I truly believe that coaching basketball is teaching! Teaching not only fundamentals, how to play the game, and team skills, etc…but also life skills. As the coach, I must be well-prepared for practices and games. I must always encourage my student-athletes, and remain positive at all times. Coaches must have a passion for the game. Being enthusiastic and up-beat will spill over to my student-athletes and everyone around me. Valuing all the players on the team is also extremely important; I must make the 15th player on the squad feel as important as the star player. This is all very important in developing team spirit and chemistry and will make practices more competitive which in the end will make our team better!
System of Play
I believe in an up-tempo style of play utilizing multiple defenses to keep teams on their toes. Offensively, we utilize a motion offense that is based on spacing, movement, and constantly attacking for a teammate. During the recruiting process, it is extremely important to find student-athlete’s who have a high basketball IQ and who share the same passion for the game that I do. There will be roles that each player must take on for the team to be successful. My team will be an unselfish team who utilizes teamwork and has trust in every member of the team and coaching staff.
As the coach, I am the leader and must be organized. A disorganized coach imparts this disorganization and a sub-standard approach to the entire program. If you are not organized, others (including players) will not take you and your program seriously. Everything must be organized! This includes: practices, game routines, schedules, year-end banquets, meetings, travel plans, budgets, essentially the entire program. I believe it is essential to stick to your schedule but to add in some flexibility for unforeseen events. I believe in surround myself with good people; especially loyal, dedicated assistants who share my passion for the game and my desire for excellence.
“Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail!” Preparation in all aspects is vital to the team’s success. All practices, game plans/scouting reports, etc… must be thoroughly prepared! It’s true that good coaching may help determine the outcome of a closely played game, but preparation is much more important. Preparation means teaching kids correct fundamentals and team skills. Having great practices are key as you “play like you practice”. If you play and compete hard in practice every day, it’s more likely you will play that way in a game. Practices should be competitive and upbeat.
All great coaches have learned what they know from other coaches and players. I don’t have all the answers. I am humble and eager to learn from others. This is how you become a better coach. Like players, coaches should “be coachable” and be students of the game. I love attending coaching clinics, watching coaching DVD’s, and reading books on not only the most successful coaches, but also the most successful people in the world.
It is extremely important to keep in mind the ability I have as a coach to influence my student-athletes and shape the way they view the world and interact with others. While I am not their parents, I do play an important role in their lives. I love to teach by example. Showing my student-athletes how you treat others, how to be a person of integrity, how to provide guidance to others, showing trust and belief in others, and having self-discipline. I treat all players with respect and make them all feel important as individuals and members of the team. It is important to have fun as a team and with the team. The coach-player relationship is a vital cornerstone to successful coaching.
I believe in an “open door” policy. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have open lines of communication with my team. Before the season starts, I like to meet with each player individually about goals, expectations, etc… and throughout the season have occasional team meetings to discuss “issues” or ideas that can help the team.
Rules and Discipline
I have never been a big fan of setting rules for a team. It is vital for the team to “police” themselves and to develop their own set of standards and rules. I like to state to the team to be safe, smart, and legal. I take discipline very serious and take issues on a case by case basis. I don’t like to make a hasty decision or comment. It is important that I first find out all of the details of what happened, the school’s policy, and get the advice of my athletic director or peers before making a decision. I like to think about what long-term impact my decision will have on the individual(s), the team, the program, the school, and the community.
Discipline also means doing the right thing and doing everything for the betterment of the team. In practice and in life, this means doing everything the right way, every time.
“PLAYERS DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE!”