Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Players and the Test

Photo courtesy of hawkhoopclub.org
Last week I was attending an AVID conference in Philadelphia for school and I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to sit down with Coach Phil Martelli of St. Joe's University. I respect Coach Martelli a lot for his knowledge and passion for the game. He's old school in his willingness to share his thoughts and ideas with other coaches. We talked for almost two hours and he was very open with his answers - he wasn't hiding anything and was very honest.

One of the best pieces of knowledge he shared was his approach to game time. I've heard him say it before in articles and videos, but it was great to hear it again. He made the analogy of a teacher and a coach. The teacher works hard to prepare the students for the test, but when the test comes how do they act? Are teaching running up and down the aisles screaming at the players "REMEMBER YOUR TIMES TABLES!!!!" or are they quiet and relaxed? Coach Martelli went on to explain how so many coaches are crazy on the sideline but are they really doing any good? Is all the yelling and screaming sinking in or simply floating out the opposite ear? He went onto explain how great coaches prepare their team all week for the game - even having to yell and scream at times, but when it's game time they relax and let the players play. Great coaches make a few, calm, adjustments as the game goes on as opposed to stalking the sidelines in a rage.

For me this really hit home. I used to be a huge yeller and a screamer on the bench. I would have hated to play for me - although I felt like the guys played hard.  Over the last few years I have mellowed, but not enough. Every game I go in saying I am going to be calm and laid back, however that usually isn't the case. So this year I am going to make an even greater effort to relax during the games and be a true teacher during the "tests".

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