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Thursday, August 29, 2013


This past summer I spoke at A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium and my topic was "Coaching the Special Player."  If you are lucky enough in your career you will have the special player that can elevate your program.  But you should know that you must stretch yourself as a coach.  If you haven't had the special player you may think it a luxury but it is in affect a great responsibility for you as a coach.

Later this week, I will share my notes that I used at the symposium but this morning, here are some great thoughts from Lawrence Frank on coaching your best player:

In the NBA, you must have a partnership with your best player:

  • If your best player is not driven by competition and achievement, you are probably going to have a bad team.
  • Best player must embody what you are about.
  • We put signs up defining our culture, our belief system, and what we’re about.
  • Your best player has to buy into your system; otherwise you’re going to get fired.
  • Don’t necessarily need to like each other, but you must create mutual respect because you need each other.

If you’re having difficulty getting through to a player:

  • Get other great players to talk to this player – they will listen to their peers.
    • Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups are culture changers.
  • Show them tape of what they are doing: compare this to what other top players are doing.
  • Bring in outside resources e.g. motivational speakers.

If you have to work this hard to manage a player, then maybe he is no longer your best player:

  • You can’t make players like you as a coach, sometimes you just have to appreciate guys for who they are.
  • Rank players based on who is going to help you win games.
  • If you are under-talented, you have to do something to be different.
  • You can’t beat more talented teams by running the same stuff they do.