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Monday, July 31, 2017


This past month has been primarily an evaluation period for those in the college game with two full weeks travelling the country looking for players that best fit our Aggie family.  As someone that cares about the game, observing the competition in the summer can by uplifting or disappointing depending upon the team and players you are watching.  It's a lot of pressure on these young women because they know that a summer performance can often preclude their future options. 

Some players can be found doing too much.  At times players can play with the thought of trying to impress a coach and end up over doing it as opposed to doing what their team needs to do to play better.  Ironically, helping your team play at a higher level is more impressive to college coaches than individual performance.

During the summer, I found myself jotting down a few things that EVERY player could do to be better that had nothing to do with talent.  Things that regardless of their skill level, they could enhance their contribution by focusing on these areas:

1. Shot Fake and Pass Fake
Truly a lost art.  When's the last time you said to yourself, "that player is excellent as shot and pass fakes."  Of course part of the responsibility belongs to us as a coaches -- are we teaching and emphasizing it?  Few things can help an offensive player more than the proper use of a pass fake and a shot fake.

2. Know and Execute the Plays
Sounds a little silly saying "know the plays" but it's amazing to see a player or two who doesn't know where they are supposed to be or what they are supposed to being doing.  Whether is an inbounds plays, a half-court set, a motion entry or anything else structured, take the time to know where you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to be doing.  Next is execution -- doing it when you are supposed to and as well as you can.  This does not take talent but commitment to knowing and understanding your team's playbook.

3. Play Hard
Again, seems like it shouldn't have to be said but it does.  And here is the key to playing hard -- you have to do it all the time...not just when your team's ahead or the play is called for you.  Playing hard means that you are making all your cuts in your offense hard.  It means that you are sprinting to screen.  It means that getting back on defense is a full speed proposition.

4. Have a Team First Attitude
Be the player constantly encouraging their teammates...picking them up both physically and emotionally when the time comes.  Don't be the player with the horrific body language when a teammate turns the ball over as if you were saying "I wouldn't have made that mistake."  If a played does make a mistake, correct it is a positive manner.

5. Understand Shot Selection
Forcing shots does not help your team nor does it impress a college coach.  Know what a good shot is for you -- and yes, your shot selection will vary from those of your teammates.  Don't hunt shots, let the shots find you.

6. Concentrate
As I heard Nick Saban once say, "Wherever your shoes are, be there."  Don't wonder mentally.  Stay focused to the job at hand.  Be a process oriented player.  Don't worry about the past play -- it's over.  Don't worry about a play in the future they may or may not happen.  All you can control is the current possession you are involved with -- give the possession complete concentration.

7. Be a Great Listener
This actually can do a long way to helping with concentration.  In timeouts are you locked in with your eyes and ears.  Does you coach have your complete attention.  There's a free throw situation and your coach or captain is barking out instructions.  Are you actually listening and processing or just hearing -- and there is a difference between listening and hearing.

8. Be in Great Shape
Without doing anything in regard to skill work...without saying anything about your talent can make an impact on your team by being in great physical shape.  When the game is in the fourth quarter or late int he second half and everyone else is starting to drag, this is where you can make a difference.  Not only will you be a step faster because of your conditioning level, but you will be mentally sharper as well.  How many times have we seen a team put on a late run and in large part because of players that are in just better shape that run the floor and past their opponent.

9. Control Your Intangibles
Again, these have nothing to do with skill or talent but they are game changers.  The three areas that players can control (but often choose not to) are: attitude, energy, enthusiasm.  Now I'm not saying it is easy but if you want to make a difference in your team its well work working on.  By controlling your intangibles, I mean you don't let officiating, teammates, opponents, coaches, gym conditions or anything else effect you having a team-first attitude, with high energy and positive enthusiasm.

10. Be an Example
What do your teammates see when they see or think of you?  He or she is always early to the gym.  They stay late.  They are on time for meetings.  They listen to the coach.  They keep their composure.  Off the court they conducting themselves the right way.  They maintain a proper diet to put fuel in the tank.  They are positive talkers -- not criticizing a coach or gossiping about a teammate.

11.  Rebound
Some of the best rebounders are lacking in talent and athleticism -- they board well because of effort and tenacity.  Rebounding is one of the only areas in basketball where it's alright to selfish.  I've coached for over 35 years and have never heard of a coach taking a player out for rebounding too much!

I would imagine some of my coaching friends can add to this list but the key for players to understand is that every player can adopt these principles and it will make them a better player and their team a better team.  There's nothing on here that requires you to jump higher, run faster or have an amazing handle.  Be committed to areas that you can control and work towards being the best you can in those areas.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Note: Walk-Ups the day of the Academy are welcome.  Simply email me at: so we can hold you a spot.

We are excited to announce the Mike Neighbors will be our guest speaker at the 5th Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy.  Mike recently returned "home" to resurrect the University of Arkansas women's basketball program.  He arrives in Fayetteville after an outstanding four-year run at the University of Washington that showcased a four-year record of 98-41 and included a Final Four appearance in 2016.  While coaching the Huskies, Mike recruited and developed the NCAA's all-time leading scorer in Kelsey Plum.

Mike will have two sessions at the Academy.  His on-floor demonstration will be on his "Green Light Shooting Series."  His classroom lecture will deal with the challenges of teaching the iY generation.

This August our team will be playing 4 games in Spain which means the NCAA will allow us 10 practices….we will utilize this as part of our Coaching Academy which means you will see how we teach and prepare and get an inside look at several facets of the Aggie program. 

The Academy will be held at Texas A&M on and will include the following:

     ◄4 Complete Clinic Sessions featuring the entire Aggie Basketball staff and team.

     A guest speaker (to be announced next week)

     Breakfast and Lunch (Dinner will be on your own)

     Jump Drive that will include:
   Segments from the Academy
   Aggie Defensive Drill Notebook
   Aggie Offensive Playbook
   Clinic Notes and Book Notes

All attending the Academy will received an autographed hardback copy of Coach Blair's new book, "A Coaching Life."

We are attaching a flier with detailed information and a form should you want to pay by check.  For those coaches wanting to pay by credit card, simply click on this link.

If you have any additional question, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

We look forward to seeing you! 

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Those that know me or follow our blog know of our great respect for Kevin Eastman and the responsibility he has assumed in helping us become better coaches.  Last year we brought Kevin in to speak to our team and he had an amazing impact on our Aggies.  His message is dynamic and tailored to your team.  I highly recommend you look into bringing Kevin to your campus -- regardless of what sport you coach.

Now Kevin has a new venture -- Elite Training Camp -- designed again to help coaches reach another level.  If you've attended any of the Coaching U Clinics you can only imagine the level of instruction that you will receive at this event.

Yet another example of Kevin looking to help us?  This 30 minute video "Q's for Coach."  I've watched it twice -- taking notes the second time.

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Yesterday, while speaking to various teams at are team camp, I never fail to talk to them about the great power in the world -- the power they have to chose their attitude regardless of the circumstances.  We talk about how we all have this ability and when we discover it and then nature it, we can accomplish amazing things.  

I really love this passage from John Maxwell’s most recent book titled “No Limits:”

I started my journey across that bridge many years ago when my assistant Eileen Beavers gave me a book for Christmas.  When I saw the title, “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” I opened the book with great excitement, because I wanted to learn what it was about.  But all I saw were blank pages.  Inside was a note from Eileen that said, “John, your life is before you.  Fill these pages with kind acts, good thoughts, and matters of your heart.  Write a great story with your life.”

We really do have the power to write our own story.


A few years ago, we had Abby Jump write a guest blog post for us on the lessons she had learned on the recovery process of a seven-month rehab due to a severe injury.  It was an amazing post you can go back and look at here.

She recently reached back out to us and wanted to share her notes from a talk that Coach Don Meyer had gave to her team about eight months before he passed.  They are excellent Abby -- thanks for sharing!


I was fortunate enough to meet Coach Don Meyer eight months before he passed prior to my junior season at Wright State University. Our team quietly sat for hours listening to Coach Meyer talk about characteristics of great players and teams, things he had learned through winning and losing, and life lessons. Before meeting Coach Meyer, I knew I wanted to be a college basketball coach and I was encouraged to write down everything he had to say. All that came out of his mouth was so golden to me as a player and future coach that I couldn’t move my pen fast enough. I ended up writing seven pages filled of notes and probably could’ve written more if my hand wouldn’t have went numb! To this day, I refer back to these notes daily in helping me become a successful assistant coach, mentor, colleague and friend. I find myself flipping through a composition notebook nearly five years old in times of success, tragedy, stress and when I just have a ‘what would Don Meyer say?’ moment.

I had only one chance to speak to him and wish I could’ve had more because these seven pages have drastically helped me in my life and in my coaching career. Below are some notes I had taken as a young and eager player who dreamed of being as impactful as Don Meyer:


Every morning I have a 6-pack. Not what you’re thinking! A 6-pack of goals for the day. It allows me to stay committed and productive.

Process/Product à How you do something is most important

Cause/Self à Successful teams, players, and people put the cause over themselves everyday

There are two types of ENERGY PEOPLE: Energy givers and energy suckers

Have a fox hole list of trustworthy players who you would want beside you in the hole of distress.

Sooner or later TEAM PLAYERS win out

NEVER have to say “I wish I would’ve lived the life I wanted to live instead of the life everybody else wanted to list.”

Your example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing!
Don’t make decisions because they’re easy, popular or convenient. Make them because they’re right. 
The hardest decision to make is the right one.

Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Plan, Prepare, Practice like you lost your last game

Three rules of life:
1. What is your talent that is unique? Find it.
2. Develop that gift to the fullest because people don’t pay for average
3. Give your gift away every day.

Give back, there won’t be a UHaul behind your hearse

Be what you is, because if you aren’t what you are, you ain’t what you is. (He said this was written inside a bathroom stall in Mexico)

Success can knock you to your knees faster than losing – HUMBLENESS

Have adrenaline for your job every day! Some coaches aren’t nearly as affective at the end of their career because they can’t handle the additional stress. They don’t have the energy that they h ad in the beginning of their career.

You have to be sick for coaching – Love every second. You have to love what you do every single day.

You can tell a lot about a person how they treat someone who can’t help them

Be a lifelong learner!

Friday, June 30, 2017


The following came from an ESPN article on the most important lessons learn by Bill Belichick from his father:

"Keep your head down, work hard, keep your mouth shut. Actions speak louder than words. That's basically what he did. Do what you can to help the team. The team is bigger than you."


Kobe's professional trainer was fast asleep. Could you blame him? It was 3:30 am in the morning. All a sudden his phone starts ringing. It's Kobe. He must be in trouble, or in some kind of emergency. His trainer is freaking out, and nervously picks up the phone.

Kobe says that he's doing some conditioning work and could use his trainer's help. The trainer then proceeds to get ready and head over to the gym. He arrives around 4:30 am. 

What did he see? He saw Kobe by himself practicing. Drenched in sweat, it looked like he just jumped in a pool. It wasn't even 5am in the morning yet.


The following comes from in which Kyle Korver talks about the work ethic of Lebron James.  You can see the entire article here which also includes some video of Lebron and the Cavs workout out on VersaClimbers.

Here is what Korver had to say:

"Behind the scenes, just how hard he works. He's a machine. You don't see guys this late in their careers, guys who've had this much success, be the first guy in the gym. He's still there," Korver said. "I was blown away." Korver would know—this is his 14th season in the NBA.

As an example of LeBron's unparalleled work ethic, Korver pointed to the morning after a regular-season game against the Utah Jazz. The night before, the Cavs had defeated the Jazz on the back of a Herculean 33-point, 10-rebound, 6-assist effort from LeBron. The next morning, LeBron was in the gym before anyone else.

"He played [38] minutes, he played hard. And the next morning, he was on the VersaClimber when everybody else got there, in full sweat doing a massive strength and cardio workout," Korver said. "He was like, 'The playoffs are coming! I've got to be ready! I've got to be able to play big minutes and play at a high level!'"


Here are a few excerpts of an article written by Barry Jacobs for the New-Observer who does a good job of speaking to wide range of emotions a coach goes through and they can actually be used to mold a team.  He pinpoints Coach Mike Krzyzewski on his thoughts.  The article is well written and can be in its entirety here.

These are a few of my take aways:

Anger can be as much a part of a coach’s repertoire as the ability to reconfigure an offense to exploit the capabilities of different collections of players. But Mike Krzyzewski is the rare coach who explicitly cites the volatile emotion as a preferred tool in leading his teams. The attribute is part of a mix that’s fueled a Hall of Fame career, helped his Duke program maintain its heading in choppy waters while players come and go in waves, and, to be honest, earned him a reputation for snarling on the sidelines.

“I’ve been blessed over the years to have passion, anger and adrenaline,” a pleased Krzyzewski enumerated after the Blue Devils defeated Pittsburgh. “All three of those things kind of kick in; I’ll see how I handle it now after this.”

Adrenaline and passion are easy traits to understand in a competitor who’s won more games (1,071) than any man in major-college history. Anger, however, is more difficult to see as a constant. Not in Krzyzewski’s firmament. “If you’re a competitor, I think you have to be angry at times,” Krzyzewski noted last week during a break from his duties as head man at the K Academy, his five-day, Duke-based basketball fantasy camp for adult men. For him, those angry times may be episodic, but they are also routine.

He concedes there’s a “fine line” between passionate and angry, and that anger may not be exactly the word he wants. But it’s the word he uses, the word that fits.

“I think anger is emotion,” the former U.S. Military Academy cadet and army artillery captain says in an otherwise quiet coaches’ meeting room at Cameron Indoor Stadium. “If anger is used to destroy bad things, anger is huge. We’ve won wars with anger.”

“I can get angry at selfishness, stupidity, like if it’s repeated stupidity,” he says, perhaps attested by the gray finally tinging the edges of his black hair. “Just something that goes below your standards, whether it be how the locker room looks or how we dress.”


We wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to the 5th Annual Gary Blair Coaching Academy.

This August our team will be playing 4 games in Spain which means the NCAA will allow us 10 practices….we will utilize this as part of our Coaching Academy which means you will see how we teach and prepare and get an inside look at several facets of the Aggie program.

The Academy will be held at Texas A&M on August 5-6 and will include the following:

     ◄4 Complete Clinic Sessions featuring the entire Aggie Basketball staff and team.

     A guest speaker (to be announced next week)

     Breakfast and Lunch (Dinner will be on your own)

     Jump Drive that will include:
   Segments from the Academy
   Aggie Defensive Drill Notebook
   Aggie Offensive Playbook
   Clinic Notes & Book Notes
   And much more!

All attending the Academy will received an autographed hardback copy of Coach Blair's new book, "A Coaching Life."

The cost for the Gary Blair Academy is only $50!

In our announcement regarding our Guest Speaker next week, we will also give you a list of hotels that will be providing reduced rates for coaches attending the Academy.

We are attaching a flier with detailed information and a form should you want to pay by check.  For those coaches wanting to pay by credit card, simply click on this link:

If you have any additional question, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

We look forward to seeing you!

Monday, June 12, 2017


I'm a big fan of Ron Adams -- have been for over 30 years.  Back in the mid 1980's as a men's assistant coach at West Virginia State College, we began putting together a 2-3 match-up that we wanted to play to accompany our man defense.  I reached out to several people but no one responded to the level of Ron who at the time was at Fresno State.  I wrote Ron and told him what we were looking to do and he returned with a three page letter accompanied by 6 pages of diagrams and explanations.  We exchanged several more letters and diagrams before we settled on how we wanted to defend out the match-up.  It was highly successful for us in large part because Ron cared enough to help a coach he'd never met.

The follow are a few take aways from a lengthy article written about Ron -- please take the time to read the entire article as it does a tremendous job of portraying the type of coach Ron is and the impact he has had at every one of his coaching stops.

“You have to like people,” Adams said. “I think that's at the forefront. And it's more than like—you have to really enjoy diversity, enjoy the relationships that you have to have to be successful at this level.”

“Coaching is, at the core, teaching,” Adams said. “Then when you're discussing, when you're looking at this whole aspect of teaching with younger peo– people younger than you, then the whole relational aspect comes into play. I still have a lot of college, or college coaching in me, or college mentality in me simply because at the core, the guys know no matter how great they are, or what they do at this level, they're people. They're just like you and me. And they're fun and they have their idiosyncrasies and they have their various paranoia, paranoias about different things and so on. I'm just kind of like now an old uncle trying to, to direct people and teach them and help them. I really love that. I think that's a very enjoyable part of what I do.”

“I think a lot of people don't really have a philosophy of play,” Adams said. “I think they copy people and so on and then you have other people who are, perhaps, more nuanced in that way, who have real philosophies of play that they have thought through. We all borrow from everyone. It's not like anyone comes up with some original plan on how to play or whatever but I think you have to be really open-minded but have a real philosophy of operation, which any successful person in any area has to have.”

“Well, if you're a teacher like I have been, a teacher of movement—you know, you teach movement, you teach balance, you teach rhythm, it's the really small things that contribute to success,” Adams said. “Everyone does not look at it that way anymore. It's kinda more of a general, general way of looking at movement. And then others are still quite precise in terms of the small things. It's just this building block. I could watch the game film last, with you, last night, and I would say every critical juncture in that game in which we kind of frittered away a lead, let's say, and when we built leads, were all fundamental more than schematically based.”

“Defensively, obviously we're all connected,” Adams said. “What one person does, everyone else has to adjust to. When one person moves, in the best of worlds everyone moves. It doesn't always happen. It's what we strive for. I think defensively, through this, this aspect of connectedness, this concept of connectedness, it's very altruistic. We do something for someone else that's not glamorous. Offense is glamorous. Offense is—except to the purists—offense is notable, to the public. Defense is kind of what all of us have to do in life to not only live good lives, but to make other people's lives better. I think it's a giving thing. Coach Grant—it came back to Coach Grant at Fresno State use to have a saying that he'd tell the guys that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are givers and there are takers. So we had a really strong defensive program then. And defense is giving. So, like, if you want to take it to the next step, it's kind of how we have to live, you know? The thing that I've always liked about basketball, and this whole aspect of connectedness is—I've loved coaching the international athletes. And I've loved my international experiences and I've had quite a few. I think I love it because of the freshness of the people. Their mindset. It's different from mine. I learn from them. Their healthy, I think in many ways, their healthy naiveté of how they look at life from a different culture – and I've lived internationally for a bit, not for very long but I sensed that there and it was a great—I learned a lot from it, I'll say it that way. But I loved the connectedness on these teams. Not talking defense now, just these strange, these different people who come together. Yes, basketball is the thread that runs through everyone. The reason they're there, obviously. But it's more than that. It's the, it's the rubbing shoulders with people who are different from you. And many times, for the international athlete it's rubbing shoulders with someone who is very different from them, and it's a two-way street. It's just adjustment. That, to me, has been really gratifying to see and to be a part of. Which, again, transcends sport and is a lesson for all of us in terms of how I think we're gonna have to live. We're going through a bit of a tough time in that regard in our country but we're – that's how we're gonna have to live. We're all the same. Might look a little different. Might be a different color. Might have a different accent. Might be different socio-economically. But it doesn't make us better than anyone else and I think that's, you know, we have this commonality that we have to develop. I think sport is so great for that.”

“The goal I set for myself at this age is to not, as I age, to not become a negative, bitter old man,” Adams said. “And to have joy in my heart. I made a—especially this year, I made a vow to myself that every day I wanted to go to work with joy in my heart.”


The following is a few excerpts from an article on about "glue guys" and how they can have such a huge impact on a team. The story, written by Jackie McMullen spends some time on Channing Frye and the Cleveland Cavaliers but also speaks to other glue guys.  The entire article can be found here and is worth the read.  It will be something we'll share with our team but here are a few of my take aways:

The Cavaliers group text chain is aptly named BORED. Channing Frye's nimble mind requires constant stimulation, so he instituted BORED shortly after he joined Cleveland in February 2016, contacting the entire roster and encouraging all of his new teammates to share random thoughts.

Last week's BORED text chain, on the eve of the NBA Finals, tackled the burning question of which muscle man is the most iconic.

"The Rock or Arnold Schwarzenegger?" Frye texted. "I'll take The Rock."

The rebukes were fast and furious. LeBron James and Kevin Love, fervent Schwarzenegger backers, immediately fired back with a slew of insults directed at Frye.

"They were killing me," Frye said, grinning. "So let them have a little fun at my expense. It gives them common ground.

"And that's good."

Just days before the NBA trade deadline in February 2016, James got word that the Cavaliers planned to swap one of his favorite teammates, Anderson Varejao, to acquire Frye. Though Varejao had played sparingly that season, James had concerns about losing such a positive locker room presence.

"Hey, RJ," James asked Jefferson. "What about Channing Frye? How's he going to fit with us?"

"Man, you are gonna love him," Jefferson said. "He will bring us all closer. You'll see."

"That," James says now, "was all I needed to hear."

McMullen makes an excellent point on the variety of glue guys:

Glue guys take on many forms. Sometimes they are the best players, redoubtable both in performance and preparation (see: Tim Duncan). Sometimes, more than one player cements team chemistry. The 2015 Warriors, for instance, relied on the whimsical lightness of Leandro Barbosa to infuse the team with energy and play the role of the Draymond Green whisperer. Golden State also leaned on the experience of Andre Iguodala, who, when situations called for a little more gravity, exhibited an invaluable edge.

More often, though, glue guys are the veterans who have been there and done that, imparting their wisdom, toughness or positivity to a team.

James Posey cemented his status as the glue guy of the 2008 Celtics when, during the team's preseason trip to Rome, the players were scrimmaging in a tiny gym and the second unit scored a string of baskets. Kevin Garnett, Posey says, cheated the second-teamers out of a point and declared the starting five the winners. Posey called him out and wound up chest to chest with Garnett. "I don't care how good you are," Posey growled, "you have to be accountable like the rest of us."

"It was the moment," says former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, "that set the tone for the entire season."


The following comes from an article written by Ryan Hannable for and speaks strongly to how much Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick believes in process oriented thinking:

Belichick, who has won five Super Bowls and is considered one of the greatest coaches of all-time, was asked what are some other things he would like to accomplish?

“I'd like to go out and have a good practice today,” he said. “That would be at the top of the list right now.”

What’s after that?

“We'll correct it and get ready for tomorrow,” he added.

Although it’s just minicamp, Belichick was already in midseason form with his response by not wanting to reflect on anything, and showing how focused he is on the task at hand, which is minicamp.


We shared the following post on our HoopBoost blog for players but thought we'd share with our coaches as well.

One of the most important elements to your practice, especially when you are working without your coaches, is that it is both deliberate and intentional.  In other words, don't just pick up a basketball and start shooting.  What shot are you working on?  What move are you trying to develop?

Make sure you are concentrating on the elements of execution and going at a pace and speed that will translate to success on the court.  We had Kevin Eastman speak to our team last season and he told some stories on Kobe Bryant and the "intentionality of his workouts."

Eastman had been told that Kobe might go to the gym and spend two or three hours working on one move -- ONE MOVE!  

When Eastman ran into Kobe they talked about that and he asked Kobe, "How long do you work on a particular move?"

To which Kobe replied, "Until."

That's the mentality of a professional and a great player.  They don't get bored with the repetition of developing their skill.

They work "until."

This reminded me of past post on the same subject.

One of my original mentors in the game of basketball is Marianne Stanley.  During my early years of coaching I worked her summer basketball camps at Old Dominion.  In fact, I was good for two weeks for about nine years in Norfolk.  Marianne ran a great camp -- it was a teaching camp -- because she is first and foremost a teacher.  She is one of the greats of our profession that have fought to get our game where it is now.  That's why Sunday was such a special day as she came by to observe our practice.  Marianne is currently an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics and is doing her homework for the upcoming draft. 

She took the time to talk to our team about elements that go into taking your game to the next level and the word that came to the forefront is passion.  You have to be passionate about your profession to excel in it.

She also took a few minutes to pass on a conversation she had had with Coach John Wooden.  Many years ago she was asking Coach Wooden about what made Bill Walton such a great player.

"He didn't get bored with the repetition that you need to be great," replied Coach Wooden.

How many players are good but don't work at something long enough and hard enough to excel at it?  The word Marianne used was "mastery."  She said the great ones didn't mind the constant repetition because their goal was to master the parts of their game.


About 7 or 8 years ago, while coaching at LSU, I received a great opportunity to leave and join an organization outside of coaching that would allow me to work camps, speak at clinics and do individual training.  The offer was incredibly gracious -- enough for me to deeply consider it.  As it would happened, Coach Don Meyer was staying at my home a few days after I received the offer and as I did in those days, I asked him for his advice.  And I'll never forget what he said.

He told me I would enjoy many parts of the new job -- especially the teaching.  He told me he thought I'd be good at it.  But then he said, "Bob, just make sure you never forget, there's nothing like having a team...being part of a team...growing a team. When you don't have a team there will be a hole in your soul that you won't be able to fill."

I was thinking about the advice that Coach Meyer gave me when I read an article last week where someone asked Alabama football coach Nick Saban if he was at the point where he considered retirement.

He responded he had not and then said:

"I've said this before: I've been a part of a team since I was nine years old. It scares me to death to figure what it's going to be like when I'm not a part of a team.”

So for those of us that rise this morning as part of a team, let's be thankful.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Two clinic curses:
1. Can’t take it all back
2. I can’t do that because…

“Be good at the things you do a lot.” -Pete Carril

Chart success of your line ups

How fast can you function

Reward role players
1. Win race
2. How many screens set

Transition is about race and space

MN: Player loses two races in a row and she comes out.
Not running floor you’re either tired or unengaged

Rim runners (MN calls “Rabbits”) make for a great transition offense.

Goal for rabbit is to occupy the deed defensive transition player

“Locks” are the left and right corner runners.

“Ball” refers to point guard

“Dragon” refers to trailer

Defender back peddling can’t defend offensive player running down hill

“Make the defense wrong.”

“Reward decision making, not actions.”

Outlet — must be quick or long (or both)

Point guard is passing up the street or crossing the street with the dribble

Doesn’t like to feed the “rabbit” below the foul line on the run — chases her opposite the ball.

“Quick Strike” drill (our Aggie)

“Boom” is call for double drag when Rabbit is late.

“Pirate” = roll and post up

Need a good zone offense because people don’t want to guard you.

MN: We only have 4 players (with options)

Man: defense decides match up

Zone: offense decides match up

“If your best player isn’t getting the most shots, you suck as a coach.”

Key ball screen concepts: Arrive w/out a defender (change speed, direction, angles)

How are you occupying the help

“Argue with an idiot long enough and no one will know who the idiot is.”

Green light shooting...player is given “green light” on game day because she met a set numbers from a series of shooting drills. Players have to earn their “license.”

Ball screen defense — you need to play it more than one way. “Switchin’ and Fixin’”

Post defense: chin on shoulder

Wall up because their aren’t enough good post players to score

If transition defense walls up as a team to take point guard penetration away, your trailer has to be open.

Don’t let coaches pass in drills...use players do all the passing to improve their passing.

Advice he got from Coach Gary Blair: Be great at something.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


We need to be in the business of being great for kids.

Are you creating a culture you’d want your child to be in?

Yelling and screaming are overrated. Must be a tool and not out of frustration. Don’t act like a coach. Be a coach.

Have gave tons of thought to exactly what you want to stand for.

Treat our players as if they are out family.

Question: “Would I do that to my own child?”

Coaches: Do more biting than barking.

You don’t want your team counting down the days until the season is over.

Coach Jankovich: “The games comes down to how good are my shots compared to yours and can I get more.”

More about who than what.

How do I beat the best 3 teams in my league.

Good action = how are we going to guard that? If I have to ask that question about an action it’s a good one.

Spends time thinking about where the game is going to be 10 years from now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


How do you move up the path?
1. Create a vision
2. Give ownership of that vision way everyday
3. Keep them connected to the vision (hardest thing)
    They have to believe that the vision is what’s best for them.
4. They will have ownership
    If I couldn’t see what works would I be able to hear it at your practice?

What is your language specific to your program?
We are over the top with our terminology being consistent

Coach Williams ask recruits to explain their practice/game to get an idea of their basketball IQ

Only BCS coach without an agent

Has 10 staff members that report directly to him.

Coach Williams is big into researching “I need to score right now plays.”

Reads newspapers of every team on their schedule and certain college football programs where I know the coach.

“Don’t be the coach that says ‘It’s hard to coach this generation of players.’”

Adaption to how you of maturation not to adapt.

“Teams in the post season that succeed are engaged.”

Must measure to have consequences.

Don’t burn your emotional tank on things that aren’t measured.

Not into destination with relation to our path.

“How do you keep your team engaged?”

Chart: Stop-Scores

When ball is penetrated to baseline something should happen.
   Fill (Crack)
   One More (Pro)
   Seal/Space (I Cut)

Coaching is figuring out your why.

Not enough truth tellers.