Coaching and Change

Today, we complete our series: March Mania.  Some said it couldn’t be done.  Thirty one articles in thirty one days.  Today, I want to talk about my favorite word in the English dictionary.

Change.  The mere mention of the word can make some people cringe and cover their eyes and ears.  Some people despise the word and others literally fear it.  At Pro Shot, we have learned to embrace change and actually have built our company around the notion of change.

Throughout most of my life I lived in the OC in Southern California.  You know the OC.  Orange County, California.  Home to boob jobs, cosmetic surgery and Mercedes Benzes. The fast life where everyone is all about change.  This includes changing your economic situation, changing your weight, and changing your living conditions.  It is all about keeping up with the Joneses, the Smiths, or the Kardashians.

I prided myself in being an open minded coach and trainer and when I started Pro Shot, the belief behind our System was that we would not only accept change, but encourage it. Why is change so important to Pro Shot?  I am a historian of basketball.  With the help of my friend Herb Welling (we call him the historian of hoops), I have tried to look at where basketball has come from (the roots) and trying to see where it is headed.

When the one handed shot came into basketball, coaches screamed that it would ruin the game.  When the three point line was adopted into the college and high school ranks, coaches screamed that it was a gimmick and that it wouldn’t last.  Basketball continues to evolve and will continue once we are no longer on this planet.  Basketball changes.  The question is: Do you as a coach or trainer ever change?

We know shooting coaches and trainers that teach the same concepts that they taught 40 years ago.  They simply don’t change.  They are dinosaurs.  We also know coaches that have the same mindset that they had 20-30 years ago.  They refuse to change.

My favorite saying is, “Adapt or die” which is taken from the movie, “Moneyball.” Change is the only constant part of life and no sport has changed in the past century more than basketball.

We constantly hear coaches remark, “I’m an old school coach.”  What does this actually mean?  Does it mean you believe in the ideas of hard work and sharing the ball?  Perhaps.  The coaches that we talk to that use this phrase usually are saying, “I do not want to change.  I am stuck in my ways.”

At Pro Shot, we are about developing the best shooting system in the world.  If there is a better way to teach an aspect of shooting, we will find it and teach it.  We keep a 24/7/365 open mind.  This means we might have to eat some crow sometimes and say, “We now have a better way to teach this.”  Crow doesn’t taste as bad as people think.

It really comes down to the belief that change can be good.  New ideas can work.  Always be open minded and not fix minded.  If you are fix minded and not willing to change, you are basically brain dead.  You are wallowing in quick sand.

The two question that every coach should ask himself and herself each day is, “How can I get my players and team to improve?” AND “How can I improve myself as a coach?”

It’s really about accepting change and keeping an open mind.  Rock legend Frank Zappa once said, “A mind is like a parachute.  It doesn’t work if it is not open.”  Great words to life and coach by.