Last year I asked some outgoing seniors to reflect on their experience playing basketball for four years. I decided to ask for feedback again this year from the outgoing seniors.
What would you do differently if you were to coach?
Senior One: You were a little too analytical. The information sometimes hurt players’ ability to make decisions and left them hesitant.
Senior Two: You need to get in players faces more. Be tougher (not quite in those terms). If the player cannot handle it, that is her problem. Any time that people are making repeated mistakes it’s not acceptable. If people are not playing well on that particularly night, then they should not play. Tell them what they need to do differently and make them reflect on it in that moment.
You also need to put slightly less emphasis on stats. It got into people’s heads. For players that do not have a good percentage, work on it with them individually without sharing the numbers. They start pressing and thinking about it otherwise.
What would you do the same if you were to coach?
Senior One: The Pyramid of Success. It is something that I will take with me everywhere.
Senior Two: Knowing the scouting reports of our upcoming opponents and breaking down exactly how we will handle certain situations. Knowing their sets and how we defend certain actions is helpful. I do like the analytics we have in general. I think it is especially helpful in breaking down an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to us.
Senior One: Not continuing to play AAU basketball past middle school. I enjoyed it, but time made it difficult to make it work.
Senior Two: I was really upset after our last game [north quarterfinal playoff loss]. The team energy just did not reach its potential. I could have lived with us losing, but not the way we lost.
Senior One & Senior Two: Playing our initial playoff game at home and winning senior year. The atmosphere was twice as good as it was two seasons ago.
Legacy Beyond Basketball
This question I love. If I ask my students in class as a teacher, most of them will wiggle out of it by saying I do not know. In this scenario, as sort of a last act as coach and player, the player must answer. Each senior thought for a moment, but told me with conviction what they will be remembered for at their own funeral.
Senior One: Regardless of the situation I want to be remembered as someone that has a positive attitude. The harder the situation, the more people will remember you for the way that you handled yourself.
Senior Two: I want to do something that has a massive effect on someone else’s life.