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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.