This article was written by University of St. Thomas (MN) assistant coach Josh Rodenbiker.
Coaching is a wonderful profession, but it also can be a challenging one. Getting a start in the profession is not always easy, so making a great first impression is critical. Young assistant coaches are not entitled to anything and must earn it day in and day out.
I am constantly learning new things and plan on continuing to do so for decades to come. At a young age, I have been fortunate to work with and learn from many great people and have managed to pick up a few things that I believe can help young coaches who are working to make a career in basketball. These points apply on a wider scale to assistants of all ages and in all roles.
Simply put, these are the M.A.I.N. things for young assistants to live by.
Make Your Boss’ Job Easier
In 2013, in my first meeting as a student assistant coach at St. Thomas, our head coach, John Tauer, offered this advice: “If you want to be successful in this position, the most important question you can ask daily is, ‘how can I help?’” I will never forget Coach Tauer’s words, and I believe that every member of a coaching staff should ask that question on a regular basis.
Our job as assistants is to help the head coach in whatever way we can. Frequently asking, “how can I help?” is a great start. Head coaches have a number of different jobs to do and taking just one thing off his or her plate each day can be very helpful. Assistant coaches ought to do a little more so that the head coach can focus on what is really important in running his/her program.
Bottom line is, be the kind of assistant you would like to have if you were a head coach.
What can you to improve on something that the program already does? What can you do for the program that has never been done before?
If a young assistant is only doing the bare minimum or if he/she is not doing their work well, chances are they will not be around in coaching very long. When you are just getting your feet wet in coaching, it is of the utmost important that you find different ways to add value to the program that you are a part of.
A great way to start is simply asking the head coach and the other assistants what they would find helpful.
- Make a series of video edits that the head coach did not ask for but would find useful.
- Stay late after practice and rebound for a player.
- Chart a specific statistic during games.
It does not have to be anything fancy or extraordinary, but the more you can do to add value to the program, the more invaluable you become as an assistant. ADD VALUE.
All great coaches are perpetually curious about coaching. They seek wisdom and set out to continuously develop. Northern State legendary coach, Don Meyer, once said, “Get a little better every day and you’ve got something good going on.”
Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is a must read. In it she notes the difference between a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset.
Someone with a Growth Mindset believes that ability can be developed, while a person with a Fixed Mindset believes ability is static. A person with a Growth Mindset thinks it is all about learning, and lives accordingly. They embrace challenges and see effort as the path to mastery.
One of the special things about coaching is that so many people are willing and excited to share ideas. There is an incredible amount of resources that you can take advantage of, including but not limited to clinics, blogs, websites, books, and visiting practices.
In a sense, it can be overwhelming just to think about all the knowledge out there to gather as a young coach. But, that is also the beauty of coaching, you will always have the opportunity to learn something new.
No Task is Too Small
In team sports, it is never about just you, but especially as a new assistant you cannot bring an ego to work. You must be willing to help the group in whatever way possible.
- Get the basketballs out.
- Set the clock up.
- Clean the floor.
For me at St. Thomas, amongst other things, it means I am responsible for doing laundry for our team at Christmas time while other staffers in the athletic facility are on holiday.
You might not always like the work, but it is your job to get it done well. Just like every role is important for your players, every task the staff is responsible for is important. Everything ought to be done with great attention to detail.
The more you can do the mundane work with a smile on your face, the more positivity you spread in the program. No task is too small!
In living out the M.A.I.N. things, you are helping the program compete at a championship level, placing the group above yourself, and constantly developing your skill set as a coach.
Enjoy your journey in coaching!
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This is a great basketball drill to work on rebounding, but also just learning to compete and fight for rebounds and finishing in the paint. Working on technique is a must when it comes to developing players, but it is also important that you spend a good amount of time simply working on competing.
The bulldog rebounding drill will create an environment that promotes competition. It will teach your players to fight and battle even if they are outmatched or out maned.
Drill Name: Bulldog Rebounding Drill
Drill Goal: Work on competing for offensive rebounds and then finishing in traffic.
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, a coach, and 3 players.
Tips: Fight for position and anticipate where the rebound is going to go. Know when to quick finish or power finish. The defense can work on walling up and practicing good defensive habits as well.
Directions: The drill is going to start with all three players in the paint. Every player is for themselves and when the shot goes up they are all trying to offensive rebound. The ball is live until one of the players scores. So if a player gets a rebound misses the put back, the ball is still live and is treated like an offensive rebound. You have to score from inside the paint. You also have the option to kick the ball out to the coach and post up. After every make the ball is kicked back out to the coach for another shot. The drill is usually played to 3, so the first player to score 3 baskets wins.
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Steve Kerr's forecast for the MVP is Damian Lillard with a presidential twist pic.twitter.com/xrrp2f6R5L
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 23, 2016
Kerr: “I think KD is kinda like Gary Johnson, a third party guy who is going to come in and take a few votes from Steph, takes some from LeBron and then Damian Lillard wins the election. That’s my forecast.”
Interestingly, Kerr didn’t take his point guard and back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry, or even his 7-foot wing Kevin Durant (who he hilariously compares to US third-party candidate Gary Johnson).
Nor did Kerr like LeBron James, who 46.7 percent of GMs selected to win MVP this season.
Instead, Kerr chose fifth-year PG Damian Lillard, who gave the Warriors 40 and 10 in Game 3 of last season’s Western Conference semifinals.
There’s a chance Kerr is playing a mental game with his players, but don’t laugh at the possibility of Lillard winning MVP this season.
The post Steve Kerr Picks Damian Lillard To Win 2017 NBA MVP appeared first on SLAMonline.
Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm and assistant coach Neill Berry visited Wigginton at Oak Hill Academy in West Virginia on Wednesday.
“Iowa State made me a priority and they always made me feel like family,” Wigginton said. “They trust me to be their scoring guard and I trust them to coach me. Coach Prohm is a humble guy. He keeps it real, he doesn’t tell you what you want to hear and I like that.”
Wigginton made his official visit in September on the same weekend that Iowa State commit Terrence Lewis, ranked No. 59 by ESPN, was on campus. The Iowa State campus made quite an impression.
“When I was on my visit everyone was so genuine the people made me feel like home,” said Wigginton.
Earlier this week, Shane Battier helped unveil the first-ever Pizza Hut All-American experience—a paid position that will take the ultimate college sports fan to multiple NCAA championship games during the 2016-17 athletics season, from basketball, to football, to archery. This fan will work as a correspondent for Pizza Hut, and get a glimpse and feel for just how special a championship game is.
Shane knows exactly how unique those experiences are. He played in two national championship games in his four years at Duke, winning one and losing the other. In 1999, his Blue Devils travelled to St. Petersburg, FL, for the Final Four, eventually falling in the finale to the Connecticut Huskies, 77-74. When given the opportunity to avenge the loss at the Metrodome in 2001, the then-senior Battier took full advantage, scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists as Duke beat Arizona 82-72. Shane was named the Most Outstanding Player.
He described the ambiance of those experiences with a sense of nostalgia: “As soon as you get off the plane in those cities, you feel an electricity. There’s so much hope and optimism, because every team that goes to a championship situation realizes, Hey we got a shot to reach our goal that we started off with on the first day of training camp…So there’s an optimism, enthusiasm, and just an unbelievable amount of electricity in the air that everyone shares.”
“There’s nothing like a championship atmosphere,” he emphasized.
I asked Shane whether there was any specific lasting memory from his two NCAA championship games that personified this seemingly indescribable atmosphere. He told me about this long tunnel at the Metrodome that leads from the locker room to the floor. In this dark and obscure passageway, the sounds of the stadium are muted. You just trek forward through the abyss, following the traces of light.
“It’s really unnerving for a second,” Battier stated, “You forget where you are.” And then all of a sudden, you’re in front of 40,000 people. One moment it’s silence in a murky never-ending tunnel. The next it’s sheer chaos, with more flashing beams than your eyes can process. It’s something that cannot possibly be comprehended without facing it.
Shane is of a rare breed. The versatile small forward has had the championship experience not only at the collegiate level, but also at the professional. During his 13-year NBA career, he appeared in three Finals and won two rings with the Miami Heat.
At this time, I argue that we—as fans of the game—need the wisdom of the three-time champ.
At a time when all hope seems lost, when superpower teams are taking shape in the NBA and the NCAA, when fans seem content to pencil in a Cavaliers/Warriors re-match in the Finals, and when 69 percent of the NBA GMs who voted on the question “Who will win the 2017 title?” picked Golden State, Shane Battier reminds us that there is far more to winning a championship at both levels than just accumulating the most talent. Far more.
And while that may seem obvious to many, there has perhaps never been a time when it needs to be heard more than right now. With basketball season approaching, this is when we need that reassurance, that encouragement, that emblem of faith.
And who better to deliver that message than Shane Battier, who has been touted the epitome of the role player. A guy who took a plethora of charges. Who scraped on defense. Who hustled for loose-balls. A guy who didn’t play a single minute in Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, but who dropped 18 points on 6 huge three-pointers in Game 7 of the Finals, just a few weeks later. A guy who has found success at every level.
So what does it take?
“Well it starts with the purity of heart and the purity of soul,” Battier said. “Do you really care about your teammates more than you do your own personal success, which is very difficult to do. If you really care about the team, and you’re willing to do whatever the team needs you to do, and you have a solid core of those guys, [then] everyone else falls in line. The development of habits, daily habits, of thinking positive when things go poorly, staying the course, working through adversity. There’s not a team that’s won a championship that hasn’t had that mindset and those skills.”
Battier doesn’t deny that you need talent. Of course, you can’t get to the championship and eventually take home a trophy or ring without some skill. But leave it to Battier, a player who wasn’t always the most talented but always had the most heart and always seemed to triumph, to elucidate what else is required.
“You also have to have an amazing amount of luck, you have to avoid the injury bug. And you have to have a type of shared sacrifice. Our Miami Heat teams, we had great talent, but everyone on that team sacrificed money, years, shots, opportunity to be a part of that team. And so everyone was in the same boat. And no one could point fingers and say, I’m sacrificing and you’re not. Everyone’s sacrificing. From LeBron, all the way on down. That’s the common theme: you have to sacrifice for the good of the team. And be willing to do what it takes, whatever that may be, to make the team better.”
Perhaps the most illuminating aspect of Battier’s championship formula was this: “To have the discipline and literally bring it every single day. And just get a little bit better every single day is what makes a champion.”
Every single day. To have the discipline every single day. To not take one day off. That’s what it takes.
So this is your reminder. This is your refresher as we enter a new slate, a blank canvas, a calendar of opportunities.
Feeling the electricity when the plane touches down, having that absorbing unforgettable tunnel experience, winning a championship.
It’s not easy.
Go to blog.pizzahut.com for further information about the All-American position.