Friday, December 15, 2017

Building a Culture of Greatness- by Coach Scott Fields

Building a culture of Greatness
by Coach Scott Fields

I am constantly watching, I am constantly observing, I don't talk much, but I listen closely. I have seen the change in the game, the change in the style of play. I like a lot of the adjustments I see in the NBA game. I feel the NBA has taken from the FIBA game. Maybe this is a shift with the success Coach Mike D'Antoni had in Europe. Coach had Steve Nash run his 8 seconds or less, it sped up the tempo, brought about spacing.
Notice the teams who play a lot of Iso ball and two man game are not as successful as those who have spacing and play Team ball.
Well, Coach Steve Kerr took it to another level, I am sure he took things like spacing from the triangle offense from the Bulls and Coach Phil Jackson, but also from the innovator Coach Tex Winter. This gave spacing, but it also had movement and everything was predicated on the guards. Yes, one can argue when you have a MJ, or a Kobe with the right supplemental role players around them, anything can work? But watch the Spurs style of play for years. Coach Gregg Popovich always had ball movement, they always has nice spacing, they shared the ball. but also notice that the Spurs for years have tapped into the international players. and Pop was smart enough to listen and evolve with the game and evolve with the players he had. The Admiral to the Big Fundamental to allowing his guards to make decisions with Manu and Tony Parker. he demanded unselfish play. I think you can see where I am going with this.
I always say, "when the ball moves the score moves, when the ball sticks, the score sticks"
the Golden St Warriors have taken this to another level. The Warriors on most night will have more than 25 assist/ game. some night they have 30 assist a game...Think about that. That is very unselfish play. but they also defend very well. then the rebound and get it out and they run the floor, they space the floor, they put players in a position to be successful. They know each others strengths, they know where each other want and like the ball.
Steph Curry is a great shooter, Klay is a great shooter, KD can score the ball, Draymond is very versatile in what is now being called positionless basketball.
Positionless basketball is just simply player versatility and ball mastery. The more players with size and athleticism and versatility with their skill sets is a weapon.  Yet they are unselfish, they sacrifice some of themselves for the betterment of the Team. They also have a skillset of playing hard.
Yes, it is true, it is easier to build a culture of success with talent. I will not even argue that.
but I have watched a team in recent weeks who have talent. look at OKC. They have the reigning MVP Russell Westbrook who is a triple double machine, they have Paul George who is a talent and can score and they have Melo. Russell is a PG, but is he a true PG? is a play maker for sure as he attacks the rim with anger. Melo is a point forward, who is now more of a 4 as he is a bit slower and he still demands the ball and if you notice the ball sticks.
Watch the Warriors, there are not a lot of dribble, the ball moves with the pass. OKC watch closely, there is always a dribble when the player catches the ball, when you dribble this allows the D to shift and allows the D to get in front of the ball. a defender will not move as fast as a pass, a defender can keep up with a dribbler. Thus a pass is much more effective.
There is a difference between a player and someone who plays the game. A lot of NBA players can play the game. but a player is someone who has taken his talents and worked extremely hard on this skill sets. a go to move, a counter move, a shooter is always an asset to a team. now lets take it a step further, a player with a high level versatile skill set still needs to learn the game.
not many players have a high basketball IQ. This is where I feel Lebron James doesn't get enough credit. I feel he has a very high basketball IQ, as did MJ.
but this is where the game is saturated with talent that is not physically ready for the NBA game. I blame the AAU culture.
AAU players just play and they don't learn the game. Most AAU coaches don't have the time or take the time to teach the game properly.
This is why you now see so many player development coaches in the NBA. This is now why top NCAA teams have skill development coaches. The top NCAA coaches know with a top 10 player in the country, they only have 1 year or season with the player in his program. They are as raw as sushi. The are athletic, they have been able to dominate the previous level as not everyone is 6'8" or 6'9" who can jump out of a gym , they are being guarded by a player who is slow, non athletic and 6'4"
but they don't know the game, they haven't learned the fundamentals, they don't know the angles, the shifts, the rotations. This takes time.
AAU has ruined grass roots basketball. the best Coaches are those who can Teach, think about it, most HS coaches are teachers. they get paid a few hundred dollars to teach the game. but at least they are teachers. They may not have the knowledge of some of those at the highest levels? but they can teach. The best coaches are Teachers of the Game. The best Coaches are those who have learned the game from the best coaches and teachers. I feel it is great when you have former players on a staff. They have playing experience, but now the big question is, can they Teach? I think you see where I am going with this.
If you want to build a culture of Greatness, hire guys who know and understand the game. Hire those who are students of the game. Find Teachers of the game, find forever students of the game. Find individuals who are people persons, who value relationships. Know the difference in the details of the game.
If you want a culture of greatness, hire people with high character, hire people with high energy and high enthusiasm.
Each of these items could be a chapter or a blog in itself.

Yes, I am currently between coaching positions, but I watch, I learn, I observe, I learn from the mistakes of others, I want to see what works and why it works. I am about detail.

I know my best coaching days are ahead for me. I know I will build a culture of Greatness ! I wish you all the best on your journey and I hope my words have empowered you or at least helped you change your lens at which you view the game from.

Good Luck !

Coach Scott Fields

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