Sunday, April 25, 2010


Some general thoughts on coaching from former Muskingham coach Jim Burson:

-Use your strengths to get better as a coach

-What can do you between now and the time your season starts to better prepare your team for the season?

-Are you willing to ask for help when you need it?

Be tough on players and demand toughness from them

Get your players to work on their game for THEM! Motivated players are so much more easier to work with

When teaching:
1) Tell them
2)Show Them
3) Have them tell you
4) Have them show you


The following comes from Tony Robbins speaking to modeling the beliefs that foster excellence.

1. The first source is the environment.
“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”

2. Events, small or large, can help foster beliefs.

3. A third way to foster belief is through knowledge.
Knowledge is one of the great ways to break the shackles of a limiting environment.
“I was enriched by my attachment to him; the level of my expectations was raised by his example.” -Jackie Robinson

4. A fourth way that results are created is through our past results.
5. The fifth way to establish beliefs is through the creating in your mind of the experience you desire in the future as if it were here now.

6. Experiencing results in advance.

From "Unlimited Power" by Tony Robbins

Thursday, April 22, 2010


The following is a passout we give to our team at the start of each season on puncuality:

“A law, common to all tribes alike, requires all men of military age to come to the assembly armed; the one who arrives last is put to death with every kind of torture before the assembled host.”

--War Commentaries of Caesar—



I've really became a big Jon Gordon fan in the past 6 months, gobbling up all his books and looking forward to his email newsletter. Here is one of his recent postings on complaining. We all tend to get in this rut from time to time and it serves no purpose other than to drain our energy and derail our focus. Here is Jon's thoughts on overcoming the habit of complaining:

I’ve been speaking to a lot of organizations around the country and the one thing I keep hearing from leaders and employees is that complaining is at an all time high. I’m not surprised. There are two main reasons why we complain. 1. We complain because we feel powerless. 2. We complain because it’s a habit. The economy has shaken a lot of people’s foundations and we feel powerless which leads to a rise in habitual complaining.

So this week I want to encourage you to go on a complaining fast. Not because it will make everyone around you happier, although it will, but because it will help you experience more joy, peace, success and positive relationships. Believe me; I know a lot about complaining. I use to be a professional complainer and found that it not only sabotages your happiness and success but the morale of your team and family.

To help you break out of a “complaining” rut here are five things you can do instead of complain. These tips will help you realize you are not powerless. You have the power to choose your beliefs and actions. And in your focus on the positive instead of the negative you'll find the faith, strength and confidence to take on life’s challenges and identify the solutions to your complaints.

1. Practice Gratitude
Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us. It's also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. Two thoughts cannot occupy our mind at the same time. If you are focusing on gratitude, you can't be negative. You can also energize and engage your coworkers by letting them know you are grateful for them and their work.

2. Praise Others
Instead of complaining about what others are doing wrong, start focusing on what they are doing right. Praise them and watch as they create more success as a result. Of course, point out their mistakes so they can learn and grow, but make sure you give three times as much praise as criticism.

3. Focus on Success
Start a success journal. Each night before you go to bed, write down the one great thing about your day. The one great conversation, accomplishment, or win that you are most proud of. Focus on your success, and you'll look forward to creating more success tomorrow.

4. Let Go
Focus on the things that you have the power to change, and let go of the things that are beyond your control. You’ll be amazed that when you stop trying to control everything, it all somehow works out. Surrender is the answer.

5. Pray
Scientific research shows that daily prayer reduces stress; boosts positive energy; and promotes health, vitality, and longevity. When you are faced with the urge to complain or you are feeling stressed to the max, stop, be still, plug-in to the ultimate power, and recharge.


The following comes from John Maxwell's "Giant Impact" newsletter. I believe the key word in his first paragraph is "communicate." Expectations must be communicated clearly and often. I also think you must ask for feedback from your team and staff to insure that they do indeed understand what you want and expect. As Don Meyer taught me, "it's not what you say, it what they hear." If I could add a seventh rule to Maxwell's it would be to "constantly measure" your effort in working towards meeting expecations. It is important for them to know if they are fall short short, meeting or exceeding the desired goals. Here is a great list in regards to "great expectations" from Maxwell:

A primary responsibility of leadership is to communicate expectations, both with words and actions. When leaders carefully and consistently set expectations, they engineer a flourishing work environment. However, when leaders abdicate their duty to communication expectations, chaos ensues. Here are six rules of thumb to follow as you set expectations in your organization.

1) Set them for yourself first
Leaders must set the bar the highest for themselves. They must go first and give the most. Leaders who demand more of their people than they do of themselves quickly lose credibility with followers. However, leaders who commit to taking the first step demonstrate their belief in the vision, and they earn the right to ask others to follow.

2) Set them early
Have you ever boarded a train without being entirely sure if it was the correct one? If so, then you probably didn't feel at ease until the conductor announced its destination. Once you knew the route, you could relax and enjoy the ride.

Uncertainty causes anxiety. People have an innate need to know where they're headed. They want goals to guide them and targets to hit. By communicating expectations early, leaders provide direction. People feel secure when they know the plan and have a good idea of what the future holds.

3) Set them clearly
Confusion breeds frustration. When a leader fails to communicate clear expectations, people must guess at what he or she wants. Oftentimes those assumptions do not line up with the leader's desires, causing followers to misspend time or squander energy.

Clearly communicated expectations spell out a leader's vision and define everyone's roles and responsibilities. Unambiguous expectations also align activity, provide structure, and promote harmony. Serving as a reference point, clear expectations allow people to evaluate their performance and gauge whether or not they succeeding.

4) Set them optimistically
People generally perform in a way that's consistent with our expectations of them. That's why it's important to believe the best about those around you. When we give others a worthwhile reputation to uphold, they will stretch to meet our expectations. However, if we view others negatively, then we're likely to treat them without respect. In turn, sensing we dislike them, people are apt to put in minimum effort and to confirm our suspicions of them.

5) Set them realistically
Inexperienced leaders have a nasty habit of offering more than they, or their teams, can give. In doing so, they damage their character, sever relationships with customers, and discourage those they lead. In making exaggerated claims to gain business, they actually lose business in the long run after failing to come through.

Under promise and over deliver. Be sensible about your commitments, and diligently follow through on them. You don't get credit for intentions, only for accomplishment. Set your people up for success by setting aggressive but attainable goals for them.

6) Exceed them consistently
Go above and beyond what others expect from you as a leader. People expect you to be fair, but be generous as well. People expect you to respect them, but show you care for them, too. People expect you to be judicious when you exercise authority, but be willing to serve also. Over time, as you exceed expectations, talented people will flock to your organization. Everyone wants to work for a leader who has his or her best interests in mind and leads with excellence on a consistent basis.


The following comes from Denis Waitley :

1. Accept the Unchangeable—Everything that has happened in your life to this minute is unchangeable. It’s history. The greatest waste of energy is in looking back at missed opportunities, lamenting past events, grudge collecting, getting even, harboring ill will, and any vengeful thinking. Success is the only acceptable form of revenge. By forgiving your trespassers, you become free to concentrate on going forward with your life and succeeding in spite of your detractors. You will live a rewarding and fulfilling life.

Your enemies, on the other hand, will forever wonder how you went on to become so successful without them and in the shadow of their doubts.

Action Idea: Write down on a sheet of paper things that happened in the past that bother you. Now crumple the paper into a ball and throw it at the computer screen. This symbolizes letting go of past misfortunes.

2. Change the Changeable—What you can change is your reaction to what others say and do. And you can control your own thoughts and actions by dwelling on desired results instead of the penalties of failure. The only real control you have in life is that of your immediate thought and action. Since most of what we do is a reflex, subconscious habit, it is wise not to act on emotional impulse. In personal relations, it is better to wait a moment until reason has the opportunity to compete with your emotions.

Action Idea: Write down in your diary one thing you will do tomorrow to help you relax more during and after a stressful day.

3. Avoid the Unacceptable—Go out of your way to get out of the way of potentially dangerous behaviors and environments. When people tailgate you on the freeway, change lanes. If they follow you at night, drive to a well-lighted public place.
When there are loud, obnoxious people next to you at a restaurant or club, change tables, or locations. Also, be cautious of personal relationships developed via the Internet. With the massive number of individuals surfing the Net, the number of predators increases in proportion. Always be on the alert for potentially dangerous situations involving your health, personal safety, financial speculation and emotional relationships.

Action Idea: What is one unacceptable behavior you have or allow others to do to you that you will avoid, starting tomorrow? Example: The way you drive, being around negative people, walking down dark streets alone late at night, etc.


More great stuff from Brian Tracy:

Dare to Go Forward
Winston Churchill once said, "Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues because upon it, all others depend." Courage is the chief distinguishing characteristic of the true leader. It is almost always visible in the leader's words and actions. It is absolutely indispensable to success, happiness and the ability to motivate other people to be the best they can be.

Follow Through On Your Vision
In a way, it is easy to develop a big vision for yourself and for the person you want to be. It is easy to commit yourself to living with complete integrity. But it requires incredible courage to follow through on your vision and on your commitments. You see, as soon as you set a high goal or standard for yourself, you will run into all kinds of difficulties and setbacks.

Refuse to Compromise
You will be surrounded by temptations to compromise your values and your vision. You will feel an almost irresistible urge to "get along by going along." Your desire to earn the respect and cooperation of others can easily lead to the abandonment of your principles, and here is where courage comes in.

Stick to Your Principles
Courage combined with integrity is the foundation of character. The first form of courage is your ability to stick to your principles, to stand for what you believe in and to refuse to budge unless you feel right about the alternative. Courage is also the ability to step out in faith, to launch out into the unknown and then to face the inevitable doubt and uncertainty that accompany every new venture.

Avoid Your Comfort Zone
Most people are seduced by the lure of the comfort zone. This can be likened to going out of a warm house on a cold, windy morning. The average person, when he feels the storm swirling outside his comfort zone, rushes back inside where it's nice and warm. But not the true leader. The true leader has the courage to step away from the familiar and comfortable and to face the unknown with no guarantees of success. It is this ability to "boldly go where no man has gone before" that distinguishes you as a leader from the average person. This is the example that you must set if you are to rise above the average. It is this example that inspires and motivates other people to rise above their previous levels of accomplishment as well.

The Attack of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, was one of the most superb leaders of all time. He became king at the age of 19, when his father, Philip II, was assassinated. In the next 11 years, he conquered much of the known world, leading his armies against numerically superior forces.

Lead the Action
Yet, when he was at the height of his power, the master of the known world, the greatest ruler in history to that date, he would still draw his sword at the beginning of a battle and lead his men forward into the conflict. He insisted on leading by example. Alexander felt that he could not ask his men to risk their lives unless he was willing to demonstrate by his actions that he had complete confidence in the outcome. The sight of Alexander charging forward so excited and motivated his soldiers that no force on earth could stand before them.


In 2008, Pat Williams, the GM of the Orlando Magic and a tremendous motivational speaker put out a book, "The Ultimate Coaches' Clinic." It is a fascinating book because of the style Pat utilized. He surveyed over 1000 coaches and administrators for insights to what is important to successfully do their job. From time to time I will share a few but it is a great book to own and I highly recommend it. Here are some thoughts from Larry Brown:

Know the difference between coaching and criticism. That is the only way to develop trust with your players.

Believe strongly in what you think is right and then be relentless about it. Never let them slack off.

If you ask a player to do something, you’d better make sure he is capable of doing it.
Bobby Jones used to tell me, “Coach, you always think I’m better than I am.” I hate to lower the bar. Set standards that are high and hold to them.

Don’t focus on what guys can’t do. Focus on what they can do. Don’t be negative.


I've spent whole seasons buried in frustration. Not because we didn't work hard enough, or try hard enough, or exploit the talent on hand. Most of the time we did all of those things, but we still lost, and that's all that mattered.

When you reach that goal, when you achieve at the highest level, there is tremendous satisfaction. We all strive to be recognized as one of the best in our field. It's no small accomplishment to get there -- it demands effort and stamina far beyond the norm.

But there's a catch. The quest that we're on is impossibly to complete. Because once you win, you've got to win all the time -- and no one wins all the time. The world doesn't work that way.

Winning the Super Bowl is the ultimate pinnacle for a football coach. But if you have a real engine inside you, even that satisfaction can't be final; it creates an insatiable desire to do it again. Bobby Knight, who's scaled the mountaintop a few times himself, told me that I'd want to win my second championship a lot more than I wanted the first one. I found out he was right, and that it only gets worse. Because after we won the second one, I really wanted to win the a third.

That desire goes beyond the scoreboard, of the fame, or the money. Those are just the incidentals, the by-products of winning. For me the point is something else: Can you contribute to greatness? Can you witness -- even if just for a moment -- an end product that reflects character and courage and principle?

From "Finding A Way To Win"
By Bill Parcells with Jeff Coplon

Monday, April 19, 2010


The following come from Coach Don Meyer:

1. Shared Ownership
.....Can’t have renters on your team
.....Can’t have mercenaries
.....They must invest

2. Shared Suffering
.....Nothing brings people together like suffering
.....Practices tougher than games

3. Individual Responsibility
.....Test kids. Make them accountable.
.....Only time we use “individual” is in responsibility.

4. Collective Pride
.....No I, Me or My
.....Only US, OURS, WE


The following comes from Vince Lombardi talking about the keys to the passing game -- practice, precision and persistence. But those 3 P's can transcend any sport and the difficult aspects that must be mastered for success.

“The passing game is practice and it is precision. That’s obvious,” he said in Lombardi on Football. “What isn’t obvious is the persistence: the persistence of the practice field, the persistence of the playbook, the persistence of the quarterback and receivers who must read those defenses and read them correctly, the persistence of those unsung linemen up front who must put on those pass blocks and make them stick, the persistence of the end and flanker and back who must run a route precisely to move their defender to clear an area for the receiver, and the persistence of that receiver to get clear and catch the ball.”
From "The Official Vince Lombardi Playbook" by Phil Barber


The following comes from Coach Eric Musselman:

* Lazy
* Scared of losing (fear of failure)
* Procrastinator
* Don't know what hard is
* I'm better so I don't need to work as hard
* Think I'm woking as hard as I can
* Poor physical condition, caused by improper sleep, diet, etc.
* Don't believe in the coaching staff
* Conning yourself
* Reading your newspaper clippings
* Don't love the game.
* Being cool
* Poor concentration

Thursday, April 15, 2010


1. Only spend about 35% of practice time on defense
2. Take away blocks and elbows and top of key.
3. Defends these five spots from the 3pt. line in; whether in a zone or man.
4. Lack of offense is what generally what keeps you from winning
5. Thinks about how many places can the ball go and how can you react to it.
6. Work on concepts of how we want the opponent to score if they are going to score.
7. Defending BOB = stay connected with contact.
8. Is more concerned with opponent’s philosophy of how they’ll score and who will do most of the scoring. Not too many details.

1. Stance wider than offensive player’s
2. Need two steps to her 1 to maintain this position
3. Everytime she turns, must shoot over me.
4. Take baseline shoulder away.
5. Double on:

Rule: Can’t let the guy shoot it.
How? Pitino—“hit them with knees”. Show ref your hands
2 man zone on rotation. Must be @ help line.


The Success Strategies of Henry Baldwin Hyde
founder of The Equitable
(taken from Selling Power July/August 1997)

WORK HARD...When a reporter asked Hyde for the secrets of his success, he replied, “In order to succeed you must rise earlier, sit up later, and work harder and more skillfully than those around you.” Hyde believed that there was pure genius in hard work saying: “You may say that this is a hard life. It may or may not be hard, according to disposition of the individual. The successful man derives more pleasure and real satisfaction from his hard-working life than ever comes to the one who neglects his business and suffers the penalty which such neglect brings.”

IMPROVE EVERYTHING...Hyde made it a practice to thoroughly investigate each department. From time to time he would review the work flow, question the validity of established routines and systems, analyze records, watch workers do their jobs, scrutinize his managers’ performance and make suggestions for improvement.

INNOVATE...In 1987 he purchased land to build the first office building for The Equitable. At that time there was not a single office building in New York with passenger elevators. Against the advice of experts, Hyde ordered the elevators and proved that the new technology increased efficiency and enhanced the company’s image.

LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMER...Hyde was an enthusiastic salesperson and enjoyed spending time in the field. He traveled extensively through the country, visiting agents’ offices. He listened to customers and often encouraged his agents to use listening as a sales tool saying, “Don’t talk too much. The tongue is a dagger which often assassinates success.”

INVEST YOUR TIME WISELY...Hyde firmly believe that time was more important than money. He told his staff, “At the close of each day, think of what you have done, and not how much time you have wasted. You can do a great work if you will never let a day pass without gathering some valuable result, and you will be surprised at the end of the year by the progress you made.”

THINK BIG...Hyde didn’t hide his ambition and encouraged others to aim high, saying, “It is astonishing how much more a man can do if he has in his mind a definite object that he is striving to accomplish than if his efforts lack purpose and concentration.”

“Think! If you don’t think, you deserve to be a failure. Perhaps you say you haven’t time to think — you have too much work to do. But heedless work is profitless. You must think or fail. Take your choice.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The following is an excerpt by Jack Canfield written for

An important part of any focusing regimen is to set aside time at the end of the day—just before going to sleep—to acknowledge your successes, review your goals, focus on your successful future, and make specific plans for what you want to accomplish the next day.

Why do I suggest the end of the day? Because whatever you read, see, listen to, talk about and experience during the last 45 minutes of the day has a huge influence on your sleep and your next day. During the night, your unconscious mind replays and processes this late-night input up to six times more often than anything else you experienced during the day. This is why cramming for school exams late at night can work and why watching a scary movie before bed will give you nightmares. This is also why reading good bedtime stories is so important for children—not just to get them to fall asleep, but because the repeated messages, lessons and morals of the story become part of the fabric of the child’s consciousness.

As you drift off to sleep, you enter into the alpha brainwave state of consciousness—a state in which you are very suggestible. If you drift off to sleep while watching the 11 p.m. news, that is what you’ll be imprinting into your consciousness—war, crime, automobile accidents, rape, murder, executions, gang wars, drive-by shootings, kidnappings, and scandals in the boardroom and on Wall Street.

Think how much better it would be to read an inspirational autobiography or a self-improvement book instead. Imagine the power of meditating, listening to a self-help audio program, or taking the time to plan the next day right before you go to sleep. In addition, here are a few exercises that will keep you focused and moving forward at the end of the day.

The Evening Review
Sit with your eyes closed, breathe deeply, and give yourself one of the following directions:

Show me where I could have been more effective today.
Show me where I could have been more conscious today.
Show me where I could have been a better (fill in your profession—manager, teacher, etc.) today.
Show me where I could have been more loving today.
Show me where I could have been more assertive today.
Show me where I could have been more (fill in any characteristic) today.

Read the entire article:


I just finished a conference call with all the participants of the Assistant Coaching Symposium that's been orchestrated Felicia Hall Allen. I'm very excited to be a part of of this not just as a speaker but as someone coming to learn from this great cast that Feleica has put together. I first met Felicia when we hired her to come in and work with our basketball team over six years ago. She is as good as I've ever seen at creating a team atmosphere and centering your team towards common goals. she had a great deal to do with our stretch of five consecutive Final Fours. She brings amazing energy the second she walks into the room. She is also someone who greatly cares about the game and more importantly, those who play and coach it. That's why I'm not surprised that she came up with the idea to have the Assistant Coaches Professional Development Symposium. I'm not sure if there has ever been a weekend put together that directly deals with all the issues involved in becoming and growing as an assistant coach.

The speakers include: Al Brown (Duke), Stephanie Glance (Tennessee), Tim Eatman (Arkansas), Kelly Bond (Texas A&M), Carlene Mitchell (Rutgers), Lisa Cermignano (Illinois), Jackie Smith Carson (James Madison), Bobbie Kelsey (Stanford), Karen Aston (Charlotte), Coquese Washington (Penn State).
Symposium Topics:

Position Yourself as a Valuable Part of the Program
Add value to your head coach, the program and the players on the team. Demonstrate that your skills and expertise reach beyond your job description. Understand that promoting your Boss promotes You.
Think Like a Head Coach
Know what your head coach wants and deliver it. Exceed your head coach's expectations, by staying "wired" to their voice, thoughts and approach to the game.
Recruiting... Find the Right Fit
Recruiting is more than identifying & spotting talent. Learn to identify the right players for your Coach's system. Work smart, be more efficient with your time and above all . . . be ethical.
The Art of a Good Practice Coach
Become more involved in communicating the vision of your head coach during practice. Be in tune with your head coach and know when to assert yourself and when to be quiet. Be aware of the pre- and post- practice work that should be done.
Presenting a Scouting Report
Master your presentation skills. Get comfortable with your voice. Know details of the game plan Present your insights while communicating using your coach's terminology.
Be an Effective On the Bench Coach
Transition from spectator to coach during the game. Become an active participant, motivator and tactical thinker.

Get more details and what I think will be a special weekend at:


From "What It Takes To Be #1" by Vince Lombardi Jr:

Mental toughness was one of my father’s favorite topics. He believed it was the single most important skill leaders could develop in themselves and in the people around them. Mental toughness is the ability to hold onto your goals in the face of the pressure and stress of current reality. It’s the ability to hold on, and hold onto what you want in the face of what you’ve got. Mental toughness is the glue that holds a team together when the heat is on and helps that team persevere just a big longer, which in many cases is just long enough to outlast the opposition.


Perception Is Everything
There are four "Ps" that will enhance your ability to persuade others in both your work and personal life. They are power, positioning, performance, and politeness. And they are all based on perception.

Develop Personal Power
The first "P" is power. The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that that person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want them to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help you and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee.

Shape Their Thinking About You
The second "P" is positioning. This refers to the way that other people think about you and talk about you when you are not there. Your positioning in the mind and heart of other people largely determines how open they are to being influenced by you.

In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.

Be Good At What You Do
The third "P" is performance. This refers to your level of competence and expertise in your area. A person who is highly respected for his or her ability to get results is far more persuasive and influential than a person who only does an average job.

Commit to Excellence
The perception that people have of your performance capabilities exerts an inordinate influence on how they think and feel about you. You should commit yourself to being the very best in your field. Sometimes, a reputation for being excellent at what you do can be so powerful that it alone can make you an extremely persuasive individual in all of your interactions with the people around you. They will accept your advice, be open to your influence and agree with your requests.

Treat People Politely
The fourth "P" of persuasion power is politeness. People do things for two reasons, because they want to and because they have to. When you treat people with kindness, courtesy and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals.

Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and your treatment of that person, he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.

Perception Is Reality
Again, perception is everything. The perception of an individual is his or her reality. People act on the basis of their perceptions of you. If you change their perceptions, you change the way they think and feel about you, and you change the things that they will do for you.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, think continually about the impression you want to make on others and then make sure that everything you do or say is consistent with that perception.

Second, be nice to people. Practice the Golden Rule in your interactions with others. Always be polite and make others feel important.

The more people like you, the more open they are to being influenced by you.

Visit Brian's site:


The following comes Blaine Taylor, head coach at Old Dominion courtesy Creighton Burns
1. Be in shape to Sprint! Sprint! Sprint! If we are to play fast break basketball and dedicated
defense, we must be in top physical condition.

2. Develop poise and patience to handle the toughest situations.
3. Live with and accept coaches’ experiments to find the most “effective team combination”.
4. Develop team leadership, especially from the guards.
5. Accept you “role”. We must learn to play the role that makes the greatest contribution to
team success whether it be as a starter or a substitute. Reserves must be ready when called
upon. Everybody has a place and each is vitally important to team success.
6. Develop pride in team defense and individual defense. We must help each other not only
physically, but mentally as well. Our defense is only as strong as the weakest link. We can be
the best defensive team in the country!!!
7. Make sacrifices and adjustments for the good of the team. If each individual becomes
obsessed with the number of points and shots he is getting and the amount of time he is
playing, rather than what the team is doing, we will not have a good year. Let’s start the season
by looking for our teammates first – our shots second – our individual moves third. TEAMS win or lose!

8. Rebounding. We must work on our rebounding, especially our block-offs and a “Five Man
Approach” to defensive rebounding. Our guards must get their share of rebounds. No one
leaves until the ball is ours. We must be the best rebounding team in the country.
9. Offensive execution: We need to control the tempo of the game and make it work for us.
10. Fast break: The fast break and the early offense need to be integral part of our offense.
11. We must develop some team toughness. Remember, a team can be tough without
having tough individuals. Everyone must “give up their body” on occasion.
12. Team Spirit. Last, but probably most important, we must maintain a positive attitude
(coaches, players, managers) and a team esprit de corps that will enable us to be winners both
on and off the court.


The following are the "Team Standards" as set by Jim Boone and his program at Tusculum College:

We will all be Givers We will have each other’s backs (Fox Hole)
Our value is not measured by Playing Time

Win at everything we do on and off the court
No Days Off
No Bad Practices

We respect our teammates and coaching staff We are always on time (Lombardi Time) We are always prepared

We will be Champions on and off the court
We will take ownership of our own mistakes Boys to Men - “Man-up”

We are connected - you are your “Brothers Keeper”
We will do what it takes to be successful - No Easy Way
Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses

Prepare and Play with a Winners Swagger
Show no weakness
It’s who you are when no one is watching

We are an “Eye to Eye” Program We tell each other the truth immediately
We let nothing linger - confront immediately

We will honor our team by playing hard all the time
We will be the Toughest Team on our schedule (Mentally and Physically)
We will be the most Determined Team on our schedule

We will be positive with our teammates
We will not allow outside influences to deter us from our success
There will be No Excuses - we will be successful


The following comes from my Championship Performance newsletter:

One of Lou Holtz star players at Notre Dame was Jerome Bennis. One day, Holtz was watching an NFL game on television where Bettis was giving a very sub-part performance.

To push his motivational buttons, Holtz called Bettis and left him a mssage that said:

"Jerome, I would like you to know there is some idiot wearing a jersey with your name and number on it. The pretense is damaging your reputation. This guy is not picking up linebackers on blocks, is not running very hard and is not competing with enthusiasm. So I know that it can't be you. you never played liked that when you were on my team at Notre Dame. I just thought I ought to let you know this idiot is doing this. See if you can't put a stop to it because he's giving you a bad name."


I can imagine that everyone has figured out that I am an avid reader. Still, I'm not sure I've ever had more anticipation in regards to reading a book as "How Lucky Can You Be: The Life Story of Don Meyer." First, the subject is one of my favorites -- Coach Meyer -- who has been a friend and mentor to so many of us. Second, the author is ESPN's Buster Olney. Most of us know Buster because of the great work he does in covering Major League Baseball but he put a great amount of time and energy into this project which tells me it will be a special read for all of us. The book will be released September 21 and below is a link at Amazon. In speaking to Buster this morning I found out that he is ironing out the last four chapters and he is so passionate about this project that the anticipation for all of us will mount during the summer. I will keep you all posted about the book as it's release date grows near!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


The behavioral patterns of players haven’t changed. Kids are kids. They do what you let them do, and they don’t what you don’t let them do. Sure, the league has changed, but I am going to coach the same way I have always coached. I will confront them in the same way. I think they get closer to you quicker when you do that. They learn to either trust you or just hate you. You find out quickly whether they will be on the boat or not.



One of my favorite books, and one that I would strongly suggest all coaches read (regardless of sport) is “Finding the Winning Edge” by Bill Walsh. He goes into great detail about every phase of running an organization including what he thinks is involved in being a good assistant coach. Here is what he had to say:

Among the qualities that you, as the head coach, should look for in an assistant coach are the following:

A fundamental knowledge of the mechanics of his position.
An assistant coach must be technically competent. If you hire an assistant who does not have the technical knowledge necessary to do his job properly (a fact that will soon become apparent to the players he coaches), you may create an environment where the players will begin to question your competency as well.

Ability to communicate.
An assistant coach must be able to communicate with the players in a relaxed, yet authoritative manner. Such a quality is the fundamental basis of an assistant’s ability to effectively teach and interact with his players—perhaps the two key responsibilities of every assistant coach. The assistant coach is the most direct link a player has with the game and learning how to play it well.

Ability to evaluate and project talent.

A relatively high level of energy.
Assistant coaches must exhibit an appropriate level of energy that enables them to be upbeat, motivated, and animated while in the presence of the players and their fellow employees. It is not unusual that a group of players will collectively take on the personality of their position coach. If a team has an assistant coach who is a negative, complaining type who sees inadequacies in everything around him, the situation can be quite downbeat.

Assistant coaches must exhibit loyalty at all times, both to the head coach and to their fellow coaches. No offense should be viewed more seriously than disloyalty, especially among coaches who should know better. An assistant coach who feels compelled to criticize or demean a staff member to others in the organization, media, or fans can be an extraordinary disruptive force. Accordingly, the head coach must not tolerate disloyalty in any form.


Here is some great stuff on Goal Setting guidelines from Brian Tracy -- good for us and our players!

There are several important rules that accompany effective goal setting.

Your goals must be in harmony with one another, not contradictory. You cannot have a goal to be financially successful, or to build your own successful business, and simultaneously have a goal to spend half your day at the golf course or at the beach. Your goals have to be mutually supportive and mutually reinforcing.

Your goals must be challenging. They must make you stretch out without being overwhelmed. When you initially set goals, they should have about a 50 percent or better probability of success. This level of probability is ideal for motivation, yet not so difficult that you can become easily discouraged.

You should have both tangible and intangible goals, both quantitative and qualitative. You should have concrete goals that you can measure and evaluate objectively. At the same time, you should have qualitative goals, for your inner life and your relationships.

You need both short-term goals and long-term goals. You need goals for today and goals for five, ten, and twenty years from today. The ideal short-term timeframe for business, career and personal planning is about ninety days. The ideal long-term period for these same goals is two to three years. These time horizons seem to be the ideal for continuous motivation.

The ideal life is focused, purposeful, positive and organized so that you are moving toward goals that are important to you every hour of every day. You always know what you're doing and why. You have a continuous sense of forward motion. You feel like a "winner" most of the time.

The decision to become a goal-setting, goal achieving, future focused person gives you a tremendous sense of control. Your self-esteem increases as you progress toward your goals. You like and respect yourself more and more. Your personality improves and you become a more positive, confident person. You feel happy and exited about life. You open the floodgates of your potential and begin moving faster and faster toward becoming all that you were meant to be.

Action Exercise
Map out your short-term, long-term, qualitative, and quantitative goals for your future in both your personal and professional life.

Check out Brian's site at:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


From "The Gold Standard" by Mike Krzyzewski:

How can a team reach its potential if it cannot look at itself with a critical eye? There is always a need to valuate performance in battle or in business and then retrain based on your assessments. In team building, self-assessment must take place both at the group level and on and individual level for each of the team members. This doe not exclude the leader, whose individual self-assessment may be the most crucial of all.

Our teams, self-assessment should take place not just from year to year or quarterly, but from day today. There has to be room for change. And when you recognize a need for change, you and your team have to e willing to make it. Improvisation and flexibility should coexist with planning and preparation. And, when you really think about it, it shouldn’t be hard. You should always want to find ways to get better.

Becoming your best is an ongoing process

Monday, April 5, 2010


- Reasons why Butler was successful this past year.
1. Entire team bought in to all details of the program (academics, strength & conditioning, workouts, etc).
2. Had players with great play-making ability (off the bounce).
3. Able to use his player’s great defensive versatility.
4. Didn’t have the biggest guys, but every player was tough & physical.
5. Has had 2 or more All-Conference players on each successful team that he’s been a part of at Butler (good players are good players, regardless of size).

- 4 Misperceptions of Butler Basketball
1. Butler doesn’t recruit size
.....a. Butler recruits players
2. Butler doesn’t utilize the post
.....a. Butler thinks outside the box of traditional posting ideas (post up perimeters, etc).
3. Size will dominate our league
.....a. Last 10 years, nobody that is 6’8” or taller has made All-Horizon League.
4. Undersized = Undermanned

.....a. Find out who your best players are, and get them on the floor.

- Bigs that are used to playing in a traditional setting have a tough time guarding non-traditional (smaller) post players (pick-n-pop, 33, etc)... Must be able to shoot

- There aren’t a lot of great back to basket players: The college game is extremely physical...if you can shove the post out 10’ to 12’, you’re in great shape.

-Defensive Thoughts

1. Butler square’s the ball up, doesn’t force to a side.
2. All positions must be able to guard the post
3. Front the post on the block when ball is on wing  if post moves you up, at some point you have to adjust, roll below to take away lob, and on the catch, hold ground.
4. When ball is on top – on the line, up the line.
5. Use your feet – don’t wrestle

- Disadvantages of playing small

1. Ability to contest shots – not just post shots. Playing small = need helpside defenders more active helping in the lane, so more susceptible to kick outs for open 3’s. Must play the %’s on bad shooters
2. Defensive Rebounding – Guards have to rebound. Some players only job may be to keep their man off of the glass.
3. Can get in foul trouble quickly
4. Finishing plays on offense

- Advantages of playing small
1. Traditional bigs struggle to guard undersized players
2. Increased # of ball-handlers & decision-makers
3. Increased defensive versatility
4. More disruptive defensively


The followign is an article by Paul J. Meyer and Kevin Rhea on planning. As a young coach we all want to learn plays and schemes. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from Dale Brown and Don Meyer was the art of organization. Planning is a big part of making sure we are getting all the things we need to do in priority. It helpts our level of exeuction. Here is what Paul Meyer and Kevin Rhea:

Every day, every week, and every month will take you closer to your goals IF you are planning your action and then putting action to your plan. These three steps will help you reach your goals:

* Reserve one hour at the end of each month to plan for the coming month. (This can be a quick review if you plan in 90-day cycles.)
* Survey your goals for the year/quarter and your progress on them.
* Break goals and projects down into steps you can accomplish each week.
* Designate specific due dates for completing these interim steps.
* If what you plan will take several months, divide it into steps so that you can accomplish a little each month.
* Make a copy of your monthly plan for your sponsor—have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.

* Set aside half an hour every Friday afternoon or Monday morning to plan for the upcoming week.
* Look over the goals you’ve set for the week, and consider any additional tasks that you need to accomplish.
* Divide tasks planned into steps, and choose a day to work on each step.
* Make note of previously scheduled meetings and appointments.
* Be sure that your weekly routine includes activities that are directly related to your goals.
* Have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.

* At the beginning of each day, review your progress on yesterday’s work, and note any pending items.
* Spend a few minutes deciding what tasks to work on today.
* Order the day’s tasks by priority level with “must do” items first.
* If possible, schedule items that will require more concentration for the time of day that you work best.
* Leave roughly 20 percent of your time unscheduled to make room for new items, delays, etc.
* If appropriate, start with your top-priority item and work on it as long as you can or until it’s completed. Once you’ve tackled your No. 1 job, move on to the next highest priority on your list. * Have your team leaders and their team leaders do this as well.
When you put daily action to your plan, your goals will quickly come to pass!


Thanks to Coach Eric Musselman for these notes on Lou Holtz:

* The only things that change you from where you are today to where you are going to be five years from now are the people you meet and the books you read.

* There are certain things in this world we all have in common, such as time. The difference is what we do with that time and how we use it. "If you're killing time, it's not murder, but pure suicide."

* Everybody has enthusiasm. Some people have it for thirty minutes. Some have it for thirty days, but the individual who can possess enthusiasm for 30 years will be the one people feel has been born on third base.
* Self discipline is the greatest asset any individual can possess. Without it, we cannot control our own destiny. We have scientists who have conquered space and the oceans but we cannot conquer ourselves.

* I have never known anyone who stood up and said the reason I'm successful is drugs or alcohol, but I have seen and read ofthousands who said my life is a mess because of drugs and alcohol.

* Ability determines capability; attitude dictates performance.

* We don't sell the next 4 years to our players. We sell thenext forty.


1. Do they change who the screener is?
2. Do they change who the ball handler is?
3. Do they change the angles?
4. Do they come anywhere at anytime?
5. Do they have a shooting big?

Friday, April 2, 2010


A great aricle from Brian Tracy on the importance and need to "clarify" your goals and your vision:

Clarity accounts for probably 80% of success and happiness. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor. That's why we say that "Success is goals, and all else is commentary." People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine. This is true everywhere and under all circumstances.

The Three Keys to High Achievement
You could even say that the three keys to high achievement are, "Clarity, Clarity, Clarity," with regard to your goals. Your success in life will be largely determined by how clear you are about what it is you really, really want.

Write and Rewrite Your Goals
The more you write and rewrite your goals and the more you think about them, the clearer you will become about them. The clearer you are about what you want, the more likely you are to do more and more of the things that are consistent with achieving them. Meanwhile, you will do fewer and fewer of the things that don't help to get the things you really want.

The Seven Step Process for Achieving Goals
Here, once more, is the simple, seven-step process that you can use to achieve your goals faster and easier than ever before.

First, decide exactly what you want in each area of your life. Be specific!

Second, write it down, clearly and in detail;

Third, set a specific deadline. If it is a large goal, break it down into sub-deadlines and write them down in order;

Fourth, make a list of everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. As you think of new items, add them to your list;

Fifth, organize the items on your list into a plan by placing them in the proper sequence and priority;

Sixth, take action immediately on the most important thing you can do on your plan. This is very important!

Seventh, do something every day that moves you toward the attainment of one or more of your important goals. Maintain the momentum!

Join the Top 3%
Fewer than three percent of adults have written goals and plans that they work on every single day. When you sit down and write out your goals, you move yourself into the top 3% of people in our society. And you will soon start to get the same results that they do.

Review Your Goals Daily
Study and review your goals every day to be sure they are still your most important goals. You will find yourself adding goals to your list as time passes. You will also find yourself deleting goals that are no longer as important as you once thought. Whatever your goals are, plan them out thoroughly, on paper, and work on them every single day. This is the key to peak performance and maximum achievement.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Special thanks to Coach Steve Smiley for his list of daily do's for leaders. And while I'm at it -- Happy Birthday Steve!

1. Be the hardest worker at practice today.
Without fail, one of the quickest ways to impact a team is with your own work ethic. Choose to be one of the hardest workers on your team today. Not only does it set the tone for the work ethic of your program, it is also one of the best and quickest ways to enhance your leadership credibility with your teammates and coaches.

2. Be a spark of energy and enthusiasm today.
Let your passion for the sport shine through today. Spread a contagious energy and enthusiasm amongst your teammates. Think about how lucky you are to be able to play and compete. Remember back to when you were a young child and reconnect with the joy you played with back then. Make your sport fun again for yourself and your teammates.

3. Model mental toughness today.
Because your teammates will look to you under pressure, adversity, and stress, be sure to model mental toughness today. Bounce back quickly after errors to show your teammates how to respond to negative situations. Maintain your poise and optimism despite any mistakes you might make so that your teammates can trust and rely on you to get them through the tough times.

4. Connect with a teammate today.
Leadership is all about relationships. Invest the time to build and strengthen the relationships you have with each of your teammates. Inquire about their day, challenges, and goals. Make a special and ongoing effort to get to know every athlete on your team, not just your friends and classmates. The relationship building you do each day will pay off immeasurably down the road.

5. Compliment a teammate today.
Be on the lookout for teammates who are contributing to your team. Call out a teammate for making a hustle play, pushing through a weight workout, recovering quickly from a mistake, getting an A on an exam, etc. Praise the actions and attitudes you want to see repeated. As Mother Teresa once said, "Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless."

6. Challenge a teammate today.
Challenge at least one of your teammates today. Positively push them and yourself to make the most of your workout. Make a friendly wager to see if they can be successful at least 4 out of 5 times in a drill. See if you both can improve your times in conditioning. Offer to stay after to help if there is anything they want to work on. Good leaders consistently invite, inspire, and sometimes implore others to greatness.

7. Support a teammate today.
Odds are, at least one of your teammates is struggling with something today - it could be a performance slump, a rocky romantic relationship, a disagreement with a coach, an unglamorous role, struggling with a class, or a sick family member. Good leaders are consistently on the lookout for teammates who might be struggling and are ready to offer an ear to listen, an encouraging word, a pat on the back, or a shoulder to cry on.

8. Constructively confront negativity, pessimism, and laziness today.
As a leader, have the courage to constructively confront the negativity, pessimism, and laziness that will crop up on your team from time to time. Instead of fueling the fire by joining in or silently standing by, be sure to refocus your teammates on solutions rather than dwelling on and complaining about the problems. Left unchecked, these problems can quickly grow to distract, divide, and destroy your team.

9. Build and bond your team today.
Team chemistry naturally ebbs and flows throughout the course of the season. Take the time to monitor and maintain your team's chemistry. Let your reserves and support staff know how much you appreciate them. Stay connected and current with each of the natural sub-groups on your team. Douse any brush fires that might be occurring and continually remind team members about your common goal and common bond.

10. Check in with your coach today.
Invest the time to check in with your coach today. Ask what you can do to best help the team this week. Find out what your coach wants to accomplish with today's practice. Also discuss if there is anything your coach is concerned about regarding your team. Discuss your collective insights on your team's chemistry, focus, and mindset. Work together to effectively co-lead your team.

11. Remind your team how today's work leads to tomorrow's dreams.
It's easy to get bogged down during your season with monotonous drills, tiring conditioning, and demanding workouts. Remind your teammates how all the quality work you do today gives you a distinct advantage over your opponents. Help them see and even get excited about how today's hard work is a long-term investment in your team's goals, rather than just a short-term hardship or sacrifice.

12. Represent yourself and team with class and pride today.
Leaders have the awesome privilege and responsibility of representing their teams. Take advantage of this opportunity by representing your team with class and pride today. Hold a door open for someone, sit in the front rows of class and actively engage in the discussion, say please and thank you, dress in respectful attire, etc. These tiny pushes represent you and your team with class and distinction. And they ultimately set you up for a lifetime of respect and success.