This past August I resigned from my position of boys varsity head basketball coach at Lansing Sexton High School. After one season leading the Big Reds, I decided to step down and take a break from coaching.
For the past 14 years I have been coaching at the collegiate and high school levels. This past summer, after coaching my team in the Lansing summer league and running the future Big Reds through a handful of practices, I did some deep thinking. I felt there were a few areas I could improve in. That’s when I decided to step away.
Coaching high school basketball has changed. A lot of your time is consumed with your players both on and off the court. There’s workouts, open gyms and monitoring academics in the off-season. As the season begins there’s practice, games and scouting. And don’t forget academics.
Coupled with a full-time job, coaching isn’t just rolling out the basketballs. There’s a lot of work involved; work some people on the outside do not see.
My time away from coaching is going to be spent watching other teams practice, talking with coaches, players and watching games. Some of my time is going to be spent thinking back to how I did things, what worked and what didn’t work?
During this time I am going to keep a journal, this way I can look back and study other coaching methods. It’s going to be similar to attending to school. Make that “Graduate school” in coaching and working on a masters degree. My journal will be my coaching blueprint. I will keep copious notes and form a manifesto.
Some of my new ideas are from Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. While he was out of coaching he reinvented himself. Carroll took notes and studied ways to improve as a coach. He put a plan together. His book “Win Forever” is a great read and in the beginning of the book Carroll talks about improving as a coach.
The game of basketball has not changed much over the years; what’s changed is the people and things around the game. I want to learn what makes players tick and what motivates them?
My goal will be to help my players reach their goal.
“Learn the Learner,” will be the premise.
Learning is a lifelong continuous journey, all successful people know that. We can always improve in our chosen profession, no matter what you do.
My love and energy for the game and the players is still strong. This is a crusade I am looking forward to and my goal will be to learn something new every day. I will be a sponge when people talk and hopefully become a better coach. I will listen to everyone, but not use everyone’s information/opinion.
There’s always room for improvement.
-Coach Steve Finamore