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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Shot Clock- Yes or No

The NBA, FIBA, and NCAA all use a shot clock. Now the Wisconsin HS Association is adding a shot clock. It certainly seems to be a trend.

Some feel it is only a matter of time before Illinois will add it. People in favor believe it will speed the game up and prevent end of the game stalling. Those opposed are concerned about the cost and the need for trained operators.

What are your thoughts? Fill out the survey on this page.

I asked some high school coaches there thoughts....

Jay Hatch, Hall of Fame Coach
I believe that a shot clock would be a bad idea for high school. I don't think there is a big issue with teams holding the ball, so I don't see the need. Here are the negatives, I believe:
1. Having played with a shot clock in college, what happens is the last 10 seconds of the clock are a time pressure, so it is an excuse for a player to take a bad shot.
2. Shot clock tends to make it so the more athletic team will win the game.  Basketball is not supposed to be the decathlon.
3. I think scoring will go down.  Taking rushed shots does not lead to more makes.
The far larger issue in my mind is getting more qualified officials.  Calling the game better will lead to more scoring.  Basketball has become far, far too physical.

Lexi Daniels

As an 8th grader at Lombard JH, Lexi Daniels was a dominant player. She was a point guard and was a scorer. She came to Galesburg HS, and made the varsity as a freshman. She never played freshmen or sophomore basketball. She played regularly for the varsity all four years. Lexi was one of the best three point shooters to ever play for Galesburg High School.

If people saw her play at Lombard, her high school success would have seemed predictable. But in athletics, it doesn’t always work out the way we might predict. Just because a player has great success early does not mean they are automatically going to have success later.

While a player may be a star in JH, to have the same success as a junior or senior requires a willingness to work on their individual skills. Being a 30% shooter is great in JH but it won’t cut it on the varsity level. A player must be willing to keep working and improving.

I read an article that said great pro shooters make 90% of open shots when shooting on their own. Great college shooters make 75% of open shots when unguarded, and great high school shooters will make 60% of their practice shots. By the time Lexi was a senior and shot on the Gun, she would consistently make 55-70% of her threes. She was a great high school shooter.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


This is our 1980 Streaks basketball team. They had an outstanding season....

- 21-4

- Ranked #7 in Illinois

- Undefeated WB6 champs

It was one of my most enjoyable years as a coach. Why? Yes, we won a lot of games. But look at the faces in this huddle. This was a group that competed but it was also a group who wanted to be coached.

My last year as an assistant in boys basketball, I remember trying to help a guy with his shot. His comeback, "That won't work." Clearly he didn't want to be coached. In order to be coached, you have to start with a certain degree of humility. You have to recognize the need to improve. The player I was trying to help either didn't recognize the need to improve or didn't see me as an effective instructor or was just lazy.

When I moved into girls basketball, I found girls who were eager to learn, willing to work, and wanting to compete. We could go upstairs and run repeats in the upstairs hallway. A lap was 300 yards and we would run a lap, rest 2 minutes, then run another. We would do this six times- it was a track workout. But the players never questioned, they just ran and competed. We were in great shape, we ran people and pressed people off the floor all year.

Are girls more coachable than boys? I will leave that to experts to research the topic. I have had the pleasure of coaching very coachable young men in cross country and basketball. So it is not a gender thing.

I was just very lucky to fall into the GHS girls coaching position when a group of very talented group was coming thru, and a group who wanted to be coached. Nothing could be better for a coach. One of my most enjoyable experiences!!

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Jamy Bechler is the author of the book, "The Leadership Playbook." It is a book looking at how players and coaches can develop better leadership skills. 

On June 28, 2016, Bechler wrote an outstanding essay about creating legacy. It was written upon the death of Coach Pat Summitt. It challenges the reader to look at Coach Summitt's legacy, and reflect on what our personal legacies will be. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Tough- Loyal

Cassidy Hardin is a high school player who has committed to play at Purdue. She is in the class of 2018. She also won the Indiana State title in tennis doubles- impressive- more impressive is that she won it playing on a broken foot. 

The story continues on....

It is a story of loyalty to teammates and a story of toughness.

Brea Beal

The following is from the Dispatch- Argus on July 20, discussing the recruitment of Brea Beal of Rock Island. It talks about what she has been doing this summer and about how she and her father are handling the recruiting process.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Strength Training

“I have worked hard in the weight room, I don’t want to lose it, what do I do now?”

Why Is Strength Training Important for Athletes?
1-    Strength training will help the athlete prevent injuries.
2-    Strength training will improve athletic performance- the athlete will be able to move better and jump higher.
3-    Strength training will help athletes to be able to perform specific skills of their sports better.
4-    Strength training will help athletes be able to perform for longer periods of time.

What Are Basics of Weight Training?
1-    Lifting three to four days per week is needed to build strength.
2-    Rest days are important for muscle building.
3-    Diet is important for muscle building.
4-    When starting, it is important to use light weight and develop proper lifting techniques. Weight lifting is not the reason athletes “get hurt” in the weight room, it is improper technique being used.
5-    Always have a spotter who helps you with the weight but who also helps you identify if your technique is getting sloppy.
6-    You improve strength by lifting to muscular exhaustion. If the weight is lifted with ease, you are not challenging the muscle.
7-    Lifting two days per week will not be building muscle, it will be maintaining your strength.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sara Wood- Leadership

Sara Wood was a starting guard on the Streaks varsity teams in 1994, 1995, and 1996. During that time the Streaks went 82-15, won two WB6 titles, three Regionals, two Sectionals, finished 3rd in State.

Sara was one of the toughest and most competitive players to ever play for Galesburg HS basketball.

Sara was a relentless worker in high school. She stayed after EVERY practice for 30-45 minutes to do a ball handling and shooting routine. She went from being a below average shooter as a sophomore to being an exceptional shooter as a junior and senior.

Sara worked so hard to improve her ball handling that she go right or left with equal skill. When we played Stevenson HS in the State Semi-finals in 1996, the opposing team’s scouting report listed Sara as being left handed.

The IHSA rules did not allow coaches to coach players during summer games until after 2000. Sara served as coach for our varsity team during the summer games when she was in college. Sara was a tough, no nonsense type leader. Once when we were playing at Maine West, the varsity team lost and played with little energy or competitiveness. When the game ended, Sara took them outside and for a good 15 minutes gave them a stern lecture on competing and toughness.

Sara has gone onto have a career in the military. She just recently moved from active duty in the Marines, and is now in the Marine reserves. Having known Sara’s competitive nature in high school, it is not surprising to know she has had a successful career in the Marines.

I had a chance to ask her questions about her career in the Marines.   

Massey- You played, competed as a freshmen and sophomore in basketball, but somewhere along the line- you took things to another level in terms of your work and your commitment. You worked hard but at some point just took things to another level.
Do you remember was there a moment, a game, an event that caused a change in your approach?

Sara- The summer before my freshman year I played with the sophomore team and would sometimes play with the varsity as a practice player (Ann Henderson, Christy Hickey…) and noticed how much stronger and faster those girls were than I was at the time.  That’s when I started dedicating myself more to the weight room and played more pickup ball at both the YMCA and Carver Center.  Ami (Pendry) and I both played on the sophomore team that year and I knew that if I didn’t get better, both in terms of shooting and playing defense that I wouldn’t make the varsity the following year so that summer before my sophomore year was really focused on getting better.  We had a good team that year but I also knew that Molly Watson would probably start as a sophomore at point guard and that if I wanted to start my junior year I would have to be someone that could basically play any of the guard positions, meaning I would need to get better with my left hand and also be in better shape.  I really just wanted to play and didn’t really care what position (1,2,or 3) so I thought that being more versatile would give me a better shot in terms of playing time.

Massey- As a high school athlete, did you have an athlete who you looked up to?

Sara- When I was a younger and going through Streaks camp I always looked up to Cammi Heiman, The Hickey Sisters, Ann Henderson, Shannon Johnson, Linda Carlson, Tiffany Sibley… I loved watching Duke basketball, especially Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill.  I also looked up to a lot of my teammates.  Steph Mitchell was a great shooter and Ami, Molly, and Jen Bulkeley worked really hard in the off season so they were great models to follow. 

Massey- Your dad had been a successful high school and college player, how did that impact your goals, work ethic, approach?

Sara- My Dad has always been very supportive of whatever I wanted to do but told me that I had to put in the time and work if I wanted to play.  Natural ability can only take you so far and that there are always going to be people that are stronger and faster.  Learning the game, studying both my opponents and my teammates was always emphasized.  Practice, practice, practice…always practice harder than you play the game so when game time does come you are used to operating a higher level when you are tired.  Know your teammates and put them in good positions, recognize opportunities on the floor not just for yourself but for others.  He always emphasized being a good teammate and when you make mistakes move on.