Grit: A Coach’s Mentality

Here are some thoughts on “Grit” from Dan and Chip Heath’s “The Myth of the Garage”.

The last section of the Heath’s book, “Loving the Slog: Why True Grit Matters in the Face of Adversity,” is a must read!

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo 

NBAer No More: Go For it BD!

He played for the Hornets (when they were originally the Hornets) and for the Warriors (before they were the Warriors we have grown to love)…Yes I’m talking about BD, Baron Davis. 

He was a part of some memorable teams. Who can forget the Warriors upset of #1 seed Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Playoffs? BD also had one of the most ridiculous Playoff dunks of all-time, (See video of Davis Throwdown) and that dunk still makes some top ten dunk lists to this day!

Nevertheless, I recently saw that BD was making a comeback (See Scott Cacciola’s NY Times article) after suffering a horrific career ending injury years ago.
It was a truly depressing ending to an All-Star career.

Nevertheless, I cannot stress how much I admire BD for putting his ego aside and working at a job that is “beneath” him to attempt a return to the NBA. 

Although there are no guarantees and a comeback to The League is highly improbable, Davis is back to square one, trying to prove himself.

When you have no alternatives and the chips are down, you truly find out what resolve you have and how to overcome adversity.


Go get it BD! 

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

A Neighbor(s) With No Fence

Last night a team made an improbable run to the Final Four, and it’s not even the No. 10 seed Syracuse men’s basketball team.

It’s the  No. 7 seed Washington Huskies women’s basketball team, led by head coach Mike Neighbors.

During the Huskies unlikely run to the Final Four, they ousted powerhouses #5 ranked Maryland (at Maryland), #12 ranked Kentucky and #13 ranked Stanford last night.

People always say “it couldn’t happen to a better person.” In this case it really holds true.

Coach Neighbors is truly an asset for the game of women’s basketball. Every week he sends a newsletter to thousands of coaches sharing articles, X’s and O’s, book recommendations, cartoons, and anything else he can get his hands on. It’s free. It only costs HIM his time. He does it to “Grow Our Game” as his email signature reminds all of us who subscribe.

More impressive – and a real glimpse of his true character – Coach Neighbors has taken taken time on several occasions to speak/text/email with me about my personal coaching situation (past and present) and provided me with networking possibilities and insights. More importantly he took the time as a D1 assistant coach and now head coach to give me some uplifting words and empathy. All of this occurred when he only knew me as a contributor to his newsletter.

I was fortunate to shake his hand at last year’s Final Four. Coach Neighbors again was generous with his time and I am honored to call him a friend and colleague.

I suspect I am not the only one who has successfully reached out to him and has received some advice.

That is Mike Neighbors. He grows the game of women’s basketball the right way. He is a phenomenal teache, a “coaches coach” and now can put “2016 Final Four” on his resume.

Coach Neighbor’s clearly has no fences. We should all be glad he is “OUR Neighbor.”

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo



Kansas vs. Villanova – Basketball Insight Blog

Here was my first piece that was published earlier today for Basketball Insight, that discusses the Kansas vs. Villanova (Preview with a Review) matchup that took place in November of 2013 and how the first half results of that game could lead to coaching decisions and important game strategy for tomorrow’s Elite 8 contest.

I am excited to be contributing to another wonderful site that coaches can share and learn from. I hope my thoughts and contributions spark great conversation and make others give back as well.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

A True Warrior

I was going through some of my older articles and I came across Far From Heaven – ESPN Magazine – March 3, 2003 – Scott Burton – This article tells the story of University of Hawaii’s Carl English and the challenges he losses he faced throughout his life.

I was curious to see if English reached his dream, the NBA, so I searched him.

Although he was not drafted by any NBA franchises, he did have stints with the Pacers and SuperSonics but did not manage to stay in the league. Nevertheless, English was brilliant in the Spanish league (see Toronto Star article).

Again, given the right situation, Carl English may be a household NBA name and according to Ray Allen can definitely play at that level. Still, English has had a magnificent career and is a true warrior in every sense of the word.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo



Jay Wright, Villanova MBB – Coach & Athletic Director Article

Here is an article from April 2010 on Jay Wright and Villanova men’s basketball as they tip off in the Sweet 16 vs. Miami (FL) in just a few minutes!

Jay Wright’s 4-Out, 1-In Motion Offense – Coach & Athletic Director – April 2010

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo