Thursday, November 13, 2008

Setting the Tone Early

So, we are a week and a half from the start of the season. The wait is almost over and I can barely contain my excitement. It's a new season and I'm at a new school, Como Park. I've always wanted to teach at a school in the metro, and now I've got my chance. I'm at the freshmen level again, and really enjoy coaching freshmen. It's really fun to see the growth and progress throughout their season.

When beginning any new season, especially when you are a new coach coming in, you have to set the tone early. Let the kids know you are not going to put up with any garbage right off the bat. Let them know what you expect and what your goals are. For our freshmen team this year, I really don't care if we win a game, as long as by the end of the year we've got a bunch of freshmen who are fundamentally sound and ready to be successful JV and varsity players. I believe that the freshmen level is all about player development. I just want the guys that play for me to improve and be ready to be varsity players. If the freshmen that play for me are .500 as freshmen and go on to win 20+ games as seniors, then I feel have done my job. If they have 20 wins as freshmen and are .500 as seniors, then I don't feel I have done my job. We won, but didn't get them ready to be varsity players. This is just my philsophy however and I am sure others feel differently.

For the freshmen team however, HOW we win and lose is important in my opinion. If we lose because the other team had a lot of fancy Xs and Os, was just more talented, or because we went deeper into the bench and played more guys, then so be it. I can live with that. If we lose because of dumb mistakes, lack of fundamental play, or lack of hustle then I'm not going to be very much fun. I can't live with this second set of reasons for losses. This expectation is something I have to make sure my guys understand early and execute. They have to know and UNDERSTAND the difference between the two types of losses.

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