What Coaches Can Cook Up From the Kitchen

Although I don’t watch much television, when I do it’s usually just a few things: Sports, CNBC or the Food Network.

I ask myself “why?”. Well whether it’s a basketball game, Shark Tank or Chopped, they all have an element of competition involved and what we can learn from each.

It got me thinking about Carol Roth’s article in Entrepreneur on cooking programming (article link) and how coaches can use the lessons from these shows to coaching. In the article Roth notes three major points list below:

1. Doing one thing well is the way to go

Coaching perspective – Know your team and do what you do you best. As coaches, it is our responsibility to communicate the tactical methods we will employ to define our team and program. We must CREATE AN IDENTITY.

As a coach, I would rather do five things really well than do 50 things average. It is important to be versatile but you have to have a level of competency at each skill or tactic in order to feel confident enough to implement it during games.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Work on what you are doing and do it well. It’s your identity!

2. You can lose a battle and win a war

Coaching perspective – Especially early in the year, coaches must stick to their plan and not let a loss here or there sway them from the long-term vision. For instance, when you face a team early in the year, if you are losing with minutes to go and unfortunately know what the outcome will be, it is a great time to experiment with matchups, personnel, tactics, time/score etc. to see if you can expose the opponent is some way in order to use that information to “win the war” later on in the season.

Don’t be afraid to coach until the clock hits zero (or it’s the last out)!

3. Embrace improvisation

Coaching perspective – Although we have to define ourselves and be committed to our philosophies, there are times when we need to be flexible and willing to make adjustments.

For example, I teach man-to-man defense and stress defending the gaps (i.e. Pack Line Defense), making teams pass and share the ball and forcing team’s to shoot two-point field goals from the wing to the baseline area. However, last year when our senior co-captain who was also our second leading scorer when down with five games to go with an ACL tear, after a three game losing streak I decided to play 2-3 zone. I told our team “If we lose, we are going to do it a whole new way.” This strategy allowed us to stay in the game and pull out a buzzer beater (As you can see I was pretty excited!).

Making adjustments, thinking outside-the-box and taking calculated risks IS GOOD COACHING.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

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