The Coach That Dreams and is Real
At Pro Shot, we believe all teams have the opportunity for a winning season. All teams can be successful. Often times we talk to high school coaches in the summer who remark, “We won’t be very good this year. But three years from now we should be OK.” Seriously, how do coaches like this get a coaching job?
Coaches need to be dreamers and at the same time realists. Quite a contradiction, huh? Let me explain. Coaches should dream and believe that their team can contend for a league championship. That they can beat a quality team. That they can win.
I can honestly say, I coached 400+ regular season high school games in California, another 600 high school summer games, 500 AAU games, and 100 games in the College Summer League and I never went into a game thinking my team was going to lose. Maybe I’m a dreamer or a complete optimist, but I always believed we would prevail if we played to be best of our abilities.
That being said, a coach needs to be a realist as well. He/she needs to figure out a way to be successful. You can’t sprinkle pixie dust on a team and wish them to be successful. They need a blue print for success.
There are three types of factors you see with teams 1) Athletic Teams 2) Teams with Height 3) Skilled Teams
Of course, some teams have two of these factors and others have all three and usually compete for state titles. If you are “lucky” to have an athletic team, you will defiantly have some w’s in the win column. We, however, don’t believe athleticism alone will get you a championship. We also don’t believe height alone will get you a championship. You have to have some skill in that mix.
A high percentage of middle school and high school teams lack all three factors and therefore, struggle on the hardwood. There’s a reason why so many coaches are pessimistic. Basically, they see the handwriting on the wall. No athletes. No height. No skills. No wins.
So which of these factors can you develop? Obviously you can’t improve on height. As for athleticism, you can improve, but it takes months to see noticeable improvement. That being said, we get some athleticism from genes (like height), so the improvement bar can only be raised only so high for some players.
The factor that you can develop the quickest and easiest is obviously skill development. This includes shooting, passing, dribbling, offensive moves etc.
If you have a team that lacks height and quickness, you have no other option but to focus on improving each player’s skills. If you believe your players don’t need to be able to pass, dribble, and shoot AND your front line consists of Ompa Loopmas AND your perimeter players have the speed of a sloth with hemorrhoids, then you literally have no chance of winning.
As coaches we are in control of our team’s successes or failures. If you believe the only time you can be successful as a team is if you have athletes or size, then why coach? Basically you are saying that winning is all about genetics and the coach has little effect on the game.
There’s an old saying, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken %*7$(BLEEP) !!!!” If you have that belief in regards to skill development, then you better have some great athletes and a huge front line every year. If you have neither size nor incredible athleticism, you better have skilled players or the season could be a disaster.
Remember the mark of a good coach is not the year where he or she is blessed with physical and athletic talent. The true test of a coach s the year where the cupboard is bare and you have to make chicken salad out of chicken Bleep. Focus on skills and your team has a strong chance of being successful.