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Thursday, August 26, 2010

L.A.W.S. of Coaching Youth Basketball

Early on in his new, yet-to-be-released DVD, Coach John Tauer shares an acronym, "LAWS of Coaching" that encapsulates some good 'rules of thumb' to share with your youth teams.

L - Listening: Every great player is a great listener.
A- Athletic stance: Always be in an athletic stance in every drill during practice.
W - Working hard: Players who want to be great have to take pride in giving everything they have during every drill in practice.
S- Selfless: Put the team above the individual self.

Look for Tauer's "Hierarchy of Youth Basketball Drills" DVD series later in September 2010 at!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clarifying the Intuitive

Yesterday, I completed the online course, "Double Goal Coaching I - Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons" from Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

Following my 'final exam', I received a certificate of completion and a note of congratulations from the folks at PCA.

The image above is of Positive Coaching Alliance founder Jim Thompson, who founded PCA in 1988 at Stanford University where he teaches classes in coaching, leadership, sport and spirituality. He provides narrative at different times in the online module, along with several sports figures, including PCA's national spokesman, Phil Jackson.

The course is really well done and for me, it clarified the intuitive thoughts that I have long held about what is wrong and what is right when it comes to parents on the sidelines, athlete behavior at practice and during games, what is the proper way to start off a season, and on and on. Based on observations of good and poor examples, some training, some reading and video research, I have formed many opinions and strategies when I have coached youth teams.

The terrific packaging and clarification, all backed up with sound research and effective video examples, by PCA made the process of taking the course a complete joy. We have partnered with PCA's Ray Lokar on several youth basketball coaching DVDs (due out later in September) and he uses the 'double-goal coach', 'second goal parent', 'triple impact athlete', 'flushing mistakes', etc. terminology of PCA throughout his DVDs.

Having now read the books by Jim Thompson and now taken the course, I am pleased to recommend it for anyone coaching at any level!

Here is a link to one of Jim's books on our website:

It is a terrific read!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flooding the Fields

In the past week, we (in Ames, Iowa) have experienced the wrath of what happens when it rains for several days straight (following the wettest winter and summer on record) and there's no place for the water to go.

Here are some excellent aerial photographs (thanks to the Des Moines Register):

A few things I observed:
  • Post-1993 flood planning and excellent teamwork by the City of Ames staff minimized the worst case scenarios.
  • Sump pumps can only work as long as there is a way and place for the water to get out and go somewhere.
  • People band together in times of crisis.
After losing drinkable water, power in parts of the city and use of nearly all public park facilities, less than one week later, students are moving in at the University, some soccer practices are being held tonight, and we are able to drink tap water, shower and brush teeth again.

Appreciate everything you have right now - you never know how great you have it until it is taken away from you!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fundamentals Factory for Youth Basketball

Ray Lokar is a 30+ year basketball coach who has been immersed in the sport at all levels from very young youth basketball coaching all the way up to coaching at the college level. He has also been involved with the Positive Coaching Alliance and is currently the lead trainer in the Southern California area.

We recently partnered with "Coach Lok" on a series of excellent instructional training resources. "Ray Lokar's Fundamentals Factory for Youth Basketball", currently in post-production, is an amazing series of teaching points, drills, exercises, life lessons, coaching tips, team building and more. Coach Lok is terrific in his approach. He works with a group of young kids, most of whom have never worked with him before, and transforms them over the duration of this DVD, into a team-like unit capable of great potential.

I'll send out a note when this DVD is completed and ready to ship. If you are coaching any level of youth basketball in the next 12 months, I will strongly recommend this as a "must-see" DVD!