Tuesday, April 10, 2018


I’ve spend the last few weeks catching up on my reading — specifically articles I’ve saved off the internet or received via Google Alerts.  Later I’ll blog about my system of reading from these various sources.

However, today I enjoyed reading an outstanding article on Virginia men’s head basketball coach Tony Bennett.  The article was written by Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and discusses the question for coaches of whether they want to be transactional or transformational.  It very well written by Woody and I strongly suggest you click her to read it in its entirety.

Here are some key thoughts from the article:

As Woody starts the article…

A college basketball coach has to make a decision.

Does he want to be transactional or transformative?

A transactional coach tells players what to do and expects them to do it, no questions asked. If they don’t perform as the coach directs, players often are yelled at, belittled and demeaned.

In a perfect world, the transactional method shouldn’t be successful. If you think it’s not, you haven’t been paying attention to the sidelines of college basketball games.
Than Woody takes a look at the transformative method used by Bennett…
If the players buy in, the coach can ask what they’re seeing in games and practices, ask them if what he’s asking them to do is working, and listen if they answer, “No.”

That’s transformative.

“He teaches us off-the-court lessons every day, through basketball and without basketball,” sophomore point guard Ty Jerome said. “On the court, we have our way and do what we do and everyone’s bought in. I think that helps him be a transformative coach. Then he can ask us, and the whole staff, ‘What do you see on that and on this?’

“It’s easier because we’re all so united. That’s a credit to him, to his humility. He could easily be, ‘I have all these wins. We’re going to do it this way.’ ”

Don’t be mistaken. Transformative is not new-age, touchy feely. Bennett coaches 
basketball, a very physical game in a highly competitive league, the ACC. At Virginia, there is no room for negotiation concerning effort, defense, toughness and teamwork. You are fully engaged in all four or you are fully on the bench.

“I come from a unique perspective,” Bennett said. “Yeah, I’m a little more old school. There was a time when you’d come home and things weren’t going well, and it always was your fault. The question was, ‘Why aren’t you listening to the coach?’

“Well, today it can be a little different. I played for my father. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he believed in me. He thinks I can be really good, and I can trust him. It’s built in. He’s my dad. I realized that was almost the secret sauce.
Again, I strongly suggest you read the entire article.


kathy watson said...

I am a Virginia fan and have been since the Ralph Samson era. They were playing much better than anyone expected and then all of a sudden it was expected for them to win this year.Over expectations didn't take long to surface.
I also am a Buzz Williams fan,he also treats his players well and he shows so much emotion. You want to pull them across the finish line.

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