Monday, October 13, 2008

Reaching out to players in the world where they live

Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy turns 50 next year, but like most good coaches, he's not too old to learn a few new tricks -- like text-messaging.

To improve communication, Van Gundy this summer reached out to players "in the world they live in," becoming a text-message master.

When the Magic gave Van Gundy a Blackberry, he looked at it like it was a Rubik's Cube.

He turned to his kids for texting help. He became skilled enough to exchange texts with [Magic center Dwight] Howard while he was in China during the Olympics.

"Quite honestly, seven months of me is a lot to take," Van Gundy said. "Players need and want a break from me. What I did more than anything was texting guys. I'm a technological type of guy now.

"The other thing is, that's not really as invasive to them. If they want to read it, fine. They can see it's from me and -- 'Click. Delete!' At least it lets them know that I'm thinking about them."

Said Dwight Howard, "He's pretty good at it."