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Writing a Coaching Philosophy - by Ari Fisher

The Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook, @ http://www.coachesclipboard.net
Mr. Fisher is in his twenty-third year at LSU, twenty-one on faculty for the School of Kinesiology. Elevated to Senior Instructor rank in 2014, he has provided instruction for seventeen different courses during his career. Currently he teaches: Individual Wellness and Public Health (KIN 1600/fall, spring and summer), Coaching Basketball (KIN 2516/fall and spring), Mental Health Issues (KIN 2604/summer and fall), Consumer Health (KIN 2603/spring), and Psychology of Coaching (KIN 2526/fall, spring and every intersession). Mr. Fisher supervises physical activity credit exams for Kinesiology undergraduates. He is and has been a valuable member of several Kinesiology and College of Human Sciences committees... more below.

Coach Ari Fisher
Coach Ari Fisher



COACH ARI FISHER
Afishe@lsu.edu or afbrla@yahoo.com

The late Don Meyer was perhaps the most quotable coach in history of the profession. I incorporate his ideas within team coaching, individual training; even my 'Coaching of Basketball' and 'Psychology of Coaching' courses I have taught on the college level for two decades. His views about life, character, burnout, motivation, mental health, etc. are relevant for those serious about a rewarding and worthwhile career.

Two types of coaches exist; those wanting to be a coach, preparing through a physical education college curriculum and other faculty who mentioned in passing about enjoying basketball on TV, thus required to coach because an Athletic Director or Principal must fill a vacant spot.

A sizable majority of teachers within pedagogy work hard, respect the profession and kids with whom they educate, improve knowledge of subject matter and strategies for connecting information with current lives of students so they find it important, and help colleagues create or maintain a positive work environment. A select few distribute busy work or observe kids playing an indoor sport while reading a newspaper, eating snacks and drinking soda. Coaches representing the latter are satisfied with mediocracy due to having no philosophy or one that is vague, incoherent and replete with grammatical/spelling errors; seriously compromising his/her classroom and coaching performance.

One of my first memories attending Don Meyer's coaching academy in Nashville, Tennessee years ago was his beginning of the opening session. The first words were, "It does not matter where you coach, it matters why you coach", a message suggesting a coach must have a want to lead young people using precepts of competency, enthusiasm, and knowledge of sport rudiments/schemes.

New (often young) coaches are taught an importance of creating a functional coaching philosophy to demonstrate substance and seriousness for coaching. However, they elaborate about technical aspects: plays, practicing, drills, game situations, and ancillary ideas such as weight training. Including nothing about character, leadership, or a view of the purpose of athletics borders on inept. Coaches have a title, influence, and power first as teachers. Consequently, a philosophy is about teaching styles, ideas for imaginative team building strategies, how to successfully impact kids of varying ability levels, the role as a coach, defining the profession, and why they should be able to coach themselves. A cursory reference may be expressed about a team-specific issue or general philosophy of play (fast vs. slow; methodical vs. creative; intensity vs. relaxation).

A coach is initially defined by an ability to cogently describe their submitted philosophy for employment. Ideas do not have to be detailed, verbose, or exciting; but should convey how you view the profession, the type of model you wish to demonstrate to players (and all students), and hoped results of the experience participating in organized and official competitive sport. In an interview, an important period of time will be spent by the interviewer attempting to match verbal expression to a written philosophy submitted by the potential employee. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It shows confidence and a positive critically important first impression to superiors and players.



Mr. Fisher is in his twenty-third year at LSU, twenty-one on faculty for the School of Kinesiology. Elevated to Senior Instructor rank in 2014, he has provided instruction for seventeen different courses during his career. Currently he teaches: Individual Wellness and Public Health (KIN 1600/fall, spring and summer), Coaching Basketball (KIN 2516/fall and spring), Mental Health Issues (KIN 2604/summer and fall), Consumer Health (KIN 2603/spring), and Psychology of Coaching (KIN 2526/fall, spring and every intersession). Mr. Fisher supervises physical activity credit exams for Kinesiology undergraduates. He is and has been a valuable member of several Kinesiology and College of Human Sciences committees.

From 1997-2008 while on the Kinesiology faculty, he was Head Boys’ Basketball Coach and Associate Athletic Director at University Laboratory School. His teams won Louisiana High School Class AA State Championships in 2002 and 2004. He was selected District Coach of the Year in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, State Coach of the Year in 2004, and Head Coach for the 2004 Louisiana High School Coaching Association Boys’ Basketball All-Star Game. The 2004 team finished ranked # 17 nationally; the only national ranking for any official sport team in one hundred years of athletics at University Laboratory School.

He is the youngest boys’ coach in Baton Rouge high school basketball history to have teams win two state titles (age 31/March 2002 and age 33/March 2004). His final high school record was 221-117. In 2011 he was Volunteer Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Baton Rouge Community College. Since 2012, Mr. Fisher has been Head Boys’ Basketball Head Coach for the eighth grade Catholic School Athletic League team at Our Lady of Mercy Middle School in Baton Rouge. OLOM teams he coached finished second place in 2013, third place in 2014 and first place in 2015.

Many articles he authored are featured on blogs/websites about basketball coaching theory and team building. He is a member of the Louisiana Basketball Coaching Association. Prior to joining the Kinesiology faculty- from 1993-1996 Mr. Fisher served as Graduate Assistant and Restricted-Earnings Assistant Coach for LSU Men’s Basketball during the tenure of Head Coach Dale Brown. Mr. Fisher was on staff with current Head Coach Johnny Jones, Bob Starkey, and Jim Childers. At the time, he was one of the youngest assistant coaches in the history of the program.


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