My first opportunity to meet Kevin Eastman was during my tenure at the University of Central Florida which was hosting Coaching U Live. Kevin is one of those people that genuinely cares about coaches and helping them grow. Just a few conversations in our offices and I was blown away with the level of his knowledge and his ability to communicate it in such a way that instantly made me better.
Since then I make sure I'm attending Coaching U Live or subscribing to their streaming video of each session. Great speakers are lined up each year but none that I look forward to hearing more than Kevin.
A few years ago we brought Kevin in to speak to our team. The messages he delivered that day was intentional and specific to our team and impacted our success that year. I would highly recommend any program, of any sport, to bring Kevin in to speak -- it will instantly elevate your program!
Kevin is working on a book now, "Why The Best Are The Best," and we are honored that he is sharing a small excerpt on our blog today. By the way, this was one of the great stories that Kevin shared with our team:
Doc usually liked to take Kevin (Garnett) out of a drill after five or six repetitions because he wanted to save Kevin’s legs for games. Kevin had logged a lot of miles and wear and tear during his career, and he always practiced at game speed every minute we had him on the floor.
After five possessions Doc told one of our rookies, Leon Powe, to replace Kevin to give him a break. Kevin was not going to have any of that. As Leon said, “Kev, I got you,” Kevin said he wasn’t stopping, only in far-more colorful “KG” language. Leon turned to Doc and Doc told him again, “Take him out.” Leon received another emphatic “NO” from Kevin. Finally, Doc had to nearly walk Kevin off the floor so we could get Leon in.
Once convinced to leave the drill, Kevin moved to the adjacent court, and as the eight players in the drill were talking and sliding and yelling out the defensive terminology each situation called for, we all heard another voice. The voice came from the other court, where Kevin was the only player. No other players, no ball, not a single other coach or person—just Kevin. There he was, sliding and talking and pretending to go through every action he would have had he still been in the actual drill. When the teams involved in the drill switched from defense to offense, so did Kevin. He yelled out all the offensive terms we employ: use me – use me; flash – flash – flash; rip – rip – rip.
What we learned that day watching and listening to Kevin was the true definition of unrequired work! Kevin knows that repetitions are what makes him one of the best at what he does. And like all successful people, he understands that his repetitions are what created his reputation. Or as I like to say “your reps create your rep!” Kevin’s way of saying something similar was: “If you want to kick me out of a drill, you have to kick me out of the gym.”
That day Kevin gave an incredible success lesson to all of us that it’s the unrequired work that will separate the great players and the great teams from all the rest. He didn’t have to do that work. It wasn’t work required of him. But he is Kevin Garnett because he does the unrequired work.
These sorts of lessons and more will be explored at Kevin's second annual "Elite Training Camp". ELITE TRAINING CAMP is a two-day intense learning environment for any coach who wants to learn more about the Xs and Os of the most recent trends in basketball and how to prepare for the next step in their coaching career. It provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with other coaches in an intimate setting. Coach Eastman has developed the content and will share what he has learned in his 35+ years in coaching. ESPN basketball analyst JAY BILAS will join Kevin as the guest speaker. The event will be held at The Levin Center at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina August 10th and 11th. More info about ETC can be found HERE.