In America, many pundits blame poor coaching on the lack of skilled basketball players.
They say coaches are not teaching the fundamentals. They say some coaches are in it for the wrong reasons, that they don’t have the players’ best interest.
You hear the whispers, about all the travel team coaches. All they do is assemble the best talent, give them some shoes and fly all over the country to play in tournaments. We’ve been reading about this for many years.
All the talk this summer is about a book written by George Dohrmann, ‘Play Their Hearts Out‘ on a coach and an AAU team. The book brings to light a negative side of the game/business. But believe it or not, there are many coaches on the summer circuit that do it the right way. Guys like Darryl Matthews of Camp Darryl and Norm Oden of the Michigan Mustangs. I’d like to see Dohrmann follow-up this project with a book on the good guys but we all know, negativity sells.
What is never talked about when people bash summer coaches is the time these guys put in. The money they spend, the headaches they deal with and the lack of props from the media.
In my last installment on summer basketball, Chris Grier calls himself “an awesome coach”. Read the whole story from the Lansing State Journal here.
“I had the best talent, I had Robert Whaley, I had Paul Davis, I had Kelvin Torbert, I had Anthony Roberson, I had Jason Richardson, I had Brent Darby – basically the best players,” Grier Luchey said of that time period, when he coached for Oden. “Everyone that played in Flint, Saginaw and a little bit Detroit, I had them. To be quite honest, I kind of dominated AAU for most of those years. So my name kind of became bigger than the team name. And so everywhere you went it was ‘Chris Grier, Chris Grier,’ and people didn’t know about Norm. It was his group. It was his team, I was just a coach, just a very successful coach.
Would Grier be an awesome coach if he worked with lesser talented players?
When people compare coaches or talk of the good ones, I get annoyed. Who really knows what makes a good coach? Seems like everyone has their own interpretation of what makes a good coach.
Sure winning tells the story but there has to be more to it than that, no?
I have seen coaches do the right thing and still get fired, this after winning 70% of their games. Tale a look at the of Coach of the Year award winners in the NBA. 7 guys have been fired in the last 12 years.
A few NBA players have teamed up with Nike to conduct Skills Academies in the summer. Only problem it’s by invite only. The top players are allowed in; there are a few coaches who work with them and then they play games. I think it was Brian McCormick, a basketball guy from out West who thought this procedure was a bit odd.
Why aren’t they working with the lesser talented kids?
Mike Procopio, who we talked to a few days ago gave me this thoughts on coaching.
I think coaches have such a tougher job today than they had before because of the lack of mental toughness with players today. In the past, you could scream at a kid and get after them and cut them. The result in that would be the kids working harder and taking the impact of the screaming or getting cut. In today’s society that can lead to a lawsuit or a firing of the coach.
Has coaching changed over the past 25 years? One thing I will say it’s not easy. It never was and never will be. Matter of fact, it’s a bit harder than the average fan thinks.
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