30 second time outs

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bob Hurley, the Sage of St. Anthony

CBS 60 Minutes did a fabulous piece on Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley, from "Miracle on St Anthony" fame. Coaches that are a little "rough around the edges" (to borrow a good friends phrase) can be very polarizing in circles that evaluate their, performance, effectiveness, and quality of the players' experience.

Some quotes from the story really caught my attention. First, Coach Hurley doesn't sugar coach anything and players. They absolutely know what they're getting into. Coach Hurley says,
"I'm still one of the most demanding people that the kids are gonna come across"

But at the same time, that demanding nature comes form a great place.

" I think everybody can be better than they think they can be."

And being a former Parole Officer in New Jersey, he's used to working with a tough crowd.
"I'm dealing with adolescent males," Hurley said. "And in order to get them to perform on a regular basis, this group of people, I have to drive them. There's no question I have to drive them. Even the best teams I've had, there has to be times when you know you have to really push the pedal."

To ensure they live up to his expectations Hurley makes the kids sign a contract when they join his program.
"Don't know that it's legally binding, but you know, when I have to mete out justice, it's as far as I'm concerned, it's a legal document."

Asked what some of the items on the contract are, Hurley said,
"Alcohol, cigarettes, narcotics is one.... Some of them are haircuts, short haircut. No tattoos. Jewelry has to be basic. You know, a ring, a watch."

As with all coaches, he has had some players buck the system.
"Yeah, that's why I think that's why there are hinges on doors. You know? This is not meant for everybody,"

Clearly, Hurley get's results. Not only in the form of wins and championships, but off the court as well.
"I've only had two kids in 39 years that have not gone to college. And we're extremely proud of that, because we think that we've opened up doors in kids' lives that they didn't know that they could do. Their families certainly didn't know that they could do it. And it's because of education, it changes the direction of their life,"

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Close games become a way of life for coaches and teams on all levels. Successful teams are prepared for end of the game situations. It is often this five or ten minutes a day which coaches spend on end of the game situations that makes the difference between a district title, a berth in the state tournament or a disappointing trip home. It is very important to not assume that your players know what to do! Try to work on special situations every day.

Here are some questions all coaches should ask themselves. The answers will vary according to your personal philosophy and your team’s strengths. Then share those answers with the team and prepare them to execute:

Do you push the ball and play or call a timeout to set up the last shot?

How do you intentionally miss a free throw?

With a three-point lead, do you want to foul before a three-point shot is taken?

Do your players know when to foul? How to foul?

Do you have a sign or call so your players know to foul without alerting the other team – or the officials?

When do you start taking 3’s in order to catch up?

Do you have a hurry- up offense designed to get you quality shots in less time?

Do you have an offensive system to "milk the clock' and protect a lead?

Do you save your timeouts or do you use them early to keep your team in the game? Do the players know how many you have left?

Do you want players to call a time out to save a possession early-or fight their best to preserve it and let you call the time-outs?

Do you have last second plays for each time and score?

Do ALL players know ALL positions they may play in crunch time?

Do the players know whether or not you want to call a time-out after a score?

Do you have your list of special situation plays on the bench with you so you can refer to them in pressure situations - so YOU don't forget?

Most importantly...

Do they know the rules?

Friday, March 18, 2011


Lok's Ledger