October 21, 2020 • FeaturesFrom the BenchWinning Hoops

10 Ways To Track Success For Coaches

by Coach Dick Luther, assistant coach UW-Whitewater

A coach certainly does much more than just providing instruction. Their leadership develops a support system for so many to be successful in life. Coaching basketball is the best! We can change the course of many lives. Positive coaching with knowledge, a caring attitude, and good teaching methods is a skill.

Tracking Success is a teaching system that includes “10 for the Gold.”

  1. Honor and Responsibility to Coach — It is definitely an honor to coach. Positive attitudes with program leaders, understanding the total responsibilities required develops a standard of excellence that cannot be beaten!
  2. Enthusiasm — It spreads like wildfire. Any coach with this passion will supply energy throughout the entire program.
  3. success
    Photo: Ralph Arvesen / Creative Commons

    Winning Culture — Begins with the Power of Attitude which equals Respect. The development of a positive winning culture must be tended to each and every day. A top-notch culture displays values, caring, working together, positive communications, and a winning attitude. The coach leads the way! Former Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi and former Boston Celtics head coach Red Auerbach built winning tough cultures — called team.
  4. Teach Purpose — Efficient use of time with good organization will provide a great mindset for the entire team. Everything has a purpose, especially planning for meetings and practices. Academic purpose is number one. It should be evaluated daily to ensure the purpose is on target.
  5. Drive — Is a quality that can be instilled. The team that fully understands daily drive for success in the classroom and on the court will always “win the day.” Larry Bird embraced drive as a major part of his life. The winning combinations of drive must include #4ForLife, which stands for focus, attitude, preparation, and effort.
  6. Fundamentals — Will always remain the key to success. From day one through the end of the season, teaching and reviewing fundamentals will lead to one thing — winning.
  7. The Skill of Communication — Is so often over-looked. Everyone needs to understand the time commitment, understanding the role of each player, the rules of the program, academic progress, and the total outlook of the program. Positive communication wins. Assistant coaches must be in the mix with all the communications.
  8. Conditioning — Most coaches realize that everyone does not condition well on their own. Winning programs know the value of a solid testing program with their conditioning. The prizefighter knew the importance of road work, running the hills, footwork with quickness drills to name a few. Many do not teach the vertical jump with testing and quickness drills with timing. Conditioning throughout the season will produce a winning program. Don’t assume anything. No attack, no chance.
  9. Inspire — Great leaders and great coaches inspire everyone they come into contact with. These three points will be helpful with each player:
      1. Recognition of every player and assistant coach is so important.
      2. They connect every player to a role that will help the team.
      3. Coaches measure the value and contribution of each player (beyond statistics) which will bring a positive vibe to the entire team. Inspiring can lead many to a lifetime of success.
  10. Team Toughness — Toughness is a word used all the time. However, very few know the true meaning of it. Today, toughness has a totally new meaning. toughness is a way of life with great leaders teaching and embracing positive life lessons for so many. tough people embrace disappointments and struggles which makes them a stronger player or worker.

Academic toughness is created by:

  • Attending every class with a passion
  • Sitting in the first three rows and contributing in every class
  • Joining in with a positive attitude
  • Leading and helping others in school

Tough leaders take on a huge role by spreading their high standards with focus and work ethic to many. You often hear coaches say “tough players win” and they share this winning attitude which elite players believe in:

  • They love to practice.
  • They win at practice every day, every drill.
  • They embrace the meaning of team.
  • They work hard to help all teammates become successful.
  • They stay clear of trouble and promote the real meaning of training.
  • They condition year around.

» RELATED TO SUCCESS: Managing Uncertainty in Basketball

Positive coaching certainly outweighs negative coaching and must be consistent. There are ways to correct mistakes by being positive with toughness. Toughness is “win the day” with a “drive to win.” Coaches minimize ways of losing within the practice with positive teaching through drills such as:

  • Effective ball-handling and passing to eliminate sloppy ball-handling.
  • Strengthen team defense with proper techniques and knowledge. Again, don’t assume anything. Poor defensive effort should not be allowed in practice (stop and correct).
  • Relentless on both ends, not just in games, but in practice too. Have 20-minute sessions with time outs and, if done properly, they know they will get a break.
  • Lack of block-outs. This is so huge in practice and in drills. Review the tapes and give awards for the number of good block-outs in games.
  • Poor and forced shots hurt teams so much. Movement of the basketball (corner to corner) will give teams great looks.
  • The key to toughness is team listening (eye contact), taking criticism, and being a star in each player’s role.

Win with everything and cut down mistakes by reducing and subtracting errors. Players want to be coached and coaches must coach players. Positive coaching and teaching always brings a positive winning team.

I believe former UCLA head coach John Wooden, as he developed his Pyramid of Success with Team Spirit, said best — “An eagerness to sacrifice personal interests or glory for the welfare of all. The team comes first.”

Good luck and track success with the attitude to “win each day!”