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Wednesday, July 3, 2013


This past spring I spoke at A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium and my topic was about coaching special players and how to elevate them to even greater heights.  One of the things I spoke about was coaching Sylvia Fowles, a 6-6 athlete with great feet and hands and a wonderful attitude.  After her sophomore season I had taught Sylvia all I knew and for me to take her to the next left I had to take myself to another level.  I reached out and spent some time in Nashville with Coach Don Meyer before heading north to stay a few days with then Ohio State coach Jim Foster -- all to talk about developing post players -- especially talented ones with size.  I became a better coach and that lead to Syl becoming a better players.  That's why I enjoyed this following story from Coach Wooden. 

JOHN WOODEN: "Each year I just wanted to do better, and knowing that we can't stand still, at the end of every year I would take some topic about the game and research it.  I might take rebounding or I might take zone defense or I might take the fast break.  I would take all the books written by coaches who I thought excelled in that particular area and I'd read them all and take notes on them.  About some things I would call coaches and try to get all the information I could.  When Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) came, I'd never had anyone approaching his size, so I started contacting Wilt Chamberlain and coaches that had extra-tall players and talked to players personally to get all the information I could acquire from them in regards to working with an exceptionally tall and talented player.  So I think that working on these things in the off-season kept me sharp...It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."

From "Taking People With You" by David Novak