Friday, March 13, 2009

Your coaching philosophy: The sum total of all you believe

Jud Heathcote was a head coach for nearly a quarter of a century, including 19 seasons at Michigan State, where he won a national title in 1979 with Magic Johnson running the point.

In his 1995 autobiography, "Jud: A Magical Journey," he talked about the roots of his coaching philosophy:

"A key to success is always being able to adjust. But you have to believe in something when you coach. That's what's called your coaching philosophy -- the sum total of all you believe. Your basic philosophy is usually established at an early age. But it changes as you get more experience and the game changes.

In my playing career, I was a star in high school, a star on the small-college level, but just a role player or a substitute at the major-college level. So I can relate to guys sitting on the bench, always wanting to play. I never had any hard feelings about it. I always thought I was better than the guys playing. But I accepted it. What was important was what the coach thought. That has always been my philosophy. I've always been a good team guy. And I've always felt the team came first."