Articles

Pixie Dust Not Required

When I was in college I took a number of leadership studies classes at the University of Northern Iowa, nearly all of which started with a discussion of the same question. Are leaders born or made? This was the late 90’s, and there was still a prevailing notion that...

A Lesson From the Yellow Tree

A couple of years ago we were looking to add some color to our yard, so we planted a yellow tree.  This Princeton gold maple features big, greenish-yellow leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall. While the tree’s color has lived up to its billing, there is one...

What Makes a Good Coach Anyway?

Not long ago, I found myself substitute teaching in a 9th grade English class when a lively debate broke out over what constitutes good coaching. Alright, that might be a bit too generous. Let me rephrase. My attempt to start class was derailed by a group of athletes...

The Dragon, The Goat, and The Cost of Greatness

I have a confession to make. There was a time in my life when I regularly watched professional wrestling.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s it was something that my dad and I enjoyed doing together.  Wrestling taught me to  say my prayers, eat my vitamins, and that to...

Just Ask

In the past few weeks, five college athletes have taken their own lives.   Katie, Robert, Jayden, Sarah, Lauren all succumbed to an overwhelming moment they could not endure.  As a coach, as a father, the tributes circulating on social media prompt sadness, grief, and...

6 Rules for Accountability

6 Rules for Accountability  When I was 13 years old I thought it would be a great idea to practice chipping golf balls on my parents lawn… facing the house. I’m not nearly as confident in my golf game today! I remember the horrible feeling of stupidity and guilt that...

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

The end of the basketball season is barreling down on many of us, and that can bring a wide range of circumstances and emotions to bear. In the best of times, your team has created an experience that will truly be missed when the season ends. The chemistry and...

Three Activities to Break Up the Dog Days

Every season has its dog days. For basketball coaches in Iowa, the last two weeks of January are often the most challenging when it comes to maintaining quality effort and attention in practice, the film room, etc. We are far enough removed from winter break that the...

Five Ways to Connect Teachers With Your Program

There are numerous advantages to having teachers invested in your program. Sports provide an opportunity for teachers to form better connections with their students. Having teachers that are supportive of the program can help forge important relationships that can...

How Do People Have Fun Around Here?

In 2011, former NBA All-Star Mark Jackson was hired to change the fortunes of the Golden State Warriors.  Jackson inherited a team that had made the playoffs just once in the previous 17 seasons.  Jackson immediately brought an err of confidence to the team, and...

Players Get Better By Doing

I know that sounds like common sense, but this simple thought has revolutionized how we plan our practices.  That change stemmed from the fourth question to challenge my coaching in 20201: How much time do your players have to get better in practice? It's easy to...

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