If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing the legendary Coach Don Meyer speak… you are missing out. Not only does he have more W’s than any coach in the history of college basketball… he is a tremendous public speaker. To say he is a wealth of knowledge would be an understatement. Coach Meyer has forgotten more about the game than most coaches will ever know!
I have had the pleasure of hearing him speak on three different occasions in the last 5 years… and each time I was blown away. Each time I furiously took notes until my hand cramped. Everything he says is of value – there is no fluff. I have also had the privilege of speaking privately with Coach Meyer, which was a real honor. He is the epitome of a servant leader and is overwhelmingly humble, genuine, and authentic.
Even though we have only met in passing, and don’t really know each other, he has had a profound impact on my coaching career and philosophy. I will be forever grateful to Coach Don Meyer.
If you haven’t checked out his site, you need to do so as soon as you are finished reading this blog. True to form, he has a FREE Power Point (140+ pages!) you can download on leadership. It is outstanding. You can find it at www.CoachMeyer.com
Also, if you haven’t read How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer (by Buster Olney), add that to your list. It is hands down one of the most powerful stories I have ever read. It will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you cheer. You can order it at www.Amazon.com
If you follow me on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/AlanStein), you know in the past few months I have dropped a hurricane of Tweets on a variety of different topics. This past weekend at the MBCA Clinic in Minneapolis, Coach Meyer spit too much knowledge for me to Tweet. Yes, you read that correctly, too much for even me to Tweet!
So here is Hurricane Meyer:
NOTE: I’m not going to bother with adding quote marks… everything that follows came straight from his mouth!
· I’m just an old basketball coach… so I don’t know everything like these young coaches today do.
· Coaching = Leadership (you can’t coach if you can’t lead)
· You can play, coach, or officiate. Pick ONE.
· I don’t make decisions because they are easy, popular, or convenient. I make them because they are right.
· A scared team is a quiet team. Great teams are vocal and communicate!
· A great coach sees the little things. A great coach looks at Cindy Crawford and only notices the mole.
· Great coaches balance repetition with variety.
· Your goal: to be the best team on your schedule!
· Sad reality: every parent would rather their son/daughter make All-State than for the team to win the State Championship.
· Fundraising idea: set up an auction and buy your players for what they are worth and sell them for what their parents think they are worth!
· Be your own worst critic. Be your own best expert.
· Foundation of Coaching: know who you are and know what you stand for.
· Make the big time where you are.
· Choose battles small enough to win but big enough to fight.
· Be a skill coach, not a drill coach. You must teach the game!
· Practice the way you are going to play in games.
· A good player knows where they are on the court. A great player knows where everyone is on the court. The best players know where everyone is and what they should be doing!
· Kids today don’t listen, but they do watch. Set the example with your actions!
· Every day you should make a ‘needs assessment.’ What does my team need from me to get better?
· Let your players know these 2 things every day: here is one thing you are doing well (and why) and here is one thing you can do better (and how).
· Always plan, prepare, and practice like you just lost your last game.
· It costs you nothing to do the right thing. It can cost you everything when you do the wrong thing.
· You can choose captains, but you can’t pick leaders. Leadership comes from within.
· Whoever controls the locker room controls the team. Do you control it? Or do your players?
· Everyone needs to have someone believe in them. For players from ‘broken’ homes, the coach may be the only person who does!
· If you coach for any reason other than the love the game or because you want to impact kids, you are in the wrong business.
· You can only reach your potential as a team if your best player is your hardest worker.
· Don’t do 50 things one time to get better, do one thing 50 times (repetition = improvement).
· 3 people on your team need to ‘bring it’ every day: the head coach, the point guard, and the best player.
· Expect greatness. Inspect greatness. Accept greatness.
· It’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. Don’t accept that as an excuse very often!
· Don’t coach on emotion. Get mad, calm down… then act mad.
· Celebrate every win… until you get to the locker room. Then move on to the next game.
· The worst day in coaching is still better than the best day doing just about anything else!
· Plan your week on Sunday. Plan the next day, in greater detail, the night before.
· Great teams are good enough to win even when the ‘ball doesn’t bounce their way.’
· Rules for individual workouts: personal and purposeful
· You must practice with the poise and effort of a championship team to become a championship team.
· Great coaching: clear, concise, complete
· It’s not who we play or where we play, its how we play that matters.
· You must teach all 6 phases of the game:
o Defensive coverage (transition, talk, point)
o Shot pressure (contest, alter shot)
o Rebound (block out, pursue, chin the ball, outlet)
o Value the ball (move the ball, hard cuts, set screens)
o Shot discipline (Who? Where? When?)
o Offensive board coverage
· The more you think, the slower your feet move.
· Don’t give directions that can be understood, give directions than can’t be misunderstood.
· If you have to tell everyone you are great… you aren’t.
· Gossipers say behind your back what they won’t say to your face. Flatterers say to your face what they won’t say behind your back.
· Positioning, anticipation and technique create quickness. Therefore, you can always get quicker.
· You can never work too much on shooting.
Well there you have it, a ton of knowledge from one of the best ever.
Please honor Coach Meyer and forward this blog to at least one other coach. Help me spread his message.
I appreciate you and wish you the best this season,