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Monday, October 28, 2013


I posted the following in our Hoopboost for Players blog but it's just as important for coaches as well.  Two of the biggest influences of my coach career have been (and continue to be) Dale Brown and Sue Gunter.  Both had an amazing ability to make whoever they were with at the time feel like they were the most special person on the face of the earth.  The characteristic is called "sincerity."  We never had a banquet or team party that the custodians and all members of our support staff weren't invited.  The custodians were also on the team "gear list" -- sweats and shoes.  Managers were treat like invaluable team members because both Coach Brown and Coach Gunter knew that they indeed were just that.  They had the managers backs at all times.  Everyone from SIDs, Secretaries, Trainers and all student workers were treated with the utmost respect from those head coaches and with that came a trickle effect to the assistant coaches and the players.  It was part of the culture in the LSU men's and women's program during those years and it helped teach the student-athletes a life lesson that they will care to other jobs throughout the life. 

Everyone is important.  Everyone has a valuable role.  LSU baseball coach and AD Skip Bertman would always tell us, at any specific time, someone is the most valuable person in your program.  The day before a baseball game, the ground crew is the most important people in your baseball program.  If they don't get your yard mowed and marked you can't play.  On game day, you can't have a crowd without ticket takers.  Well before the jump ball is tossed, those ticket takers are the most valuable people in your program.   And on and on it goes. 

As a coach, how you making these people feel.  As Pat Williams says, are you impressing them or influencing them?

Here is what we posted at Hoopboost today:

The following "The Difference You Make" -- a great book by Pat Williams with Jim Denney:

"People are impressed by athletic ability but they are influenced by the way we treat other people.  It takes a lot more than athletic ability to be a hero and a role model.  You've got to have good character, good values, and a good heart in order to be someone worth admiring and emulating.  A 'hero' with great athletic talent but a small mind and a closed heart is unworthy of anyone's adulation."

As an athlete, you are working hard to develop your skill set.  But as a person, how are you working to develop those around you.   Do you know you gym janitors by name -- always greeting them will a "hello" and a smile?  When's the last time you've been by the office to speak to your team secretary and see how she's doing?  What is your relationship with your team's managers?  Do you truly treat them as team members or do you make their jobs more difficult?  The absolute great ones know that to achieve maximum success that they need everyone to be at their best.