Sunday, October 31, 2010


I don’t waste energy worrying about things I can’t control. This is another aspect of the What If mentality.

What good does it do to constantly conjure up past injustices and inequities and wail about them—except to waste valuable energy that could be used much more positively?

Mike Holmgren is particularly good at dealing with the Woe-Is-Me Disease. That’s because he acknowledges something that seems so simple but escapes so many people: the game still has to be played.

He wants no part of any “sky-is-falling” talk. His focus becomes, how do we fulfill this revised goal?

That emerges as Mike’s consuming mission every time there’s a setback. He wants to win so badly that he won’t allow a misstep to thwart him. Maybe for an upcoming game, he has only one healthy running back. So he’ll turn more to one back and three receivers. Or maybe his receivers are limping, so his game plan will put more emphasis on our running attack. He’ll juggle and maneuver and create temporary solutions, anything to give us a chance instead of just hanging on. He never allows any of his internal feelings to affect his dealings with the players. He never makes or uses excuses. Excuses aren’t allowed to become a crutch. His message is always positive and upbeat. Hey, if we want to win badly enough, we’ll find a way to do it. Someone hurt? We’ll being in a replacement, coach him well, and he’ll do the job.

Instead of viewing the unexpected as a cruel impediment, look at it as a stimulating challenge. Without embracing reversals as opportunities to prove your worth, they’ll grab you and toss you to the sidelines, where you become a spectator instead of a participant. You need to adopt a mind-set based on aggressiveness—just as everything else.

That’s why you can’t allow setbacks to become permanent obstacles. That’s why you can’t allow employees to whine and why you can’t allow unexpected developments to send morale spiraling. I don’t care if you have to put on a big act—you must never let others see you depressed. As soon as you feel sorry for yourself in public, you have risked irreparable harm to your plans. I’m convinced you can overcome virtually anything if you can avoid the sulks and demonstrate enough intelligence, gumption, and patience.

Even if your competitors don’t seem to be absorbing the same amount of negative blows as you, don’t be deterred from your goals. It all comes down to confidence and willpower. You must feel good enough about your system to believe you’ll succeed. And you must be able to get off the mat every time and keep fighting, no matter how many knockdowns you suffer. Your competitors have to know you’ll always be a factor, no matter how difficult the dilemma.

Your ability to handle mistakes and setbacks properly depends so much on how well you maintain an upbeat attitude. You have to develop the ability to remember all the positives that have happened in the past to you and use those pluses as a reminder every time you become depressed over errors.

From "The Packer Way" by former Green Bay General Manager Ron Wolf

Friday, October 29, 2010


Final words here from Vince Lombardi: "Leaders earn the right to lead. How? They manifest integrity...Character is not inherited, it is something that can be built and disciplined." If we hope to develop these traits in our athletes, why shouldn't we want the same for ourselves? Actually we need to "have it" in order to "give it."

-H. A. Dorfman from " Coaching The Mental Game"


On today, I feel extremely obligated to post some quotes on ethics and morals:

“It is curious - curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare”

-Mark Twain

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
-W. Clement Stone

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”
-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
-Samuel Johnson

“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”
-Samuel Johnson

“There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity”
-Tom Peters

“A person educated in mind and not in morals is a menace to society”
-Juanita Kidd Stout

“Set your expectations high; find men and women whose integrity and values you respect; get their agreement on a course of action; and give them your ultimate trust.”
-John Akers

“Winning is nice if you don't lose your integrity in the process.”
-Arnold Horshak

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Coach Don Meyer represents everything that is good in our profession. He should be a standard that we all strive to reach in the way we treat our players, the way teach basketball, and the way respect the game. On November 9, a book on Coach Meyer's journey will be released. "How Lucky Can You Be" is written by Buster Olney. I've been fortunate to see some pre-writes and Buster has done an amazing job of telling Coach Meyer's story.

Here is a link with more information about the book including ways your can purchase it in advance on-line:

I NEED A FAVOR! First, I would love for everyone that teaches or coaches any sport on any level to purchase this book. You will be a better coach/teacher for it. I purchased five for our staff. But we really need to spread the word about this book and I would very much appreciate it if everyone that reads my blog would copy this link:
and email it to as many people in the coaching/teaching profession that you know.


"Don Meyer is a dear friend to me and the entire Basketball Community. His passion to teach, to share, and to live is unmatched. Buster Olney does a magical job of capturing this truly unique man and presents him in a way that is surprising and unforgettable."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Coach of the Duke Blue Devils

"There are very few coaches who have positively impacted the game of basketball and the people who coach it as Don Meyer has done. His passion for the game, for teaching and for building character as well as his commitment to team are legendary. Coach Meyer has taught and given so much to us, and our game is better for it. This book chronicles not only his life as a coach, but his journey as a man through triumph and adversity. His story is a true inspiration and one which everyone should know."
-Pat Summitt, Coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols

"Those of us who savor fine sports journalism have long known that Buster Olney knows the baseball beat. Now, with this beautifully conceived and elegantly executed book Olney shows that he knows the beating heart of life and the pulse of humanity that makes sports matter."
-George F. Will, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist

First review of Buster Olney's book on Coach Don Meyer!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010


“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”

-Ken Blanchard



On many teams, the veteran players will share some things with the new players, but not everything. Of course, everyone knows that the team’s goal is to win, but some of the guys are concerned that the new players might ultimately take their jobs. On some teams, it’s understood that new players have to work their way up through the ranks and “earn” the respect of the veterans before they’re given full status as teammates.

One of the ways we were able to maintain our success with the Colts was by integrating new players into the system as quickly as possible. That happened because of our greatest coaching staff, but also because our veteran players mentored younger players. It was easy for me as the head coach to say, “Watch these veteran players and do what they do. They’ll teach you.” And because our players wanted to win championships and be the best team they could be, they were willing to take on a mentoring role.

It’s not about me.
It’s not about you.
It’s about others.

The mentor leader, by contrast, looks at how he or she can benefit others – which ultimately benefits the individual and the organization.

When it comes to effective leadership, it’s not about you and what makes you comfortable or helps you get ahead. It’s about other people.

From "The Mentor Leader" by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker

Saturday, October 23, 2010


#1 Teach players to LISTEN.

#2 Teach players to SEE things rather than just looking at them.

#3 Teach players to COMMUNICATE. Verbally & with body language (eyes).


When you pass, move but don't follow your pass

Don't make two simultaneous cuts into the same area

Call out the name of the player screening for

Catch & face, hold for a 2 count unless you have a good scoring opportunity right away

Don't pass too quickly

If a screener's back is to you, hold to see what develops

15-18 feet spacing on perimeter

Keep the ball off the baseline unless a scoring opportunity is available

If a single post has a scoring opportunity don't go there

Dribble only to advance the ball, improve a passing angle, go to the basket, balance the floor, or get out of trouble.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Here are some key thoughts from Brian Tracy on prioritizing and sticking with that priority until you have completed it:

The ability to start and complete your most important task determines your productivity more than any other skill. Maximum performance is possible only when you concentrate single-mindedly on the task—the most important task, and you stay at it until it is 100 percent complete.

Do the Most Important Task
You cannot do everything, but you can do one thing, the most important thing, and you can do it now. By setting goals and priorities, and then by selecting your most important task, you can dramatically increase your level of productivity and output.

Single Handling
Single handling is perhaps the most powerful of all time management techniques. It can increase your output by as much as 500 percent. It can reduce the amount of time you spend on a task by fully 80 percent—by the very act of launching into the task and disciplining yourself to stay with it until it is complete.

Refuse to Stop till Done

Picking up a task, putting it down and coming back to it several times, dramatically increases the amount of time necessary to complete the task. On the other hand, picking up the task and refusing to put it down until it is done enables you to accomplish vastly more in a shorter period of time than you thought possible. By disciplining yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on the most important thing you could possibly be doing, and then by completing that task, you increase the quantity, quality, and value of your output substantially.

Feel like a Winner
You can have all the talent and skill in the world. But if you cannot discipline yourself single-mindedly to complete your most important task, you will always have to work for someone else. You will always have to be supervised by someone who can make sure that you do what you should do, when you should do it. The good news is that every time you complete a major task, you experience a surge of energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem. You feel terrific about yourself. You feel happy and elated. You feel like a winner.

Task Completion
By assigning yourself a large task and then by disciplining yourself to concentrate single-mindedly until the task is complete, you eventually develop the all-important habit of task completion. You program your subconscious mind in such a way that you look forward to major tasks because you know how good you are going to feel when you have completed them.

Action Exercise
Resolve today to develop the lifelong habit of task completion. You do this by selecting your most important task, getting yourself organized, and then working on it wholeheartedly until it is complete. Do this over and over until this habit of single handling is firmly entrenched.


Have answers.

Be an expert in your specialized area.

Isolate the skills and the techniques that are essential to each position.

Develop a plan on how best to teach these skills and techniques.

Treat each player as a unique person.

Demonstrate sincere interest in each player.

Gain the players’ confidence by working with each athlete to help him reach his full potential by enhancing his level of abilities.

Determine how each player best responds to instruction.

Be sensitive to and flexible with the players’ moods and demeanors while teaching and coaching.

Search for and implement new ways to teach and impart information and to get and maintain the attention level of the players.

Move on quickly to a different method of handling the situation if your current approach to dealing with and teaching your players is not eliciting the intended level of results.

Exhibit strength and persistence in your dealings with your players. Hold your players to the highest expectations.

Be personal with your players, but not too familiar. Excessive familiarity, in a misguided attempt to be socially accepted by your players, will prevent you from fully developing their performance potential.

Avoid attempting to communicate with your players in their vernacular or their 1990s dialect. Be natural in all of your dealings. Anything else will be perceived as phony.

Remember that praise is more valuable than blame. Remember too, that your primary mission as a leader is to see with your own eyes and be seen by your own troops while engaged in personal reconnaissance.

Use every means before and after combat to tell the troops what they are going to do and what they have done.

Discipline is based on pride in the profession of arms, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of battle or the fear of death.

Officers must assert themselves by example and by voice. They must be preeminent in courage, deportment and dress.

General officers must be seen in the front line during action.

There is a tendency for the chain of command to overload junior officers by excessive requirements in the way of training and reports. You will alleviate this burden by eliminating non-essential demands.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Some great stuff from Brian McCormick's "Hard 2 Guard Player Development Newsletter" on injuries:

World renowned athlete development specialist Kevin Giles (@kbgiles) tweeted the following, and I had to copy and paste because of the importance of his point:

“Reading about all the England Premier League managers who are incensed at having their players injured on international duty. Reaction is understandable in this pressure-cooker league - jobs are at stake. Might be a worthwhile project for them to see if they are making any contribution to the problem.

Injury can follow the following journey: Poor movement efficiency - micro-trauma - continued exposure to training - compensatory movements and postures - degeneration - macro-trauma - continued exposure to the same training - catastrophic tissue failure.

I would bet that many of the injuries had their birth during the training being done by the person responsible for the long-term training. Instead of waiting for the problem to happen and then complaining about it, why not 'question your assumptions'? Are you creating a process of training that is both performance enhancing and injury reducing? Or are you simply repeating what you did as a player 15-20 years ago?

‘A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.’ -Paul DePodesta.”

This echoes my belief: injuries do not just happen for no reason. Acute injuries are generally obvious - you get an elbow to the nose and your nose bleeds. However, other injuries, even some that are acute injuries like an ankle sprain or even a non-contact ACL tear, often start long before the injury manifests itself as pain.

In Ireland, a player complained of shin splints. I asked that he see an expert physical therapist. Instead, he received sports massages. The pain dissipated and he trained. He felt pain again. Nobody listened when I explained that there was a cause to the injury and until the cause was remedied, the injury would continue to return.

Finally, three months into the season, he saw a running specialist who diagnosed a problem with his gait. Of course, without him, our best player, we struggled for those three months, and I lost my job even though nobody within the club - from the player to the management - listened. They were caught in their long habit of thinking that gave them a feeling of being right.

When organizing training, whether a sport coach or a strength & conditioning coach, do you account for injury prevention? Do you ensure proper movement efficiency before adding intensity? Do you teach/correct movement technique?

I knew my limitation. I knew something was wrong with the player, but I also knew that I was not a gait specialist, especially compared to a guy who has trained Olympians. I knew that I was not the one to solve his problem, that he needed specialized help. However, I knew this much. I knew enough to recommend the specialist as a means of rehabilitation.

Movement efficiency comes before sport-specific skill execution. Players must know how to run, stop, jump, land, etc before they can dribble, shoot and defend. Since players start and specialize earlier, the onus falls more and more on the sport coaches to teach and refine these general abilities and fundamental movement patterns as a part of the practice schedule. If they play basketball year-round, and do not learn these techniques during basketball, when are they supposed to learn these movement skills?


10 Things that hurt Transition Defense:

1. Lazy first 3 steps

2. Lack of communication

3. A "my man" mentality

4. Crashing the boards

5. Gambles

6. Transition offense (leak outs)

7. Long, easy throw aheads

8. Buddy running

9. Drags or double drags (transition ball screen)

10. Cross match-ups
.......--On misses, the guard who guard them
.......--On makes, they guard their matchup

Monday, October 18, 2010


From my Jackie Stiles email today:

I got the below idea from a great teacher and a great man, Coach Don Meyer.

Want to know who the true leaders are on your team? Have them take the following test: The Foxhole Test

Have each player draw a circle to represent their foxhole. They write their name at the front of the foxhole. They draw a line at their rear, their left, and their right. On each of those lines they write the names of teammates they would want in their foxhole if they were fighting a life and death battle.

The position to their rear is worth three points and is awarded to their most trusted, courageous, and tough teammate. The position to their left is worth two points and is awarded to the second most trusted, etc. teammate, and the position to their right is awarded to the third teammate they would pick and is given a value of one point.

This test cuts through all the friendships, cliques, and is the truest measure of what players really think of their teammates. It might be a good idea for each coach on the staff to do this with his/her coaching staff, administrators, teach associates, and of course your team.

There are many people who you would love to have around on the golf course or in a duck blind but deep down you know that defeat is assured if they are in your foxhole.


Here are five strategies to motivate your team from Jon Gordon's "The Energy Bus" and "Soup" to get the results you want.

1. Don't be too busy to communicate. Recovery or no recovery, these are uncertain times. Employees are wondering what's going to happen next, whether their job will be impacted and what action to take. Unless managers and leaders fill that void with clear and positive communication, people will assume the worst and act accordingly. Don't let your busy schedule get in the way of taking the time to talk with your team.

2. Lead with optimism. The engine for America's growth and prosperity has always been its can-do attitude and spirit. Unfortunately, in the past year, optimism has been in short supply. The most important weapon against pessimism is to transfer your optimism and vision to others. Leadership is a transfer of believe and your belief inspires others to think and act in ways that drive results.

3. Share the vision. It’s not enough to just be optimistic. You must give your team and organization something to be optimistic about. Talk about where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. Share your plan for a brighter and better future, talk about the actions you must take, and constantly reiterate the reasons why you will be successful. Create a vision statement that inspires and rallies your team and organization. Not a page-long vision statement filled with buzzwords, but a rallying cry that means something to the people who invest a majority of their day working for you. This vision statement can’t just exist on a piece of paper. It must come to life in the hearts and minds of your team So it’s up to you to share it, reinforce it, and inspire your people to live and breathe it every day. A positive vision for the future leads to powerful actions today.

4. Relationships build real motivation. It's much easier to motivate someone if you know them and they know you. After all, if you don't take the time to get to know the people who are working for you, then how can you ever truly know the best way to lead, coach, and motivate them effectively?

5. Create purpose-driven goals. Real motivation is driven by purpose and a desire to make a difference. When people feel as though the work they do is playing an integral role in the overall success of the organization and the world, they are motivated to work harder.

Check out Jon's blog at:

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Florida coach Billy Donovan asked the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick who are the hardest/easiest teams to prepare for in the NFL.  His answer:

"The hardest teams to prepare for can disguise what it is they do by making everything look the same."

"The easiest teams to prepare for 'do what they do.' You know going into the game what they’re going to do."


3 Things that Improve Transition Defense

1. Great Shot Selection (assists with floor balance)

2. 4 & 5 on the Offensive Glass

3. Drive the Ball to draw fouls and take them out of their flow


This article comes from written by John Maxwell.  As a coach, you simply have to love the title of his piece: "Making Good Decisions Better"

Noted philosopher William James said that once a decision is made, you should stop worrying and start working. It’s not always what we know that makes it a good decision. It is what we do to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision… maybe even a great one!

Let me explain. On June 14, 1969, my wife Margaret and I got married. That was a good decision. But, 41 years later, I’m here to tell that good decision has become a great decision. It’s become great because of what we have done after we made the decision.

Too many people overrate decision making and underrate decision managing. There are two possibilities in making a good decision:

•Manage incorrectly and have average results.

•Manage correctly and have great results.

We need both good decision making and managing for our decisions to get off the ground and become great. It starts with prioritizing. With all the decisions we make daily, how do we prioritize the decision-making process?

What’s the Main Event of Your Day?

I want to give you a very simple approach that I have used for years. Every morning, I take five minutes, look at my calendar, and I ask myself a very simple question: Of all the people I’m going to see, and all the things I’m going to do today, what is the main event?

How do you know what your main event is? Here are a few questions I ask myself to help me come up with my main event. I call them the three R’s of prioritizing:

1.What is required of me?

2.What gives me the greatest return?

3.What is rewarding to me?

Each morning, spend five minutes going through these questions, and once you have come up with your main event, I want you to spend more time, energy and focus on that main event than any other task in your day. You don’t have to be good at everything you do throughout the day, but you want to be prepared so you can accomplish your main event of the day.

Decision-Making Traps

Too often, leaders fall into traps that cause them to make faulty decisions. They may not realize that their methodology is flawed or their thinking lacks the necessary precision. Here are some specific pitfalls that can sabotage your efforts to express yourself wisely and decisively:

•Procrastinating. If you tend to dread the finality of taking a stand or calling the shots, you may be tempted to put off the decision.

•Surrendering. Exceptionally hard decisions can deplete so much of your energy that you finally cave in. Rather than surrender, break a big decision into its components and address those segments bit by bit.

•Hiding Behind Information. Many managers’ exacting standards crave unending stacks of data before rendering a decision. The more facts and figures they accumulate, the more they still want before they feel ready to decide.

•Saying Yes to Everything. You’re not making true decisions if you’re always giving the go-ahead thumbs up. Charles E. Nielsen nailed it when he said, “When, against one’s will, one is high-pressured into making a hurried decision, the best answer is always no because no is more easily changed to yes than yes is changed to no.”

Click here to read the entire article:

Saturday, October 16, 2010


1. Do whatever it takes to improve

2. Take full responsibility for your own actions

3. Accept the consequences of your behavior and choices

4. Admit your failures and flaws to your teammates

5. Allow your teammates to critique your performance and point out your mistakes and weaknesses

6. Be coachable and teachable

From “The Magic of Teamwork” by Pat Williams


6 Things that Players can do to make Transition Defense More Difficult

1. Complain to the referee

2. Missed shot followed by histronics

3. Celebrate a shot

4. Instinct of going to the offensive glass

5. Player gambles and misses

6. Player falls trying to draw a foul call.


Very few people teach goal-setting better than Brian Tracy.  One of my top 10 books that I've ever read is by Tracy and simply title "Goals."  Here are seven questions he feels you should asked (and answer on paper) if you are to have the maximum opportunity for achievement:

Here are seven goal-setting questions for you to ask and answer over and over again. I suggest that you take a pad of paper and write out your responses.

Question Number One:
What are your five most important values in life?

This question is intended to help you clarify what is really important to you, and by extension, what is less important, or unimportant. Once you have identified the five most important values in life for you, organize them in order of priority, from number one, the most important, through number five.

Question Number Two:
What are your three most important goals in life, right now?

This is called the "quick list" method. When you only have thirty seconds to write down your three most important goals, your subconscious mind sorts out your many goals quickly. Your top three will just pop into your conscious mind. With only thirty seconds, you will be as accurate as if you had thirty minutes.
Question Number Three:
What would you do, how would you spend your time, if you learned today that you only had six months to live?

This is another value questions to help you clarify what is really important to you. When your time is limited, even if only in your imagination, you become aware of who and what you really care about.

Question Number Four:

What would you do if you won a million dollars cash, tax free, in the lottery tomorrow?
How would you change your life? What would you buy? What would you start doing, or stop doing? This is really a question to help you decide what you'd do if you had all the time and money you need, and if you had virtually no fear of failure at all.

Question Number Five:
What have you always wanted to do, but been afraid to attempt?

This question helps you see more clearly where your fears could be blocking you from doing what you really want to do.

Question Number Six:
What do you most enjoy doing? What gives you your greatest feeling of self-esteem and personal satisfaction?

This is another values question that may indicate where you should explore to find your "heart's desire." You will always be most happy doing what you most love to do, and what you most love to do is invariably the activity that makes you feel the most alive and fulfilled. The most successful men and women in America are invariably doing what they really enjoy, most of the time.

Question Number Seven:
What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you would not fail?

Imagine that a genie appears and grants you one wish. The genie guarantees that you will be absolutely, completely successful in any one thing that you attempt to do, big or small, short or long-term. If you were absolutely guaranteed success in any one thing, what one exciting goal would you set for yourself?

Action Exercise
Study the pad of paper that you used to answer these questions. This paper represents your future goals. Look at what you wrote every day and shape your life the way you see it on that paper.


Here are some great thoughts on planning from John Maxwell from :

If you've ever gone whitewater rafting, then you know the importance of planning. Whenever the raft approaches rapids, the guide has to plan the best route to navigate safely through them. If the guide fails to plan, then the raft can easily smash into a rock or capsize.

Four Types of Planning
Passive planning happens when leadership allows the raft to travel downstream at the mercy of the current rather than steering, rowing, and turning. This kind of non-planning eventually leaves you unprepared to face whitewater rapids. Worse yet, in the absence of a plan, the current may take the raft over the edge of a dreaded waterfall.

Panic planning happens only after the raft is in trouble. At this point, all of the organization's resources are scrambled in a reactionary pattern in an attempt to solve the problem. With panic planning, you may or may not come out alive and well, but you are guaranteed some bumps and bruises.

Scientific planning is viable, but can be laborious, mechanical, and often ends up abandoned in the process. Imagine if a raft guide constantly tried to measure the depth of the water, the distance between rocks, the wind speed, and the water current. Although the information might be helpful, oftentimes the water would be moving too swiftly to take the measurements. In a like manner, leaders often have to respond to change in an instant. There's no time to collect scientific data on all of the variables before deciding which course of action is best.

Principle-centered planning is the key to effectiveness. It is the artistic or leadership approach. Principle-centered planning recognizes that life in general (and people in particular) can't be graphed on a chart, but sees that planning still remains essential.

Reasons Why People Don't Plan
You don't have to be in leadership very long to learn that planning pays off. Even so, many people don't plan. Here are four reasons why people neglect planning.

1) They don't possess planning skills or knowledge.
Some people don't have an innate ability to project themselves into the future. They've never been taught to prioritize their day or to prepare for tomorrow.

2) They're caught in the tyranny of the urgent, and they believe that they don't have time.
Some people allow themselves to be pulled into the vortex of minutiae. As a consequence, they end up buried under a sea of details, and they can't pull their heads above water long enough to plan.

3) They don't like the perceived hassle of planning.
Instead of planning one event at a time, they become overwhelmed by the mountain of things to plan.

4) Many people don't plan because the outcome varies greatly.
"After all," they say, "When I do make a plan, it normally doesn't end up happening, so why bother?"

Why Planning Is Essential
We all have desires and dreams, yet we'll never accomplish our dreams in life just by wanting them bad enough. Planning bridges the gap between our desires and dreams by calling us to action. As noted by William Danforth, ""No plan is worth the paper it is printed on unless it starts you doing something." A concrete plan supplies us with tangible steps to take in the direction of our dreams.

Qualities of Principle-Centered Planning

•Principle-centered planning allows us to be flexible without losing focus.

•Principle-centered planning allows us to be creative without losing concentration.

•Planning is the structure. Principle-centered planning is the flesh.

•Planning is the roadmap. Principle-centered planning is the movement.

•Planning is the idea. Principle-centered planning is the action.

•Planning is the paper. Principle-centered planning is the power

Friday, October 15, 2010


"Tomorrow is the most important thing in
life. Comes in to us at midnight very clean.
 It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself
in our hands, and hopes we've learned
something from yesterday."

John Wayne


8 “Musts" in Transition D

1. Must have a transition defense mindset

2. Must sprint back and be back

3. Must take away the early strike (for them, it's the first 6 seconds)

4. Must make them throw at least 2 passes (buys ttime for your defense)

5. Must guard their team, not your match-up

6. Must play team defense, not individual defense

7. Must find and cover shooters

8. Must use our fingers and voices

Thursday, October 14, 2010


12 Basic Tenants of Transition Defense

1. On the raise of the shot, the 1, 2, and 3 get back. (4 and 5 can go to the glass). They would rather give up a few offensive rebounds to have a better chance of getting their defense set.

2. First three steps are most important in terms of sprinting back on defense (beat your man to ½ court).

3. Must get “below the ball.”

4. We are guarding their team, ot our matchup.

5. 2 guys back are in a tandem.

6. 3 guys back are in a triangle.

7. 1st big guy back protects the basket.

8. 2nd big guy back “loads to the ball;” with the goal being to take away any seams and to stop dribble penetration. With great penetrating players, they will “load to touch.”

9. No Buddy. Find the ball. Don’t just find your matchup.

10. Get to “shrink spots” (help). Again, take away all possibilities of penetration. Do not allow any seams.

11. Make them throw 2 passes in transition.

12. Use your voices and your fingers in transition defense.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Brian Tracy, one of the absolute leaders in time management discusses how we can get more out of our 24 hours:

The Law of Correspondence says that your outer life tends to be a mirror image of your inner life. Everywhere you look, there you are. Everywhere you look, you see yourself reflected back. You do not see the world as it is, but as you are—inside. If you want to change what is going on in the world around you—your relationships, results, and rewards—you have to change what in going on in the world inside you. Fortunately, this is the only part of your life over which you have complete control.

The Starting Point of Success
The starting point of excelling in time management is desire. Almost everyone feels that their time management skills could be vastly better than they are. The key to motivation is "motive." For you to develop sufficient desire to develop Time Power, you must be intensely motivated by the benefits you feel you will enjoy.

Gaining Two Extra Hours Each Day
Your productivity can dramatically change if you add to extra hours to your day. Two extra hours per day, multiplies by five days per week, equals ten extra hours a week. Ten extra hours a week multiplied by fifty weeks a year would give you 500 extra productive hours each year. And 500 hours translates into more that twelve, forty-hour weeks, or the equivalent of three extra months of productive working time each year. By gaining two productive hours each day, you can transform your personal and working life.

Improving Your Productivity Performance

Your productivity, performance, and income will increase by at least 25 percent over the next year. Two more productive hours, out of the eight hours that you spend at work each day, is the equivalent of at least a 25 percent increase.

Increasing Your Sense of Control
When you leverage the power of time, you will have a greater sense of control over your work and your personal life. You will feel like the master of your own destiny, and a power in your own life. You will feel more positive and powerful in every part of your life.

Take Control of your Time and Your Life
One of the keys to developing a stronger internal focus of control is to manage your time and your life better. The more skilled you become at managing your time, the happier and more confident you will feel. You will have a stronger sense of personal power. You will feel in charge of your own destiny. You will have a greater sense of well-being. You will be more positive and personable.

Having More Time for Your Family
You will have more time for your family and your personal life as you get your time and your life under control. You will have more time for your friends, for relaxation, for personal and professional development, and for anything else you want to do. When you become a master of your own time, and recapture two hours per day, you can use that extra time to chase your dreams.

Action Exercise
Figure out how you can add two hours of productivity to your day. Make a schedule of your day and find where you can squeeze two hours of time out for maximum efficiency.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


If you don't mind, I'm going to brag about my hometown just a bit.  As most of you know, I was born, raised, and taught a great deal of what I know as a coach in the state of West Virginia.  I'm a graduate of Winfield High School and was really proud to read the following:

Winfield (WV) - The Winfield Midget Football League participants love their mothers. They showed this Sunday when the football teams wore pink mouth pieces and the cheerleaders added pink hair ribbons to their uniforms to support Breast Cancer Awareness month. The mouthpieces were sponsored by the Wellness Council of West Virginia.

“We’ve seen the professional football players wear pink in October the last two seasons,” says Kelli Frampton, the WCWV employee who came up with the idea. “I have two sons in the league and I asked them if they would like to do something like what the pros were doing. They thought it was a really cool idea.” Kelli brought the idea to the attention of Sharon Covert, the Executive Director of the Wellness Council. Covert approved of the idea for her son, who is also in the Winfield League. The Council employees began talking to coaches and soon a plan was in place.

“A couple of the coaches handed out the mouth pieces and asked their players why supporting awareness of breast cancer was important,” said Covert. “One of the boys shouted out that they all had mothers and grandmothers and they all seemed excited to get the equipment.” From there, the cheerleaders came up with the idea of pink hair ribbons to go with their green and white uniforms. The oldest football players on the A Team even donned pink socks for the occasion.

“We got a call from the league at Poca. They wanted to know where we got the mouth pieces. I think this will be even bigger next year,” said Frampton. The players and cheerleaders plan to wear the pink reminders at all games during the month of October.

Kelli Frampton by the way is my sister-in-law!

Monday, October 11, 2010


More great stuff from the University of Arizona men's basketball newsletter.  Hall of Famer Rick Barry discusses Toronto’s Jose Calderon, who made 79 consecutive free throws in January 2009, and highlights the game’s most underrated aspect:

Technique: "First, he gets his hand set properly under the ball. Then he shoots the ball "up," not "at" the basket. He also has a great follow through on his release. Rarely, if ever, will the ball miss to the left or to the right. Great shooters miss a hair long or a hair short. Missing left or right indicates a problem with the shooting form."

Confidence: "I'm sure Jose believes he's going to make every free throw he shoots. I know I did when I made 60 in a row, which was then a league record. There isn't any pressure when you have confidence. When your confidence wavers, that's when you start feeling pressure. Pressure only exists if you allow it to exist."

Routine: "All great free-throw shooters have a consistent routine. Basically, they do the same thing every single time they shoot. They program themselves to the point that once the ball is handed to them at the free-throw line, whatever was in their mind goes away. The routine takes over immediately. The entire focus and concentration is on the routine, which has been repeated thousands of times. Having a consistent routine has allowed Jose to put together this outstanding string."


If we didn't have practice this weekend I travel to this clinic!  Jim Boone is one of the game's best teachers -- it you're in the area you can't pass up this FREE clinic  (send me your notes if you make it).  You will see an excellent teaching of motion offense.  College and high school programs have been traveling to Tusculum to talk to Jim about how he plays his Pack Line Defense.  I guarantee it to be a great clinic.

Featured Speakers:

JIM BOONE Coach Boone’s teams have recorded 397 wins, placing him in the Top 25 among the nation’s winingest NCAA Division II Coaches; while making 7 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including two Final Fours and an incredible NCAA Post Season winning percentage of .750 Coach Boone’s teams in recent years have become among the NCAA’s leaders in Defensive play. Boone’s Pressure Pack Line Defense is a staple in the Boone philosophy of Man to Man Defense and Motion Offense.

MIKE McBRIDE Pioneer Assistant Coach, Mike McBride has become one of the nation’s most respected and admired teachers of Post Play & it’s Development. Coach McBride will show the detailed process by which Pioneer Post Players are taught and developed. His clinic will thoroughly show the drills & teaching points that lead to successful low post play.



Mike McBride, Tusculum College Assistant Coach




Jim Boone, Tusculum College Head Coach


Additional Clinic Features:
* Over 7 Hours of Basketball Instruction
* Two All Access Tusculum College Practices
* Motivational and Instructional Handouts
* Coaches Social
Plus: Discussions with TC staff and players

Questions: (423) 636-7300 ex: 5644 PO Box 5073

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Via the University of Arizona basketball newsletter:

1. Start small. Going from good to great follows an "S" curve of learning. Starting small means doing something now, something within your control that will have an immediate impact. As small things cumulate, bigger things will happen. A leader should identify some quick, simple, and readily visible things that can be done along the "S" curve path.

2. Excel at something. The worst leaders have an average profile with no great strengths or weaknesses. They are "vanilla" leaders, not standing out on anything. My advice to you as a leader is to figure what you are good at and improve it. Be good at something, then a few things.

3. Remedy fatal flaws. (1) The inability to learn from mistakes and develop new skills; (2) being interpersonally inept; (3) being closed to new ideas; (4) failure to be accountable for results; and (5) not taking initiative. Assess yourself and see how others assess you on these five fatal flaws. If any show up, work on them fast and furiously.

From “The Extraordinary Leader” by John H. Zenger and Joseph Folkman

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Mail email newsletter from Brian Tracy today is an excellent one and just in time as we all begin to start our seasons:

Over the years, exhaustive research has been done on top teams. There seem to be given characteristics or qualities of peak-performance teams that you can incorporate into your own business. Here they are:

Shared Goals and Objectives
In a smoothly functioning team, everyone is clear about what the team is expected to accomplish. The goals of the team are shared and discussed by everyone. Each team member gives his or her ideas and input into how the goals and objectives can be best achieved. Each person feels like a part of a larger organization.

Shared Values and Principles
In excellent teams, there is regular discussion about the values, principles, and behaviors that guide the decisions of the team. The leader encourages values such as honesty, openness, punctuality, responsibility for completing assignments, quality work, and so on. Everyone discusses and agrees on what they are.

Shared Plans of Action

In this phase of team building, you go around the table and have each member of the team explain exactly what part of the work he or she is going to accept responsibility for completing. At the end of this discussion, each member knows what every other member is going to be doing and how his or her own work fits in with the work of the team.

Lead the Action
There must always be a clear boss or leader in any organization. Democracy is a fine concept, but it goes only so far in business. Someone must be in command and take charge. And that someone is probably you. On a good team, everyone knows who is in charge. The leader sets an example for the others. The leader becomes the role model.

Continuous Review and Evaluation
In this final phase, the team regularly evaluates its progress from two perspectives. First, is the team getting the results that are expected by its customers or other in the company? In dealing with customers, does the team set up mechanisms to continually ask customers, "how are we doing?"

Bringing the Team Together
One of the most important things you do in building a peak performance organization is to hold regular staff meetings. Bring your people together weekly, at a fixed time, to talk, discuss, catch up on progress, learn how the company is doing, and generally share ideas, opinions, and insights.

Action Exercise
Conduct a values clarification exercise with your entire team. Then mutually agree to live and work by the common values.

Check out:


Everything Coach Williams does involving his program is done in fours.

1. Get back in transition—no easy baskets

2. Keep the ball out of the paint—no layups

3. Defend without fouling—great ball pressure

4. Paint touches—Great shots—Throw aheads


To deal with and overcome adversity, several personal attributes are required. By degree, you must possess all of the following elements:

• An inner confidence that has been tested.

• Sound fundamentals and skills that have been firmly entrenched by weeks, months and years of training, practice, rehearsal and direct competition.

• A functional intellect for the activity.

• A belief—a conviction—that is able to effectively control your urge to “quit and run.”

• A willingness to sacrifice for others.

• A refined sense of communication that enable you to have a realistic sense of what your teammates are thinking and how they will react and respond to a given situation.

• Trust in yourself and in your teammates. This trust must have been nurtured through months and years of practicing, playing and sacrificing for a common goal.

• A philosophy, a scheme, and a system that has evolved, matured and become established.

• Flexibility and adaptability that enable you to effectively deal with change. You must be able to recognize and adapt to markedly different styles, strategies and tactics.

• A qualified support staff and system. Both your staff and your system must reflect a high level of intensity and a comparable level of willingness to make critical sacrifices

• Both elements must be well-organized and well-led.

• Leadership.

• A plan, a goal and a dominating thought process that motivates and inspires.

• A knowledge and understanding of your opponent—his strategies, tactics, system, personnel, attitudes and goals.

• A system of replacing and acquiring new players and staff members.

From "Finding The Winning Edge" by Bill Walsh

Friday, October 8, 2010


Was sharing some thoughts via email with Josh Keys, the assistant coach at the College of Charleston this morning on transition defense.  He wanted to know our philosophy and this is what we shared with him.

the first thing we talk to our team about in terms of transition defense is out offensive responsibilities. Each player on the court has a specific role that she must fill in order for our team to be successful. This is true when we shoot the ball. Once the ball is shot you have one of two responsibilities: crash the offensive boards or sprint back on defense. The worst thing you can do is stand and watch. Here are the guidelines for our team regarding offensive rebounding.

One of the basic advantages of motion offense is that it makes our offensive players “hard to guard.” It should also be noted that because of the movement of the ball and our movement within the offense, we should be equally “hard to blockout.”

It does not matter where you are on the offensive end of the floor — when the ball is shot you are sprinting to half-court and then turning to find the basketball.

Any time a perimeter player finds herself below the motion line when the ball is shot, we want her to aggressively attack the glass.

Any time a perimeter player finds herself above the motion line when the ball is shot, we want her to sprint back defensively.

If the point guard penetrates to the basket, we want the #2 player to start rotating to the top of the key area and if the ball is shot, she is responsible for being the first player back.

If you are straddling the motion line, you can go to the glass if you think you have a chance — if not, sprint back. But whatever you do, don’t stand and watch!

I heard a great line last week that as soon as the ball as shot, a coach watching film of his team should be able to hit pause and see the players responsible for offensive rebounding moving towards the glass and the players responsible for getting back moving towards the other end – there should never be a still-shot of a player standing.

In terms of transition defense principles we give our team the following:

#1 Convert mentally...once the defense has secured the ball, know where you have to be and get there.

#2 Don’t try to steal an outlet pass or steal the dribble from the point guard on the outlet pass...get back.

#3 In getting back, we are looking to straight line are immediately sprinting back towards the paint...our goal is to have five players sprint back and get at least one foot in the paint before approaching their offensive player.

#4 Low post defense in transition starts at the free throw line...we want to meet all post players at the free throw line and make them cut behind us to get into the low post...this is a great place to pick up a charge on a slow-footed post player.

#5 Allow no shots in the paint in transition and allow no open looks for 3-point shooters.

#6 Once we have stopped the opponent’s break we want to immediately get into our half-court defense (it doesn’t matter if we are in man or zone)...don’t relax!