I listened to a podcast last night with a prominent strength and conditioning coach, hosted by another strength and conditioning coach, and the prominent coach boasted about not reading any books on strength and conditioning. Instead, he reads business books to improve his coaching.This is common, if my Twitter feed is any indication, as coaches now gravitate toward business and self-help books.
In Arizona our basketball season starts this week with tryouts. I have been prepping for the past two weeks on material for our annual lock-in where our student-athletes stay in the gym overnight to become immersed in our culture, parent meeting information and the other admin tasks that go along with coaching. In addition, my wife implored me to clean up our office as my stuff, mainly basketball related, is in stacks everywhere. While cleaning up the office I came across an article by Jim Burson – Solution Based Basketball about offense. The biggest takeaway for me was “things that get charted, get done”. Read the rest of this entry »
When I conducted coaching clinics in Canada last month, several coaches asked how I ended up different than most coaches. There is, I suppose, a presumption about most coaches implied in that question, and my answer obviously reflected my bias of a stereotypical coach or the representative of most coaches. Despite these implications, I feel confident that people who know me from coaching or my writing about coaching put me towards a different end of a spectrum than most coaches. So, how did I become different? Read the rest of this entry »
Our basketball season will officially begin with tryouts 11/2. Everyday I have dedicated time to planning tryouts, our weekly practice schedule as well as the admin. tasks that no one likes doing such as ordering items and planning fundraisers. However, this year I have also completed a Season Health plan for myself. I got the idea about 3 weeks ago when I attended a coaching clinic in Los Angeles. One of the sessions I attended was titled, “How To Be At Your Best, So You Can Give Your Best” by Mano Watsa, President of PGC Basketball.
Here are the items in my Season Health Plan:
- Quality Time With Family – For our family, there will be no basketball on Sunday. We will use this time to spend time with each other and enjoying the outdoors. In AZ we have mild winters.
- Delegate – This has been a difficult one for me. However, if it truly does not impact success on the court, it should be given to someone else. Initially, I will spend time training the person. But in the long run I will gain more time as I don’t have to worry or manage that task.
- Nutrition Plan – Late nights for practice or games. Not enough time to make lunch the previous night so I get some fast food. Last year after doing this for 3 months, my energy went down, sleep was poor and weight went up. This year I have been doing a better job eating healthier and noticed an increase in my energy, mood and awareness. Now, I can’t imagine not having tons of energy.
- Fitness Plan – I will have to reduce my current strength training schedule of lifting for one hour, 3 times a week to lifting for one hour once a week and 20 minutes the other two days. However, something is better than nothing.
- Mental Plan – What is your plan for when things go wrong? We all know no season goes without any bumps in the road. The question is, how will you handle those bumps. What will you do to keep yourself mentally fresh during the season? This year I know I will be saying, “Our greatest opportunities are disguised are our greatest challenges” a lot.
- Practice Routine and Debrief – This is part of delegating. Who is responsible for setting things up for practice? I know this sounds trivial. But Weds I found out this is not. This year we will be filming practices with the purpose to give instant feedback. I spent 15 minutes messing with the camera and had an assistant run the first 15 of practice. When the season starts, these roles will be reversed. One thing we do as a staff is talk about how practice went after practice. However, sometimes this has us staying one hour past practice. We will still debrief, but we will have a system in place which will expedite the process.
- Game Day Routine – We are regimented with our game day routine for our student-athletes, but have not done a good job with our coaches. I hate when I am asked by the opposing team’s announcer 10 minutes before tipoff how to pronounce names. I don’t think this has anything to do with success so it has been delegated. I have a huge list of other things that happen on game day that will also be delegated.
After completing my plan and sharing it with my wife she chuckled and said, “Good luck”. We all know everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. However, I would rather have a plan before I got punched in the mouth so I know how to respond. The other choice would be to get punched in the mouth and then create a plan when you are emotionally spent. As coaches we are always thinking of ways to serve our players and make them better. I hope you take some time to think about how you can serve yourself so you can be at your best, so you can make your players better.
Campo Verde High School
Head Girls Basketball Coach
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be on vacation with my family. We were visiting a place we typically visit 3-4 times a year. However, this time was different. My wife and I agreed we would not be on schedule and would “enjoy the journey”. Keep in mind, we also have a 4 year-old daughter and a 4 month-old daughter. Read the rest of this entry »
Every discussion, article, or lecture I hear about practice planning talks about the importance of having high quality practices. I am a firm believer in how a team or athlete practices is how a team or athlete will play in the game. There is no magic switch to turn on. Therefore, practice is the most valuable time for coaches. Here are some tips that I have incorporated into my practice planning from experience and the website, Teach Like a Champion. Read the rest of this entry »