“Interviewing for a big coaching job. Speaking in front of a room full of people. Taking the game-winning shot.
… it takes courage and strength to be vulnerable.”
Chapter 15 Reflection: What are the areas you work hard to show strength? What are the areas where you have doubts and weaknesses?
Can break this down from an on-the-court and off-the-court introspection. There really is so much more that I have to improve, so I struggle to consider some of the stuff real strengths. Where I work hard to show strength is to putt a product (quality of play) out on the floor whom bystanders could take pride in watching. I put in a lot of time to ensure that our guys are in a position to play with collective effort as a group with an attempt to execute fundamentals and scheme that gives them the best chance to be successful. That is what I work hard to demonstrate. I care about the quality of our play and that my time spent studying the game/coaching/leadership is for the betterment of our athletes I have the opportunity to coach.
I have doubts all the time, hopefully, I compensate them by doing what I believe to be the best decision given the situation. Areas that I still have to improve upon are completing games – making sure our guys are competent and confident enough about what to do situationally. I think that is a reflection of our preparation in pressure situations. I have to improve on developing leaders that emulate appropriate toughness and channeled ambition to permeate a locker room. My weaknesses as a coach exist in my own head, thus it is about simply improving. I can always improve myself as a speaker, as a consistent leader, and as a student of the game. But, while I work to improve upon those it is not allowing my doubts to suppress confidence in my ability to coach.
“People fail as leaders – even with all the tricks from leadership books – because the people they lead can see past their motivational tricks. They can sense and feel a leader’s heart posture.”
“He knew it would feel more like a marathon than a short sprint, but that didn’t deter him from putting his head down and remaining dedicated to progress and building stronger relationships wit his team.”
Chapter 17 Reflection: Who are some of your heroes or biggest role models? How might you imitate them?
The first coach that I began to follow was Bob Huggins. Grew up a major University of Cincinnati fan during the Steve Logan and Kenyon Martin era. I was likely too young to gather any credible opinions about the actual coaching ability to Coach Huggins during this time I just was a fan. What I grew to appreciate about his type of coaching as his career progressed to West Virginia is the impression of loyalty to his guys. All the other subsidiary issues related to Bob Huggins life may deter others of being a fan of his, but I took one thing away that I thought was most important to how I would want to coach my kids – loyalty. If I have their backs at the forefront of my mind while I coach I would think that I am oft making the best decisions for our program.
I’d say the other coaching role model that has influenced me the most where my college coaches. Take this for it’s worth, but there is a lot of value of being put in situations that do not seem enjoyable in the moment that can create great learning experiences for you moving forward. In other words, you can learn from coaches of what to do and you can learn from coaches of what you wouldn’t do. And my college coaching staff resonated a lot with how I look to operate my own program. There is a lot of those coach-speak sayings that were trivial during my playing days that now seem palpable when giving similar instructions or messages. Between good and difficult experiences it has likely molded how I interact with my places and the coaching style that I tend to emulate.
“Great non-negotiables are simple, clear, and important, and they apply to everyone.”
Chapter 18 Reflection: What are your non-negotiables?
This is a great question. And part of me hopes this stays a dynamic list where I either become more or less tolerant for things, or adjust to how times may change in the future. For now my non-negotiables are as follows:
- Disrespect – To anyone. Not how we cultivate our culture. Be a man of respect and thoughtfulness.
- Punctuality – Time is a reflection of priority – 15 minutes early or you are late. *Unless communicated*
- Quitting/Effort – It is the biggest revealer of your brand – personal, program, or otherwise. Do not quit!
“It is on you. Only you can do better, handle these challenges, and teach these young men to become responsible adults. It will happen, I’m confident of it.”
Chapter 19 Reflection: What are some daily disciplines that align with your coaching manifesto? What small daily habits are you committed to developing for you to be the best coach you can be?
Unintentionally a daily discipline of mine is to do something related to the game. Whether it is to watch some clips or read a thread related to coaching. Somehow I am looking to do something stimulating my mind about the game and how I would visualize myself in a similar situation.
Intentionally, I think I am at my best when I read consistently. My mind seems to constantly race and at times putting together cogent thoughts or messages seems like fishing from a pond of words in my head. On days where I read, I feel that my brain does a better job of formulating thoughts. That’s a very abstract example. Nonetheless, reading puts my brain in a better state of mind to connect with others.