Our high school recently used a new boys varsity basketball coach. Post was bought by many coaches from around the area and was always given a man who promised to build a program and said he would let the boys play all the time. When I heard this for the first time, I took it anonymously and thought that the statement was good to do because we are in a small school environment and the best way to increase our profit is to take the same group of children and ratchet up the strengths. I had no idea what technique he would use to make them play better, he said he would and he seemed very confident about his ability to do that.
I had believed my teams had played hard. We dove loose balls most of the time, took a fee when the opportunity came and won the game only a few times a game by not getting back to playing defense. I was curious about what a new coach would use to give his definition of playing hard to his staff, because I was not sure what I was supposed to be able to do to tweak it. In the back of my mind I was hiring him to see my children play and tell me that they were already playing hard. I was wrong.
Our new reporter allows the kids to know what they went to the gym that it was no longer acceptable to play the game at anything less than full speed. He told them that if they were unable to play at full speed you should go home and get back and get back to try again. He began to point out special cases where players were not pulling up and down the floor, as they missed the defense area as they did not return in time to prevent the transition easily, He picked up every time a player did not take charge, he constantly asked players to play at full speed. His comments were stable and sometimes explained to his frustration with our children who sucked up to scream at those who also looked at them.
Funny began to happen when June grew and our summer plans finally arrived, the kids started to achieve it. They started to realize that he was not going to take half an hour, they would call them out every time he saw them not give them the job he was looking for and that changed the taste of the team.
My lesson learned for this upcoming season after spending 5 weeks with a new coach is not accepting less than 100% effort ever. I also learned something I've known for many years, too, that the coach puts expectations about how the team plays and if he gets stuck on it and gets his players to believe in it, they will follow him. That is why coaches such as Rick Pitino and Bob Huggins succeed year after year, have a strong style and forcefully force their team to play this game. I am looking forward to a new level of effort from my kids this year. It should be a great season.