October Newsletter for Coaches, Players & Parents

The October newsletter features an article giving tips on game day preparations & routines to help every freshmen athlete build good habits.  This edition features offensive breakdown shooting drills to use with your team on The Gun from 2018 National Champion Head Coach, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball. Read articles on how Kemba Walker has evolved as a player & how the winningest college football coach of all-time built his philosophy based on “winning with no.” Lastly, learn from UNC Women’s Soccer Coach, Anson Dorrance, on his competitive cauldron that he developed by studying Coach Dean Smith & has helped produce 22 National Championships.

Click the link below to read our October Coaches Newsletter.

Just Hoops October Newsletter

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Nick Kellogg – Insight from former Bobcat & current Pro

Nick Kellogg, former Columbus standout at St Francis DeSales High School, is currently playing professionally in France for Chorale Roanne Basket. Kellogg is contributing 8.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, & shooting 92% at the FT line for his team which currently has a 12-4 record. He ended his successful playing career for Ohio University as the all-time record holder in the Mid-American Conference for career 3-point shots made. Just Hoops is very fortunate to have Nick work with our athletes for 1 on 1 personal training’s, clinics & team workouts throughout his off-season.

What advice would you give to younger players: Play for what you can give the game, not the other way around. Too many times guys play the game for the wrong reasons and it translates to the court at some point. If you’re playing for what you think the game can give you, then you are doing it wrong. Learn the game and the fundamentals and play for the love of it. The extra stuff is fine but if that is your sole motivation then you won’t make it very far.

What is your favorite quote that translates to basketball & life: “Fair is not equal.” This was a quote told to me by my pops. It’s applicable to all facets of life. Sports, the workplace, relationships you name it. Fair is not always equal. Fair playing time for two players on a team doesn’t necessarily mean the same amount of minutes. Fair pay for two employees doesn’t necessarily equate to the same dollar amount. You’ll save yourself some trouble if this is something you grasp early in life. You can’t worry about what you think is fair or unfair in regards to someone else.

Most memorable highlight from your playing career at DeSales: Getting the opportunity to play Varsity my freshman year with my older brother, Alex. It was one of the best teams in school history. We made it to the state semi-final game before losing to Dayton Dunbar. Dunbar went on to win the championship but the experience was something I’ll never forget.

What was the biggest adjustment for you on the court when you began your freshman year at OU: Understanding that you aren’t the “man” anymore. Everyone playing at the division 1 level on your respective team was typically the “man” at their respective high schools. So you’re coming into an environment with a lot of talent and you have to adjust your mindset and attitude accordingly or you’re setting yourself up for failure.

What are you most proud of during your career at Ohio University: Being a part of arguably the best team in school history, and reaching the 3rd round of the NCAA (Sweet 16).

What is your mindset when you go to the gym to work on your game: Be a “get from guy”, not a “get through” guy. “Get through” guys go to workouts and simply make sure they get through it. They do the drills at a good pace to finish the workout. “Get guys” have a different level of intensity and work to get something FROM the workout. Regardless of how small, those are the guys that improve the fastest because they pick something to focus on in every workout that they will take FROM each workout.

How can players use Just Hoops to improve their game: Just Hoops is a great place for kids to work on specific parts of their game. It gives them the opportunity to get a lot of shooting repetition in as well as challenging ball handling workouts. I believe the 1 on 1 training provides kids with another unique option to improve their skills and learn from coaches who are knowledgeable and experienced in the game of basketball.

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Why Do You Coach?

Coaches have one of the most powerful platforms in young people’s lives. For many athletes a coach will serve as a mentor, teacher, friend and counselor. The coaching profession gives individuals endless opportunities to influence, empower and inspire others. One coach can impact more young people in a year than most people are afforded in a lifetime. Every coach must remind themselves that with “great power comes great responsibility.” You give your players memories, for better or for worse, that stay with them until the day they die.

Why do you take the responsibility that comes with being called coach? Every individual has his/her own reasons and motivations for joining the coaching profession. Your inspirations for coaching will ultimately define your coaching philosophy and how you communicate with your players. I strongly encourage that you ask yourself the following questions to delve deep into your own coaching narrative:

  • Why do I coach?
  • Why do I coach the way I do?
  • What does it feel like to be coached by me?
  • How do I define and measure success?

There are many young people playing sports who feel diminished and discouraged by the very activities that should strengthen, encourage and vindicate them. It is imperative that we understand there are two types of coaches that exist: transactional and transformational.

Transactional

Transactional coaches use players as tools to meet their personal needs for validation, status and identity. They look for what they can get out of coaching and not what they can give. Transactional coaches often ignore the athletes’ developmental needs and often manipulate and distort the values of winning and losing. Many athletes obey these coaches out of necessity but never fully accept their belief systems or buy into their programs. Athletes develop a strategy to participate in the transactions. They activate the process of trying to satisfy their coach by exchanging their performance for their praise and acceptance.

Transformational

In comparison, transformational coaches impart life-changing messages; are other-centered; and use their platform to nurture and transform players. A transformational coach realizes the power of the coaching platform to inspire, motivate and produce positive change in his/her players. The only way to coach young people is to seek to transform their sense of their own worth, talents and value. Athletes follow these coaches because they sense their authenticity and both parties believe in one another.

To better understand our coaching tactics, we must look internally into our own narrative and reflect on both our glorious and our hurtful experiences with sports and coaches. Backtracking and tracing the unfulfilled needs we felt as athletes will help us in determining how those unmet needs can drive us as coaches. Self-understanding leads to understanding others, which can lead to life-changing transformation. Great coaching demands introspection, integrity, and integration of the coach’s life history. This can be a grueling and challenging process to better ourselves as individuals but one that will allow us to understand our obligation is to coach for our players and not for ourselves.

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Youth Coaching: Enjoy the Experience

Coach Brian Agler, Head Coach of the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks, provided Central Ohio coaches with insights and lessons he has learned throughout his coaching journey. Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way was honored to host the coaching clinic to give back to the local basketball community and provide an opportunity for those coaches searching for more knowledge. Coach Agler has an exceptional understanding of the intricacies of coaching as he has coached both boys’ and girls’ teams from the youth level all the way to his current post in the WNBA. Agler preached that coaching covers more than the X’s and O’s and developing practice plans. Every coach has the platform to develop skills that the players will use long after their playing days to better prepare them to be successful in life.

Take a deep breath, be patient and enjoy the experience you are afforded as a coach. As a coach you cannot base your happiness or how you view your players on the wins and losses. Rather, from start to finish, track your team and players’ improvement in all areas. Making gradual improvements throughout the season to improve the players’ individual skill sets, understanding of team concepts and playing together as team will have lifelong impacts. After the season concludes and you are looking back on the impact you made measure improvement on whether your players have a better understanding of teamwork, the value of working with others and the importance of sportsmanship.

 

The coaching profession oftentimes is evaluated on wins and losses. It is challenging to ignore external factors but regardless of the outcome of the game your demeanor should stay the same. Stay the course and be consistent with your message. It is easy to become a victim of your emotions and lose sight of improvement if you are basing it on the scoreboard. The most important element of basketball you can foster with your team is quality skill work. Agler highlighted that the game is moving away from physicality and heading towards versatility and skill. Playing multiple positions and possessing an ability to pass, dribble and shoot are the most coveted capabilities in the game today. Dedicate a large percentage of your practices to skill development and making drills competitive. Structuring and fostering competition will provide avenues for the players to learn how to deal with adversity. Adversity will present itself in many forms throughout your journey as a coach but give your best effort to enjoy the experience and it may just trickle down to your players.

 

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Naming Just Hoops

Brad and DanielAny day now my wife Emily is due with our second son, and we have been through the ringer trying to come up with just the right name. We had to laugh at some of the disqualifying factors preventing us from choosing certain names. For example, does it sound right with our son Daniel’s name, or have I had a student with that name in the past that brings up challenging memories? In addition to making sure the name sounds strong and doesn’t carry baggage, it also must hold the right meaning. Does the name’s meaning describe our son, or who we hope our son will be? These factors are important, and it is strange to think that they are directly related to what we went through when choosing the name Just Hoops.

I googled, prayed, brainstormed and even asked my students at the time what they thought we should call the facility. We came up with basketball phrases, training words, rhymes, metaphors and so on. Just like my son’s name, we needed a name that sounded right and represented our values. We decided on Just Hoops because it carried two important aspects that we needed to communicate.

  1. We would be a facility exclusively dedicated to basketball.
  2. We would run this business with integrity.

The first aspect that our name must communicate clearly is that we are solely focused on basketball. We invest all our resources to create Central Ohio’s premier basketball training facility. The people, the equipment and the events will all be dedicated to the game of basketball to make our members better players–one focus executed to the best of our ability.

The second aspect is that we want to operate day in and day out with integrity, not only teaching players the game of basketball, but also using this game to help students learn life skills. We strive to be positive influences to athletes who work with us. Our faith is paramount in how we live life, and we want this facility to reflect that faith by “bringing sunshine” (as the owner, John Joseph, says) to each of our members. Commitment, hard work, perseverance, learning from our mistakes and a positive attitude are just a few character traits that athletes can learn by playing this game at our facility.

With these two aspects in consideration, we decided on the name Just Hoops. When the passerby sees this name the first aspect is covered, we are just about basketball. The name Just Hoops can also reflect that our business will operate with integrity each day. The word ‘just’ is defined by Webster’s dictionary as “acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good.” So, it’s the game of basketball done the right way, with our morals being the guiding factor in our decisions. As a former teacher at Olentangy Berkshire Middle School, we made decisions not what was easy or convenient for us, but based on one factor, “what is best for kids.” This is the exact standard we will use at Just Hoops. I am interested in quality instruction in everything we do. Our product will not be watered down in any way, we will do what is best for our members. We will operate justly.

So after all that thinking and praying we decided that the name Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way reflects everything we stand for. Basketball with integrity. Basketball done the right way. Basketball on and off the court. Just Hoops.


Thank you for taking the time to read our first Blog post. It will be through this blog that our staff and trainers will communicate information that we think is worth sharing. It could be coaching tips, at home drills, how-to articles or simply interesting basketball or character related articles. We want to use this BLOG to help you continue growing in your process of becoming a better player, better coach or better person.

Brad Niley
Director
Just Hoops by Shoot-A-Way

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