Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hubie: Bad teams ask for more than players can give

Received a nice note from a coach on Long Island last week. Wanted to share some of his email here:

One of the first clinics I ever went to Hubie Brown (pictured here) talked about having to admit that he "couldn't win with just anybody." He had just come of a season with the Knicks where his star Bernard King was hurt and so were other key players. I tell young coaches the number one key to coaching is to have better players. I like the saying, "It ain't the x's and the o's, it's the Jimmys and the Joes."

I think we do more coaching when we have less talent. We want to be better at tactics because we are not as athletic or skilled. I have done less tactically with my weaker teams because we must spend more time on skill development.

To paraphrase Hubie again, "bad teams ask for more than players can give. We ask bench players to be role players, role players to become starters, starters to be stars, and this puts extra stress on everyone."

Choose your job wisely. I know sometimes they choose you, but if winning is really important to you as a coach, you must find a winning situation. It's similar to a player making a good decision on the court. You have to know "when to and when not to." It's tough when you need a job, but you want to deal from strength, not weakness.