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Saturday, July 9, 2011


On my way out of Pensacola, Florida after spending time at the NJCAA All-Star Event.  As always, it is incredibly organized and is as beneficial to the college coaches there evaluating as the student-athletes participating.  I have always been impressed with the job done by Junior College Coaches.  They are asked to develop players, people and a program with few resources and in a two-year period.  But if you talk to the good Juco coaches, you never hear them complain.  The other thing you notice at the event this weekend is how hard these coaches work together.  They coach each other players.  They get together to meet about how to improve and grow their sport.  They share ideas at a coaching clinic.  It's a special group of coaches and I simply like to impress upon everyone my respect for them.

This year I was honored to be a speaker at the clinic that was extremely well put together by Coach David Lane. But the thrill for me came from the privilege to listen to Michael Landers who spoke immediately before me.  Michael just isn't one of the the best coaches in the country, sharing the coaching duties at Trinity Valley Community College with his wife Kenya, but he is also a dear friend.

Michael spoke on things that coaches can do to improve and here are some of my notes:

"Growing as a coach means that you are looking to improve -- but understand you don't have to reinvent yourself.'

"I am smart enough to learn and steal from others...good coaches are always looking at what others are doing."

Michael is a student of the game and displayed that by talking about how he has befriend the men's coaches in his Juco league.  He constantly spends time with them asking them how the teach and their thoughts on philosophy of basketball. 

This story shows his brilliance.  Michael doesn't play any zone defense -- I mean none...100% man to man.  But there is a men's coach in his league that plays zone defense as well as any team that Michael has seen play.  So Michael goes and spends a day learning everything there is to know about this coach's zone.  Why?  To help his team better attack zones! 

Michael also talked about all the resources on the internet -- free blogs and websites on basketball.  He mentioned that he had about 8 favorites and likes to get to the office early and take a quick look at each.

Great stuff from a great coach!