Too Much Pride and Coaching

In the past few weeks we have discussed fix minded coaches (also known as close minded) to open minded coaches. Today we want to focus on a serious problem that we see in the coaching community.

Pride. It is a terrible word that can destroy countries, large companies, and marriages. It is also the worst “demon” a basketball coach can possess.

In the Bible there is a passage that reads, “Pride goeth before the fall.” We 100% agree.

Pride basically prevents a coach from dealing with important obstacles. When you become vulnerable to obstacles, you hurt your team’s chances of winning and improving. Coaches then become more worried about protecting their own reputation, rather than strive for something better.

We recently spoke with a coach in PA who remarked, “We are terrible shooters. Can’t buy a basket. But I can’t teach them your shooting system because then I would have to say ‘I was wrong’ and I can’t do that.” This coach’s pride is hurting his players and teams chances of being successful.

We believe coaches need to throw pride right out the window. For 17 years I coached high school basketball in Southern California. I knew if I didn’t have the answers I would seek out “experts” to improve my player’s skill levels. Every season I brought in a ball handling coach and a post coach. One year I had one of my coaching friends come in and teach the 1-2-1-1 zone press because he was more knowledgeable on the subject. The zone press would help us win a league title.

Did my players look upon my staff and I in a worse light? No. They actually saw us as group of individuals that are so open minded that they brought outsiders in so the team would improve.

Let’s face it, there is no coach that knows everything about the game of basketball AND anyone who claims he/she is the “all knowing expert” is simply full of crap. We all want to believe in what we teach is correct and we want to believe in ourselves as a leader and a teacher of the game.

If you lack too little confidence, players can see right through you. That being said, if you are too prideful, players will see right through you as well.

The best advice I ever got from a coach was, “Be a student of the game and keep learning. Read books and articles on a subject. Watch videos and talk to coaches. Take notes. Make sure you have a open minded staff that wants to improve in their knowledge. AND bring in coaches and trainers into your practice to help your players turn their weaknesses into their strengths.

We have always said, Once you know everything as a coach, it is time to retire.” If you are reading this, you probably are open minded. Why do we say this? Because the close minded coaches have either opted out of this newsletter or will not open this article.

By being open minded you have the ability to greatly help your players. Take pride out of your mindset and you will see your players and team improve greatly.