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Saturday, September 20, 2014

MAKE THE BIG TIME WHERE YOU ARE

Those who are faithful reader's of this blog know how we feel about the importance of process over results.  Far too many get caught up in setting destination goals as opposed to living daily striving for excellence in all they do.  Life is about mastery and mastery is a daily process -- sometimes involving the most mundane activities.  Yesterday, spending time in airports and airplanes, I read "Burn Your Goals" by Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilbert.  It is one of the best books I've read in regard to understanding and living the process.  I believe it is a necessary read for coaches and athletes and I will blog a little over the next week about a few of the passages.

One chapter, "The Resources Myth" hit home because of my own coaching journey of some of my stops along the way.  It also brought back fond memories of Coach Don Meyer and all that he accomplished in his career.  If we were to hear Coach Meyer speak this fall, one of his topics was always doing the best with what you have with where you're at.  And he would no doubt encourage us all to read "Make The Big-Time Where You Are" by Frosty Westering.

The thing to know about resources is you have what you have and you don't have what you don't have. 

Simple, but far too many of us spend more time -- completely wasted time -- talking and thinking about what we don't have instead of showing initiative and maximizing what we do have.  Excellent programs do a few things in regards to resources:

1. They get the most out of what they do have.
2. They utilize their imagination to overcome what they don't have.
3. They go to work to obtain what they don't have (fundraising, etc.)

Here are some great thoughts from "Burn Your Goals" in regard to resources:
The "lack-of-resources" myth not only cripples creating thinking but it also has another harmful effect. If limits the people you will attract.  Successful people's ears perk up when they see and hear about people being resourceful and persevering.
Rather than fall into the trap of the resources myth, try and always ask these 2 questions:
What is the smallest version of my dream I can start right now, using what I have, right where I am at?
What is one thing I can do make this better?
Those who are faithful with little will be trusted with so much more.
Create. Be resourceful. Persist.
Resources have a habit of following:
Passion
Persistence

Patience

HOW ARE YOU BUILDING YOUR COMMUNITY

I believe a lot of people would be fascinated to sit in on our staff meetings here at Texas A&M.  The novice probably believes that we spend a great deal of time talking about X & O's -- and nothing could be further from the truth.  The subject of basketball itself is towards the bottom of the list.

Our #1 subject? Our student-athletes -- their academics, their health, their attitudes.  Programs of excellence don't deal in things, they deal in people.  There is not a day that goes by that we don't meet as a staff or in pairs to talk about our student-athletes and their needs.

Subject #2 is most often recruiting.  Why?  Because it deals with us bringing in new family members.  Again, many would think we would talk entirely about skills but we spend a great deal of time talking about attitude, personality, and the other intangibles.

Subject #3 is about what we are doing to develop our team chemistry.  What are we doing as a team so we can continue to learn and grow together. Yesterday in our staff meeting, this was a major subject.  We looked at our team calendar and discussed ways and dates of building our community.

It's why I loved this passage today from "The Maxwell Daily Reader" by John Maxwell:

September 20: DO THINGS TOGETHER AS A TEAM
I once read the statement, "Even when you're played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember.  You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates."  That is describing the community that develops among teammates who spend time doing things together.
The only to develop community and cohesiveness among your teammates is to get them together, not just in a professional setting but in personal ones as well.  There are lots of ways to get yourself connected with your teammates, and to connect them with on another...the where and when are not as important as the fact that team members share common experiences.

REASON #4 TO ATTEND THE 3rd ANNUAL GARY BLAIR COACHING ACADEMY

As we inch closed to the 3rd Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy, I want to occasionally list a few of the reasons that make us proud to be the host.  First and foremost, Coach Blair has a great passion for growing our sport.  Not all programs open their doors and share anything and everything with coaches off all levels.

My presentation at the Academy is titled "Don Meyer: Lessons Learned and a Legacy Left."  I will speak about the many lessons I learned from Coach Meyer over the years, on the court and off as well as share some of my personal stories about coach.  The presentation will include photos, video and as much of Coach Meyer's basketball philosophy as I can fit in during the allotted time.

I've spend a great deal of time working out the details and I believe those that know and follow Coach Meyer will enjoy this presentation.

The academy includes sessions led by each of the Texas A&M women’s basketball coaches, focusing on wide-ranging topics on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Registration for the Academy includes three meals, a Texas A&M highlight DVD, a DVD of the Academy sessions and a notebook that includes tips on scouting, motivation, coaching philosophy, conditioning, and practice planning, in addition to a playbook.

Interested coaches may register here or get additional registration details here.

For more information, email Coach Bob Starkey at rstarkey@athletics.tamu.edu

SATURDAY - OCTOBER 4, 2013
12:30 PM      Registration

  2:00 PM      Aggie Basketball Philosophy (Gary Blair)

  3:15 PM      Stars Basketball (Dan Hughes)

  4:45 PM      Dinner

  6:00 PM      The Don Meyer Legacy (Bob Starkey)

  7:15 PM      Quick Hitters vs. Zone/Man (Kelly Bond-White)

SUNDAY - OCTOBER 5, 2013
  8:00 AM      Breakfast

  9:00 AM      Point Guard Play (Amy Wright)

10:00 AM      Aggie Offense
                      ◄Primary & Secondary Break

                      ◄Man to Man Offense

                      ◄Shooting Development

11:45 AM      Lunch

  1:00 PM      Aggie Defense (Bob Starkey)
                     ◄Ball Screen Defense

                     ◄Shell Defense
  2:00 PM      Q&A with the Aggie Staff   

Friday, September 19, 2014

REASON #3 TO ATTEND THE 3rd ANNUAL GARY BLAIR COACHING ACADEMY

As we inch closed to the 3rd Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy, I want to occasionally list a few of the reasons that make us proud to be the host.  First and foremost, Coach Blair has a great passion for growing our sport.  Not all programs open their doors and share anything and everything with coaches off all levels.

Those attending the Academy will receive two DVD's.  The first one will be a highlight of last season's Texas A&M Elite 8 run.

The second DVD will be mailed a week after the Academy and will include all floor demonstrations during the clinic as well as a copy of any video presentations.  So take good notes but know that you will have video back up in the mail coming!

The academy includes sessions led by each of the Texas A&M women’s basketball coaches, focusing on wide-ranging topics on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Registration for the Academy includes three meals, a Texas A&M highlight DVD, a DVD of the Academy sessions and a notebook that includes tips on scouting, motivation, coaching philosophy, conditioning, and practice planning, in addition to a playbook.

Interested coaches may register here or get additional registration details here.

For more information, email Coach Bob Starkey at rstarkey@athletics.tamu.edu

SATURDAY - OCTOBER 4, 2013
12:30 PM      Registration

  2:00 PM      Aggie Basketball Philosophy (Gary Blair)

  3:15 PM      Stars Basketball (Dan Hughes)

  4:45 PM      Dinner

  6:00 PM      The Don Meyer Legacy (Bob Starkey)

  7:15 PM      Quick Hitters vs. Zone/Man (Kelly Bond-White)

SUNDAY - OCTOBER 5, 2013
  8:00 AM      Breakfast

  9:00 AM      Point Guard Play (Amy Wright)

10:00 AM      Aggie Offense
                      ◄Primary & Secondary Break

                      ◄Man to Man Offense

                      ◄Shooting Development

11:45 AM      Lunch

  1:00 PM      Aggie Defense (Bob Starkey)
                     ◄Ball Screen Defense

                     ◄Shell Defense
  2:00 PM      Q&A with the Aggie Staff   

Thursday, September 18, 2014

REASON #2 TO ATTEND THE 3rd ANNUAL GARY BLAIR COACHING ACADEMY

As we inch closed to the 3rd Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy, I want to occasionally list a few of the reasons that make us proud to be the host.  First and foremost, Coach Blair has a great passion for growing our sport.  Not all programs open their doors and share anything and everything with coaches off all levels.

Besides great meals, an Academy Notebook and some great videos, you get to hear to of the best clinic speakers in the business -- Hall of Famer Gary Blair, and WNBA head coach Dan Hughes of the San Antonio Stars.

Coach Blair hasn't slowed down after leading our Aggies to the National Championship and into the SEC where we have won the SEC Tournament Championship and then advanced to the Elite 8 the past two seasons.

Coach Blair, a two-time national finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award, has guided Texas A&M to nine straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and to four conference championships.

Blair led the Aggies to their first national title in their first-ever trip to the NCAA Women’s Final Four and closed out the 2010-11 season with a 33-5 record, the most victories in program history. The Aggies were voted as the No. 1 team in the coaches’ poll following the season, the first time Texas A&M stood atop either poll in women’s basketball.

In 2013 he was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Coach Hughes is the winningest coach in San Antonio Stars history and will enter his 10th season with the organization next summer where he also serves as General Manager.  His list of honors and awards include:

• WNBA Coach of the Year (2001, 2007)
• 14 WNBA All-Star Selections
• 9 Postseason Appearances
• 5 WNBA All-Rookie Team Selections
• 4 All-WNBA First Team Selections
• 4 All-WNBA Second Team Selections
• 4 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Awards
• 3 WNBA All-Defensive Team Honorees
• 1 WNBA Top 15 Honoree
• 1 Conference Title

The academy includes sessions led by each of the Texas A&M women’s basketball coaches, focusing on wide-ranging topics on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Registration for the Academy includes three meals, a Texas A&M highlight DVD, a DVD of the Academy sessions and a notebook that includes tips on scouting, motivation, coaching philosophy, conditioning, and practice planning, in addition to a playbook.

Interested coaches may register here or get additional registration details here.

For more information, email Coach Bob Starkey at rstarkey@athletics.tamu.edu

SATURDAY - OCTOBER 4, 2013
12:30 PM      Registration

  2:00 PM      Aggie Basketball Philosophy (Gary Blair)

  3:15 PM      Stars Basketball (Dan Hughes)

  4:45 PM      Dinner

  6:00 PM      The Don Meyer Legacy (Bob Starkey)

  7:15 PM      Quick Hitters vs. Zone/Man (Kelly Bond-White)

SUNDAY - OCTOBER 5, 2013
  8:00 AM      Breakfast

  9:00 AM      Point Guard Play (Amy Wright)

10:00 AM      Aggie Offense
                      ◄Primary & Secondary Break
                      ◄Man to Man Offense
                      ◄Shooting Development

11:45 AM      Lunch

  1:00 PM      Aggie Defense (Bob Starkey)
                     ◄Ball Screen Defense
                     ◄Shell Defense
  2:00 PM      Q&A with the Aggie Staff   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CAL BAILEY: 4 KEYS TO BEING A GOOD COACH

I have blogged before about my relationship with legendary baseball coach Cal Bailey.  While an assistant men's basketball coach at West Virginia State College I also served as the Sports Information Director for baseball which mean that I shared a seat on the bench with Cal, rode in vans with him and had a lot of meals.  It was one of the most valuable experiences of my coaching career.  I learned a great deal from observing Cal and talking to him about coaching, teaching and life.

Recently there were a set of podcasts talking to Cal about various things including his coaching philosophy.  Here are a few take aways:

Something he got from a college instructor, Dr. Herman Kennedy, when Cal was 21 is that "life is hell."  And the sooner you realized that the sooner you could go about navigating successfully through life.  It helped form his coaching philosophy.  Cal would actually create chaos at practice intentionally.  His thought process was that we wanted to occasionally put his players in situations where they would fail in practice to learn how to recover from it.  The experience in practice would make it more comfortable to handle in a game situations.

As Cal said, he want to "teach them to become their own best coach."

Another thing that Cal shared on the podcast was something that he learned as well -- 4 Keys To Being A Good Coach:

#1 The ABILITY to recognize ABILITY

#2 The ABILITY to surround yourself with ABILITY

#3 The ABILITY to develop ABILITY

#4 The ABILITY to utilize ABILITY

Cal retired at the end of last season but after listening to the podcast the Big Dog is still teaching me.

REASON #1 TO ATTEND THE 3rd ANNUAL GARY BLAIR COACHING ACADEMY

As we inch closed to the 3rd Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy, I want to occasionally list a few of the reasons that make us proud to be the host.  First and foremost, Coach Blair has a great passion for growing our sport.  Not all programs open their doors and share anything and everything with coaches off all levels.

One of the items that clinic participants receive is our Academy Notebook.  The notebook is over 100 pages of Aggie Basketball and will include the following sections:

Practice Planning & Philosophy
This section speaks to how the Aggies develop their practice and has some sample practice plans for coaches to view

Man to Man Offense
A very detailed list of Aggie set plays via Fast Draw.



















Zone Offense
A look at the Aggie zone offensive attack

Man Defense
This section will deal with shell series and screen defense this year.

Special Situations
Principles and guidelines for Aggie special situations.

Skill Development
     -Point Guard
     -Wings
     -Post Play













Strength & Conditioning
A look at some of the work the Aggies do in the areas of strength, conditioning, explosion, quickness and agility.

Scouting
Guidelines for scouting and always includes an actual scouting report that Aggies would utilize with their team.

Motivation
Always one of the favorite section for clinic coaches, this is filled with motivational passouts that the Aggies give to their players.



















Resources
A section of how you can follow and contact the Aggie coaching staff.

We take great pride in making sure the material from the previous Academy is not repeated!  We want to make sure that we are adding new information for those coaches who are repeat attendees.

We start putting the Academy Notebook together in the summer and work on it up until the day before the clinic.

The academy includes sessions led by each of the Texas A&M women’s basketball coaches, focusing on wide-ranging topics on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

Registration for the Academy includes three meals, a Texas A&M highlight DVD, a DVD of the Academy sessions and a notebook that includes tips on scouting, motivation, coaching philosophy, conditioning, and practice planning, in addition to a playbook.

Interested coaches may register here or get additional registration details here.


For more information, email Coach Bob Starkey at rstarkey@athletics.tamu.edu


SATURDAY - OCTOBER 4, 2013
12:30 PM      Registration

  2:00 PM      Aggie Basketball Philosophy (Gary Blair)

  3:15 PM      Stars Basketball (Dan Hughes)

  4:45 PM      Dinner

  6:00 PM      The Don Meyer Legacy (Bob Starkey)

  7:15 PM      Quick Hitters vs. Zone/Man (Kelly Bond-White)


SUNDAY - OCTOBER 5, 2013
  8:00 AM      Breakfast

  9:00 AM      Point Guard Play (Amy Wright)

10:00 AM      Aggie Offense
                      ◄Primary & Secondary Break

                      ◄Man to Man Offense

                      ◄Shooting Development

11:45 AM      Lunch

  1:00 PM      Aggie Defense (Bob Starkey)
                     ◄Ball Screen Defense

                     ◄Shell Defense
  2:00 PM      Q&A with the Aggie Staff   

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

WHEN YOUR TEAM IS UNITED

“When your team is united, it can ward off any flak from negative perceptions. It won’t make any difference what outsiders think. When your team is working together, your competition will have fewer weaknesses to exploit. But a team divided against itself can break down at any moment. The least bit of pressure or adversity will crack it apart.”

-Bill Parcells

MAKING THE "RIGHT" DECISION

A big part of coaching is the ability to make decisions.  When you think about it, coaches have numerous decisions that they must make on a daily basis.  All are relevant to our programs though certainly some are more important than others.  Here is a great list of thoughts in regard to decision making from Bill Walsh from his book "Finding The Winning Edge."
 
-One of the main attributes a leader must have is the ability to discriminate from what is often contradictory information. In this matter, it takes a thorough understanding of the situation and of the sources of information to act effectively.

-Decision making involves more risk and responsibility than any other managerial activity. The work of problem analysis and evaluation can be delegated to others in the organization, but the responsibility for decision making is ultimately assigned to one individual. Choosing among various alternatives often demands courage and moral judgment, as well as intelligence.

-Effective decision making is vital to the growth of any organization.

-Toward that end, there is a series of questions that you should address when making a decision, including:

·         What difference does it make what course of action you decide to adopt?

·         Do you have sufficient information to fully analyze the issue/matter under consideration?

·         If you are lacking essential information, do you know how to get it?

·         How critic al to implementing your decision is its acceptance by those who will be affected by it?

·         To what degree does the commitment of others to your decision depend on their active participation in the decision-making process?

·         Is everyone affected by your decision in general agreement with its basic objectives?

·         To what degree will those who will be affected by your decision disagree over possible alternative solutions?

·         Do the individuals involved in your decision have the capability to implement the decision as planned?

 - An educated guess is just as accurate and far faster than compiled errors. – George Patton

Sunday, September 14, 2014

LATER

Can there be a more insidious word? Later, as in “I’ll do it later.”  Or, “Later, I’ll have time to write that book that’s been on my mind for the past five years.”  Or, “I know I need to straighten out my finances...I’ll do it later.”

"Later” is one of those dream-killers, one of the countless obstacles we put up to derail our chances of success.  The diet that starts “tomorrow,” the job hunt that happens “eventually,” the pursuit of the life dream that begins “someday” combine with other self-imposed roadblocks and lock us on autopilot.

Why do we do this to ourselves, anyway?  Why don’t we take action now?  Let’s face it: The familiar is easy; the uncharted path is lined with uncertainties.”

-Jennifer Reed (Success Magazine)