Wednesday, July 5, 2017

I am a TOTG and always a SOTG- Coach Scott Fields

I am a TOTG and always a SOTG
-Coach Scott Fields




This is always an exciting time of the year for me. I am a professional basketball coach. There are no days off, the grind is everyday. The NBA Finals are in the books and the Golden State Warriors are again the NBA Champions. The Draft has passed and the NBA summer leagues are in full swing. July 1, the Orlando Summer league action has taken place. I watch all the games from NBA TV.  The Utah Summer league is also going on and it is basically in my backyard. July 7, the Vegas NBA summer league will be the hub of all things in Professional basketball.
The NBA summer league is many things to many people. Drafted players get their first feel of the NBA and professional basketball. Undrafted players are trying to gain the exposure needed to either get invited into a camp, or GM's from around the globe are looking for the perfect fit for their teams in FIBA leagues around the globe. Fans get up close and personal. Autograph seekers are 1) either obtaining signatures for their collection, or 2)  they try to have anything signed that they can sale on e bay ?
For me, I get excited, as I consider myself a TOTG (Teacher of the Game) Young professionals need to be taught the game. I have said this before, but AAU basketball has ruined the game and the Teaching of the game. AAU is all about games, all about money, all about sponsorship, all about selling shoes and marketing their shoes.  Young players do not learn the proper fundamentals, they do not learn the proper mechanics of shooting. Coaches don't have time to Teach the game. Coaches are to busy recruiting what they feel is the top talent. Why do you think entitlement is an issue?  Coaches chase these players and are constantly telling them how great they are. These AAU coaches have other agenda's. The AAU coaches have ulterior motives, What discipline is being taught? What accountability is being taught? what fundamentals are being taught? oh boy, I could go on and on. I will say this, I feel AAU can gain great exposure for young athletes, AAU can also allow players an opportunity to play against other top talent across the country, and if a player is honest with himself, AAU can be a great measuring stick of their personal talents and skill sets. . but why do you think you see more Individual skill development coaches across the country? why do teams all invest in Player development coaches? because AAU basketball doesn't TEACH the game.
I am a TOTG (Teacher of the Game). I have  a detailed eye. I pay attention to many of the small but important details of the game.  NBA summer league action allows me to be a SOTH, (Student of the game). I get to observe many games, I get to observe many coaches, I watch and steal ATOs, (after time outs) SLOB, (Sideline out of Bounds) BLOB, (Baseline out of Bounds) I watch and steal end of game and end of quarter special situations. I like to watch for how people defend the Pick and Roll , Pick in Roll at top of the key, Pick and Roll from elbow extended. I like to watch how teams and coaches run offensive sets, do they run plays, or do they have a offensive system?
I also like to watch the play of the PG, (Point Guard) I watch for the decision making, I watch how they control the pace, control the space, do they direct the team, do they make their team mates better? are the a score first player? are they a pass first player? Do they defend well? do they pick up for 94 feet? Do they force you out of the comfort zone? Are they out of control? Do they pass to the teammates shooting hand, do they hit them in their offensive rhythm. Do they hit them in the knees? hit them low? hit them in the shooters pocket? do they hit the outside hand off of a curl? These things all need to be taught, Does the PG set good screens? is he a vocal leader? Does he lead by example. these again are all great Teachable moments for a coach. Do the players talk on Defense? are the players versatile? can they read and recognize mismatches? Can players shoot the mid range jump shot? can they finish around the basket? do they have a floater game?
Can a player shoot off of the dribble, can they shoot a 1 dribble pull up? a two dribble pull up? Can a player hand the ball with pressure? Can a player get to his spots? Can the player make a post entre pass? Is the player only comfortable in the open court? can they execute in a half court system? again this is why I am a TOTG. I enjoy all the nuances of the game? How are the players shooting mechanics? Does he use his balance hand correctly?  Does the player have proper balance? what is the player looking at when they shoot? How is the follow through? is the player proper aligned to the target? what is the target? does the player fit a system? Does the player defend well? what does the player look at when he defends? does the player have good footwork on offense? does the player have proper foot work with their lateral movement? where is the off hand on defense? If you are a SOTG(Student of the Game) you will always look to learn how to teach these things properly. You will try to learn new terminology? You will look to steal new offensive sets, you will look for how to defend special situations? you will learn how to manage and control a game as a coach. If you are a head coach, you will need to know how to utilize the talents and skills of the players to empower the Team and help the team to be successful. If you are an assistant coach, you need to be able to assist the head coach with making game adjustments. The NBA summer league is a great opportunity to TEACH and develop the talent. if you are a TOTG you will thrive on this time of the year, as the summer is when players add to their skills sets, the summer is when a player develops his skills, adds to his skills, Players need this time, even though there is no off season for a true player. Summer means adding to your assets, working on a counter move. working on your deficiencies. Coaches can use this time to be a SOTG, learn and steal ideas, philosophies, learn new systems, Pick the brains of the games best TOTG.


I love NBA summer league action as the markets opens. This year 2017 is unique, more front office moves have been made than coaches have moved. More Presidents  have been replaced, more GM's have moved onto other franchises. I am thrilled to see the new teams coming into the former D league, it is now the G league as Gatorade is the new league sponsor. This league is all about player development, but also coaches are being developed, referees are being developed, this is also an opportunity for young front office executives, marketing and sales positions are being filled. to me if you are a TOTG you are more successful and much more marketable. I assure you if you are not a SOTG you will not be successful and the game that is evolving and changing will pass you by.


I am speaking of myself here, but I have always considered myself a TOTG and I will always be a SOTG. My bio and resume speaks for itself. because I am a TOTG I have been blessed to have had much success. My Teams have won, my Players are developed. I am more proud of the number of Players I have placed with their respected National teams. We have developed over 100 players to play and compete in either the Olympic games or the World Championships. I can even be boastful and say, I have been blessed enough to have worked with players who have played not only in the NBA but also won NBA Championships. I was smart enough to be a SOTG when I was around them.


I love this game. I love the NBA Summer league. I get to be in my environment. I am around my former players. I get to see many coaching friends. I see players working on their craft. I see agents from around the globe. I get to see and spend time with my NBA front office friends, I get to see and spend time with my NBA coaching friends. I am in SOTG mode. I watch games, I watch practices, and when asked or if given the opportunity I am in full TOTG mode.


Yes, I am a TOTG (Teacher of the Game). and Yes, I will always take this time to be a SOTG (Student of the Game)- Coach Scott Fields































Friday, June 30, 2017

"The things I THINK and need to share" - Coach Scott Fields

"The things I think and need to share"- Coach Scott Fields

I think it was a line from the movie Jerry McGuire, you know the one, Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr.  "Show me the money" !
Tom Cruise sets up late at night while attending a convention and he has a moment when he had so much on his mind and needed an outlet. He starts typing a memo to all of his colleagues. I think in the movie he says, the things we think, but are afraid to say? He grew a conscience and put into words all of his thoughts, all of his feelings, all of his emotions.....I think you have the idea.


Well, here I sit at a laptop and I too am going to share some thoughts on this,  the eve of the NBA's  Free agency. The eve of the start of the 2017 NBA Summer League in Orlando.


Here are the things I THINK about with the greatest game ever. The game and state of BASKETBALL.


It is early summer, the NBA draft was just completed and the Golden St Warriors have just won another NBA Championship. Notice, I said NBA Championship, I hear people say, they are WORLD Champs. No, they are not the World champs, they are the NBA League Champions. This is a very egotistical statement made by many Americans with a very narrow lens. This also shows the intelligence of the average fan. Basketball is played around the globe. We have Olympic games and Champions. We in America love these Olympic games and we as Americans put more value and stock in these commercialized games, why? because of the money and commercial appeal and pageantry of the Olympic games.  but the WORLD values and put much more stock in the World Championships.  Many counties qualify and attend these games. Players represent their countries with pride and heartfelt emotion. Could the Golden St Warriors represent the USA in the World Championships? Yes,  if the powers that be sent them? but the USA tries to send the best available collaboration of stars to represent the USA in these World Championships. so, please don't call the Golden State Warriors then World Champs ! Have a global view of the game. Have a broader knowledge of the global game and appreciate what the original DREAM TEAM and what Michael Jordan did to take the game global.


This time of year, summer. Young players are currently trying to gain exposure, be seen and market themselves to the next level. Young Players watch these NBA Finals and have ambitions of being the next Steph Curry, the next KD, the next Lebron James or Kyrie Irving. these same young players in early April have watched the NCAA Final Four and watched the North Carolina Tarheels win an NCAA Championship. These young players just watched the NBA Draft and observed a record setting draft with more freshman come out of college after 1 year and have their name called by the NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
The NBA is already a saturated product of young talent not ready for an 82 game regular season schedule. Mentally, Physically they are not ready, Skill sets are low and they don't understand the game and how it is played. The NBA suffers as the product and entertainment value is decreased.
The NCAA game suffers as student/athletes don't value an educations. They are labeled "One and Done." The NCAA product suffers as Coaches must change the strategy to compete. Yes, UK coach John Calipari, has used this structure to benefit the most. I don't blame him, it is the structure that is fractured. The system needs to be tweaked .I am not made at coach Cal. I applaud him and I would do the same, if I too were a college coach at the NCAA level.
I am thrilled to hear NBA Commissioner state they will look into changing the rules for NBA entrance, the age of the athletes,
I get it, I understand the argument of, If a 18 year old can be sent off to war to fight for our country, why cant he earn a living for his family.
I am just speaking openly about the product of the game. the product has dropped off. I want to see a better entertainment value of the NBA with better play. I hope for a better NCAA system where the student/athletes value the education and process of becoming a better player. This would make for better NCAA play and competition, this would make for better and far more developed talent in the NBA.
I will say it here, I will say it now.
"This is what I THINK and need to share"
I agree with Kobe Bryant when he said AAU is killing basketball. I agree with KG, Kevin Garnett who in a interview with Kevin McHale said, AAU is killing basketball. both of these athletes skipped college to play in the NBA. they were both HS seniors who took their talents to the NBA.


I THINK AAU coaches for the majority are not great teachers of the game. They are hustlers who are chasing the next big endorsement deal. These coaches are chasing the next big shoe contract. They are putting together travel teams and enabling talent and making the players feel entitlement. The system is fractured, it is jot the players fault, it is the parents fault for allowing it to happen. It is our microwave society that is soft for allowing it to happen. We allow individuals to skip the process. We are all to blame. There is no player development going on, there is only travel to the next city, flights to be caught, flights to be paid for, games to be played, no discipline established, the fundamentals are not being taught, I assure you, if you are working with a great skill development coach, you will get far more productive repetitions with shots, far more repetitions with post entre passing, far more repetitions on proper foot work. Individual attention to proper restitutions. in one hour you could get hundreds of proper shots under a controlled environment.  AAU games you might get 12 shots? and they will be poor shots, poor shot selection, because players are pressured into showcasing their talents to the NCAA coaches in the stands. they rush and play to much as individuals. YOU KNOW I AM RIGHT !
Money from sponsorships is switching hands, money again is being made, players are not taught the game.
I also THINK and know and have observed  many so called player development coaches who carry a bag full of balls and cones to a gym and still are not teaching players properly. these so called coaches are stealing money and running a day care and are not emulating a game situation or structure.


I am not trying to be the old man screaming, "Hey you, Get off of my lawn."


I get frustrated at what I see and what I read on social media. In see fake news, I see fake coaches, I see the blind leading the blind, I see scams, I read about these exposure camps where players are promised exposure from pro scouts, GM's and FIBA coaches will be in attendance, and they pay $150 to attend a camp, where nothing is being taught, no one is in attendance to evaluate and access talent. No contracts are signed and money has exchanged hands.


I think and need to share, I am bothered and frustrated at the lack of integrity. I am concerned about the lack of trust being established and relationships not being cultivated. I care deeply about this game. I love this game. I appreciate the life lessons that the game teaches. I am concerned what is truly being taught to the next generation.


I am not one to just bark out negativity, and complain and not offer a solution. If there is a problem, I want to assist in the fix of the fractured structure.


AAU coaches should have to pass a regulated and mandated exam. AAU coaches should be certified by a governing body with ethics. I believe the current system is fractured as these current AAU coaches only pass an NCAA eligibility exam every couple of years. I believe the AAU coaches should be on staff at local HS and on HS staff to allow them to monitor and supplement their income.
AAU coaches should learn and assist with skill development, they should know and understand the fundamentals and be able to apply them and TEACH them effectively.


I want to go back to the NCAA comment and give a solution.
I heard that Duke coach, Coach K suggested that players either commit to college and attend at least two years and obtain an associates degree and then be able to enter the draft.
or go pro right out of HS. and bypass the college game all together if that is their choice.


I see some positives with this suggestion. Will this fix it? at least it is a step in the right direction. I am glad their is at least dialog. I have faith that since their is dialog being shared it is on the conscience of those decision makers to correct it.


I have a vision, I have experience and direction. I have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this game. I have a voice and I am eager to once again share this knowledge. Thanks for indulging me, I am not a writer or professional journalist. I just wanted to share my openness and  be vulnerable with you and allow you to take jabs at me and my opinions.
but, you better come with some substance. I believe in what I have shared.


on another note and I and sharing things that I THINK, can we try to fix the healthcare system to befit everyone and can we get our current president to stop tweeting !




Have a great July 4th weekend !
Be safe, stay positive and encourage others !


"The Things I THINK and need to Share- Coach Scott Fields













Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I am a coach to my core- Coach Scott Fields

I am a coach to my Core-Coach Scott Fields



I, like millions of fans, watched the NBA Finals this year. I was entertained, I enjoyed the drama, the story lines, I enjoyed the rhetoric by the so called pundits, so called experts, I laughed at the tweets ,I shake my head at social media and the random thoughts being tossed around... I enjoyed listening to peoples perspectives. I watched my wife get so emotionally involved in the games. I watch my son Brandon soak it in and watch and listen and learn.
I too listened to the sports shows and listened to their opinions, their arguments, I listen to the comparisons being made. This Team compared to this Team, This year compared to other years, This player compared to this player. I listen to them argue about the rule changes, the Super Teams, The NBA and the referees. The legacies. Blah , Blah, Blah...it is all background noise. I keep my focus, I stay locked in.
I listen to the players and what they say after games, what will be bulletin board material. Are the coaches sending subliminal messages to referees through the press.


I love this game !


I know this, I don't watch the games like the casual fan. I watch the entire playoffs. first round, second round, semi finals, and finals with a strategic eye. I am a coach to my core. Yes, I am entertained, Yes, I am intrigued, Yes, I too have strong opinions..


I am working on my craft, I am keeping my skill set sharp. I watch for adjustments to be made during the game. I watch the sideline out of bounds plays, I watch the baseline out of bounds plays. I try to see if they put the ball in the right players hands, I try to see if he catches where he is comfortable, I watch for miss matches on defense, I see if they attack the weaker defender. I watch for isolation's on pick n roll, I watch the pace, I see the spacing, I see the angles of the screens, I watch the and read the flow. I try to think to myself, "what would I say in this timeout?" What would I pull this player aside to say to him here? Would I work the officials, would I say things to get in the oppositions head. What would I say to the press after the first or third quarter. What D would I draw up, What special play would I run after a time out, Who do we attack, who is in foul trouble? how many time outs are left? Who do I need to engage ? Who can provide a spark off of the bench? Who do I take out? Who do I want to take the shot, where does the shot need to come from? How can I make that player work harder, How do I run at him on pick n roll? Would I switch on a match up, Would I change, the pace?


I am a coach to my core, I don't get emotional, I do applaud a great play, I play the game in my mind as If I am the coach making the tough decisions. I react to a silly move or a lost defensive assignment. I make a comment to Brandon as a teachable moment. I share thoughts with my wife as I coach from my couch.


My mind races with thoughts on what I would do, I stay opened minded to always learn, to always grow, to always steal something, maybe it a play, maybe it a phrase, maybe its a move a player makes.maybe it is something Mark Jackson says, Maybe Van Gundy will point out something?


I watch the body language of the players, I watch for what they say to each other. I watch to see who is tired? who is gassed, who is putting their hands on their knees, who doesn't lock in during timeouts, I watch who is encouraging his teammates from the bench. I am watching the assistant coaches. I am running player stats in my head. I am watch for who needs encouragement, I watch for who needs to make an adjustment.


I am a coach to my core...this is my lab, this is my classroom, I am a teacher of the game. I believe in life lessons to be taught, I believe their is a process. I watch for fundamentals, I watch the mechanics of the shot, I watch the shoulders on the screens, I watch the hands of the defender, I watch the eyes and the hand eye coordination of the defender. I watch the body during the shot, I watch the snap of the passes, I watch the deepness of the breath. I watch were hands are during a screen, I watch the shoulders of the defenders on screens, I watch the angles of the pick and roll.


I am playing a game of chess to gain an advantage. I am looking for the vocal leaders, I am watching for leadership by example.


I am a coach to my core- I am what I am, I don't deny it, I don't apologize for it. I am seeing how I can empower a player to accomplish more than he thought he could. I am looking to see who I would challenge, I am looking to see who needs to have his role redefined.


This has been a great season, we should stop judging, stop hating, stop comparing, lets enjoy this season for all its special moments. The great play from quality players. The NBA is in special times with special unique talent. This is the greatest game ever. Can it improve ? yes,
Will I improve,  yes? I will continue to learn, I will continue to grow, I will continue to be a coach to my core. It is in my competitive DNA.


I am a coach to my core- Coach Scott Fields


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I will see you at the NCAA Final Four- Coach Scott Fields

2017 Men's NCAA Final Four
I am eager and excited to be headed to the NCAA Final Four. So, Phoenix Arizona,  here I come. I will enjoy this experience for a few reasons. I will be traveling down with my family. My wife, Kim. My son Brandon. I will experience this through his eyes.
I know he is eager, he will set in the stands with me, he will see the big stage, I hope it inspires him to continue to grow as a young man and as a player as he aspires to continue his play.
I am also excited to reconnect with many coaches in the industry. I know this is a madhouse for many who have a resume in hand and they are looking to land a job. The lobby's of the hotels are a who's who of coaches, Athletic Directors are looking for the right fit to build or turn around their programs and institutions. Once a guy is named, they will be hustling to to put together a staff.
I see this as an opportunity to introduce my son to many friends in the industry.
I will get to see many of my former players who are now coaches at different levels.

I have to admit, it is an honor to be contacted by your former players. It get excited to reconnect with them, I am eager to hear where they are on their journey's. I am excited to share memories, I get emotional as deep down this is what it is all about. This is a legacy, I hope I have been able to touch and inspire them to be better men,  better husbands,  better coaches. I hope that I taught them something about the game that they to pass on to the next generation of players.

a decade ago, I would be the man on the hustle looking for a position. I am now blessed and lucky enough that I can pick and choose the position I am looking for. but, I understand the grind, I understand the pressure,. I understand the stress and anxiety of it all. I am sure as I attend the games, I can now view the games from a different lens.
I will enjoy the excitement of the games through the eyes of my son. I know he will take this experience all in. I know he will be daydreaming that it was he on the big stage. I know he will soak up the atmosphere. I know he will watch the players and then try to emulate the moves. I know he will see the thousands of fans in the stands, I know he will hear the roar of the crowd. I know he will be thinking the game out in his mind what he would do, what the teams should do.

Who do I want to win?  well, I don't have a dog in the fight.
I am happy for Coaches Frank Martin and the success his South Carolina team has achieved. Their first ever Final Four. I have seen him transform his style in the past few years from his Kansas St program. This is proof positive Coaches continue to learn and grow daily. I guess they are tagged the Cinderellas of the Big Dance? but, defense travels !
How about the job Coach Mark Few has done with building his Gonzaga team has had this season. Only one loss all year to a growing BYU team. BYU has players I have been blessed to have worked with at the AAU level. The Zags, made famous from Hall of Famer Jazz PG John Stockton. but, Mark Few has stayed persistent and built one of the top programs in the country. Mark Few has not been lured away to the larger programs for more money. He has a home. he has remained loyal to the institution that gave him his shot to live his dream. I respect that, I admire that. I am Happy to see him and his team in the final four for the first time in schools history.
Coach Dana Altman and his Oregon Ducks. This is a team that has been sneaky good all year.
Here is a guy who came up the coaching ranks from mid major program in the Midwest.Teams on the east coast had no idea how good they were? East Coast TV didn't show a lot of Pac 12 games? yet, UCLA and the Ball family are getting all of the publicity. but that is another post for another day.
This is about the Ducks and the cliche' survive and advance mantra. The Ducks have not been in the Final Four for decades. Is this his one shinning moment? He has great players, nice athletes who believe in in themselves. Yes, they have NIKE in their backyard as an endorsement and wonderful uniforms from NIKE, but they are more than that.
Then Coach Roy Williams of UNC. The only traditional powerhouse left. Could he win #3 and become apart of only a select few who have done it before him? Does america cheer against him because they are a traditional powerhouse? Well, lets look at it like this. These players are hungry and have a redemption mindset. They were a few seconds from winning it all last year until a long 3 pt shot took away their crown as Nova ran a perfectly executed special situation play as PG ran in front of the shooter and made the perfect pass in rhythm to the shooter who did what he has done all season long. Yes, it made the MJ crying meme popular. but, this UNC team has length, has size and they gave the young guard crew of Kentucky fits.

The stage is set, The Teams are preparing to stay focused with the media distractions in full force.
Saturday two games will decide who will play in the Final Game on Monday.

Saturday: South Carolina vs Gonzaga
then
                 Oregon vs North Carolina

Will it be a battle of the Carolina's? Will it be the Wild Wild West? Will Cinderella finds it way? Will the traditional program rise?

Well, I will be there, I will watch it all unfold. I will watch it all, I will keep in mind all the story lines.
I will live it through my son's eyes.

I will enjoy and take it all in. I am excited to see many friends, former players, coaches, media, yes, I will have a few important meetings set up. This is March Madness ! for any basketball junkie like myself, this is the pinnacle.but, remember in this one and done format, anyone can win it all !
but, in the coming weeks, the NBA Playoffs will begin. I am equally excited to watch the drama of that unfold as well.

I Love me some basketball ! I am blessed to be in the industry. oh, by the way, this was all made possible as my wife surprised my son and I and set all of this up so we could enjoy this as a family ! I am blessed. Enjoy the weekend, Enjoy the Finals ! let the barbershop talk begin.

hey NCAA, this is a multi billion dollar industry, should changes be made for the participants?
let the debate begin !  but lets not loose sight of what is special about this BIG DANCE ! I know it is a business, but for these student/athletes this is a dream moment. they grew up shooting on nerf hoops  in the bedroom, or on the driveway counting down 3-2-1 and hit the jumper to win it all.

this is the NCAA Final Four !


Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 NCAA men's Bracket

2017 NCAA Men's Bracket


Did the selection committee get it right?
Who got snubbed?

Who do you have in your sweet 16?
Who do you have in the Final Four?

Who will win the 2017 National Championship?

What will the final score be for the final game?

I am eager to hear from you !

- Coach Scott Fields