Google+ Followers

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"HE WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED"

Below comes from ESPN's Buster Olney who is currently working on a book on Coach Meyer:

For 38 years, what Don Meyer has loved most about coaching is the problem-solving. Fixing a player's jump shot. Correcting the way his team defends the screen-and-roll. Adjusting the offense.

Meyer will coach the last home game of his career on Saturday, when Northern State University plays host to Southwest Minnesota State in Aberdeen, S.D. He has 923 career victories, and he got there by focusing on the process rather than the product, on getting his own players to execute better.

"You always knew what Don's teams were going to do," said Belmont University coach Rick Byrd, who has probably matched up against Meyer more than any other coach. "But the attitude of his teams was, 'We're going to practice it so well, execute so well and play so hard, that we're going to be better than you.'"

This kind of intense preparation required generations of players who could rise to the challenge of meeting Meyer's overwhelming intensity, who understood the message in his sometimes biting critique and window-rattling sarcasm, and who realized along the way that his lessons were about more than just basketball.

Over the years, his relentless focus on problem-solving -- the habit of looking inward and demanding accountability -- has been about more than defending the screen-and-roll. It's been about his players demanding more of themselves, as people.

"It wasn't always a bed of roses," said Wade Tomlinson, who played for Meyer at David Lipscomb College from 1986-90. "I can remember going back to my dorm room and visualizing holding him down and punching his head. But he is exactly what an 18-to-24-year-old male needs at that time in their life. He was exactly what I needed."

Meyer's success as a coach could be defined, in theory, by his record of wins and losses, of the NAIA national championship that David Lipscomb won in 1986, by the fact that the two greatest scorers in college basketball history, John Pierce and Philip Hutcheson, played for him.

Read the entire article at: http://bit.ly/dtSrko