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Thursday, March 1, 2012

THE ARMY WAY

A special thanks to Mississippi State women's basketball assistant Joey Burton for pointing out this article in the Detroit News by Vincent Goodwell:

Lawrence Frank is an avid believer in legendary coaches Bob Knight and Bill Parcells, who both have military ties. Although Frank doesn't share such ties, he uses a series of nine questions the Army does, perhaps a reason he has preached the same message after long losing streaks and a recent winning stretch before the All-Star break.

It's called an After Action Report, which Frank learned about after taking his Nets team to West Point. It's about what they did well, what they did poorly, things they didn't prepare for in practice and more principles.

"There's a very thorough self-evaluation," Frank said. "The Army, that's what they use. Every major decision they make, and that's how they evaluate virtually every decision they make."

Comparing sports to war or even peacetime military operations usually isn't applicable, but Frank believes the Army method is a way for the coaches to properly review all aspects of the previous game.

"You have to be brutally honest with it," Frank said. "Every coach has to do an AAR, and that's why we don't let the wins and losses get in our eye. We have to be true to the process."

One of the minority owners of the Nets was a West Point guy, and gave Frank further information after their initial trip. Frank became intrigued and uses it in Detroit, assigning different assistant coaches to look at varying issues.
 
Whether it bears fruits this year remains to be seen, but Frank believes doing daily AARs will pay benefits down the road.

"You can't lie to yourself," Frank said. "It keeps us every day on task."

Read the entire article: http://bit.ly/xaWC0m