Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Interesting ESPN Article

Found this article on ESPN.com today. Thought it was an interesting read. It shows just how different we can be as coaches; styles, philosophies, teaching, delivery, etc. One thing that keeps coming to mind is the word BALANCE.

Coach Wooden speaks frequently about the need for balance and moderation. I had planned on (and still plan on) posting on the subject of balance, but this article seemed to spur me into action.

Phil Jackson and Stan VanGundy represent opposites in so many ways. Their physical appearance alone is nowhere near alike. Their backgrounds are different; big city vs. country. Their experiences have led to a tremendous difference in philosophy.

I feel like the NBA Finals this year has given a great opportunity for us as coaches to really evaluate what we believe in. What works for our respective teams? Is it the zen-like approach that Phil Jackson takes? Is it more intense and directing like Stan VanGundy? What does my approach bring to the team? Does it make us better? Worse?

I see merits in both approaches, but I see far more usefulness in balancing a combination of both. Trust in your players is critical and we should let them discover their own mistakes and correct them. Explore. Experiment. Take a risk. That's half of the fun of playing this game. But it is also good to know your history and statistical breakdowns to find an advantage or an edge anywhere possible.

JA Adande wrapped up this article the best with his last statement: "VanGundy has studied Finals history. Jackson has lived it."

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