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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Experts in the Stands


I don't claim to be a basketball expert, I do claim to have coached in more varsity basketball games than most of the people I sit near in the stands, though.  Coaching varsity basketball in Indiana is different than any other level.  No matter how much success you have had at a lower level, it means little when coaching at the highest level in high school. 

But what I hear in the stands during some games proves there are many basketball experts in the stands.  I will say this, the average fan in the stands in Indiana does know more than the average fan in other states.  Some towns more than others, and to be fair, many of the "experts" are a small number.  For the most part, fans either cheer or yell at the referees.  Questioning the coach is part of the job, but some of the stuff I hear....it's hard for me to listen to.  I realize that I may just be a little more sensitive than the ordinary fan about this type of thing, I mean, I knew it went on, but to actually sit and listen, well....

Examples: One team is playing zone, fan yells "Play man to man!"; later in the game, coach is playing man to man and that team gets scored on "What's he doing?  Should have stayed in that zone!" 

One team playing another that is clearly better than them.  "Press, press, press!!! This guy won't press, how can we get any turnovers?"  A few possessions later that coach presses and....layup at the other end of the court.  "Well, at least we know now."  No, I am going to bet that the staff already knew they couldn't press.  They didn't just show up on Friday night and decide to coach like you did to "cheer".

Player put in game: "about time you gave him a chance", said player immediately makes 2 defensive mistakes and turns the ball over.  Player pulled from the game "you only played him 20 seconds!"  From my perspective, it seems that the player should have been cut from the team, not given 20 seconds to prove himself, but that's irrelevant, I guess to the expert in the stands. 

Many experts yell at the players on the floor, but when the coach does the same thing; "that guy is out of control, he needs to calm down.  Nobody would talk to my kid like that." Yet that is exactly what you were doing seconds earlier.

I could go on and on and on and on...and on.  Really, it is just one or two people that I hear.  I think people may be afraid to say too much because they may read an article in the News and Tribune and see themself.  I don't know.  Maybe.  If you are reading this and associating with it, maybe it is you, but probably not.