In September I was fortunate to listen to Tennessee-Chattanooga Head Coach Will Wade speak at a PGC clinic in Atlanta. Before his presentation, he talked about some books that he and his staff read on a regular basis, Know Yourself As A Coach by Denny Kuiper was one of those books. At the conclusion of his presentation, I went up to my hotel room and ordered it immediately. I highly recommend this book to coaches of all sports, ages and experience. Coaching basketball is more than winning games and running plays, it is about mentoring and inspiring our players to become the best people they can be on and off the court. Know Yourself As A Coach is personal coach that you can always reference in a time to console.
In light of not sharing the entire book, below are some components of the book that especially stuck out to me that I wanted to share.
WHY DO YOU COACH?
Your success as a coach depends, in part, on how others perceive you, and that perception depends, in part, on how you behave. Whatever it is that brings you to coaching will be reflected in how you coach.
BEING A PART OF THE DECISION-MAKING
Think Twice and Study: Suggestions for changes to the program are most helpful when they have been thought through and carefully studied. Unstudied options are just brainstorming. There is a time and place for that, but make sure you understand the difference between brainstorming and thought out suggestions.
Present Solutions – Not problems: The head coach wants help with answers. He does not need an assistant telling him we cannot stop the run or we are being out rebounded. He sees that; he wants to know how to fix it.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION?
I am not suggesting that you cannot have tough practices or call out members of your program. Of course, you can. At times that is the best course of action. The key is to know why it is being done: Is it to improve play or to improve the program? Or, is it to meet your needs?
“Those in control do not always have to have control.”
There is a big difference between respecting someone and showing someone respect. An example is a player you may have on your team who has little discipline, is rude, lazy, unfriendly, distant, and not very coachable. You may not respect him or his behaviors. You don’t need to. You also do not have to compromise yourself. You can and should address his inappropriate behaviors, but if you do that in a disrespectful way, you will have little impact on his behavior. You will be exhibiting the same disrespectfully behavior that he exhibits towards you.
…a winning record does not translate into a winning person, that the most important aspect of coaching, for me, is developing relationships with my players-relationships that afford me the opportunity to encourage, teach, and support them in realizing their full potential as people and as athletes.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
It is not enough for you to say you need loyalty, trust, and ownership in your program. You need to model it and practice it. You, as the coach, have the final say, but when everyone believes that he is valued and counts, the commitment level rises.
FOCUS ON THE PLAN
Once you have established your goal and your sub-goals, most of your time and thought processes should be given to the plan. Concentrate on the daily duties and responsibilities and your chances of achieving your goals will be greatly enhanced.