Basketball is a fast paced, team oriented sport that requires all of its players to execute all of its fundamentals at some level. Unlike many sports, players must play offense and defense. Numerous games are lost by teams who may have one player with more points or rebounds than anyone in the game. A balanced team will win more often than the unbalanced one. All-star players are great as long as they help and allow their teammates to shine as well. This analogy holds true in life. Whether in relationships or the work place, successful teams consist of people contributing to a common goal without seeking personal gain.
Learning how to play the game is better than learning plays. Physical and mental effort will win more games than any specific play. An aggressive mentality combined with unselfish effort will translate to good team defense, relentless rebounding and cohesive team offense. Team offense should be built around proper spacing, movement, unselfishness, and decision making as opposed to a specific pattern. Combine effort with proper execution of fundamental skills and any team will be competitive.
I prefer to play a brand of basketball that is centered around tough man to man defense and positionless offensive basketball. However, the abilities of the players on the team may not be conducive to such a style. I would recruit players to fit my preferred style of play, but it is a coach’s job to make adjustments as necessary based on the situation at hand.
High school players are rarely fundamentally sound in all areas of the game. In order to be successful, players must enhance their strengths and develop their weaknesses into strengths. I will make every effort to help players improve their abilities, This starts with recruiting players who are eager to develop their weaknesses and can positively influence their teammates to do so as well.
Bigger than the Game
The “love of the game” goes deeper than winning. I love the game, because it is a tool that can be used to develop positive character traits and reduce negative ones. Basketball is a game that offers players and coaches a mirror into who we are. Basketball allows us to see how we handle adversity. It allows us to see how we handle a constantly changing environment with specific rules and regulations. Basketball and the opponent are unforgiving. A coach can forgive a player’s mistakes, but the game will not and neither will the other team. Basketball offers us the opportunity to see where we excel and see where we need to improve beyond our physical talents. If we learn to play the game of basketball well, we will be better prepared to play the game of life.
Recruiting athletes who can and desire to be successful off the court, in the classroom, and on the court is the key to the success of any program. The key words in that sentence are “can” and “desire”. Most student athletes coming out of high school are not “finished products”. Some of them may be ready to succeed in one or two of the three areas immediately, but it is rare to find an 18 year old who is in their prime socially, academically, and athletically. When student-athletes are required to focus on an area of their life that they are not comfortable with, it will likely decrease their performance in other areas. However, it is my responsibility to coach the whole person not just the athlete.
As a coach, I must find players who desire to admit that they have unlimited potential and are willing to work hard to transform that potential into reality. Most young people have potential, but many are scared to admit it. Admitting the ownership of potential is followed by admission that not working hard equates to letting themselves down. Therefore, it is easier to deny that they are as smart or as talented as someone else. Identifying potential is easy. Identifying people who want to realize their potential and are not afraid of success or failure is tougher. Finding people who will admit their fears and find the courage to face them is the real challenge. Turning that potential into reality makes coaching such a great career.
As obvious as it might sound, coaches cannot coach without players. Players could always play without a coach. They may not do that very successfully, but as a coach I will never score a point or get a rebound. Players win games, and especially at the college level, I feel responsible for my team’s losses.
Most often, a team wins games because they have the better players. If I fail to recruit good enough players to compete with the teams on the schedule, how is it the team’s fault that we lost? It may not be possible for me to recruit players to compete with certain teams that might be on our schedule. Regardless that is not the team’s fault.
If our team has similar or superior talent, and we lose, then the other team was better prepared. It is my job to prepare the players to compete. If they are not prepared, that falls on me. Of course, their lack of preparation or failure to execute could be a lack of effort which I cannot control. However, if I allow that type of behavior to exist on the team, then I am condoning it. Again, losing falls on me.
Maybe we are as prepared as we could be and we just have not had enough time to prepare to be good enough to beat a certain team. Regardless that’s my responsibility and not the team’s. Losing is not the end of the world. Losing is a part of life. If we handle losing the right way, losing makes us better. Sometimes we need to lose in order to see where we need to improve. Losing is not fun, but overcoming a loss with improvement is part of why I coach.
Non Basketball Related Jobs
NC State University Raleigh, NC
Director of Classroom Technology 09/2003 to 10/2007
- Founded the unit as its only employee and guided it to one of the mission critical units at the University as well as regional and national prominence.
- Spearheaded campus wide classroom technology initiatives from conception through completion.
- Management of budget and 11 FTE for the day-to-day support and maintenance of 85 multimedia classrooms.
- Responsible for short term and long term planning for ongoing support of these and future classrooms.
- Simultaneous management of multiple project budgets each in excess of $150,000. Management of budgets totaling over $1,000,000.
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
Classroom Technology Project Manager 05/1999 to 09/2003
- Started as student employee
- Hired as full time employee after graduation
- Learned and executed full scope of classroom technology implementation and support profession.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill— Chapel Hill, NC
Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics
University of Phoenix
Master’s degree in Adult Education (Completion April 2013)
Active WBCA member
Effective leader and manager
Knowledgable in all guard and post skills and fundamentals
Proficient in diverse types of hardware and software
Well versed in distance learning, presentation technologies, and various other information technologies
10 years of experience in resource and project management in building design, construction, and renovation