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, 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