Monday, April 21, 2014

Being a Star in Your Role - As a Coach

Over the last few days I have been exchanging e-mails with an older coach who is frustrated that he's probably not going to get a head coaching job again and is "stuck" being an assistant or JV high school coach. He's understandably disappointed and upset, but is having a hard time letting it go. It reminded me of how important it is to be a "star in your role", especially for COACHES! Sometimes I get frustrated with not having a chance to be a head coach, and this is a great reminder to focus on the task at hand. My job at Tartan is to be the BEST sophomore coach, scout, and statistician that a high school has ever had - nothing more, nothing less. Being a star in your role is a term that Coach Klingsporn used, and I loved. Coach Klingsporn used it when talking to players about embracing their role - don't just do your role, star in it!

As coaches we expect athletes to star in the role they are assigned but many coaches have a hard time being a star in theirs. Coaches want more say as assistants, want a higher job, etc. It's human nature! It's OK to WANT more than you currently have, but it's not ok to not be great where you currently are. I've heard a few coaches criticize their head coaches and I just shake my head.

Kevin Eastman (pictured above and to the right) is Doc Rivers right hand man both during Coach Rivers' successful run with the Celtics and now with the Clippers. Coach Eastman is likely the most famous assistant in the NBA with a ton of great materials. One of the best things I've heard Eastman say on assistants is in the following story. Eastman tells a story about a friend coming to watch him at Celtics' practice. After practice the coach says to Eastman "Why didn't you tell Doc Rivers more? You know what you are doing and could have talked so much more". Eastman's response, "That's not my f****** job". Eastman gets it. His job is to make Doc Rivers look good. I might not be the best role, and he may want to be a head coach, but you can't tell. Kevin Eastman is a star in his role, and a darn good one at that! He's a great example for all assistants and lower level coaches everywhere.


Kyle Ohman said...

Great thoughts! I am sure that Doc Rivers would also be quick to recognize coach Eastman as a big part of his basketball coaching success.

JohnCarrier said...

I agree, but Eastman would be the last, which is why he's a great assistant and a true asset. And the best part is he may be the most well known assistant in the NBA without having to be flashy.