Archive for the ‘June 2011’ Category
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
“There are two types of players I cannot have: one is the player who cannot do what he is told. The other is the player who can only do exactly what he is told. At some point the player’s God given talents, character, and drive to succeed must take over.”
Brian Billick, Winning Coach of Super Bowl XXXV
Monday, June 27th, 2011
After an auditioning dancer walked off the stage recently on America’s Got Talent, judge Piers Morgan described him this way:
“He was humble when he talked and arrogant when he danced.”
What a great compliment! Way too many people, including basketball players and coaches, are just the opposite – they are so arrogant when they speak that it’s virtually impossible to back it up. In other words, they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk!
We should all strive to be exactly like that dancer. We should all talk less and let our playing or coaching speak for itself!
Friday, June 24th, 2011
In the Ultimate Coaches Career Manual, Pat Williams includes this quote by NBA Champion, Olympic Gold Medal, and Basketball Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Daly:
Let me tell you a story. I’m teaching a philosophy class at Duke, some students, some athletes. We met in a room between two handball courts and I am in there one day and I’m telling everyone, “You can get on the players – that’s okay. Because once you leave the court it’s all over. It’s forgotten.” This football player gets right up and says “That’s not right. It’s not forgotten. Whatever you say is remembered. You can’t get on a player one minute and expect him to forget it in the next minute.” The guy caught me by surprise, but that statement, what he had to say that day, has meant as much to me as anything I’ve ever heard in my life. I learned more in those few moments than at any other time in my life.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Players – did you know that I can tell how competitive you are just by watching how you run sprints during practice?
Are you mad because you “have” to run sprints?
Are you simply trying not to finish last?
If the sprints are timed, are you pacing yourself to finish EXACTLY as time expires?
Are you trying to win every single sprint, regardless of what your teammates are doing?
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
In his book, “The Genius,” author David Harris shares some wisdom from former San Francisco 49er coach Bill Walsh that easily applies to all basketball coaches.
“There was this religion of “toughness” in coaching circles those days and all coaches were trying to be like marine drill sergeants and scare people into playing well. I got caught up in that for a while but I concluded it didn’t come close to working. It was kind of a mass delusion.
All the coaches thought the players loved them despite how badly they treated them, and all the players were doing were putting up with the coach so they could play football. They wanted the fellowship, they wanted the association, they wanted the excitement, and only put up with the bullying because they had to. Most played football in spite of the coach.
By the time I left Cal I had decided that if you taught people to play the game better – that was real coaching – being a teacher rather than a thug.”
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
I must admit that I found the following story in my notes and I really don’t know where it came from. I also don’t know if it’s a true story or not, but it does teach us two very important points. It teaches us that players need to trust their coaches and have confidence that their instruction is going to help them succeed. The story also teaches us that coaches need to put each and every player in a position where they can succeed by maximizing their individual skill sets. When those two things occur, everyone wins!
A 14-year-old boy asked his mother if he could play a
sport. However, he had one problem: He did not have a right arm. When his
mother enrolled him in judo, his instructor taught him one move, telling him to
master that one move. The instructor enrolled him in a tournament, and the boy
won every match. Finally, he was in a championship bout with a brute. The
referee went to the instructor before the bout and said, “You are going to get
this boy killed.”
The instructor replied, “The boy will be fine.” The boy, too, said to his
instructor, “You are going to get me killed.” The instructor replied, “You will
be just fine.” The boy won the match! As the two were driving home, the boy
asked, “Why did you do that to me? That guy was scary. I do not have a right arm
and you taught me only one move.”
The instructor explained, “There is only one defense for that move—to grab the right arm!”
Monday, June 13th, 2011
In every human activity, a few people through concentration, practice, and deep desire can become so skilled that they excel beyond all others.
Saturday, June 11th, 2011
Ever wonder what college coaches are looking for when they recruit potential student athletes? In a recent article on ESPNHoopGurlz.com, Glenn Nelson gives us some interesting insights. Even though this article was originally written for female athletes and their parents, it certainly applies to boys as well.
“Talent is a big piece, but we always struggle to find that kid who has
innate ability to holding herself accountable to being good,” said one
head coach who has worked on both sides of the country. “And that’s what
I would want over anything else — someone who wants to be really good
– as in not just saying, but doing. This is a kid who’s not OK with the
status quo. She has vision for the future. This generation right now
likes to be told what to do. … Four to five years ago there were more
kids who understood that accountability piece. It was more about looking
for talent because kids were much more disciplined. Technology and
media attention have changed kids tremendously. Kids aren’t as invested
to work in the gym every day. They need to Facebook, and Twitter, and
check out what all the media outlets are saying about them. It didn’t
used to be like that. Kids want instant gratification. And so do their
parents. There seems to be no long-term investment into working hard,
being accountable and letting natural progression happen.”
There’s a big difference between players who work hard just so they can “make the team,” and players who want to be the best they can possibly be. At lower levels of play, having talent alone is enough to get noticed. But if you want to eventually play college basketball, you need to know that it is a long term process and so you must start developing the necessary discipline and work ethic now.
If you are the parent or coach of a young athlete (male or female), help him or her realize that talent is important but it’s not everything. When talent levels are equal, it’s going to be the athlete with the “intangibles” who is going to stand out and get recruited.
Friday, June 10th, 2011
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal suggests that extra high fives and chest bumps may be helping the Dallas Mavericks get a little closer to winning the 2011 NBA Championship. Here’s an excerpt from that article written by Scott Cacciola:
The concept of “chemistry” on a sports team has become the stuff of cliché over the years. Nobody seems to have the same definition for what it is, or what produces it. But last fall, three researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, took a serious look at one of the most obvious signs of camaraderie on a team—touching. The study, which was titled “Tactile Communication, Cooperation and Performance: An Ethological Study of the NBA,” was authored by Michael W. Kraus, Cassy Huang and Dacher Keltner. After reviewing broadcasts of games from the 2008-09 season, they concluded that good teams tend to be much more hands-on than bad ones. Teams whose players touched the most often were more cooperative, played better and won more games, they said.
Keep this in mind when you watch Game 6 this weekend. More importantly, keep this in mind the next time you watch your own team play!
Thursday, June 9th, 2011
One of the oldest principles of success simply states that if you’re not getting the results that you want, then you must change your actions.
Tuesday night’s game four of the NBA Finals between Dallas and Miami was a perfect example of this principle. Dallas was in a must win situation in order to stay in the hunt for a NBA championship because a loss would have put them down 3-1 to Miami, which is a deficit that is nearly impossible to overcome.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle knew that if his team kept doing the same things as the game before they would get the same results and so in order to secure a win the Mavs had to tweak something in their game plan. The adjustment that he made, although relatively small and simple, turned out to be a HUGE factor in the outcome of the game. Instead of having Dirk Nowitzki setting the on-ball screens on the perimeter they had Tyson Chandler set them instead. This small change was so beneficial for the Mavs because:
A) It got more players involved in the offense instead of just Dirk and the ball handler and so their scoring was more evenly distributed
B) Having Dirk as a spot up shooter on the perimeter stretched the defense and gave everyone else more room to operate.
C) The better spacing allowed for deeper penetration by guards J.J Barea, Jason Terry and Jason Kid, which put tremendous pressure on the help side defenders.
D) Rolling to the basket put Tyson Chandler in a better position to either grab offensive rebounds or to tip them back out top to restart the possession.
It was coaching at its finest by Rick Carlisle and his staff. Game 5 is going to be interesting to see what, if any, adjustments that the Miami staff makes. Since outcomes are always in direct relation to the quality of actions that are taken, the series is not just about great athletes anymore but has now become a chess match as well!