I had the pleasure of attending the 2018 Rising Coaches Conference in Indianapolis this past weekend. I had the opportunity to listen to some amazing speakers who have made it in the profession of college basketball coaching. Here’s a list of each speaker’s best words of advice, knowledge and takes on how to rise in the coaching world.
Matt McMahon (Head MBB Coach @ Murray State)
- Be consistent w/: mindset + effort + actions = the process
- Be an “Energy Fountain”
- There’s no certain path to fining a way into the coaching profession — we MUST be SELECTIVE.
- Prepare Now
- Learn from Mistakes
- Be Accountable
- DO NOT Settle for being a Specialist
Qualities Coach McMahon looks for in hiring people:
- Hungry, Humble, Smart
- Does this person fit within the desire culture framework?
- Can he trust/count on you?
- “Everyday is a job interview.”
- “Take care of your people.”
- “Elite performance comes via Elite preparation.”
Patrick Blake (Assistant MBB Coach @ Coastal Carolina)
- Listening is a skill — coaches should be listening to understand.
- “To be successful: a coach has to learn to coach the unreachable kid(s).
- Each kid is different in how he/she needs to be coached.
- DO NOT allow outside perceptions to affect what you stand for.
- “Relationships are only a tiebreaker” (a.k.a. work is MOST important).
- Your program will be good at whatever the coach emphasizes to the staff & players.”
- “When you define the culture from the start, it makes those seemingly HARD decisions actually EASIER to deal with.”
- “Culture is on a 1-day contract.”
Chris Oliver (Head MBB Coach @ University of Windsor)
- Feedback = the problem + specific to a player + reasoning and/or WHY
- Specific-Positive: Good job to whom and why
- Specific Value-Info: This could be better directed toward whom and why
- Just because a player makes the right decision on the court that DOES NOT mean the result will always follow suit — But, it is the RIGHT DECISION THAT MATTERS MOST!!
- Put an emphasis on coaching the best players because it will elevate all other players on the team.
Melanie Balcomb (former Ashland, Xavier & Vanderbilt WBB Coach)
- NEVER take a job for money.
- Key points:
- Push past your fears.
- Plan for failure (what’s next…)
- You MUST live out the same demands that you ask of your players
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Fire fast / Hire slow
- 45-Second “Elevator Speech”:
- Who am I?
- Why do I coach?
- What are my goals?
- What are my first objectives when I get the job?
- What is my WHY?
- If your core values do not fit with your boss’ culture — IT WILL NOT WORK.”
Michael Fly (Head MBB Coach @ Florida Gulf Coast):
- Why stay at your current job?
- Am I consistent enough with/in my own job?
- Am I stable enough in my personal life?
- How am I going to sign the next “great recruit” if I keep bouncing around place-to-place?
- Am I the best player development, video, assistant on my staff…?
On Job Offers:
- Can you win there?
- Is your current coach trying to get out, or locked in long-term?
- Are you okay with players winning in spite of your presence?
- Where would you fall on new staff’s totem pole?
- Where do you really want to go?
- Is there significant value in that new role?
- ** If the head coach asks you something have an opinion **
- “If I’m not 1000% committed to whatever it is I’m saying to my players, then they WILL NOT listen to a word I have to say.” – Coach Fly
Bryan Mullins (Associate Head Coach @ Loyola-Chicago)
- “Always becoming, Never arriving.”
- “If you clear a path for the people above you, you will clear a path for yourself.”
- “Be present where you’re at and good things will fall into place.”
- “Enthusiasm is common, but Endurance is rare.”
- “In order to have culture, you have to RECRUIT culture.”