Saturday, August 3, 2019

Year 42 -

Well today is my 42nd birthday. If you forgot to send me a card, good news is I'll accept gifts through Labor Day so you still have some time. The 42nd birthday shouldn't be a special time to celebrate but that number got me to thinking a lot this week. 

For me, 42 is a sign of hope and achievement. Let me explain.

Bill Clinton was the 42nd President. President Clinton is from my hometown, Hot Springs, Arkansas. (please don't get political. just read) This taught me that a kid from a small town could make it to the top. 

42 is the number that Jacki Robinson wore. Jacki broke a barrier most thought couldn't and honestly a majority didn't want to see broken. Through his perseverance and talent he paved the way for a lot of African American baseball players in the major leagues. So to me, 42 is a symbol of strength and toughness.

42 is also the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe and Everything. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up.

I also learned that....

The Titanic was traveling 42 km/hour when it hit the iceberg.

On page 42 in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" Harry learns that he is a wizard.

Sadly, Elvis Presley died at the age of 42.

Looking back, I learned a lot of things about myself last year.
There were events I dealt with superbly and things I would have done differently.
Opportunities I took and some I passed on that I might eventually regret.
I learned that what my Mom told me before she passed away,  "You are living this life to help someone who will walk a similar path after you do", came true again.

“ You know that road to success all your teachers and coaches talk about? Just remember, for every mile of road, there are two miles of ditches” 

I read that quote yesterday in the Mike Neighbors newsletter. (If you aren't signed up for that, do it here.) I had seen it before as he mentions but it really made me reflect on the past year of my life.

Ditches. They are there and we can't control them.
Sometimes you have to go to the ditch. Someone or something runs you off the road.
Sometimes it's yourself. Not paying attention and bam! There you are.

 I'd be lying if I said in year 41 I didn't spend some time in a ditch. 
I think I drove in the ditch for a mile or two this year.....but with the help of mentors and some great friends, plus a reminder from Coach Locke about why I am one of  "The Last of the Cowboys". I found my way back.

If you find yourself in a ditch, just know it won't last forever and if you need help getting out, talk to someone. Message me. Trust me, We've all been there.

So here's to 42.
 I'm thankful for
Two great Sons in Hayden and Evan
Great friends (too many to name) old and new
Mentors I can call on to tow me out of a ditch every now and then.
And I'm even thankful for ditches. Thanks for keeping me on the right track.

 So from now on I'm planning to live my life somewhere between Mr. Rogers and Doc Holliday. 

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and you can be my neighbor if you want...Or I can be your Huckleberry."
- Greg White 

And how cool is this...
"Wanna wish a happy birthday to the last of the cowboys @gregwhite32 
If my sons could play for any ball coach in the 🇺🇸 I would want them to play for Greg. Good Coach, better person, Great American. But we are never moving to Arkansas so there is that. For every person Coach offends on social media he inspires about 10. I’m one of those people—-keep it up brother! Cletus please leave the ball.#BTC>#YBC #Go Browns #winnerswin" - Captain Babe Kwasniak.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

How to Win when You Shouldn't...

If the Title alone didn't intrigue you, I'll try to not lose you in the first paragraph either. Before we go any further this isn't directly about how to X and O your way to win. It's about ideology and a couple examples I've witnessed and been directly apart of.

The toughest question to answer in coaching has to be How do we win with less talent? Whether you are coaching 5th grade or a Pro team, at some point you are going to find yourself facing a team with more talent than you have.

This season I watched Coach Mike Neighbors' team do something extraordinary in the SEC tournament. They beat South Carolina and Texas A&M in back to back games to reach the SEC Championship game. The staff did an amazing job of preparation. Chelsea Dungee also had the best scoring tournament of anyone ever in that league. But that wasn't the takeaway I got from watching this team. It was this:

1. Coach Neighbors asked each player to do 1 more thing. That was it. Just do 1 more thing.
Get one more rebound than you normally do. Get one more loose ball you normally wouldn't get. Just do 1 more. As simple a notion as it sounds, That was the difference in winning. One more.

2. Ask your team to do one less.
As a team, can we have one less turnover. Can we limit them to one less offensive rebound? 
Keep the focus on 1.

3. Everyone has an Achilles. 
Every team has a weakness. Yes, even the Warriors. Your job as a Coach is to find that weakness and use it to your advantage. Are they bad shooters? 
<Sidenote 1>
I have been on the losing end when I decided to leave their worst player wide open 
and he made 2 3s.
 We lost by 4. 
Remember, that's a HUGE rim up there 
and if Air Bud can make a basket, their worst shooter can too.

Do they have a small guard? Can you change your offense?
<Sidenote 2> 
Here is something we've all seen. 
Team A has a small guard. Team B decides to post that guard up. 
That's all fine and dandy as long as you've practiced it. 
Who is making the entry pass? Have you worked on post moves with that guard?
If you have, do it. But realize this: That guard has been small THEIR ENTIRE CAREER. 
They've probably been posted up before. So if you haven't worked on it, it may not work.
The main thing is this: Don't get outside of what you do UNLESS you've worked on it. 

4. Attack their Star
Make their best scorer defend and defend multiple actions. Most "Star" players don't like contact. Make sure you have contact on every screen, every block out. Every drive, you try to draw a charge. Nothing dirty. Just a lot of contact. 
Now, this can back fire and you could find yourself on the bad side of a 30 point performance if the Player has a little MJ or Mamba to them. 

5. You don't have to be Perfect.
I've never been apart of or even seen a game where a team was perfect. You are going to miss shots. You are going to foul. You are going to turn it over. The key a lot of times is how you react as the Coach. Train your Players to focus on you and your staff. (That's another topic too). When things are going wrong, and they will, Players need something or someone to recenter their attention.

True Story: We were about to play a team that normally presses a lot. I knew I couldn't mimic their pressure in practice. So we showed it on film....and then we watched Ricky Bobby get in the car with a cougar.(edited for content of course) 
On my game card there was a picture of a cougar. During a timeout I told them "gotta drive with a cougar in the car. Players laughed."  We ended up losing but the pressure never bothered us and  wasn't the reason. The purpose was to focus on what we could control and know that at the worst we would still be fine. 

So that's how you do it. Pretty simple, right? We are all planning on an undefeated season next year, right? 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how to win when you "shouldn't" as long as it isn't about stalling. 
you can always reach me at

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Tossing out your SLOB plays...Well almost all of them

How many of you have a lot of SLOB (Sideline Out of Bounds)plays? How many of us practice them and get mad when players forget them? In this post, you'll hear my argument to scrap your SLOB plays and let time dictate it.

Let me start by saying I love BLOBs. I had a team once that we struggled to score so bad I secretly hoped for BLOB situations because we could really execute then. It was going 75 feet and into a set that we struggled with. We actually won a game that year by dribbling the clock down, (I know, I'm a shot clock guy and I dribbled for :45) driving to lane and calling time-out.

I feel BLOBs are places to score. I feel SLOBs can be but usually not with the same effectiveness. Maybe that's just my belief but I rarely score on them.

Here are my 3 points to on SLOBs:

1. Just get it in and run your stuff

Why spend time naming and practicing a SLOB when you could be practicing a set play or option in your motion? Players forget the play. You forgot to practice on both sides of the floor or with your best player sitting out in foul trouble.
   *You should be running at least 5 minutes of practice with your starting PG or leading scorer out        of  the lineup to see if you can survive.
Don't waste the possession on a quick shot because you are running a SLOB play that you haven't ran all game or sometimes all season.

2. Press Offense, not a SLOB vs Pressure
One of the most common SLOBs in the backcourt is when a team is pressuring and fouls. This needs to be part of your press offense, not your specials teams. The mistake most of us make is any SLOB beyond mid court we treat differently than a press offense.
     *Work on sideline press offense, from both sides, when you are preparing for a pressing team.
If it is a must get a shot situation, That falls in the next point. If not, just use your press offense. Remember, less is more with your players. Less to remember = Less to forget.

3. Time Dictated Situations
This is something I'm going to be better at. Special Teams section of practice. Finish or break up practice working on situations like last second shot, full court, no time out and they miss the FT. Stuff like that.