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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Your Job as an Assistant Basketball Coach


1. Understand that you are not in charge.

2. Whatever the head coach tells you to do.

3. To not bring extra problems onto the head coach.

4. To be positive with the players if the head coach is negative.

5. Understand that you are not in charge.

6. Don't let the head coach allow important details to slide.

7. Be honest with the players, but not overly negative.

8. Never undermine the head coach to community or players.

9. Whatever the head coach tells you to do.

10. Understand that you are not in charge.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Struggle is Real (Parent of an Athlete)


I have coached sports for almost 30 years (I struggle with that truth, but hey...I'm old(er)).

Before I had children, I was not as good of a coach as I was after having children.

It changes you.

You go from coaching children in the way that you think parents should discipline their child in a certain way before you have children, to understanding a little bit more once you've created your own human being.

When I had kids, I understood, better, what parents go through with their children and I wanted to be both a coach who I would want my kids to play for but also one my players' parents would want them to play for.

Then my children go involved with sports.

And I can guarantee you that your IQ drops when it comes to your own children and playing time, discipline and other aspects that other coaches do that's part of their job.

One thing I try to hold true, though, is that I know that my IQ has dropped, that I am biased and that I'm no different from every other parent except for the awareness of my shortcomings as a parent of an athlete.

I try, but I struggle with how my kids get coached by anyone other than me.

It's not right, but I'm trying...but man oh man is it hard.

So you can imagine parents who have never coached a sport, played a sport, or who have never had to deal with parents in a position of leadership will react in similar situations.

As coaches, we need to understand that.

But still...coaches jobs are hard enough.

If you are a parent and you get angry.

Step back.

Take a breath.

And talk to the coach when you are calm.

Oh...and stay off social media with your complaints; it doesn't help anything...at all.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Well, the 5th Grade is Pretty Good"


I remember when I first started coaching sports,

I just knew that through my sheer will and hard work, I could turn any team into a winner.

I just knew that I could even turn around a perennially losing program into a winning one.

As I have aged and become more experienced, I realize that there are very few coaches who can actually do this.

I know of 3 out of the many, many coaches I know that can do this or who have done it.

There is just something about changing the mindset of kids who have grown up and never won.

They've never won and they've heard from their elders how they never won and no one will ever win from their town.

I was lucky, I took my first head coaching job at a school that was relatively competitive and was through my 7 years, but some coaches aren't so lucky.

Some young coaches will take any job they can get because they just want to be in charge.

The problem is that if there are not players that can help you win, you won't be in charge for long.

So if you want to take a job and the players don't look that skilled and someone says "Well, the 5th grade is pretty good", or the 3rd grade, or the 6th, or any grade other than one about to enter high school, you probably won't be around to see them.

Because you will either tire of losing, or you will be fired.

If I were giving advice to a young coach, I would tell them to be very careful about the first job you take.

Not only do you want to be successful, but what you do in those first two or three years could very well follow you in trying to get your next job.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gettysburg Address


Visiting Gettysburg last year, we ended up where the address was given by President Lincoln. On the other side of the fence by the large tree in the middle of the picture.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Coaching Effort and Toughness...Why?


This is going to sound like an "I remember when I was younger" post, but it I guess it sorta is.

This isn't a new phenomenon, but one we are dealing with more this year.

At what point did coaching and teaching basketball skills like dribbling, passing and shooting morph into coaching and teaching effort, toughness, competitiveness, playing hard and pride?

I really believe that execution has become less important as being tough, playing hard and competing, and we seem to have to coach that more and more each year.

I had this discussion last year with one of our assistants who played in the 70's and at first he didn't agree with that statement, but when I explained that kids being tough, playing hard, etc was a given, so execution was the difference.

But not today...if a team plays harder than their opponents, no matter how well they execute...they have a great chance of winning.

What caused this?

Fewer practices? Softer society? Officiating? AAU? 

I think it's an amalgam of all of these things, I guess.

But what do I know? I'm just an old guy complaining about how it used to be.