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August 15, 2014     Newsletter #43

Dear Coaches, Players, Friends,

Announcing! Coach's Clipboard website is getting a new face-lift very soon. In addition to the new look, a few other features include (1) responsive web design for viewing in any size browser, whether a desktop, tablet or mobile phone; (2) larger, better video clips, compatible with all formats including iPad and iPhone; (3) animated diagrams (in HTML5 format) will be viewable in all browsers, tablets and phones; (4) new design allows for better printing of articles, plays, etc.
FYI... there is no change in the company... I still own and operate it and plan to continue to do so for a long time (God willing!) Thank you for all your support over the years! It's been fun - Coach Gels

Today's Quotes
"It's a profession in which, the longer you stay, the closer you are to being fired." - Al McGuire

"A team should be an extension of a coach's personality. My teams are arrogant and obnoxious." - Al McGuire

Today's theme is "Tips on Entering the Coaching Profession"

- written by Ari Fisher.

1. Obtain a college degree (preferably in HPE) so you can teach. Master's degree suggested if you want to coach college. Courses to take as electives in college: public speaking, sociology, psychology, coaching, history, english.

2. Watch coaches during games attempting to understand decisions instead of criticizing.

3. Personal emotional traits needed for success: strong value system, good self-esteem, integrity, and effective communication skills. Know the jargon of your sport. Have a thick skin because coaching is a public profession and you will be criticized. Develop an imagination: schemes in any sport are already discovered so you won't invent anything; but you take something and put your own twist in it.

4. Make sure you know how to manage time, space, and people. If you are sloppy, disorganized, and unprepared you won't last long in the profession. Work as if everything you do would be chronicled in the local newspaper.

5. You probably will begin as an assistant on the middle/high school level: be loyal, suck scum- a Don Meyer term (no job is too small for you-John Wooden swept the court before each practice), be prepared, work beyond what is necessary, never say no, have a good knowledge of the game, and work as if you were the head coach. When you're through improving, you are through. Read: "Make the Big Time Where You Are, Eleven Rings" and other books you might find useful.

6. Should you coach children or young adolescents, the major goal is to develop appreciations for exercise and physical fitness. Not winning the league.

7. Must understand the fact that "coaching is teaching". You can't be poor at explaining things if you want to be successful. Additionally you have to possess patience.

8. Have some PIE: passion, intensity, enthusiasm. Create a working philosophy for you and your team. BE YOURSELF- when I stopped being Bobby Knight or Dale Brown or Rick Pitino we won.

9. Preparation, preparation, preparation= motivation. A speech or movie clip or guest speaker is not true motivation; it might last a few minutes but if players are prepared for every eventuality it will develop a sense of confidence and players will want to show it off in games.

10. Make where you are coaching important; even a small YMCA team or college team. Don't get caught up in winning. Focus on reaching your potential as a team (might be one win or a championship). It doesn't matter where you coach; it matters why you coach (another Don Meyer thought). Allow players some ownership of the process. Success is a long hard process. Don't overcoach, players should never be robotic and unable to make decisions during games.

11. Never label a player; label a behavior or certain play but keep dignity intact. Coaching is not an adversarial relationship as everyone is on the same side. Labeling is mean and if the player begins to believe the label then you've lost any effectiveness they might provide.

12. Be a transformational coach and not transactional. Be in control of your emotions and rational in lieu of emotional with decision making. You have to 'play well with others' and handle difficult people.

13. It is true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Answer those questions before speaking.

14. Top of the mountain and bottom of the valley. Likely you will be in both places during your career. Be able to handle success and failure.

At age 44, Ari Fisher has coached 30 years on all levels of basketball with the exception of the pros. At 23 he became a GA then third assistant coach at LSU for Dale Brown; a total period of four seasons from 1993-19977. He then became head high school coach at LSU Lab School in Baton Rouge where his teams won 2 state titles and secured the school's first national ranking in any sport- led by current NBA players Glen Davis and Garrett Temple. After a five year retirement from coaching due to burnout, he now coaches 8th grade boys basketball at a local Catholic Middle School in Baton Rouge. For 21 years he has been an undergraduate instructor in the LSU School of Kinesiology; teaching courses about health and coaching theory

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Till next time...
Best wishes,
Dr. Jim Gels, aka "Coach Gels"
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