Monday, April 11, 2016


A little bit off the beaten path.  Coach Bob Knight in his book, "Knight: My Story" said that he great enjoyed reading Louis L'Amour.  Then I was rereading some notes from a PGC/Glazier Clinic a few years ago, and going over things I'd written down while listening to Dean Lockwood speak and he had quoted L'Amour so I did a little checking and came up with a list of wise words from the author.

"A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat."

"Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more."

"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning."

"Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value."

"To disbelieve is easy; to scoff is simple; to have faith is harder."

"Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content."

"No one can get an education, for of necessity education is a continuing process."

"The water doesn't run until the faucet is on."


Reading some of Don Meyer Coaching Academy notes from 2003 and wanted to share some thoughts from guest speaker Sherri Coale.

Coach Coale said that the #1 question she was asked was did she transition from high school coaching to college coaching:
"There is no secret.  Do the best job that you do no matter where you are.  Be in the right place at the right time.  Coach kids like they are pros.  Everything else will take care of itself.  If you do the right things consistently, people will find you."

Here is a list of things that Coach Coale was said in starting a program:

   Practice planning is most important.

   Teaching is the most important part of developing your team.  How do you go about   
   teaching your kids every day?

   Taking notes is the single most important thing that you can do.

   Keep every kid engaged at all times.

   Every drill that you do must have a purpose.

   Spend twice as long preparing as you do teaching.

   Practices should be designed to be tougher than games.

   Use competition drills as much as you can.  There should be a winner and a loser.

   Use echo yells when practicing.

Five things that Coach Coale said they do everyday in practice:

   Fundamentals (Passing, Shooting, Catching, Dribbling)

   Defensive Transition

   Offensive Spacing and Timing

   4/4 and 5/5


Wednesday, April 6, 2016


This afternoon I took a quick break to do a little reading (which I do and recommend).  Today I did some rereading of notes I took from "You Win in the Locker Room First," by Jon Gordon.  The following passage comes from former Atlanta Falcon head coach Mike Smith.  He speaks to the importance of consistency on the part of a coach and his approach to his team regardless of situations and circumstances:
"I see it all too often.  Coaches will begin the season with one philosophy and attitude, only  to change their approach and attitude when the team starts to lose.  As a leader you must be consistent in your leadership style, approach, attitude, philosophy, and tactics.  If you start off being supportive and friendly with players, you cant' go from being a player's coach to someone everyone hates.  You can't go from encouraging to condescending.  If you are not consistent throughout the year you will lose your team's trust, and as soon as that happens, you lose the locker room and in turn lose games.  Please know this doesn't mean you wont' have moments of anger or frustration.  We all do.  If you are a coach with high expectations who yells at times, your team will know that's your style and they will expect that from you.  The key is to be who you are and coach the way you do all year long no matter what your win-loss record is.  Your team must know what to expect from you.  They must see that you stick to your principles and philosophy through adversity and challenges.  You must be the same coach at 0-8 as you are 8-0.  It's hard to do, especially when you are losing and the pressure mounts, but if you don't, then you are doomed for failure.  The character you possess during the drought is what you team will remember during the harvest."

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


I've always had a great love and admiration for young men and women who are managers.  There is a tremendous amount of work and sacrifice they make in order for the team to be successful.  They are at the gym before the players and long after.  The NCAA has a required day off for student-athletes but not so managers.  My friend and mentor Dale Brown once said that if he owned a business the first people he would look to hire would be student managers. 

Think about it. They obviously have a great work ethic.  They have a strong grasp of time management.  They understand and accept roles.  There is no job too great or too difficult or too dirty for them.  They work together amongst others.  They don't need the limelight or the headlines to be motivated.  They celebrate the teams victories and, believe me, they hurt when the team loses.  They are a special group of people.

It reminds me of a story about a man name Charles Plumb.  Captain Plumb was a graduate of the Naval Academy.  After 74 successful missions he was shot down in North Vietnam.  He parachuted to safety but was captured and tortured for nearly 6 years.

Through courage and perseverance, Plumb would go on to receive the Silver Star, Bronze Star, the Legion of Merit and two Purple Hearts.  He took from his experiences and used them as a message, speaking to many groups across the nation.

One day, Plumb and his wife were eating as a restaurant when a man from a nearby table approached him and excitedly said, "You're Captain Plumb!  You flew jet fighters in Vietnam off the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk.  You were shot down!"

Obviously Plumb was caught off guard that he was recognized and said, "How in the world did you know that?"

The man replied, "I packed your parachute."

Plumb looked up with surprise.  The man pumped his hand, gave a thumbs-up and said, "I'm glad it worked."

Plumb rose to shake the man's hand telling him, "It certainly did work.  If it had not worked, I would not be here today."

Captain Charles Plumb had a restless night thinking about the encounter.  He wondered if he might have seen him at some time while serving and not even said, "Good morning, how are you?" He thought of the many hours the sailor had spent bending over a long wooden table in the bottom of the ship, carefully folding the silks and weaving the shrouds of each chute, each time holding in his hands the fate of someone he didn't know.

And while it may not be life or death, managers, student-trainers, student workers and a variety of staff often do thankless jobs that make such a big difference in the success of a basketball program.

What I've done in the past with some of our teams is given them the Charles Plumb passout and ask them to write at least one thank you letter to someone who has "packed their parachute" this past year.  As a coach, I never miss an opportunity to let these people know how important they are to me and our team.  I meet with them to learn what their dreams and goals are so I can help them along the way.  I have them over to my home.  I work hard to help them find jobs.  It's the least we can do for such a dedicated group.