"My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge, and aggressive to learn." -Michael Jordan
Project Triple Threat - Drew Dawson
Recently, I attended the inaugural Hamden Hall Coaches Clinic. I thought first year head coach and former college coach, Shawn Doherty, did a great job pulling together an impressive list of speakers including Yale head coach, James Jones, and Adam Finkelstein, founder and editor of the New England Recruiting Report, among others. A coach that impressed was Ted Hoteling, the current head coach at the University of New Haven. I've always had a lot of respect for Ted, he's an old friend, and hopefully you'll find some of his clinic notes below helpful. What follows are seven bullet points on building a competitive program and winning habits.
1. If you don't have your coaching philosophy written down, you don't have a coaching philosophy.
2. Patterns are not as important as the fundamentals. In other words, a team's patterns or sets are only as good as the players' ability to play with the necessary skillset and understanding of what's trying to be executed.
3. Practice with purpose. Play with purpose. The purpose of your practice should directly reflect your approach to gameplay. Your coaching design should not be cliche and haphazard. Your philosophy, drills, tactical breakdowns, coaching emphasis, etc. should reinforce what you're trying to execute on collectively.
4. What's the language of your program? Every program should include a "language" that the staff and players comprehend, and brings clarity to the team's collective execution.
5. SILENCE CONDONES. I love this one. We all know that silence can be a good situational teaching tool, but not when your ultimately responsible for your team's daily development of fundamentals and the nuances of the game.
6. Kids want to know you're a fan of the game. There are simple ways to stay creative and relate to your players including labelling drills and sets after former players, NBA teams, etc., which especially works with younger players. Trust me, I know, I do it all the time while coaching my younger groups.
7. Be demanding but in a positive manner. Many coaches make the mistake of equating demanding with demeaning, which is unproductive and certainly unethical.
Learn more about Coach Hoteling HERE.