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Coaching Case

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Burke Anderson

Coaching Philosophy

Paper #2


Coach Anderson

For this paper, I will be assuming the head-coaching job at a Division III school for men's basketball. I have been at this school for 5 years, and every year my team has made the NCAA tournament. Two years ago was our best run with an appearance in the Elite 8, and upsetting the number 3 seed in the process. I will outline my coaching philosophy, style, goals and objectives for the team and for my individual athletes, and explain my inspiration and motivation for taking on the art of coaching.

My coaching philosophy is comprised of these seven aspects; team unity, hard work, family, honesty, passion and energy, academic success and personal development. As I believe all of these aspects are equally important for achieving overall success, the one aspect that is far and away the most important is family. Your family is the greatest resource you have access to, and I believe a strong relationship with your loved ones will lay a foundation for limitless success. Thus any family obligation or emergency will always take precedent over any team obligation. While these next six aspects will not be discussed in any specific order, the importance of family provides a nice segue into the importance of team unity. Success and teamwork go hand in hand, and I believe that success can only be achieved as one unit. Establishing a strong team unity will allow players to trust one another, and trusting one another on the court will help prevent selfishness, which has no place on my team. You should think of your team as your second family. Complementing team unity and trust is the idea that everyone must buy into the system. All my players, from the star down to the last player on the depth chart must be committed to my formula for success, and must trust that it will take them to where they want to be. But I believe a team cannot reach their full potential without hard work. Regardless of how talented any of my players are, if they are not willing to bust their hump day in and day out, they will not see the floor. And while hard work is expected from everyone, it does require sacrifices, which is why I always make an effort to reward or point out particular instances and hard work. But vice a versa, if I see a player not working hard enough, I will make sure they know it. And this is where the aspect of passion and energy comes into play. I always try and bring energy, passion, and fire to every practice, as I believe this can help push the team to perform to the best of their ability. I believe positive energy is contagious, and if your players are down or flat during practice, bringing intensity and energy can break them out of their funk. Furthermore, the more you care and the more you show that you care, the more respect your players will have for you, as the strongest link between you and your players is your shared passion for the game.

Success in the classroom is just as important as success on the court. Because my athletes will not be going pro, they must take their academic obligations very seriously. Not performing in the classroom and not attending class will lead to decreased playing time. Because of this, I must be sensitive to some of their academic situations that may conflict with practice or games. For example, missing practice or showing up late due to a lab or extra class once a week will never be held against them. Similarly, one bad day of practice could be because of an all-nighter they pulled to study for a midterm, and not necessarily because of a lack of focus or effort. As well as their development as a student, I believe it is very important to develop and guide my players and help them become the best person they can be. I believe hard work, leadership and teamwork are traits that are just as important off the court, which is why teaching my players the importance of this can help them carry it over into their job or place of work. Furthermore, I believe in an open door policy, and am always willing to give advice or guidance about issues off the court. And this policy brings me to my final aspect of my coaching philosophy, honesty. I believe effective communication is very important, and can save a lot of unnecessary headaches. I always try to be upfront and honest with my players, even if it may not be what they want to hear. Being honest helps let players know where they stand, and what they may need to improve on to get more playing time or to get a chance to get on the court. For example, if a player comes into my office and asks why they haven't been playing more (or at all), telling them they are doing a good job and to keep working hard is meaningless. Instead, I would point out their weaknesses and let them know where they could improve. However, in a situation like this, I would also let them know what aspects of their game are good to give them a shot of confidence to help motivate them to go out and get better. And while there is always more to learn and improve upon with my philosophy, I believe these seven aspects are an excellent foundation for success both on and off the court.

Aside from my coaching philosophy, I also have a set of objectives and goals that I want to achieve for my athletes, my team, and the program as a whole. One of my main objectives is to win. Winning is a great feeling, and we play every game to win. It is often said that winning cures everything, and I believe that there is a lot of truth to that statement. Promoting good physical fitness and overall health is another objective for my athletes. In order to perform your best, you must be in top physical shape. To help my athletes get into top form, they are required to lift daily outside of practice. Every one of my athletes has room for improvement. This is why I stress the importance of mastering the fundamental aspects of the game every practice. One way I do this is the first 15 minutes of practice is conducted without a ball. Every player must take jump shots, free throws and layups without a ball, focusing strictly on proper form and footwork. Furthermore, I believe retention in the program is essential, and says a lot about team chemistry. It is my goal to retain every player that I recruit. Although this can be difficult for reasons sometimes out of my control, one way which I find helps is making sure every player has and knows their specific role on the team. I also try and treat all my players with the same level of respect and courtesy, regardless of how big their role is. Another objective is the have a team GPA of a 3.3. As mentioned above, 99% of my player will not go pro, so academic



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