Thursday, January 26, 2017


The following come from some of my notes of listening to Pat Summitt speak at Don Meyer's 1998 Coaching Academy:

Love practice -- love to teach
Whole - Part - Whole Method
Practice Plan -- prepare and compete
Offense or Defense first? Whichever you want to emphasize
Not what we teach but what we emphasize
Prefer not to be predictable
Drills should be breakdown of your offense and defense
Explain purpose
Name drills
What a Coach rewards is key
Shoot free throws when you are tired
Keep stats in practice
     Record all shots
     Record all post feeds
     Record contested and uncontested shots
     Record box outs
Practice at game tempo
Practice game situations
Use officials, clocks, scores when possible

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


"I've never bought the idea that you learned much from losing.  In my experience, you learn far more from winning, which also makes your players more receptive to criticism.  All losing does is reinforce the things that cause you to lose, and I already know what they are.  When you're out-prepared, out-coached, out-motivated, out-conditioned, outsmarted -- can you tell me something positive you can get out of that?"

From "Finding A Way To Win" by Bill Parcells


I'm sorry to say I can't recall where I got this.  I found it in a stack of motivational passouts from my days as a men's assistant at LSU but it is certainly worth sharing.

In 1952, Ohio State pulled upset wins over Illinois and archrival Michigan by identical 27-7 scores.  

Woody Hayes, the head coach at Ohio State, bumped into a lady and had the following conversation:

"This nice lady came up to me," said Hayes, "and asked, 'What was the score of your Illinois game?'"

"I said, '27-7.'"

Then she asked, "What was the score of your Michigan game?"

"I replied, '27-7.'"

She responded, "You aren't making much improvement, are you?"

Sunday, January 22, 2017


It's been a while back, but I posted briefly about a concept that I hold dear to my coaching philosophy -- the ability to teach your players to figure things out on their own.

There are three things that I think coaches should stress, teach and demand on a daily basis regardless of what their philosophy is in regard to X & Os, discipline and team building.  I believe you should be teaching players to Talk, to be Tough, and to Think.  Figuring things out is a major component to thinking.

One of the most underrated things that the best coaches teach, in any sport on any level, is that of educating their players how to think on their own.  Few were better than Coach Newell.
“I wanted players with initiative, guys who could control a difficult situation on their own.  People may not realize that years ago, you couldn’t bring a player over to the sideline to talk to him.  Players had to stand out in the middle of the court during your timeout.  They changed that rule during my second year in coaching (1947) and I was madder than hell.  I felt my team could always interpret what I was teaching; we didn’t need all these damn meetings.  I didn’t want my players depending on me.  I figured I’d teach ‘em during the week, and when the game comes along, it’s up to them.  That’s one reason I didn’t like to call timeouts.  I didn’t want the players thinking that every time they got in a little jam, I’d bail them out.  I wanted to make them figure it out.”
-Pete Newell
Not surprisingly an article on Geno Auriemma written by Paul Doyle of the Hartford Currant points the same feature out in the UConn coach: 

It goes back to the practices. Yes, Auriemma and Dailey recruit mentally tough players. But Auriemma challenges them every day. He'll run "break the press" drills with six practice players facing his players and tell them to figure it out.

"He just tests your will, he tests your mind and your heart, every day in practice," Lobo said. "So you are prepared in moments to be able to make those shots because you've been in mentally challenging situations before."

LaChina Robinson noted: "When you talk to Sue [Bird] and Swin [Cash] and those guys, obviously they played on great teams, but they talk about how he would put them in situations where it was almost impossible to succeed. Every day in practice. So he made it impossible so that in the games it would be easy."