THE NEW SEASON
This is the second installment of my perspective on how I changed my coaching philosophy
When the basketball season started at East Lansing High School, we used practice to build our players confidence. We drilled every day. We concentrated on shooting 3′s, ran fast break drills and shot a lot of lay-ups. I feel lay-ups are under-worked, especially at the lower levels. Coaches are so worried about their offensive schemes, they forget to build up a player’s skill set; but like I always say, ‘what good is your 2,000 offensive sets if your kids can’t dribble, pass or shoot’?
In October, just a few weeks away from our first scrimmage game, I attended the BCAM Coaches Clinic in Lansing. Greg Kampe, head coach at Oakland University was one of the many speakers. His topic, the Dribble-Drive-Motion offense.
After hearing Kampe speak, I fell in love with the offense. I took his notes and studied like an undergraduate at an Ivy school. I also hopped in my car and drove to Rochester, Michigan to watch the Golden Grizzlies practice.
Boosting my players confidence, allowing them to shoot the ball and not worrying about making a mistake was our blueprint. As long as they play with energy, defend and most of all, share the ball, it was all good.
We finished the season 17-4 and were champions of the CAAC Blue division (this after being picked to finish 3rd in pre-season by the coaches). In 2009-10 the Trojans were 6-15.
We can all agree that there are many ways to coach the game. But there’s nothing wrong with changing your philosophy or tweaking things; everyone is worried about wins and losses and getting approval. (Note to coach reading this, you will never please everyone) I feel if you take care of your players and treat them with respect, the sky is the limit. Don’t talk down to your players, make them feel like they are the best. Make practice interesting. Mix things up. Work on shooting, dribbling and running every day. Most of all, have confidence in your team and don’t worry about them missing shots or turning the ball over. Let the players play!
This morning I came across a quote from V.C.U. point guard Joey Rodriguez, “I think it’s more about our attitude and how we’re approaching everything. It’s more like care-free, going out there and just playing loose and attacking people.”