Thursday, December 9, 2010

High School Coach on Leadership

A successful local high school coach sent the following on Leadership:

"One aspect of being a good leader is pulling out the best that others have to offer. For a point guard it can be getting the ball to teammates in spots where they can be effective and certainly not in spots where they might get into trouble. Steve Nash, Magic Johnson and Mark Jackson are obvious examples. On the court is important but off the court is also a factor. Players that are role players on the court can be leaders if they have a certain charisma. These leaders are still most effective if they bring the best out of people. Some players may tend to have a bad attitude. Leaders make sure the team is unified in purpose and selfish or destructive attitudes stay hidden, or, really effective leaders can get people to buy in to the team purpose in such a way that bad attitudes change. We see this at the professional level all the time. Dennis Rodman and Ron Artest (with the Pacers) could be destructive without effective leadership like that of Phil Jackson.

Everyone brings something to the table. Coaches take the best of what their players have to offer and try to cover up their weaknesses. That can sometimes be difficult because players must sometimes be forced to improve on their weaknesses in game situations. I personally like players to focus on these weaknesses during the off season when player development is a priority. If a player is trying to incorporate a new skill they must first perform that skill consistently in practice and then transition to performing it in a game. By district play, I make a decision on what skills I want players to execute in games....

Coaches are trying to bring out the best in their team. One way to make the team better is to create more skills in your players so you have more skills to pull out.(My highlight)

In contrast to core players, role players bring what they do best to the table. Role players are role players for a reason. While they have particular skills, they also have deficiencies. For a team to function at a high level these deficiencies need to stay hidden until they become strengths. Like I said earlier, role players can be leaders. These players understand more than others what their strengths and weaknesses are. Bruce Bowen played lights out D and made corner threes. He didn’t attack the basket or take a lot of mid-range jumpers. Derek Fisher is the unquestioned leader of the Lakers but on the court he is a role player partly because he doesn’t try to do more than he can. Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks….proves my point. "