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Coaching Nuggets with Coach Kelly Wells

Coaching nuggets. We are all trying to find the newest answers to our coaching problems; Coach Wells shares the right answers for us. Coach Kelly Wells of the University of Pikeville shares some of his championship basketball coaching philosophies and nuggets of wisdom. Follow Coach Wells @coachkellywells on Twitter.

coaching nuggets with coach kelly wells

Championship Coaching Nuggets

RECOMMENDED READS:

StrengthFinder 2.0, by Tom Rath

UBUNTU, by Stephen Lundin (Tribal tradition of TEAMWORK AND COLLABORATION. Philosophy of: I am because we all are! The success of the group MUST outweigh the success of the individual.)

The Little Red Book of Wisdom, by Mark DeMoss

Success is a Choice, by Rick Pitino

COACHING MUSTS:

  • Hire GREAT coaches (only as good as the people around you)
  • Put your family ahead of basketball
  • Lifelong Learner (Coaches have to be Coachable)
  • Work Ethic, (Required Work vs. Unrequired Work) (Greatest Asset)
  • Power in Belief (In yourself, your players, your situation)
  • Dream bigger than MOST think is possible / Guarantee Little, Deliver Much
  • Relationships Matter: Care about your coaches/players and their lives
  • Shared Commitment: Players love when you sweat with them, more about what you bring than what you know.
  • Self Evaluation: Would you want to play for yourself (why/why not)
  • Take players where they won’t take themselves, best version of each player
  • Have a Philosophy and Beliefs that fit your situation (Be Flexible)
  • Organized
  • Handle Media, Parents and Community Relations (Own PR Department – staff, players, parents, fans, admin, etc.)
  • Communication (truth, upfront, often)

COACHING NUGGETS: WINNING ON THE ROAD:

  • Must Defend
  • Eliminate Transition Baskets
  • Take away offensive rebounding
  • Play through runs (Resolve)
  • Eliminate turnovers and Vomit Offense

POINTS FROM THE PRO’s:

“Complexity is the enemy of execution” –Brendon Suhr, LSU

“Young men need more models, not critics” -John Wooden, UCLA

“Transactional Coach or Transformational Coach” -Jon Gordon

[bctt tweet=”“We can’t have a championship program without championship actions” -Bob Starkey, Texas A&M WBB” via=”no”]

“A coach will have more impact on lives in a year than most in a lifetime” -Billy Graham

“The greatest sin a coach can commit is to allow kids to slide by. In classroom as well as the court” -Hubie Brown

“Interest VS. Commitment” Interest = Doing it when convenient / Commitment = All the time -Shaka Smart

“No one is bigger than the team. If you can’t do things our way, you’re not getting time here and we don’t care who you are” -Gregg Popovich

“Empower the people around you, from the janitor to the AD. You do that by being sincere, caring about others, and then putting it into practice” -Sue Gunter. LSU WBB

“What we do as basketball players/coaches is abnormal. If you want abnormal results them give abnormal actions. NORMAL=NORMAL” -Billy Donovan, OKC

“YOU determine your value (wage) with what you bring to the table. Our paycheck is OUR responsibility” -Kevin Eastman

COACHING NUGGETS: FAVORITE QUOTES / SAYINGS:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better BE RUNNING. –African Proverb

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. –Nido Qubein

There is no passion to be found playing small – In settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. –Nelson Mandella

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends. –Walt Disney

[bctt tweet=”Never let the pressures take away the pleasures. –Kelly Wells, UPIKE” username=”@coachkellywells”]

coaching nuggets by coach kelly wells

FIVE Components to be ALL IN:

1. Unselfishness –
o Remove “Me-ism”
o Sacrifice
o “Check your ego at the door; the only stat that matters is team success.
2. Compassionate –
o Nobody cares what you know until they know you care
o It not the VALUE you receive, but the VALUE you give to others.
3. Goal Oriented –
o A ship with no port of call is sure to get there—NOWHERE!
o Put your plans in writing! “Bucket List”
4. Togetherness –
o It amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit
o Amway Philosophy: How many people can you help be successful? In return you will be successful.
5. Leadership –
o Action / Not Position
o Be an authentic leader: Show you care, lead by example, develop leaders

Communication is critical in basketball

How to teach communication through drills

When coaching a basketball player, you will often recognize that they will think about what skills they would like to acquire. Whether that means to be a great passer, shooter, slasher or all three, each person fails to miss one important aspect of basketball. While wanting to shoot like Steph Curry or pass like Steve Nash is admirable, there is one thing that many players miss. That one important thing is communication on the court. Communicating on the basketball court is something ALL good teams do on every possession. Whether on offense or on defense “communication is key” in basketball and that’s something any reasonable coach can see.

No offense can function without a guard communicating properly to his teammates but it goes so much deeper than that. Screens cannot be set, players who are open will not be found and even worse that means players will play “Hero Ball” and go in a crowd to shoot a low percentage shot. This also contributes to turnovers as passes can go awry if players are not on the same page. As a result, the offensive execution of a team depends on communication of some sort. As important as communication is on offense, it is perhaps even more important on defense.

Coaches, how many times did you look on with anger in your heart as you saw your own team get mercilessly destroyed by an opposing team’s player cutting to the rim? How many times did you want to throw the poor clipboard to the ground as your team’s rotation was not properly executed and a player was wide open for an easy layup or jump shot? Now how many times did you think in that instance “They gotta talk!!”? If your answer to all three questions was “a lot” then you do not need me to tell you what not communicating on defense can do. The result of a team not talking on defense is catastrophic.

“So how do I get them to communicate?” you now ask?

Unless you are coaching a team of telekinetics, you have to get them to talk while on the court to one another. Luckily there are some drills for that. Here are a couple that are paramount to having your team communicate.

Teach Communication in Offensive Drills

There are actually quite a bit of drills that a coach can use to get a team to talk. A coach can even modify simply drills like a “3 man weave” or a “2 on 1 fast break” drill into a communication drills by making players call ball. However, personally the best way to get a team prepared to communicating on the court is to have the team run through the offensive sets or plays but to have them talk about their jobs during the run through. This sounds silly for every experience basketball player and coach, however, if a team calls out what they do on a play during their run-through of the play in practice then more often than not they will execute on offense in a game better.

Teach Communication in Defensive Drills

There is one drill that I particularly like and that is the 3 on 4 contest drill. Here is a video of a version of that drill courtesy of Championship Productions:

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOkNFXkStuk
This drill emphasizes the important of team defense rotating and talking while doing it.

Trust me, communication on the court will make your team better. Take a look at how important communication is to Team USA.[/fusion_text][/one_full]