A big thanks to Coach Steve Finamore for post this article on Facebook. Paul Patterson is one of those great small college coaches that has impacted not only his players but the game as well. I met Coach Patterson through his friendship with Coach Don Meyer. Coach Patterson for several years used my book "The Art of Being An Assistant Coach" as a textbook for a class he taught at Taylor. I later got to know Bret Burchard who was a member of the Taylor basketball family and learned more of the amazing job Coach Patterson did at Taylor.
Here are just a few excerpts of an article by Michael Pointer for the Indy Star -- read the entire article here -- its well worth it!
“What I’ve learned is hard work is the separator,” Patterson said. “Our faith grows in the hard things that we do. We all want to quit. We all want to cheat when the coach isn’t watching. But the good ones don’t do that.
“I think honesty is a learned trait. I think you learn it is better to be honest to your teammates. The toughness of athletics gives coaches an opportunity to teach that.”
“Be who you are,” Patterson said. “Come in here and compete. Understand that everyone’s role is to make the team better. Find that role, be really good at your role, and make your team better. In the process, you find out a lot about who you are and things like perseverance.”
Now, after years of competing on expensive travel teams, some parents — although Patterson emphasized, not all — look at an athletic scholarship as a just reward, he said. When a player is going through a tough time, they soften the blow instead of trying to convince him to use it as a learning experience.
Patterson recalled once benching a player during a trip to California. His father, a physician, was along for the trip and didn’t say a word, he said. Those examples are becoming harder to find, he said.
“He was more concerned with how his son was going to face that first bit of adversity in medical school,” he said.
“These guys need us to push them to a high level. They do not need to come in here and for us to make this a soft experience. The toughness of athletics has kind of gotten swollen up by consumerism of college education.”
Today, we value quality by how many things we do rather than how well we do the things we are doing,” he said. “We’re in Indiana. Basketball is pretty noticeable here. It’s really important that you have a mindset to be really good. No one gets really great by accident."