Tubby Smith offers three keys to program building

September 12, 2017 / From the BenchWinning Hoops
Memphis men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith last weekend offered his keys to program building at a USA Basketball Coach Academy.

Smith has coached high school and college basketball during his 45-year career, and during the 1997-98 season he led the Kentucky Wildcats to a national championship over Utah. He joined Memphis last year, finishing his first season with a 19-13 record.

Smith’s program philosophy was developed with the help of Hall of Fame coach Frank McGuire. Here are a few of Smith’s thoughts, as reported by The Commercial Appeal.

1. Dress the part. Coaches create a perception about themselves and their programs through the way they dress. Smith said McGuire was “immaculate” every day, which is why you’ll never see the Memphis coach wearing jeans in public or sweats on a plane.

“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. I’ve got a certain image that I want to project,” Smith said, according to The Commercial Appeal.

2. Develop your philosophy. Coaching clinics and professional development are critical, but that’s just the beginning. Smith encourages coaches to learn from others without copying foreign styles or philosophies. In the end, you must use what you’ve learned to create a culture that fits your program.

“It takes a while to develop a system and a philosophy that you know, that you trust, that you can teach everyone and know inside-out,” he said. “You’ve got to see if it fits your personality, if it fits your personnel and adapt accordingly and put your stamp on it.”

3. Manage your schedule. Don’t overwhelm your staff and players with a schedule that’s too ambitious. You want to build specific skills and confidence in your players, and the best way to do that is through a non-conference schedule early in the season.

Smith offered other thoughts on leadership, recruiting and coaching at Memphis. Check out the complete article at The Commercial Appeal.