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Thursday, August 23, 2012

56 Years of School

In September of 1957 when I went to Mrs. North’s kindergarten class at Avenue School, I had no idea what I was getting into. This year is my 56th straight year of going to school. I have not taken a year off- I went right from Knox College to Galesburg High School.

I have LOTS of great memories from 1957 to 2012. If you asked me my favorite years, I would give you one answer today, and another answer tomorrow- I have had a lot of favorites.

Schools are places you go to learn. It doesn’t matter if you are a student or you are a teacher- it continues to be a great place to learn. So in the past 55 years, what have I learned? I feel there are five very important lessons I have learned from my experiences and from observing successful and unsuccessful students.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Most & Least Popular

Our survey results, I find several things interesting.....

1- The majority of our top sports in the Olympics are sports which we probably NEVER watch one minute of during the next four years.

2- In every case, our survey indicates people preferred the women's version of each sport over the men's version.

3- Some sports are influenced by NBC's manipulation of us in their programming. A classic example was with women's volleyball where only part of the championship match were shown.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Creating Accountability

The following is a collection of quotes on creating accountability. It is a list put together by sports psychologist, Jeff Janssen.

Here are 15 killer quotes on accountability you can use with your team:
“When your teammate looks you in the eye and holds you accountable, that’s the greatest kind of leadership there is.” Doug Collins, Philadelphia 76ers Coach
“In putting together your standards, remember that it is essential to involve your entire team. Standards are not rules issued by the boss; they are a collective identity. Remember, standards are the things that you do all the time and the things for which you hold one another accountable.” Mike Krzyzewski, USA Men’s Basketball Coach
“Everybody is going to have to be accountable. If you’re on the field, you have to give me 100 percent. Always. We have to weed out the bad seeds, point blank. If you can’t give me what I’m giving you on the field, I don’t need you on the field with me. I have no problem telling that guy I don’t need him on the field, and I have no problem going to tell Bill (Belichick) I don’t want him on the field. That’s how you win.” Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots
"Coach Belichick holds us accountable everyday. We appreciate when he's tough on us. He gets the best out of us." Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Friday, August 17, 2012

Derrick Rose Ad

Derrick Rose just joined twitter last weekend- as a fan, it is good to read some of his tweets and pictures. Adidas this past Wednesday came out with a new ad. Watch, enjoy, be inspired.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Doug & Chris Collins- 1972 & 2012 Olympics

The following is from the Durham newspaper....

Chris and Doug Collins reflect on 1972, look toward 2012 Olympic title game
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By STEVE WISEMAN; 919-419-6671

DURHAM – A student of basketball and history, Chris Collins eventually learned the story of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team and the gold medal that never came home.

He just didn’t hear about it in his own home.

Doug Collins sank two free throws to give the U.S. a one-point lead over the Soviet Union in the championship game before a strange ending, in which the final three seconds were played and replayed three times, allowed the Russians to grab the gold with a 51-50 win.

Even 40 years later, it’s the most controversial game in Olympic basketball history.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

George Will's Article on Future of Football

This is from the Washington Post....

Are you ready for some football? First, however, are you ready for some autopsies?
The opening of the NFL training camps coincided with the closing of the investigation into the April suicide by gunshot of Ray Easterling, 62, an eight-season NFL safety in the 1970s. The autopsy found moderately severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), progressive damage to the brain associated with repeated blows to the head. CTE was identified as a major cause of Easterling’s depression and dementia.
In February 2011, Dave Duerson, 50, an 11-year NFL safety, committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest to spare his brain tissue for research, which has found evidence of CTE. Brain tissue of 20-season linebacker Junior Seau, who was 43 when he killed himself the same way in May, is being studied. The NFL launched a mental health hotline developed and operated with the assistance of specialists in suicide prevention.

Deng Picture on English Currency

To celebrate the Olympics, Great Britain put the face of a handful of athletes on their currency. Luol Deng was chosen as one of the athletes. My niece, Sarah spent the summer in England and brought me back one.

Popovich Time Out

Breaking Down Coach Popovich’s Perfect Pep Talk May 31 2012

It’s NBA playoff time and, as I write this, the San Antonio Spurs haven’t lost a game since April 11. That streak was almost broken a few nights ago when the Spurs were down big to the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one of the Western Conference championship series. The Spurs turned it around, though, and went on to win after NBA Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich unleashed one of the greatest pep talks I’ve heard in a long time.
The punch line of the talk, “I want some nasty!” is now emblazoned on T-shirts throughout San Antonio. Popovich has won four NBA championships with the Spurs over the years and when you watch the pep talk you can see why. It’s a 27 second model of how to coach and motivate a team.

Popovich’s pep talk contains only 45 words. It’s like a pep talk haiku.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tony Dungy- Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance

Tony Dungy has a book out which sounds fantastic. An exerpt....

"Success is uncommon, therefore, not enjoyed by the common man. You are going to do it with uncommon effort. You can't be average, you can't desire average, to go with the crowd. Those people fall by the wayside."

Kevin Eastman- Bullet Basketball

Another great essay by Kevin Eastman.

"Bullet" Basketball

An ongoing exercise for me is to find ways to “tighten up” my thoughts on the game.  I came up with a term a number of years ago -- “bullet basketball."  It's a process I use to try to put everything that I would ever teach into 3 or 4 bullet points, i.e. points that are easy for the player to digest and remember.

For example, when teaching screening I use three key bullets:          
·      take your screen to the cutter’s defender
·      can’t get low enough or wide enough
·      put your back to the area of attack

For shooting, I use:          
·      be ready on the catch
·      10 toes to the rim
·      perfect follow through – up and over front of rim

There are so many ways to teach this game, but I have found the best way to get points across to players today is to be simple and direct.  Of course, within each of these “bullet points” are explanations that need to be made to the player.  Once these are made and understood, I have a quick and easy vocabulary to use when working with the player or team.

I encourage you to put some thought to this as the summer winds down.  It’s a great exercise, and not quite as easy as you would think.  I know this: players like things simple!

Priorities- Urban Meyers Story

The following story from ESPN the magazine on Urban Meyers is a great story for all of us on our priorities....

Before you join Urban Meyer, who is walking toward the exit of the Ohio State football office, there's a scar you need to see. A few years ago in Gainesville, his middle child, Gigi, planned a celebration to formally accept a college volleyball scholarship to Florida Gulf Coast University. It was football season, so she checked her dad's calendar, scheduling her big day around his job. As the hour approached, she waited at her high school, wanting much, expecting little. Some now-forgotten problem consumed Meyer, and he told his secretary he didn't have time. He wasn't going. His beautiful, athletic, earnest daughter would have to sign her letter of intent without him. Meyer's secretary, a mother of four, insisted: "You're going."

Eighty or so people filed into the school cafeteria. Urban and his wife, Shelley, joined their daughter at the front table, watching as Gigi stood and spoke. She'd been nervous all day, and with a room of eyes on her, she thanked her mother for being there season after season, year after year. 

Then she turned to her father. 

He'd missed almost everything. You weren't there, she told him. 

Shelley Meyer winced. Her heart broke for Urban, who sat with a thin smile, crushed. Moments later, Gigi high-fived her dad without making eye contact, then hugged her coach. Urban dragged himself back to the car. Then -- and this arrives at the guts of his conflict -- Urban Meyer went back to work, pulled by some biological imperative. His daughter's words ran through his mind, troubling him, and yet he returned to the shifting pixels on his television, studying for a game he'd either win or lose. The conflict slipped away. Nothing mattered but winning. Both of these people are in him -- are him: the guilty father who feels regret, the obsessed coach who ignores it. He doesn't like either one. He doesn't like himself, which is why he wants to change.

Pat Summitt at Marquette w Tyler

The following tweet from Pat Summitt, shows her visiting her son at Marquette. Tyler is an assistant women's coach at Marquette.

USA Women's Soccer- Meaning of TEAM

An excellent article on the USA Women's Soccer team and how strong the concept of WE and TEAM is part of their culture. This is from the Washington Post....

LONDON — They stood on the medal stand because of Alex Morgan’s head and Abby Wambach’s feet, because of Hope Solo’s hands and Becky Sauerbrunn’s brain. There are teams that pay lip service to the group they have assembled, to togetherness and unselfishness and sacrifice for each other. And then there is the U.S. women’s soccer team, which pulls those qualities together, ties them with a bow, and presents them as it did Thursday night, with Olympic gold at stake.

Monday, August 6, 2012

DeMatha Preseason Conditioning

The following is a preseason conditioning program for DeMatha.....

Lower body workout--

Kevin Eastman- Working w the Best

 Lessons from the Olympians

I've been very fortunate in my career to work with, talk to, and help improve some of the best players in the game.  As I look at our 2012 Olympic team, I remember working with Kevin Durant when he was a sophomore in high school; with Lebron James as he was entering the draft after his senior year in high school; and with Kevin Love, Chris Paulm and Andre Iguodala as well.  Then there are former Olympic players not on the 2012 team, including Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

More than what I may have taught them, I think about what they have taught me while I had the opportunity to be around them and observe them in action.

From my observations, this much I know -- “The Best” will:
  • outwork others
  • be more disciplined than others
  • have greater drive than others
  • be much more competitive than others
  • do things that others think aren't important
  • do the unrequired extra work
  • always want to know what they can do to get better
  • want to be coached, want to be driven, and want to learn more
These are just some of the characteristics of “The Best" -- all things your players need to recognize in this elite group.  And for all our corporate friends, I think this list is worth thinking about as well. We all can grow and improve if we strive to do these things to the level that “The Best” are willing to do them!

Enjoy watching these special players as they once again strive to bring that Gold Medal to the United States!  We are fortunate to have them representing us!

Kevin Eastman- Characteristics of Successful Coaches

The following is a short essay by Boston Celtic ass't coach, Kevin Eastman. While he is describing characteristics of successful coaches, I would argue it is really about successful people.

5 Characteristics of Successful Coaches

A good friend who is an excellent high school coach asked me, "What are the five most important characteristics someone needs to be a success in this business?"  Needless to say, that sent my mind in motion, as I'm always curious about what makes people successful in their fields.  In fact, much of my reading revolves around this topic.

I came up with different sets of 5's each time I thought about this, though several consistently made the list.  One or more are characteristics that I think may be overlooked.

1.  Respect I believe that the greater respect the coach commands, the easier it is to ensure buy-in from his or her players.  And the more often you can get your team to buy in, the more you're going to see them do what you want them to do.  I've always tried to gain respect by outworking others in the business and trying to learn as much as I can at the place and position I'm in.  Work ethic and this continuing search for knowledge have been keys to my ability to gain respect.

2. Relationships  I believe relationships are the foundation for success in any field.  As a coach, you need to get to know your team, get to know about your team, talk to your players in good times and bad, let your players know you care about them, and develop a trust with your players.

3.  Curiosity  It seems to me that the most successful people in any business have an insatiable intellectual curiosity about their field.  They talk to the best in the business, they read about others, they listen to CDs and DVDs, they want to know what the best are doing and how it can relate to them and their programs, and they are curious to know what you know and how it can fit in to enhace their program or business.

4.  Ability to motivate  Motivation is an aspect of coaching that requires coaches to constantly "read" what's needed for their team and any given player on a daily basis.  It also requires a great deal of thought and study in order to find new ways to accomplish these tasks.  Find out what makes a player tick and then create ways to motivate him to get the most out of him each day.  And be able to recognize when it's a new day that needs a new motivator -- even for the same player who responded yesterday!

5.  Choosing the right job  Make sure you know all you can about a job before taking it.  I've often said that you have to find out if the expectations of the job exceed the reality of the job.  Don't jump at a job that sounds good (to you or to others) or has a certain perceived prestige without learning all you can about the expectations and, frankly, why the job is available.  This process takes significant soul searching, but it's extremely important.  No one can be successful at a place that doesn't have or can't create an environment to succeed.  Remember, too, that the place may be great, and you might even seem to be a good fit, but because of the timing, you need to pass it by.

Evan Wynne

The following is a neat article written by Tom Loewy, talking about Evan Wynne- the son of former girls coach Michelle Wynne and Illini grad John Wynne.

Evan Wynne was — in part — named after Galesburg High School girls basketball coach Evan Massey.
“Coach Massey’s first name was what you might call part of the inspiration,” said Evan Wynne’s mother, Michelle, as she stood surrounded by barrow hogs Thursday afternoon.
The barrow shows were in full swing at the 162nd Annual Knox County Fair. Huge hogs and the kids who raised them moved between stalls and the show ring in a rag-tag kind of procession that — according to parents and the kids competing — served as testament to the enduring values instilled in the children and teens who raise livestock.
Brown-eyed and wearing a bright red shirt, the kid partially named after one of the most successful coaches in the history of the state revealed some of his own personality when he confirmed he names his pigs. Ten-year-old Evan said he called one of his barrows “Charles” because of the way the animal looked.
“He kind of looked like one of those old men you see,” Evan said. “Kind of serious and he looked like he had a little beard. To me, he just looked like a Charles.”