Thursday, January 22, 2009

Coaching: A hard job, but an enjoyable one

Saw an interview with Jason Kidd over on HoopsHype today where he was asked if, after his playing career had ended, whether he'd like to get into coaching.

Kidd replied candidly:

"No, no. I can't. It would be too hard. Way too hard."

In his 2004 book "Dr. Jack's Leadership Lessons," Jack Ramsay, a successful coach as St. Joe's who'd worked as the GM of the 76ers, described his difficult transition from college to pro coaching.

Coach Ramsay recalls a conversation he had Jerry Tarkanian (pictured above) in 1992, a few games into Tark's first season as head coach of the Spurs. When Coach Ramsay asked Coach Tarkanian, who won an astounding 81 percent of his games as a college coach, how he was adjusting to the pro game, Tark replied:

"Jack, this is a tough f-----' job. I had no idea that coaching here was so different."

But it's not just the move from the college ranks to the pros. Regardless of the level, coaching is a grind.

What's interesting is that many of the best coaches are built for the grind. In fact, many cherish it. For example, Mark Schlereth, the former offensive lineman who played for Mike Shanahan in Denver and is now an ESPN analyst, said recently that Coach Shanahan loved the grind.

Last May, at the press conference announcing him as the new coach of the Knicks, Mike D'Antoni described it this way:

"Coaching is a tough profession. It’s a hard job," he said, adding, "but it’s an enjoyable job."