today because I can't speak for tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day and do you realize all I have to do today!?

Monday, November 4, 2013

The No Complaining Rule


Author Jon Gordon has written many good books, you can find them here.  Recently, he posted a quote about complaining on his twitter account., and I loved it.  I tweaked it just a little, but the majority of it is his.

"Complaining is like vomiting in public.  Afterwards you feel better, but everyone else around you feels sick."

I will be the first to admit that I can be one of the worst complainers there is.  It often stems from frustration that I cannot control everything and it makes me feel better.  Yet, maybe I am making everyone else around me sick.

This book gives some good ideas on what to do before you complain.  Give it a read.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dad, Keep Your Eyes Open Because His Are Open

 
 
 
The Little Chap Who Follows Me

A careful man I want to be,
A little fellow follows me;
I do not dare to go astray
For fear he'll go the self-same way.
 
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whate'er he sees me do he tries.
Like ME he says he's going to be---
That little chap who follows me.
 
I must remember as I go
Through summer suns and winter snows,
I am building for the years to be---
That little chap who follows me.
 
 
Poem from John Maxwell's Developing the Leader Within You

Yep Part 2




Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yep


Which State is THE Basketball State?



In the words of IU men's coach Tom Crean: "It's Indiana, It's Indiana".  Other states will argue that they are the holy land of hoops, but they are wrong.  California and Texas?  Sorry, too big, football rules, and no one shows up for high school games.

Kentucky?  They are the only state who can make a legitimate argument, in my opinion.  They have UK, U of L, Western Kentucky, and a high school history that is deep, rich culminating with one champion in their Sweet 16 tournament that ends in Lexington each March.

But...it's Indiana.  I will argue that we have the Pacers, Butler, IU, Purdue, and other D1's, I will argue that our high school history is deeper and richer, and yes, many think class basketball has ruined it, but I will argue we still are better. 

Here's why.

How many high school players from Kentucky play at UK?  or U of L?  Not many.  It isn't like the best players from Kentucky high schools are good enough to attend their two premier universities.  What about Indiana?  The best high school players are being recruited by all of the major colleges including....UK and U of L.  Butler showed a few years back that a school with the second tier best players from Indiana can go to the Final Four and come within a hair of winning the whole dang thing.  In Kentucky, it all starts with UK and filters down.  In Indiana it starts in the driveways and the parks and filters up to all high schools and universities.

UK is by far the best college basketball program in the country right now.  You can't argue with their success (unless you're from Duke) especially since John Calipari has been there.  But many UK fans forget history.  They remember all the wins and they remember all of the banners, but they forget the Eddie Sutton years and the beginning of the Pitino years, it seems. 




Recently, IU has tried to dig itself out of the bottom of the elite pile due to NCAA infractions.  This past season in Crean's 5th year, IU won the Big Ten regular season title, in a season in which it wasn't that easy.  It was the first conference title for IU since 2002 and IU hung a banner.  UK fans have made light of this to show that the IU program isn't elite for doing so.  They forget that guys like Deron Feldhaus, Sean Woods, John Pelphrey, and Richie Farmer got their numbers retired and they never played in a Final Four at UK.  Why did they get those numbers hanging from the rafters?  They helped Pitino bring UK back from the bottom of the elite college pile.  They deserve their numbers hanging in Rupp's rafters as does IU deserve that banner.

Finally, Kentucky people want to point to the superiority of their one class tournament.  I won't argue against that one champion is superior to multiple champions.  What I will argue against are these two things.  One, in Kentucky's high school tournament, you can lose and advance when playing in the District.  There is just something fundamentally wrong with losing in a tournment and advancing.  Unless it's double elimination, but those don't happen do they?  In real tournaments?  And also, consolidation hit Kentucky and there are fewer and fewer small schools.  Grayson County, North Bullitt, Oldham County and others compete with the city schools.  Often their smallest schools are private with really great players migrating there for their education (tongue in cheek).

And since Indiana has gone to four classes with four champions, the overall win/loss of the Indiana vs. Kentucky high school series is so one sided to Indiana that their argument can't be used to show superiority anymore.  Because they rarely win and I mean rarely.

Which state is THE basketball state?  It's Indiana.  Who is a close second and I will concede is better in some ways, it's our friends to the south in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  But overall, they are still second.  Because in 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana.  Out of 50 states, being second isn't too bad.