30 second time outs

Monday, May 23, 2005

Private/Public School Parents & Player Coach Relationships

Yahoo! Groups : Basketball-Coaching Messages :

Parents are parents. BUT, parents at private schools sometimes feel a little more entitlement because they pay tuition. Nip that early by letting everyone know where you stand, what is allowable and what is off-linmits. However, you MUST be willing to communicate them. Too many coaches have failed in private school settings by being 'unnaproachable'. Develop a relationship with parents/boosters that shows that you are working together.

An interesting way of looking at the player/coach relationship, is that players don�t play FOR us, but rather we work FOR our players to assist them in developing into the players and people that they are capable of becoming. Naturally, we need to do this within the team concept and keeping in mind what is also best for the group. Finding that balance is truly the one of the most important tasks that the basketball coach has.

We talk to staff all the time about coaching the way that we would want our son or daughter coached. We would expect the coach, first and foremost, to be fair. We would want the coach to display patience and understanding with our child and the team. We want to be clear and concise in how we teach, giving the player the know how to perform, and then help them towards improvement, encouraging them all the way. Most of all we want to treat the player with the same respect that we ask of them. Scold and discipline when necessary, but re-teach and praise immediately following. We never want a player to leave the gym with a negative impression of how the coaches feel about them.

As a coach you should be knowledgeable and organized. Love your players equally, unconditionally, and care about them off the floor. Work FOR them as hard as you expect them to work FOR you. Do these three things and your players will:
1) Listen and try to understand;
2) Show the desire to play as well as they can; and

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

NBA age limit, or simply job qualifications

NBA age limit: When debating the proposed 20 year old age limit in the NBA draft, I'm not certain that an age limit is what the NBA is really searching for. It is not really a certain age that they want, but rather a ceratin level of maturity and preparation. In both basketball and life. The league seems to be concerned with their "image" and how prepared their players are for life off of the court. Possibly they now see that being in the league carries some responsibility and is not all about basketball ability. It is also about being a representative and spokesperson for a multi-billion dollar industry. A high school diploma does not pepare most for that burden. Nor does simply reaching a certain age. Restrictions on age might even be considered unlawful or at the very least, unethical. But most jobs require certain qualifications.

Look in todays classified ads. Nearly every job lists qualifications. Most say a bachelors degree is necessary while some employers require masters degrees. The very basic jobs may say that they require an AA degree. Typically that's two years of college. Or taking an 18 year old high school graduate to the 20 year minimum that the NBA is proposing. Some employers will say".. or the equivelant" That could leave the door open for any players from overseas who have different educational systems than the USA and have played in professional leagues for a number of years. Their life experiences may have shown that they are able to handle the rigors of professional sports.

A lawyer must attend law school; a doctor-med school; most Fortune 500 busineses require an MBA; even school teachers must be credentialed. Someone might be the best basketball coach in the world but it is not their 'right' to be hired by a school district without the school's required qualifications. While some might debate the reasoning, it certainly is not litigated.

During a discussion on the proposed 20 year old age limit in the NBA draft, a response on the
SoCalHoops Message Board , kind if, summed things up: "All this thinking is what is wrong with basketball. Agents, greed, bad advice, etc... There are two schools of thought here. Do I play basketball solely to get paid? Or, am I trying to become the best basketball player that I can be? Read the rest of his comments here...

College is not only about developing the skills required for a profession. Other life lessons learned are just as important. Random college seniors have said,
  • They have to learn how to manage their time and money, and take responsibility for their own actions
  • By senior year you realize that life is more than just Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • I have learned to have more control over myself and my emotions. I've learned that I can't control what other people do, but I can control how I let it affect me. By doing this, it makes the quality of life better, because you are not constantly worried about what other people are thinking or saying".

Much more can be found in an essay What I Really Learned in College.

Some will argue that other sports do not restrict entrance based on age. That doesn't make it right. I personally know of some baseball players, who passed on college scholarships when drafted out of high school that squandered their meager signing bonus, only to be cut loose shortly thereafter. That scholarship opportunity no longer existed and once in the "cycle of life" with bills and responsibiities, going back to school is difficult. So they find whatever work they can. With some college training other doors may have opened.

Others will argue that because basketball is primarily a minority sport, the restriction effects one race more than others. If that is the case, then all the rules of the game affect one race more than another. Every minority that is denied early entry saves another veteran minority from being released too soon. It works at both ends.

Bottom line is every for KG, Kobe, Jermain O'Neal, Rashard Lewis, Tracy McGrady or LeBron there is a Korleone Young, James Lang, Taj McDavid, Ellis Richardson, DeAngelo Collins, Leon Smith or a Donnell Harvey. Worse yet are those who never developed enough to be even mentioned in the latter category. Those who, as youth players, put all of their eggs in the proverbial "basketball basket" by neglecting their academic pursuits. The number of those who were not even good enough to declare increases exponentially and can be found across the playground of America, mumbling "woulda, coulda, shoulda...?"

REAL good advice

SoCalHoops Message Board:

This post came off of a message board and was written in response to an LA Times article titled Sporting behavior . It was written by a fellow (I presume) that has posted often over the last several years. Unfortunately his contributions have waned some over the past year or so (maybe his children have moved on beyond high school and its primarily a high school/youth board). He appears to be a very wise man - and his posts are almost always very insightful

"GREAT COACHES recognize that children are the most precious possession that families have and that FAMILIES WILL NOT TURN A DEAF EAR AND A BLIND EYE TO ANY ONE who comes into a child's life simply because you put on a coaches hat with NO training...NON PROFESSIONAL COACHES must stress growth and not winning...COACHES must not treat the best player like 'Prince Charming' and then treat the 'up and coming' player like they have a disease...Coaches must CARE about academics and not SHOE CONTRACTS...COACHES MUST set goals for EACH PLAYER and when those GOALS are reached celebrate like crazy...

In your example, if the coach would have communicated his goal to have the child learn to play the outfield and maybe..Hit the cutoff man'....When the child executes that task...The coach should be cheering and clapping and patting on the back ( whether or not the crowd understands what just happen)...

If the coach does not have that kind of personality...bring an assistant in that does...
And last, include the family in your goal setting for the team...stop focusing on the score and focus on making sure the players leave you...better than they came to you...EVERY PLAYER is a member of the team family...from the BEST PLAYER to the WORST PLAYER...

I submit, than when a family knows that Coaches care...and are not turning a deaf ear and a blind eye to 'self esteem issues' ( parents see the hurt in their child's eyes...why don't you see it first coach?)and Coaches treat AND COMMUNICATE GOALS TO PARENTS AND KIDS ALIKE...most problems go away...and the team's family structure will follow a kid for the rest of their life...

COACHING IS MORE THAN 'X's and O's'..it is nurturing and teaching and directing GROWTH..Train the Dads and Moms...let them in on your plan...losses become steps...wins become milepost...that everyone celebrates...GIVE BENCH PLAYERS ASSIGNMENTS even if it is pitch counts(baseball)..watching player tendancies( basketball)

(I) saw a game where the score was already settled..the coach pulled out all of his starters except his best player...I watched the best player pull down rebound after rebound and pass it to the other players so they could get a chance to score...at first the opposing coach got angry..then he watched and learned...that when a bench player shared the floor with the best player...the self confidence of the reserve went through the roof...and the best player was learning that success was more than personal goals...it was helping others reach their goals...the opposing coach smiled...and took a seat...and watched a MASTER COACH at work!!PEACE!"

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Question For Coach Lok? Does attending the summer circuit for club rather then playing with the high school Team A Must?

From SoCalHoops: Question For Coach Lok? Does attending the summer circuit for club rather then playing with the high school Team A Must?

When it comes time for summer basketball, everyone needs to work together in the best interest of the player and the HS team. An interesting way of looking at the player/coach relationship, is that players don’t play FOR the coach, but rather the coach works FOR the players to assist them in developing into the players and people that they are capable of becoming. Naturally, coaches need to do this within the team concept and keeping in mind what is also best for the group. Finding that balance is truly the one of the most important tasks that the basketball coach has. On the other hand, the players, and parents, need to commit some exclusive time to each side (club/HS). Most importantly, remember that the offseason is when players are made - not only seen. Players need to be first commited to their education and training as a basketball player, rather than just the competition and exposure that is really overemphasized in the offseason. Putting in the time to improve a players skills will prepare the players for any competition that they will face and that any subsequent exposure will really be the end result of that development.

That being said, it is crucial for a player to participate in "some exposure event" during the NCAA evaluation dates. This years NCAA evaluation periods are July 6-15 and July 22-31. The elite player with DI, DII aspirations needs to attend a camp/tournament during that time. The HS coach can use those times to give other players a little PT.

However, before July 6 and from July 16-21 is a Dead Period for the NCAA. That leaves plenty of "exclusive" time for the player to stay with the HS. The high school coaches are trying to bring together a new group of players to mold into their group for the following season. What each player chooses to do in the summer says to the rest of his teamates exactly what he thinks about them. When a group of players can count on each other and truly trust their teamates they can perform at a higher level. So it is just as crucial for the player to fully commit to his HS teamates during those times. That means that he may have to work it out with his travel/AAU coach in regards to practices to give the HS his totoal attention. A little give at both ends.

Playing in a couple of HS tournaments or a team camp before July 2 and another tournament the weekend of July 16 would allow a good number of games to be played with that recruitable player. Add a couple of summer league games a week and that should be plenty to set some groundwork for the upcoming high school season. Of course, the more competitive schools can take their team, or all of their recruitable players in the program and go play in one of the camps as a team. Killing two birds with one stone.

Keep in mind that the longest evaluation period on the NCAA calendar is from November to March - the HS basketball season. It is a misconception that coaches are only out in the summer. College coaches are allowed 40 evaluation days in the winter, selected at their discretion. The school's coaching staff shall not visit a prospect's school on more than one day per week during that period. If the NCAA's largest period is during the high school regular season, maybe we need to rethink which is "more important" and how coaches schedule. Single day events during the season where coaches can see multiple teams are probably more important to have on the schedule, and of course anytime the team can compete in a bigger tournament with quality teams, they should do so.

Players do need to also be a little concerned with "overexposure". Going to every showcase/camp/tournament that is available also increases the chance that the "red line" goes thru your name after a series of subpar performances. Make a splash, get on the radar, market yourself, and then make them come to you.

The best technique, again, is to be proactive and come up with a list of realistic schools that you want to look at you. Call or write ahead of time and let them know your summer schedule and where you will be at. They are more apt to track you down to take a look.
Players who are committed should really want to do it all. Plenty of players (with the support of wonderful parents) travel back and forth from their events at Dominguez Hills/Lynwood/Long Beach to the local high school summer tournament to be with their team. That is commitment. That is leadership. And that is the kind of player that a college coach will recruit.

But remember, the most important thing in the offseason is not the exposure, it is to become better - otherwise you really get exposed.

Lok's Ledger