This past weekend, at A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium in Dallas, we were fortunate enough to hear from two legends in the game of basketball -- Jody Conradt and Marsha Sharp. Over the next few days I will share some of my notes from both, starting today with Coach Conradt.
"Teaching and winning go hand in hand."
"The longer I coached the more I realized it was less about winning and more about relationships."
"Leadership is about helping other people love what they need to do."
"It is important for the head coach to give assistant coaches responsibilities on the court."
"Culture is the core values in which something is build."
"You must realize that incoming players are the product of previous cultures."
"The hardest part of recruiting is learning the intangibles, like their personality traits."
"It's more difficult to teach culture than to recruit them."
Player qualities that Coach Conradt looked for:
Commit to goals
Need natural enthusiasm
"The must enjoyable teams are those that competed in practice. Today, too many kids don't want to show up their teammates. It is important to create an environment where competition is fun."
In talking of her 1986 National Championship, Coach Conradt said, "I never think of the title without thinking of the failures we had to overcome to get there."
2. Role Acceptance
Develop role ownership
The best thing to say about a player: "When she's on the floor, the others on the floor play better."
"Diversity makes our sport special and that includes skills."
Two things Coach Conradt avoiding saying:
#1 "My team" -- it is our team
#2 Calling her players "kids" -- because it gives them an out -- kids aren't supposed to make good decisions
"We send subtle messages in everything we say or do
Two things kill teams
Sounds simple but very difficult to teach
More about listening, sensing, feeling
No team can be successful without leaders.
"Basketball teams provide a laboratory to teach life-long lessons."