coaching

See Jesus In Me

My desire as a coach is for people to see Jesus in me.  Through the way I work, the way I behave, and the way I care, I want Jesus to be at the center of it.  My heartbeat is to see those around me grow closer to Jesus because of the way I live.

However, I'm really bad at it most of the time.

My work becomes focused solely on wins & losses.  I work a certain way for certain hours, so that people will give me their approval.  I do what I do because I want the praise and glory for myself.

My behavior lacks character too often and I fall victim to Satan's attacks.  I allow my feelings to dictate my actions, which often leads to sin.  I behave the way I do because I'm prideful and want to do what only makes me happy.

My care for others is non-existent  because their needs are not more important than my own, obviously.  I focus on what I want and lookout for me, myself, and I.  I lack the care that I need to have because I'm selfish.

I COULD GO ON.

I've been struggling lately to be a light; to be the example that God created me to be.  He called me to coach and he enabled me to have the opportunity to impact young men and other coaches.  I'm passionate about fulfilling that call with the gifts that God has given me.  I want to embrace the responsibility that I have because I know the impact those with the same calling had on me.  So here's what I'm going to do:

PRAY

I believe that prayer is powerful and God desires to have that communication with us.  As a coach, I need to make this a daily occurrence with intentionality throughout the day.  However, I'm really bad at praying.  I don't do it enough and more often than not I fail to do it well.  Please pray for me to grow stronger in my prayer life!

READ

God's word is powerful.  It speaks truth and breathes life.  I need to dig deeper into the word of God and find out more about what he is all about.  I'm really good at reading it on a surface level, but I desire to dive deeper and grow closer to God.  

DO

I want to do more.  Not because I think it will earn me favor with God, but because I want to impact people.  I want to genuinely love them and show them who Jesus is by the way I live life.  I want my words to speak truth and I want my actions to display love.  I want the gospel to resonate with the people I come in contact with every day, so Jesus can do a work in their life.

I want people to see Jesus in me. 

Fueling Your Heart

Each day we are given opportunities to choose the influences we want in our lives.  The videos we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read, and the people we spend our time with.  Each decision we make fuels our hearts with a worldview that will ultimately impact the way we carry ourselves.  So, the question is, what is fueling your heart?

It’s easy to gravitate towards popular content the world is selling to us daily, but it’s important to understand what those stories are telling us.  Just because something is portrayed as “cool” or “relevant,” doesn’t mean we should be consuming it.  We need to be intentional about fueling our hearts with substance, promoting growth and excellence in all we do. 

Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

Spotify has over 140 million users that consume over 1.7 billion hours of music each month.  Currently, the song that is streamed the most and sits at #2 on the Billboard Top 100, is “Rockstar” by Post Malone (Feat. 21 Savage).  The first lyrics that millions of people are actively choosing to put into their hearts when they listen to this song are, 

Ayy, I’ve been f****** hoes and poppin’ pillies. Man I feel just like a rockstar.
— Post Malone

WHAT MUSIC IS FUELING YOUR HEART?

Last month, the top grossing movie at the box office was “It,” earning $290,775,232.  It has played in over 4,000 theaters countless times, entertaining millions of people across the globe.  I understand the thrill and excitement that comes along with horror movies, but at what cost?  The description that lures people to buy a ticket to this movie is, “A group of bullied kids band together when a shapeshifting demon, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.”  Really?

WHAT MOVIES OR VIDEOS ARE FUELING YOUR HEART TODAY?

In 2016, 68% of high school seniors said that they tried alcohol with their friends.  Their friends claimed they were going to harmless parties and having “fun” participating in drinking games.  Statistics also say that alcohol causes the most harm in people under the age of 21 and is responsible for over 4,300 deaths each year. 

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE DO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH?

The point of this article is not to tell you what not to do.  However, I think it’s important for us to ask ourselves the question, “what is fueling my heart?”  If we think about it, the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the content we read, and the people we spend our time with, influences our lives in a huge way.  If we want to be the best we can be, why wouldn’t we fuel our hearts with content that is positive and full of truth?  For me, it’s a battle every day.  I want to have fun and satisfy my need for entertainment, but I constantly need to examine what I’m fueling my heart with.  I encourage you to think about the influences you allow into your life every day and ask yourself if the fuel you’re putting into your heart is the fuel that will get you to your desired destination. 

What's Worked For Me (So Far)

CREATING BASKETBALL OPPORTUNITIES

I’ve been very fortunate as a young basketball coach to have landed a number of amazing basketball opportunities. A few of these include Duke basketball camp, UCLA camp, Georgia State Basketball Camp, Snow Valley Iowa Basketball School, working for PGC/Glazier Clinics, USA Basketball Clinics, Social Media interning for Kevin Eastman (former NBA assistant coach), and a trip to the final four. I’ve also been very fortunate to have coaches like Don Showalter and Kevin Eastman to trust me to do a good job when they bring me on board.

A number of coaches have asked me the question, “How did you land that?” Or, “How did you get connected with them?” Many ask for the purpose of trying to land similar opportunities. This article is a response to those questions.

My primary aim in this article is to give coaches who want some basketball opportunities a few ideas on what may help them by describing what’s worked so far for me. I’ll also talk about the financial aspect of my journey and share a few ideas worth considering about money, because like many young coaches, I also do not have access to a money tree.

But first… The reason I put (So Far) in the title is to be clear that I am not proclaiming myself to be a deep well of pure professional wisdom. I have a career win total that equals the amount of children some coaches reading this have. Ok, I’m slightly kidding. Unless you have 12 children… then you officially have me beat. But I’m closing in fast. Ha!

Hopefully you caught the fun at the end of that paragraph. Seriously, this is my journey so far and hopefully some reading coaches will benefit and get some ideas on how they can create opportunities for their coaching career.

Clete Adelman, Mason Waters, Bill Van Gundy

Clete Adelman, Mason Waters, Bill Van Gundy

DUKE BASKETBALL CAMP

I first got involved with Duke Basketball Camp as a camper about a decade ago. And I was a phenomenal camper (which I must say is a slight distinction from being a phenomenal player). I connected with many camp coaches and even impressed the camp director so much that he remembered me… nearly 10 years later.

I emailed the camp staff in late 2014 about working camp the next summer, in 2015. I got denied.

The next year I sent another email application. I was told I was being considered. Then the deal breaker game.

A friend and I went to the University of Georgia to watch the Bulldogs take on High Point in an early season contest. As my buddy and I questionably snuck our way closer to the court, I noticed a familiar ESPN announcer. It was Duke’s Camp Director who also happens to work for ESPN.

After the game, I approached the announcer’s booth to say hello, and that I had applied this summer for camp. Security was telling me and my friend to exit the building. I persisted and said, “I know the announcer, I’m just saying hello.” They let me hang around a few more seconds.

After the ESPN team wrapped up their coverage, I quickly said hello to the camp director and mentioned I had applied again to coach at camp.

“Wow! I remember you as a camper” he replied. “I’m glad you came up and said hello because now I know that you’re not just some Joe blow off the street. We’ll get you on.”

I don’t know how many people that you want to work for also commentate for ESPN, but if he does, find what game he’s calling next, go to that school, and stay after. Ok, I’m kidding about that, but this is how I got connected at Duke camp.  

UCLA BASKETBALL CAMP

Now that I’m writing this out, I’m finally realizing how one door opens another, and that door opens another, and that door opens another, and on and on. UCLA was one of my most recent basketball opportunities and it makes sense to me to do this thing backwards.

I met Jim Harrick, former UCLA Head Coach, at a 2016 PGC/Glazier clinic in Dallas.

Quick side note: I’ve had people assume I come from a wealthy family and they just pay for me to travel all over the place and do these basketball things. The truth is that I do have very supportive and encouraging parents, but I am by no means rich. My mother does a phenomenal job supporting me financially but it’s not like I can do anything I want or go anywhere I want. My parents have been divorced for most of my life. My dad, unemployed since 2008, now lives in a camper in north Georgia and my mother is a school teacher. I’m a full-time college student. We’re not poor, but certainly not rich. I’ll get into some of my financial beliefs and how that’s played into these opportunities later.

So I meet Jim Harrick in Dallas at PGC/Glazier clinic in fall of 2016. A friend of mine, Faiz Ahmed, and I were talking in July 2016 about the benefits of volunteering at basketball clinics; you get in for free (save money!), and might get unique access to speakers and staff of the clinic. This rings true.

After that conversation I researched basketball clinics in Atlanta. I knew of PGC so I reached out to them about their Atlanta clinic. I’m from Atlanta, so I figured I could volunteer at the clinic, get free admission, and just take the 45-minute drive back and forth from my house each day. They exceeded my expectations: They paid for my hotel allowing me to stay in Atlanta during the entire clinic. That allowed me to begin a relationship (not like we’re best friends but we know each other) with an individual who I think is one of the best coaches in basketball period, Mike Neighbors of Washington and now Arkansas. He, myself, and some other coaches stayed at the same hotel and went out in the night and talked hoops for a few hours.

During the Atlanta clinic, I asked PGC/Glazier staff if they needed help at their Dallas, Texas clinic, which would be the next week… Like in 6 days. Fortunately they said yes., they needed help.

Just like the Atlanta clinic, PGC/Glazier covered my hotel and entry to the clinic so all I had to do was pay for the flight and find cheap food (While in Dallas I walked about two miles to a McDonalds  during breaks because that was by far cheaper than the hotel food and Uber costs money, walking is free).

If you don’t know about PGC/Glazier, you need to because they are really good. Their clinics have multiple sessions Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and will have multiple speakers presenting at once (all in different rooms of course).  Going into Dallas and looking over their speaker lineup, I knew had to be Jim Harrick’s room host. Not only did he win a national championship, he also coached in my home state of Georgia at the University of Georgia and I also figured he might have some influence in getting me into working UCLA’s camp, a position I applied for last summer and did not get.

Another side note: Persistence is key! The first time I applied at Duke and UCLA I was denied. And I am in no way unique here. Countless coaches have persisted when they weren’t given the jobs they wanted.

I told PGC/Glazier that my one request was to be Jim Harrick’s room host. In other words, room hosts are the speaker’s host. We get them water, papers, pens, anything they need. Being a coaches room host also allows for small talk between the sessions. Amazingly, the clinic staff allowed me to host Coach Harrick. By the way, he is a character and great clinician!

At PGC/Glazier I learned that In 1996, Jim Harrick hired the guy who is today’s UCLA camp director. That’s some leverage! Jim reached out to the camp director on my behalf and got me in!

SNOW VALLEY BASKETBALL SCHOOL

Now let’s go backwards in this story. If you noticed I mentioned a conversation I had with Faiz Ahmed, who, by the way, is going to be a phenomenal NBA coach one day. But I hope he and I are on the same college staff one day.

The conversation we had was at Snow Valley Basketball School in Iowa. How did I get that opportunity?

This story is shorter and much more simple. I went to Coaching U Live in Orlando for two summers and met Don Showalter there, the head coach for the USA junior national teams and also the camp director at Snow Valley Basketball School. I also attended PGC/Glazier Atlanta in 2015 (as a guest, not support staff) and got lunch with Coach Showalter there. By seeing me at those two clinics, I guess he noticed I was a fairly dedicated young coach and he invited me to coach at Snow Valley! And of course I said yes.

A FEW OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE HELPED ME

A BUDGET FOR SUCCESS

Kevin Eastman, one of the best givers to coaches, talked about this recently at his Elite Training Camp last week but I promise I was doing it before I also heard it from him. Beginning my first year of college, I always budget my money, and one of the budgets I have is a basketball budget: it allows me to pay for coaching DVDs, clinics, gas when I go visit a practice, etc.

Each paycheck I get (which is never that much) goes like this, and I learned this from mentors at my church: Give some, save some, live on the rest.

Give 10% to the church or some of my favorite charities. Save/invest about 60%. Live on the rest.

For me, retirement saving has not begun nor have I started saving for my future kids college. Shoot, I’m still in college! Yet, investment for me in my financial plan mostly means invest in myself, my career, and my development. That includes paying for basketball clinics, DVDs, etc.

This past summer this meant taking the money I made from a previous camp to pay for the expenses of the next. For example, I coached a showcase event early this summer. I didn’t spend that money on shoes, my car, or my girlfriend, I saved it and invested it into paying for travel expenses to the next camp.

Not only that, I also started a lawn care company (I use the word company very lightly haha) with my best friend. Almost every single dollar I’ve made from there either went straight to my savings to pay off my final year of college debt-free, or it went straight into my basketball ventures.

Financial Side Note: Older coaches reading this will know this, but some young coaches might not have thought about this. This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned: Financial freedom allows you to do the things you want to do. Debt limits opportunities. No debt opens opportunities. One of the best decisions I’ve made was going to a very affordable in-state university. My college experience has not been the stereotypical American college experience, meaning it hasn’t been a lot of what they call “college fun”, but its been a good education and most importantly, affordable. And I’m so thankful it has been.

If you have financial excuses for why you can’t go to a clinic or a basketball event but all you do is buy ten pairs of sneakers a month or buy 4 concert tickets a month, then you are the only person holding you back. Saying “no” to luxury allows an individual to say “yes” to opportunity. And with enough opportunity, luxury just might have its way of showing up on the backside.

I haven’t seen this among many young coaches, but I have a number of friends who are complaining about not getting a certain job, or not being able to get a shot at anything when all they do is spend their money on their car or boat or girlfriend. Money is absolutely vital in professional advancement because it affords an individual to invest in themselves. Without it, people very much limit their professional opportunities because they can’t buy any products or services to develop!

EBAY

My primary financial goals throughout college have been 1) Graduate debt-free and 2) Invest in my basketball career. One huge help in that has been eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace, and flipping items from thrift stores. What I’ll do now is show you a few items that I have flipped and profited from for the purpose of investing in my basketball career. Hopefully this gets you thinking of ways to make some extra money to invest in your development.

REI Backpacks – I am as interested in camping, fishing, and outdoors activities about as much as Kim Kardashian is. Well, she at least to appears to not spend much time in the wilderness. But I have found a good item to make money off of. That is hiking packs from REI.

A friend of mine invited me to REI, an outdoor gear store, about two years ago to their scratch and dent sale; their clearance sale. I went just for fun. However, while there, I began to think that a lot of those items could definitely be flipped online. So I did my research. Long story short, I have gone to three REI Scratch and Dent sales and profited a few hundred bucks off of it.

These sales attract a large crowd, so to get a good spot in line at these sales, I typically get up at 4 something to be sure I’m the first one in the door. The packs sell really well on eBay so I go straight for them when I get in the door. I’ll grab a few of them off the rack and make sure they’re not torn up too bad. Then I’ll buy them and have them listed on eBay the same day. Some I buy for $70 and sell on eBay for $140. Sell three of those plus a few other miscellaneous items and it’s a $250+ profit in one morning. Definitely beats minimum wage!

Another popular item I’ve flipped are ab lounges. The best flip I’ve done with these was pretty awesome. I found a $3 ab lounge at a Goodwill and had it listed on Facebook yard sale sites the same day. It sold for $85. That’s $82 just by swinging by a goodwill on my way home, listing it online, and meeting the person for pickup. Once again, that surely meets minimum wage.

The last item I’ll mention was a MacBook. I’m a member of several yard sale sites on Facebook. I noticed a macbook on one of the pages going for $50 and just felt in my gut, this is a steal. Without even doing any research, I messaged the seller and bought it the next day. I listed it on eBay and a week or two later it sold for $11,550. Hahaha no I’m kidding. It sold for $150. But still, $100 profit isn’t bad.

Now why am I mentioning this? I mention these items because explaining in detail some things I’ve flipped may give coaches some better insight into how to make some side money to invest in their careers. For me, a specific description of a few different items is better that just hearing “Go flip stuff.”

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW

Sincerely, I hope this adds value to somebody. God has blessed me with these opportunities. And more importantly than these opportunities are the people I’ve met and now call friends. He has also blessed me with people in my life who have taught me the lessons mentioned above. I didn’t come up with any of this stuff or tactics, I just listened to wise people who I want to be like. Sometimes life is pretty simple, we just find a way of making it hard sometimes.

If you are a coach looking for more opportunity or have any questions about anything written here, I’d sincerely love to hear from you. I’m not a huge influencer in the basketball world, but I’d be happy to see if I could connect you with people I know. Or I’d love to talk with you about making side money because I know an extra couple hundreds of bucks could go a long way for some coaches.

Feel free to tweet me at @masonwaters_, email me at mason1waters@gmail.com or call/text at 678) 656-6957. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading!

MASON WATERS

Jay Bilas Skills Camp

Jay Bilas Skills Camp

 

 

Which Do You Love More?

Lord, don’t let my gifts take me farther than my character can sustain me.
— Mark Batterson

DREAMERS ARE EVERYWHERE.

No matter what career you are invested in or what goals you envision yourself accomplishing in the future, you are probably the type of person that is passionate about the process required to realize your dream.  You are a gifted individual with unique talents that separate you from the rest of the pack.  

But if you're anything like me, sometimes the dream God gave you takes precedent over the God who gave you the dream.  You get so wrapped up in the work and excitement of pursuing it you forget to acknowledge the reason you're able to pursue your dream in the first place.  

In his book, All In, Mark Batterson writes a brilliant excerpt about the Gift Giver.  

"If the gift ever becomes more important than the Gift Giver, then the very thing God gave you to serve His purposes is undermining His plan for your life.  God is no longer the End All and Be All.  And when God becomes the means to some other end, it's the beginning of the end spiritually because you have inverted the gospel.

God-given gifts are wonderful things and dangerous things.  One of my recurrent prayers is this: 'Lord, don't let my gifts take me farther than my character can sustain me.'  As we cultivate the gifts God has given us, we can begin to rely on those gifts instead of relying on God.  That's when our greatest strength becomes our greatest weakness."

I know in the game of basketball it can be very easy to rely on our gifts rather than on the One who gave us those gifts.  Sport is one of the easiest places for people to become prideful and believe they are accomplishing their dreams because of their talents.  I want to challenge you to love the God who gave you your dream and know the gifts allowing you to be successful were given to you by Him.  When the tests come into our life we are given the opportunity to rely on God and put an awesome testimony on display.  Keep taking action to acknowledge the Gift Giver and you will be amazed how your dreams will begin to come true as you pursue the process!

Welcome Home

QUICK LIFE UPDATE

We recently accepted a coaching position at Bethel College in Indiana.  Immediately, we felt welcomed and part of our new family.  Every single person that we have come in contact with at Bethel has been nothing but kind and helpful to us!  We are excited to get moved here from South Carolina and get into the full swing of things.  Thank you for the prayers and encouragement over the last few months as my family and I have been in transition.  I will be getting back to blogging more consistently as well once we get settled in.  God is good!

Land The Plane Safely

Coaching is like flying an airplane, there is going to be a lot of turbulence, but your job is to land the plane safely.
— Chuck Daly

I love this #4 posting in "Brendan Suhr's Top 10 Chuck Daly "Dalyisms."  I feel like this is the point in the season when this quote might really hit home.  Some coaches have endured tough seasons, and others have experienced their best, but no matter which one is you, it is time to land the plane.  It is time to finish strong.  Hopefully you've kept your composure and stayed focused throughout the season.  Stay strong. Stay committed.  Rise Up.

“Coaching is like flying an airplane, there is going to be a lot of turbulence, but your job is to land the plane safely.”

During the season, there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, but as the coach you have to understand you have to remain calm and poised and remember the goals that you have established for the team. On the road to each Championship season, we had major turmoil occur, but Chuck landed the plane safely.

 

Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 2)

FIRST OF ALL, LET ME BRAG ON MY GUYS FOR A MINUTE.

They’re gentlemen. They’re kind. They’re passionate. They’re coachable. They’re crazy and goofy and immature and hilarious. They’re good guys. Our girls (ages 2 and 3) are beyond smitten. We are always greeted with hugs and high-fives. The players sit on our couch and read books to our children. They paint fingernails of toddlers and actually listen when my 2 year old tries to tell them something in her own language. The guys will chase them and flip them and carry them on their shoulders as long as my kids keep asking. We love our guys.

Our guys’ girlfriends are equally as awesome. They’re supportive and encouraging and patient with the crazy basketball schedule we all endure. I’ve loved having “watch parties” (aka ice cream parties) when our guys play on the road. We are able to eat ice cream, bond, girl-talk (did I mention the ice cream?) and share common ground because of these guys. I personally prefer home games, because I love to watch the guys play in person and not say bye to my husband, but having these girls over for away games has made road games so much more enjoyable! Girlfriends, you play such a vital role and I am so thankful for each of you!

And don’t even get me started on our players' parents/families. Kind words, notes of encouragement, random gift cards, thoughtful trinkets/toys/candy for our girls, sweet texts, and the list goes on. We have the best parents/families. Hands down.

Despite having great players, awesome girlfriends and amazing families, being a coach’s family isn’t at all glamorous. But SURPRISE, we aren’t in it for the glamour!

WHY ARE WE IN IT?  FOR THE PLAYERS.

Chances are, they probably won’t be “players” anymore after their 4 years of college ball. Do you know what they’ll be after that? Husbands, fathers, leaders, teachers, coaches, and influencers wherever they go. Don’t get me wrong. We want to win games. We really want to win games. But our ultimate goal is for our guys to win at life. To show Jesus to their family and others all around them every day. To win the ultimate prize of “Well done, my good and faithful servant."  To become coaches who have the same influence and can teach the next generation, by example, what it looks like to live by faith. To somehow balance a crazy schedule and still remember what is important in this life. People.

And somehow, the not-so-glamorous late nights, long hours, and unseen challenges are totally and completely worth it.

Julie Wingreen

Love, Mrs. Coach (Part 1)

Mental Toughness Is A Choice

In recent talk at PGC Basketball, Chad Songy discussed the idea of mental toughness.  He shared about how the way we think can dictate certain actions in our life that influence our mentality.  

FEELINGS > ACTIONS > IDENTITY

OR

IDENTITY > ACTIONS > FEELINGS

When we choose to allow our feelings (fatigue, stress, anger, entitlement, etc.) to dictate what we do with our actions, (body language, work ethic, etc) we are telling people about who we are as a person.  Our identity becomes a microcosm of our feelings, which can be very self-serving.  

On the other hand, when we choose to allow our identity to dictate our actions we become stronger.  When we know who we are as a person, player, or coach, we have the ability to act upon something that has meaning.  My body language and work ethic now become a reflection of my greater purpose.  When I fulfill my purpose it naturally builds up the way I feel by giving me confidence, energy, and contentment.  

Mentally tough people act because of their identity, not their feelings.  

Mental toughness is what you CHOOSE to put your focus on.
— Chad Songy; PGC Basketball

Taken from a talk given by PGC Basketball's, Chad Songy.

Why Do I Coach?

WHY DO I COACH?

That should be a question that every coach asks himself consistently.  There are a variety of answers that will come back, but it's important to understand your true purpose as a coach.

Do you coach to win?

Do you coach for the money?

Do you coach for the notoriety?

Do you coach for the kids?

Do you coach because you can't do anything else?

All of these reasons are realistic and are each answers that I have heard from coaches at various levels.  Most will gravitate to the safe answers such as doing it for the kids and because they love to win, but if we accurately evaluate our motives we can surprise ourselves.

Personally, I want to serve people and make a positive impact by helping them achieve the dreams that God created in their hearts.  I will work my butt off because I love to win and I need to make money, but my purpose is greater than all of that.  My purpose is to help our players see their potential and teach them how to reach their goals.  I'm called to glorify Jesus Christ and lead by example though my actions and attitude.  My desire is to develop men of high character and integrity who will graduate and become amazing husbands, fathers, employees, and CEO's.  

Now that July live period is complete and things are going to slow down for a month or so, I challenge and encourage every coach to ask themselves that question and answer honestly.  Think deeply about why you coach and make the necessary changes before the season begins.  The more clearly you can define your purpose, the more effective and successful you will become as a coach!

Thanks for reading!

Coach Wingreen

Developing Our Roles As Coaches

Players that know their role thrive and contribute greatly towards the success of the team.  How about you, coach?  Do you know your role?  Do you know how to keep growing in your role?

Although we are not perfect or anywhere near perfect, I believe that our staff at Bob Jones University does a tremendous job of working together and performing our individual roles.  I recently had a discussion with another assistant on our staff and he asked me, "When you're around me, how much effort do I give?  A percentage."  I really appreciated his question as it showed his desire to learn and grow, but it also challenged me to assess my effort in my current role.  As we carried on our conversation we both determined that we could give more to the team and keep encouraging each other's growth to position our program in the best way possible.  You see, no matter how good we think we are doing or how well our program is portrayed, there is ALWAYS room to get better.  

We all know the various responsibilities you need to carry out as a college basketball coach such as scouting, film breakdown, & recruiting.  But I wanted to give you a few leadership skills that we often overlook that can help you perform your role at an elite level.  These are all aspects of my development as a coach that I am working on currently.

EFFORT

When you work a million hours a week (or so it seems sometimes) it's hard to imagine that you aren't giving your best effort.  As I had my conversation with Coach Miller, he challenged me with the fact that we can give so much more effort in many ways.  But how do we give more effort?  What does that look like?  The following traits will all contribute to giving our maximum effort on a daily basis.

ATTITUDE

Come to the office every day with a positive mindset.  Be determined to impact those around you by making them better.  Smile more, complain less.  Be interested in other's lives and ask questions about them.  If you can go in to every day with the ability to make someone else better you will be setting yourself up for success.  

ENTHUSIASM

Many people mistake enthusiasm for "Rah Rah" type of talk and shy away from being enthusiastic.  However, enthusiasm is defined by dictionary.com as:

1. absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest:

2. an occupation, activity, or pursuit in which such interest is shown:

Being enthusiastic as a college basketball coach simply means giving your best when your best is required.  It means taking your passion to another level and using your gift to impact others.  You can show your effort by being more enthusiastic even when you don't feel like it.

FOCUS

Focusing on a task for long periods of time is always a struggle for many, including myself.  I don't know why, but it's definitely an attribute that people need to improve!  Your effort is directly impacted by the focus you put forth in anything you're doing.  As coaches, we owe it to our staff and our players to commit our focus to things that will make us better.  Make yourself a quiet place to concentrate for a little bit.  Find some music that will keep your mind focused on what you're doing.  Whatever you need to do to focus better, do it!

Although there are so many more character traits that we can develop to be more successful in our roles, I believe that these are all things that we can control and get better in.  They are basic, but they are powerful.  Let's continue to hold each other accountable and keep growing and learning together as coaches to impact the lives of those around us!