Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What Don Meyer Taught Me

Photo courtesy of NSU Sports Information
I was very sad to hear about the passing of Coach Don Meyer last week. I've never met Coach Meyer in person, only talked to him on the phone, but not many coaches have influenced me more than Coach Meyer. A decade ago, the first coaching videos I ever bought were from his collection. More importantly,he is a genuine master at teaching more than basketball to his players. He's been a great example of what a coach should be. The incredible amount of lives he has touched, and the outpouring of support the last week are direct results of teaching about life.

What I wanted to share on this blog is the biggest lesson I learned from Coach Meyer. A few years ago Coach Meyer spoke at the MN Coaches Association Clinic. He had a lot of great insights, as always, but one quote he had stuck with me. He was talking about teaching and coaching as the last frontier for instilling toughness and discipline in young people. At one point, when talking about the toughness needed to teach and coach,  he said "You need to be the last John Wayne." That comment has stuck with me and has influenced my teaching and coaching. I've realized the importance of being tough FOR your students and teaching them how to be tough. That doesn't necessarily mean yelling and screaming, but being uncompromising in your standards and what you are going to accept in terms of effort, attitude, and behavior. It has helped me become a successful coach and teacher. So for that, and many other things, I thank Coach Meyer from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another Cautionary Tale

The video is a great reminder for players that no matter how much talent you have, you are not guaranteed to make the league. It takes a lot more than talent. It's also a great reminder that taking care of business off the court is far more important than on the court. As a 7th grade teacher I have a lot of young men (and women) who think their athletic talent is going to take them where they want to go - this shows that is just not true. I would encourage you to share this with your team as a cautionary tale. Also important to point out that this was filmed in 2009, Victor Page was just sentenced to ten years in prison this week.