Down and Distance: The Life and Times of Coaches Spouses

This is a great article by Lindsay Schnell to remind coaches that there are other things that go into play during a coach’s season…namely your family and spouse: 

It is easy to forget that sometimes we leave our family responsibilities behind at times throughout the season and during the important recruiting months. In addition, spouses have to deal with the uncertainty of the business of our profession. This is a crazy and mostly unsettling lifestyle for them to bare.

I truly appreciate my wife for all that she does for me, our daughter and our family. Without her none of it would be possible. She is truly the head coach of our family and has done so with an undefeated record.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Today was a fantastic day for our program. Not just because all four of our freshman arrived safely to campus but because examples of our championship culture were on full display.

First, juniors Nicole Grossbard, Jackie Beathea and Danielle Powell had the privilege to help fellow students move-in this afternoon. It was a great example of our program interacting with a different cohort of students and getting a chance to give their time up to support others and lend a helping hand.


Just as important another junior, Jackie Deens, made sure our freshmen (left to right) Chandler Williams, Kendra Meredith, Paige Decker and Chloe Brinton, felt welcome in West Hall (#WESTUP) by sending them an awesome gift basket.



Plain and simple, our upperclassmen get our culture – It’s making small sacrifices for the sake of others. It’s appreciating what you have and sharing that appreciation with others.

One last thing that a player shared with me…



She knows who she is…I just wanted to show that I appreciate her.


Allocating Time in the Preseason

August means that college coaches everywhere are planning for the first few weeks of preseason conditioning as they gear up for the first day of school and official practice beginning right around the corner, in October.

It is interesting the different routes that coaches map out for their programs due to the NCAA restrictions regarding on-court time in the preseason. Many coaches use this time for team drills. Others may use it to implement offense/defensive systems. Some may use it for individual skill improvement or a combination of all of these strategies.

Logically, I believe the preseason philosophy that each program takes should support their head coach’s recruiting philosophy.

What does this mean?

It means that in the age where prospects who show “potential”, “upside” and “athleticism” trump those who are “fundamentally sound” or “a basketball player”, coaches need to focus on what these players need to be successful. Coaches who recruit student-athletes that have athleticism but lack strong basketball fundamentals, need to seriously consider allocating more time to their growth than putting in press defense, BLOB’s, etc.

Offensive and defensive schemes are all necessary and important but when does shooting, passing and dribbling – the fundamentals of the game – take precedent?

I personally do not think that coaches work on shooting, passing and dribbling enough. Many coaches get so enamored at putting “their stuff” in that fundamentals suffer. In addition, when systems are implemented in practice, what usually happens? It tends to lead to hurting the pace of practice/momentum and lots of standing around.

I think that as coaches it is easy to point fingers at student-athletes and say “these are different kids” and “when I was their age…”. As coaches it is our responsibility to our players and the game of basketball to not complain on the mindset of the current generation of players but instead help change their mindset and help them understand that nothing can replace the fundamentals of the game and hopefully make them value that as well.

Furthermore, if coaches are not willing to dedicate time in the preseason or regular season to skill development and individual improvement then they may consider recruiting more fundamentally sound players who at least have a reasonable foundation in fundamentals.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo



George’s Injury Makes You Think

Paul George’s freak lower right leg fracture during the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV, made me think of several things.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that Injuries can happen anytime, anywhere. At least George’s injury came during a basketball game and not while walking down a flight of stairs or in a traffic accident, etc. Coach Krzyzewski, the USA men’s head coach, reiterated these sentiments with a statement after the game, “Anything can happen anywhere, a lot of things happen.Tonight it happened during a basketball game…It doesn’t mean it’ll happen again and again and again; it means that it happened right now…” I wholeheartedly agree with this statement by Coach Krzyzewski. This injury does not mean this will continue to happen or that it is an epidemic.

However, I would be lying to you if I didn’t occasionally think, we have our players working out all summer and what if one of them tears an ACL or breaks a arm? Is it worth having players workout if they risk injury for the season? Is the risk worth the reward?

I think the answer is of course “yes”. Athletes cannot live in fear of getting hurt and if honing your skills/individual improvement was not of the utmost importance then what role would coaches really play? However, it does get you thinking about the inherent risk every time you lace them up and take the court.

Another thing I immediate thought about was that George will never be the same. Hopefully I am flat out wrong about this, but you just never know.

Pacers organization must be devastated when you think that they were very close two seasons ago to potentially winning the NBA Championship. Now look at them…They may never get a fully recovered Paul George and their franchise could suffer for years to come. We will have to wait and see but their prospects for winning a championship in the near future may have just come to a screeching halt.

Lastly, I thought that with this injury and the cancelling of the rest of the scrimmage, will other NBA stars be fearful of playing for Team USA? Coach Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo have done an amazing job at building the USA men’s national basketball program back to world dominance and making NBA stars care about representing their country. However, this injury could make other high profile players balk at participating, even for Coach Krzyzewski, due to the seriousness of the injury and the fact that their livelihoods and careers may be at stake.

George’s injury reminds us all that you cannot take anything for granted in life or in the game of basketball.

As I tell my players, appreciate this opportunity that has been given to you and #SEIZE32 the day.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo