THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL COACHING

This year I entered my 30th year in coaching by logging over 100,000 miles and conducting 225 camps in 42 States (Pro Shot as a whole did 550 camps)

Each year I talk to thousands of youth, high school and college coaches on the phone and in person. Some truly “get it” and some live in a land of denial and finger pointing.

I truly believe the best coaches are all about attention to detail. When you think about great coaches, the most obvious trait that they all possess is attention to detail.

John Wooden is the greatest college coach of all time and was so into attention to detail that the first hour of practice each year he would instruct his UCLA players how to put on their socks and shoes the correct way. Why? He didn’t want blisters. Now that’s attention to detail!

Vince Lombardi is considered to be the greatest NFL coach of all time. Lombardi was consumed by attention to detail. As was Tony Laruso, Bobby Knight and Phil Jackson.

In other words, little things that often get ignored tend to multiply into much larger things.

Last December I was fortunate to watch a few Bob Hurley practices in Jersey City, NJ. Hurley has won 1,000 high school games in his career and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame a few years ago.

What separates Hurley from his opposition? If you ask his opposition they may say, “He just has better players.” Those coaches are living in a huge state of denial. They obviously have never watched a Bob Hurley practice.

Hurley has won for the past four decades thanks in large part that his practices are all about attention in detail. I have been to dozens of college practices and have never seen such focus on details throughout as Coach Hurley’s practices.

SHOOTING AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL

In the last newsletter I wrote that coaches need to coach shooting in each and every practice. It’s not about the drills. Everyone has shooting drills. But TRUE coaching is really about attention to details and correcting mistakes.

I spoke with a few coaches recently that believe the drill basically makes the shooter. I then asked each coach, “How many great shooters do you have on your team?” In all four instances the coaches remarked pretty similar, “Well, none actually.”

Always correct players when they are missing. Explain how they are missing (short, long, left or right) and then figure out how to correct the misses into makes.

Recently I had a few coaches explain, “I don’t believe in correcting players.” Then why would you ever become a coach? If you allow your players to continue to fail, you are doing a great disservice to these players.

Become detail oriented and coach the shot. A few weeks ago I had an AAU coach actually tell me, “I can’t tell my players that they are struggling with their shooting. They might actually get mad and switch programs.” You have to always be honest with players. If they leave, that is their mistake.

“THE TRUTH OF SHOOTING”

Last night I was talking to a girls high school coach from California on Facebook. I asked him “How well do your players shoot?” He responded, “Just OK. But we are teaching the truth of shooting.”

That response made me intrigued. “What’s the truth?” I asked.

“Well, you know. Feet squared to the basket. Shoot straight up and down. Start ball high and don’t bring it down.”

I responded back, “Have you ever looked at my website, watched my videos or read my ebook?”

He responded, “I haven’t had a chance.”

“Well go to the website and watch a few videos. Maybe, just maybe the truth you speak might actually be myths and lies.”

Attention to detail is often the determining factor in understanding how great shooters actually shoot the ball.

I am amazed that college, high school and youth coaches actually believe that the best players square their feet, shoot straight up and down and don’t dip the ball. How can this be? Can’t they see it?

It’s really simple. When they watch a professional or college game on TV, most coaches watch the whole game and don’t focus on biomechanics.

WRAP UP

A few weeks ago I was in Florida with Florida Atlantic Head Coach, Mike Jarvis. This year Florida Atlantic will be using the Pro Shot System. I am truly amazed at in his sixties, Coach Jarvis continues to be a student of the game.

After the second day of talking with him, I asked Coach Jarvis, “So why are you different than other D-1 coaches? You are willing to make your team shoot with a system? Why?”

He responded, “I started out as a high school phys ed teacher in Massachusetts. I understand that the body must work together.”

What Coach Jarvis truly understands is the attention to detail. He “gets it.”