Back from yet another A Step Up Assistant Coaching Symposium and refreshed for another year. There are no words to describe the appreciation I have for Felicia and Johnny Allen for their amazing commitment to not just our sport but for the position of assistant coaching. There is no clinic around that dedicates itself entirely to helping assistants through speakers, group teaching and networking opportunities. If you are an assistant coach and haven't joined us at one of the Step Up symposiums, you are missing an incredible growth opportunity. Hopefully I'll see you there next year! Here are just a few pears of wisdom I grabbed from pages of notes that I scribbled down:
Tips for improving Zone Offense
1. Recruit shooters
2. Get ball up quickly
3. Ball and player movement
4. Attack the short corner
5. Dribble penetration
6. Screen the zone
7. Practice - not enough time spent vs. zone
Evolution = Improvement
Push the ball up the floor in transition. "Attack before the concrete gets hard."
"Treat everyone you meet like they're going to die at midnight."
What's important is quality of relationships with people across the board.
Good to show success in challenging situations.
Be a great story teller
Worry only about things you can control
Biggest mistake in an interview -- ramble -- be precise
Periodically stay in touch with administrators (huge)
Desire to be more than just a recruiter
Associate Head Coach
Mississippi State University
Always have an answer -- be prepared
Make decisions you know the head coach would make
Meet weekly on Monday mornings to go over Skill Development
Use NBA/WNBA comparisons for motivation and technique
"There's a difference between those who play basketball and basketball players."
Motivation is a big part of our role as a coach with skill development
"Doesn't matter how fast you are if you don't have good footwork."
Best drills are the ones you create as you season evolves.
Must have a job so you can coach/mentor
Key to communicating with recruits -- tell stories, ask questions
University of Tennessee
Relationships -- Develop, Cultivate, Maintain
Don't just call coaches when you need a player
Operate with integrity
CEO - Worth Financial Advisory Group
Coaching is about service
Taxes -- not about what you pay, about what you keep
C. Vivian Stringer
"It's not about what we have but more about what we do with what we have."
Goal: authentic relationships
Prepare for the now
Monday, May 15, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
We just read a fascinating article from Dr. Rob Bell on the importance of the start of practice. You can read his entire article here. He even sites thoughts from coaches such as Jim Mora and Tom Coughlin.
There is certainly an art to this and it needs to be calculated first by the staff and then by the leadership of your team. We talk to our team about having a “game day mentality” for practice. Make sure you come mentally and emotionally read to maximize the day’s workout. For us, there are a couple of things we utilize such as pre-practice, emphasis of the day and practice goal cards and you can read about of these here.
Dr. Bell talks about a “re-connect” with coach and player each day to start. One of the best examples I’ve seen of this is Sherri Coale. While coaching at LSU I took the opportunity to watch Coach Coale and her Oklahoma team practice one summer in preparation for a European trip. Each practice the players would come out and shoot and stretch. I observed Coach Coale make physical and emotional contact with every single player before they huddled up to begin. It might be a high-five, a grab of the arm or a slap on the back but it would be followed by a brief conversation and almost always a smile on the face of the player. Practices at OU started with great energy.
As Dr. Bell writes:
Arriving to practice should involve an emotional and team-oriented approach. Dynamic stretching, warming-up, and bonding between the players and the coaches are all part of arriving both mentally and physically. The arrival period of practice is also the best time for a coach to re-connect with players and get a sense of “what’s going on.”
Arriving early and establishing that expectation helps tremendously with the starting of practice.
Next, how do you emphasize the starting of practice. This is the time that you expect your team to be focused and dialed in. If the arrival has been taken care of, chances are the start will be effective as well.
Friday, April 21, 2017
The following comes from an outstanding article on Bill Belichick written by Suzy Welch for CNBC.com. It’s a detailed article on some Belichick’s philosophy regarding leadership and his team. It also includes a 16-minute video interview. You can, and should check out the entire piece here. Quickly, here are his five rules of exceptional leadership.
1. Leadership means building a team that's exhaustively prepared, but able to adjust in an instant
"The only sign we have in the locker room is from 'The Art of War.' 'Every battle is won before it is fought,'" says Belichick, who started breaking down films of opposing teams when he was 7 years old and hanging out with his dad, Steve, an assistant coach at Annapolis.
"You [have to] know what the opponents can do, what their strengths and weaknesses are ... [and] what to do in every situation," he says.
2. Leadership means having the discipline to deploy your "dependables"
You know your star performers? The ones who can dazzle and amaze, except when they don't? They're definitely appealing, Belichick admits.
But over the years, he's learned they're not his type. He'd rather stick with his tried-and-true people — call them his "dependables."
"There have been times when I've put too much responsibility on people. ... They might have been the most talented, or the people you hoped would do the right or best thing, and they didn't come through," Belichick says.
3. Leadership means being the boss
Belichick says this principle first came to him when he was just 23, addressing the Colts as a special teams coach. Two players, one of them a talented starter, spent the beginning of the meeting giggling and chatting. Inside, Belichick recalls, he was seething: "I'm not afraid of these guys. It's either [them] or me. We can't run a team like this."
Finally, he let loose. "Look, either you shut up or you get out of here. That's it."
4. Leadership means caring about everything going on in the lives of your people
Maybe the previous rule would make you think otherwise, but Belichick strongly believes you must see your team not just as players, per se, but as people who have full, three-dimensional, and often messy lives.
"There are a lot of things that affect what happens on the field that occur off the field," he says. Players "have wives and girlfriends. And they have babies. And they have personal situations. They have parents that are sick. All of it runs in together."
5. Leadership means never resting on your laurels
Ask Belichick if he's still celebrating the stunning come-from-behind Super Bowl victory in February and you get another "You're killing me here" look.
"We're onto 2017. No one cares about 2016 anymore," he says. "You can't look back. We don't talk about last year. We don't talk about next week. We talk about today, and we talk about the next game. That's all we can really control."
Monday, April 3, 2017
These are my complete notes from listening to Coach Don Meyer at the Baden Coaching Clinic in Coral Springs, Florida in 2005. For those who have read Buster Olney's outstanding book on Coach Meyer, "How Lucky Can I Be," this was the clinic that Coach attempted to drive me off my diet with a pack or Oreos.
Everything in RED is mine and highlighted as such because it struck a chord with me that day.
Get all the good ideas but you can’t use them.
Keep philosophy simple...Majerus says this is a difficult thing.
Tarkanian: “The more they think, the slower they get.”
Search for the teachable moment:
What you say after loss or big win is tremendously important.
Why I Coach (Coach Meyer’s list) - make my list
Teach toughness (life skill)
Teach team attitude (everyday)
Teach life skills
Bus ride — team bonding.
We need to collect our player notebooks and review them...periodically check them make sure “they get it.”
Find your unique talent or gift
Give your gift away
Real coaching is the test of time.
Wooden: “I miss the smell of the practice floor.”
Practice...one of the things you can control...not looking for pretty—looking to get better.
Hank Iba: “You must practice the game in the manner in which it is played.”
Joe Paterno: “It’s a coaches job to replicated game situations in practice.
7 C’s of Coaching
Conditioning...to play hard you must be in shape
Communication...early, often, loud
Concentration...never saw a confident team that was quiet
Compete...drills must be competitive
Consistency...result of doing it everyday
Chaos...must have it in practice because you have it in games
John Wooden: “We might not be the most conditioned team but they think they are.”
Lon Krueger: “Prepare, practice and play like you just lost your last game.”
Morgan Wooten: “Leadership starts at the top.”
Good leaders make the team think they did it.
Got to have internal leaders. We must develop
“An army of lions lead by an ass will be defeated by an army of asses lead by a lion.”
-sign on Doug Collins office
Wooden philosophy on helping kids: “It is better to go too far than not far enough.”
Points of Contact
Attraction: people feel attractive by you make them see themselves.
Somewhere we need to meet someone who expects greatness of you.
Listen to your leaders as a coach.
Got to have a couple of kids that know the game.
Rest...if you are fatigued you can’t be consistent
Relax...from your work
Enjoy the fruits of your labor
Enjoy the relationships with your kids and your friendships with coaches.
No down time if you coach right.
Savor the success of your work...journey’s a lot better than the end.
Thoughtfully reflect on what you learn in order to improve
Coach Meyer keeps 3 journals
-Things I learned today
-Wife (will give to her as a present)
One minute assessments (Develop this in my coaching style)
1 thing YOU did well and WHY
1 thing WE can do better and HOW
Coach Meyer: “What motivates me? Being around coaches who care and love to teach.”
3 Stages of coaching:
No job too small, no sacrifice to big.
Leaders must be accessible to kids (give this quote to our kids)
5 Stages of coaching:
Striving for Success
Significant State (dangerous level = jealousy)
Spent (have burnt the candle all the way down)
You should feel your program is the “front porch to the university” (Mark Emmert)
Worst reason to take a job is for the money.
Do Not Worry
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
5 “F” Words
Faith...believe in something not yet seen
Family...have to have a family with your team
Friends...have to have them for balance
Finances...talk to your kids about
America keeps score by dollars — lousy way.
Money is a terrible master, an excellent servant
Not what you have but what has you.
Money has yet to make a man rich.
Nothing drains your energy more than a non-responsive player.
Life is too short to spend with losers.
Never be afraid to tell a coach, players, or team that you love them.
Coach Meyer’s Morning Routing (I need to develop one for off-season)
List of people to pray for
Goals to achieve that day
Dictaphone (do a better job of using mine)
On dealing with administrators: “Don’t wrestle in the mud with the pig because the pig likes it.”
Pressure is good...stress is bad.
A diamond is a hunk of coal made under pressure.
You’re a poor specimen if you can’t handle the pressure of adversity.
Cozy up to pressure.
A good enemy is often better than a good friend.
Coach Meyer will talk to parents about anything but playing time.
Coaches must learn to deal with parents. Kids don’t pick their parents.
Can we win with you on the floor?
Can we win with you on the bench?
“They knew he was going to be great long before they called him ‘Bear.’”
It’s OK to make a mistake...not OK to mope, pout or quit...this applied to players and coaches (coaches first).
Learn from your kids...they’ll surprise you...if not, you’re a bad teacher.
Key to a great program...Look for ways to win!
Are you a victor or a victim?
NBA...Next Best Action
Greatest strength...greatest weakness — be balanced.
Only thing that can keep us safe is humility — lifetime learned.
Coach today the way you want 10 years from now.
Knight is into the common denominator of wins and loses.
Why did we win?
Why did we lose?
Dean Lockwood talking to Pat Summit on plane ride back from Michigan State loss…
...was Michigan State better conditioned...Summit: “No”
...did Michigan State have better athletes...Summit: “No”
...was Michigan State tougher...Summit: “No”
...was Michigan State more skilled...Summit: “Yes”
Physically touch 1/3 of your players every day.
LaRussa—red fungo bat — converse with players at batting practice
Northern has daily sign-in sheet with space for comments.
Bulletin board is important but less is more on it.
Water fountain outside of Coach Meyer’s office
Players always stop and get a drink of water
Allows Coach Meyer to have a conversation with them
Sign on fountain: “No true wolf passes by without taking a drink.”
Team building: informal time...informal things together.
Seniors go over with others
Watch video together the night before
Team goes to high school games together (community support/recruiting)
Team works concessions for other sports
Coach Meyer takes team on retreat.
“What are you going to give your team everyday?”
Player notebooks...do a better job of checking them!
Camp/Team (3 things everyone does)
Everyone takes notes (including coaches)
“Please” “Thank You” “Yes sir” “No Sir” “Yes mam” “No mam”
Pick up trash
Teach Each Other!!!
Northern sometimes lifts after a game.
Stretch before and after practice
We need to do this with redshirts or little used subs
Keeps them in shape...improves their skill...gives them value
Wolf Dog Festival
Great for community
have face-to-face with team before they leave for summer
“Getting Things Done” - David Allen
Anything by Bruce Brown
Juggling — add to our 2 ball routine.
Coach Meyer look to use Swing Offense
Coach Meyer inbounding the ball on the left side to allow point to use right hand to cross main street.
PITFALLS OF POOR PLANNING
Type, laminate and keep copy on desk and in planner
#1 Allowing “to-dos” to rule day instead of prioritizing
#2 Setting unrealistic number of things to do each day
#3 Failing to have your planning system with you at all times
#4 Forgetting to allow time between schedule appointments
#5 Failing to allow 1 1/2 hours a day for the unexpected
#6 Not having an effective system for capturing and retrieving information
#7 Failing to have a personal management system
#8 Retaining unnecessary information
#9 Failing to plan for “big rocks” weekly, “small rocks” daily
#10 Failing to allow time for advanced planning