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

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Coaches by Bill Libby

Call me a coaches advocate.  I rarely want to hear anything negative about what a coach is doing unless you are at their practices, talking to them about what they are trying to do, or speaking with an assistant about that kind of thing.  And even speaking to an assistant isn't always the best person to ask, as they may have an agenda (everyone does).  Even with all that and how you should handle dealing with a coach, it is a thankless job.  I know, many jobs are, but consider your profession and then if your "success" and "failure" was decided by teenage boys or girls.  You might have a different take on things if you did that or tried to any level.  I would be willing to bet that most, if not all, of those anonymous critics online have never coached at the varsity level of any sport.  It's a different world especially basketball in Indiana.  More pressure, more exposure, more critiques, and more pains all for a couple thousand dollars.

I recently received this in an email from the Henryville volleyball coach, Shallon Hill.  It was so good, I wanted to pass it on to everyone else to read.  Feel free to agree or disagree, but there's a lot of truth in this poem.  Criticism is a part of the job, but try considering this before being so publicly outspoken.  However, there are situations that cricism is necessary and needed, I guess you will have to be the one who decides when that it is appropriate.  But I bet we are wrong more often than we are right when it comes to these situations and what we think is correct behavior when it comes to coaches.

He's called a coach and it's a different job.  There is no clear way to succeed.  One cannot copy another who’s a winner, for there seems to be some subtle secret chemistry of personality that enables a person to lead successfully and no one really knows what it is.  Those who have succeeded and those who have failed represent all kinds.

They are young, old, experienced, they are soft, tough, good natured, foul tempered, proud and profane.  They are articulate and even inarticulate.  Some are dedicated and some casual.  Some are even more dedicated than others.  Intelligence is not enough, and dedication is not enough.

They all want to win, but some want to win more than others and just wanting to win is not enough.  Losers almost always get fired, but winners get fired also.  He is out in the open being judged publicly for six or seven months out of the year by those who may or may not be qualified to judge him.  Every victory and every defeat is recorded constantly in print.  The coach, this strange breed has no place to hide.  He cannot just let the job go for a while or do a bad job and hope no one will notice as most of us can.  He cannot satisfy everyone, seldom can he even satisfy very many, and rarely does he even satisfy himself.  If he wins once, he must win the next time also.

They plot victories-, they suffer defeats; they endure criticism from within and without; they neglect their families, they travel endlessly and they live alone in the spotlight surrounded by others.  Theirs may be the worst profession in the world.  It's unreasonably demanding, poor pay, insecure, full of unrelenting pressures and I ask myself: Why do coaches put up with it?  Why do they do it? I've seen them fired with pat phrases such as, "Fool", "Incompetent", or "He couldn't get the job done".

I've wondered about that, having seen them exalted by victory, and depressed by defeat.  I've sympathized with them having seen some broken by the job and others die from it.  One is moved to admire them and to hope that someday the world will understand them; this strange breed they call coach.


Winning is Important, but so is Sportsmanship

Great video going around.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

FCA Appreciation Meal for the Henryville Bus Drivers

Saturday, February 23, the Henryville FCA gave an appreciation luncheon for its bus drivers.  As many of you know who read here, and maybe you don't, an EF -4 tornado hit our town last March 2.  Our bus drivers went above and beyond that day to make sure our children were taken care of.

I think what that day did more than anything was not to highlight just the heroism from that day, but that each day we send our children off to school expecting that person driving will get them there and back.  HHS FCA truly appreciates our bus drivers!

Thanks to First Baptist church pastor, Toby Jenkins for speaking.  He as well as Principal Troy Albert and parents/grandparents Jennifer Hayes, David Hunter, and my wife above, Kristi Hunter, also thanked them for their day to day efforts.

The Doghouse

Last Friday, my son and I took in the Bloomington North vs. New Albany boys' game.  The outcome wasn't quite what we wanted as NA took a loss in their last regular season game, but the experience was something nice to share with my son.

I have been back to The Doghouse a few times since my first time in there, we actually played our sectional there my junior year, and every time it brings back those memories when I was ten years old.  My cousin was Michael Hunt who was on the team in 1979-80, he didn't play much that year (he started his senior year and went on to play at St. Bonaventure), but we went to watch him play a few times during the regular season and at the regional.  That 1980 team was state runner-ups.  We had to go to my Aunt Nellie's up in the hills of Borden to watch the state finals on Channel 4.  When New Albany lost to Indianapolis Broad Ripple, as we drove home that night, I can remember crying...a little.

I grew up in Henryville.  Spurgeon gym was "it" as far as I was concerned, but it might hold 1400-1500 people.  My experiences at any gym other than that had been at Madison for the sectional, but I barely remembered that.  When we arrived at the New Albany vs. Indianapolis Attucks game in that 79-80 season, everything stuck out to me.  I am now, and was then, a Indiana basketball history enthusiast.

We pulled up and NAHS just seemed to have a "city" school feel that I hadn't seen before live, like something from the movies.  Then when we walked in, you could feel the buzz in the gym because that team was so good.  From my first Charlie Bond sighting (you know, the guy with all the buttons on his hat and Mr. New Albany Bulldog, their #1 fan, no doubt...doesn't every community have one of those?) to when Richie Johnson walked in, I can still remember that night.

Johnson, who was an unreal talent, came strolling in and had a tie on with an overcoat and his gym bag.  As far as I was concerned, I was seeing a basketball superstar, and with the 5-10 little kids running around and trailing him, you could understand that he was special.  Watching him and Dave Bennett play was a little different than anything I had seen in my young life at Henryville games.  And the gym...walk down the halls and you see the pictures from throughout the years, and then the white brick inside the gym gives it an old school feel.

We arrived Friday, and I started noticing and remembering that first time.  The crowd at New Albany on the lower section of their side of seating is decidedly older and decidedly loyal to their team.  You can tell they take pride in being from New Albany and being at The Doghouse.  At New Albany the longer you have season tickets the lower you sit on the home side which is visible as the older more experienced fans are lower and it seems the age decreases as you ascend the bleachers.

The players weren't exactly Richie Johnson and Dave Bennett this year for New Albany, but the all time winningest NA coach Jim Shannon, has put together a competitive team.  They have their work cut out for them when it comes to post season, but no matter what happens, the history, tradition, and New Albany pride will continue.

Friday, February 22, 2013

FCA Appreciation Meal for Cheerleaders

In feeding our athletes this school year, we never want to forget the cheerleaders.  Often overlooked and often taken for granted, these students put lots of time and effort into building up the spirit of the school.

Thanks to U of L Lady Bird Paige Conrad for coming in and talking to them.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm Back!


Looks like I am back coaching a head coach (I will accept that title lightly)!  It is the elementary level.  Silver Creek girls' coach Scott Schoen asked if my daughter wanted to play at the 3rd/4th grade level on a team this spring and asked if I would coach.  I said yes to both, after asking Madison.  I spoke to my wife, and she had no problem with it and my son is so glad to be in a gym, he doesn't care either.  He may not even know what is going on while playing in there.

I thought that I may not want to coach my children, and I still may not, but after taking a season off from coaching, I look forward to this.  I told my wife Kristi that I have no doubt that I will coach at a much less intense level than I did as a varsity boys' coach.  I will not get frustrated with the girls, I will not get frustrated with the officials, I will not (hopefully) get frustrated with the parents of the girls I am coaching, but there is one group that I am afraid may hear from my frustration.

My goal is to get these girls better by working on fundamentals.  Those fundamentals will be dribbling, passing, shooting, and on defense.  We will work on man to man defense only and probably will not press unless down at the end of the game.  However, I realize that pressing and zone are a part of the rules and we will see those defenses.  In my opinion, and in the opinion of Coach Schoen, that kind of thing is a total waste of time for what he wants to get accomplished in developing his young players and in trying to teach fundamentals,  and to try and teach the game of basketball.

But, I realize that I will see that stuff, and I realize that some of the people you will go against will be trying to win...period.  Winning would be nice, but at that level, winning is the last thing on my mind, but we will try to do so within the confines of what is the right thing to do, in my opinion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

FCA for 2-19-2013

Recently, we haven't had students sharing their testimonies, so I have been speaking.  I don't think we need an update for that, but when we do have a testimony or a guest, I want credit to be due.

Today, Brother Scott Reeder, preacher of The Borden Church of Christ, attended and spoke about getting into the leadership field of Christianity.  Reeder is the preacher of the church that Mrs. Melva Carter of HHS, and I attend.

Thanks to Brother Scott for getting up and coming in at 7:00 AM to speak to our group.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Henryville Coaches vs. Cancer

With the graduation of senior Savannah Booher, one wonders what Coaches vs. Cancer will do at HHS.  She has done a majority of the work in organizing it the last 3 years and has helped to raise over $3000 during that time.

Saturday, the FCA supported game was played against West Washington and with the help of the WW community and team, $1000 was raised.

All money raised will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Don't Give Up

Luke 4:21-30

Jesus speaking
21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.
23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”
24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[a] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”
28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

We have talked about this is Sunday school, that often the people closest to you are those that are hardest to reach with your faith or even in your job.  I know that I feel often that administrators and coaches from other schools ask for my opinion or follow my advice more than those closest to me.  I know that I feel that many people where I am from do likewise.  I know that I feel my own family does it, too sometimes.  I feel that when I leave here and venture out, the appreciation is much higher for what I have been through and what I have to say. 

I think there are two main reasons for this. 

One, the people closest to you know you.  That can have negative consequences because of their memories.  No matter what you say or do today, they remember what you have done and said in the past, and let's be honest, none of us are perfect.  That means that many of our mistakes from the past are not forgotten, and depending on the person, are never far from their own thoughts. Maybe I can fool some of the people some of the time away from here, but home, well, they know me.

Second, people that are closer to you are used to what you have to say and do.  They may have seen your "advice" in action and don't need to ask for it.  They often don't listen because they don't want to seem like they are not in control, that you may know something that could help, or that would be helpful.  To them, it shows weakness and may be their lack of ability to follow even when leading.

I, by no means, have all the answers, in fact, some days I feel I have none.  

I guess I am writing this to show you that your frustration in your given situation, where you are located, is not a new predicament.  People feel helpless where they are closest in many situations, including Jesus of Nazareth.  But don't quit the good fight, keep plugging away.  Help those you can closest to you and continue reaching out where you go.  Stay the course and do work that is presented to you and help when possible. 

Do not become frustrated and negative, because you are still doing everything for the glory of God. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Places We Go

My kids have no idea where they have been able to go as a young children. They have been to so many places that I wasn't able to go until I was older, simply because I like basketball and traveling so much.  When I was a kid, my parents didn't take me to any of these places not because they were mean, but because they weren't too interested in it themselves.  Me, it's a different story.  I love history, I love basketball, I love Indiana basketball, and I love the history of Indiana basketball and basketball itself.

When my daughter was almost two, we traveled to the northeast.  We visted Penn State, Yale, Syracuse, Harvard, UCONN, and Penn's athletic facilities.  Yes, we have been to Philly's Palestra.  Oh yea, we also visted the states in the area and stayed in Boston for a few days.  She got to shoot baskets after we visted the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.  She got to play on the University of Tennessee's court, and then traveled with me when she was 3 to Tobacco Road where we walked around North Carolina, Cameron Indoor at Duke, and got a tour of Wake Forest University with friend WF Asst, and former IUS head coach, Walt Corbean.  We went to WF first, and when we arrived at UNC, she asked who was going to show us around there, she had no idea that it didn't happen everywhere to everyone.

When Brandon was just two years old, he had already been to Indiana University's practice facility where he showed his two basketball dribbling skills to men's coach Tom Crean.  The girls went to Chicago, so he and I went to Hoosier's gym in Knightstown, spent the night in the Steve Alford All American Inn and then spent a few hours at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame where we were given a "behind the scenes" tour with friend Executive Director Chris May.

He's been to Loogootee (Jack Butcher), he's been to Springs Valley (Larry Bird), he's been to Cloverdale and met Coach Pat Rady (winningest current head coach) as well as meeting all the other high school coaches in the area.  He and his sister have been to IU's practice facility, to IU basketball and football games, and they both got to play on the football field when I addressed the football team at their weekly chapel.  Finally, I know I am missing something, he got to play at Milan High School.  If you don't know what the big deal is about Milan, you probably shouldn't be reading the sports section.  It is the high school that the 1954 Indiana boys' state champs inspired the movie "Hoosiers" which ESPN voted as the greatest sports movie ever.

My kids have been to the athletic facilities at Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Florida, Vanderbilt, and many other universities. They have been to the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Michigan and taken a cruise on the Ohio River. They have been to so many places that I would have killed for when younger. Instead, my memories of my youth is my dad coming home tired from work and shooting basketball or throwing baseball, and of my mom supporting me through the ups and downs of athletics from little league to high school and then to coaching.  None I would trade for any other memories, they gave me so much and loved me even more.

To be fair, we have probably spoiled the kids when it comes to these things, but it really isn't about them.  It has been about what we have wanted to do, it has been about where we have wanted to go, but more importantly it has been about the idea that we want to have them with us when we travel and to give them great memories.  It's a statistical fact that everyone will die, and Lord willing, I will die before them.  I want them to have these memories, maybe not always something they want to do, but something they will be able to remember what they've done, who they did it with, and smile and pass on their own experiences and loves to their children.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FCA for February 5, 2013

Today, we had a teacher testimony.  Mrs. Carter spoke about growing up in a family that was involved in the church.  The one constant that she has felt from the time she can remember through today is love.  God is love.

1 Corinthians 13
 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Monday, February 4, 2013

WinterJam 2013

Check out the WinterJam website and if there is a concert in your area, attend.  My wife and I went to Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday to watch the bands and there may have been 30,000 people there watching the show.

(Matthew West: Strong Enough)

Good stuff, great music, great fellowship.

(TobyMac: Me Without You)

MercyMe...The Hurt and the Healer

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Switzerland County's "Mike Night"

If you have never driven along the Ohio River to Vevay, IN, it is a fun drive.  After going through Old downtown Madison, you drive for over 20 miles along the banks of the Ohio River.

Brandon and I arrived and were treated to great hospitality by Coach B.J. McAlister and everyone at Switzerland County, HS.  Mike McClure, a long time teacher, coach and FCA coach from Switz Co, passed away this past year.  The boys/girls varsity night was dedicated to Coaches vs. Cancer and raising money for an FCA scholarship in the name of Mike McClure.

Mike's family was there including his 93 year old father, a WWII vet, who had great stories of Mike and his time in the war.  Mike's brother Steve McClure coached at Northfield and I enjoyed listening to his stories about that time as well as Indiana basketball in general.

Steve and I both addressed the crowd (I humbly represented Southern Indiana FCA) and gold t shirts were sold with "Mike's Night" on them.  Switz Co's colors are orange and blue, but Mike was a Purdue fan, so the gold shirts were a hit.  Teaching at HHS, I felt comfortable with all of that gold in the building.

Overall, it was a wonderful night that I got to spend with my son, money was raised and a tribute was given for a great man in Mike McClure, it was a great game to watch and for the Switzerland County people, their team defeated a good Shawe Memorial team to end the night.