The reason that you have a basketball program that is great for two years (maybe even 5 years) and then absolutely sucks is because the coach sucks! (Yes, I said it. I tried to say it nicely though.)
People get confused thinking that Coach ABC is awesome because he/she wins games. No people. It’s because Coach ABC has better players than the other team. I’ve been on teams where we’ve won so much and the coach got a lot of credit. Seeing what really goes down from an internal POV, I know that it wasn’t the coach. It was me, this player, that player, and her who won those games. That’s not to strip all credit from the coaches, but let’s examine this…
If you have a squad of the same Left Overs (meaning, the kids left over after everyone hosted their tryouts and did not get picked up) for 3 consecutive years, by now they should be good, right? Coach ABC would say, “Heck no! They suck! How can we win any games with them?” However, Coach XYZ would say, “Yep, I just would have to adjust the way we practice.”
Coach ABC is a terrible leader and essentially doesn’t want to lead/coach if he or she actually has to coach. ABC wants to just do skills development practices that don’t develop ANYONE’S skills. ABC wants to learn plays and scrimmage. ABC wants to curse kids out and yell and belittle kids hoping that they’ll be scared into doing the right thing.
But then there’s Coach XYZ! XYZ focus on the repetition of correct movements so that a habit is formed. XYZ thinks big picture and uses life to motivate the kids. He goes one step above their pace, to make sure they’re always being pushed, but still have attainable goals. He tracks their progress so that they can learn to believe in themselves while learning HOW to play basketball. XYZ creates a team, a brotherhood, a sisterhood, a family where they play hard for each other.
Coach ABC knows how to call plays but will definitely lose if another equally talented team with a good coach comes along. Coach XYZ knows how to lead, and create leaders within the team. Leaders who hold themselves accountable. Coach XYZ creates a winning culture, even while they’re losing, so that when they arrive, they’ll feel like they’ve already been there.
You have “Elite” basketball programs that “typically” means “we want the good players.” Then you have “developmental” programs like Think. Work. Play that says, “Come as you are and you WILL leave a better player, a better person and a better leader.”
This rant was long as hell, but I thought I should give you guys some truth (my truth) to chew on. #ImDone