|Coaching Matters- by Coach Scott Fields|
There is a reason we see the same names of Coaches during tourney time. There is a reason the same Teams go deep in the NCAA tournament, there is a reason we see these Coaches take their teams and sometimes multiple Teams to the NCAA. There is a reason we see the same NBA coaches in the NBA playoffs- Coaching matters.
The NCAA March Madness is now over and what an amazing tournament it was.
Duke has won National Championship # 5 ! Lead by Coach K, who yes, has won his 5th National Championship as Head Coach of Duke nation.
Coach K has accumulated over 1000 wins this season. Coach K is a leader, a teacher, a motivator, a father figure who creates a culture of family and winning, he deserves all of the accolades being thrown his way. His game time adjustments last night was masterful. Coach K's game plan with a Team of 8 players and a collection of freshman was like a chess match executed well, they were 9 points down and then their defensive philosophy pulled them through with two key players on the bench in foul trouble. Coach K still coaches with Passion and Energy, but he leads with his heart. You see the LOVE.
Coach Bo Ryan of Wisconsin is also a leader, different personality of Coach K and did a great job in the NCAA tournament. The Badgers had the toughest road to get to the Final Four, they had to upset the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats who were going for history, in the semi finals. Coach Cal who also is a great Coach, an unbelievable recruiter, a salesman to top talent in the country and get them to buy into a system and philosophy of selflessness, they had depth, the had length and athleticism, a great collection of talent, but each game deeper in the tournament, weaknesses were exposed, Let us remember UK was a collection of freshman, 18-19 years old, and there is a difference between 21 year old seniors playing against 18 yr old freshman, experience is something you can't teach...Notre Dame and Coach Mike Brey also did a great job preparing his Irish Team, vs so same UK Wildcats, Coaching Matters.
Coach Bo Ryan had a tough task of getting his Team of Badgers to refocus and lock in after beating the Wildcats in the semi finals. With an emotional win over the Wildcats, The task of conserving energy and reestablishing the focus needed to win a NCAA National Championship. I saw a tired Team in the last 5 min. But Coach Ryan stayed cool and calm and the Team stayed cool and calm. Coaching matters. Yes, his post game comments were emotional, a bit out of character, but if you were in his shoes, would you have been different?
Michigan State University lead by Coach Tom Izzo also made it to the Final Four by no accident. Coach Izzo had the Spartans peaking at the right time. What he did with that Team was special. Coaching matters.
What I like is that each of these coaches do it there own way, with their won personality. These man are leaders, they are great communicators, they obviously can teach, they are skilled at preparing a Team mentally and physically, while teaching life skills along the way- Coaching matters.
Let us not forget the job of Coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals, he had his Team on the brink of the Final Four, These names surface and resurface year after year.
It is no mistake, Coaching matters.
These Coaches are driven, ambitious, they take risk, they get the most out of the talent they recruit, they recruit players who fit their system of philosophy. they mold them, build them up to accept challenges of a demanding season while obtaining a skill set to prepare them for Life. These men mentioned and many others do a great job year after year. I also see These coaches adjust year after year and adjust to the talent they have, they put them in a position to be successful, they remain students of the game. they continue to learn and grow...Look at the Coach of the Year Virginia's Tony Bennett who is a classy individual, who is a great teacher on the defensive end. I love watching Tony Bennett's teams play, on defense, when the ball moves, the players move..a man of faith and a gentlemen. Class Act doesn't even do him justice. Tony is a Coaches son, with a great basketball mind. Coaching matters.
I am eager to see what former NBA coaches Avery Johnson will do with the Crimson Tide in a competitive SEC. He has learned from Coach Gregg Popovich and is a good guy who also teaches. I am also eager to see Coach Eric Musselmen who takes over for a Nevada program who also is a coaches son with NBA experience at Golden St and Sacramento. Coach Eric Musselmen is a recruiter, I see good things in the horizon for the Wolfpack. Coaching matters.
The NBA regular season is about to come to a end and NBA playoffs are about to begin. I enjoy watching the game to game adjustments made by Coaches and staffs during these playoffs, the NCAA adjustments are made during the game, those great coaches who have a game plan and execute the game plan are successful, the adjustments made during timeouts are fun to observe, those who don't make game time adjustments struggle to have success. The deeper a Team goes, more weaknesses are exposed, just like in an NCAA tournament. The NBA is the same.
Yes, talent wins, but the ability to manage the talent, coach up the talent, and maximize the strengths of the talent is a skill set of a coach. As a Coach continue to learn and grow. Continue to be a student of the game. Continue to lead, guide and direct our athletes. I feel blessed to be apart of this wonderful fraternity of Men who call ourself Coach. And Yes Coaching matters !
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