Day 1: Florida Gulf Coast / Miami

I want to start this practice tour/sabbatical in the same fashion as I did before with the same opening remark. Having the chance to watch practices from some of the best coaches in women’s college basketball in the Southeast is truly an honor. Some are friends, others are former peers, but all are patrons to my events throughout the year, and a good portion are subscribers to Blue Star Basketball. They all have more college coaching victories on their resume than I probably every will, so I feel very fortunate to be given this opportunity to continue to be a ’student of the game’

Basketball is an interesting sport because there really are so many different ways to teach the game. Two totally different ways can still find success on the floor for the same player. For me to sit and say the way I see something is better than one of these coaches is ridiculous – it is just differences in opinions on the game. By no means is it disrespect, in fact most good head coaches want constructive criticism, as it makes them better, and look at the game or things differently. This in turn may allow them to maybe not change it to what someone recommends but trigger them to think of something else to achieve the goal. So as I go forward and make lite of things or share observations – please note that I chose every one of these schools for a very good reason: I respect them.

Florida Gulf Coast University

Got in late and finally was able to get my head to the pillow by 1am and was up by 5:45am. Made my necessary Fantasy Football adjustments to my lineup & then made my way on to a very spacious and isolated campus in Fort Meyer. As I approached the arena that was covered in Dunk City signage I can only imagine how crazy this quaint campus was last March Madness.

Karl Smesko has done a great job in first making the transition from Division II to Division I, but also a consistent contender in the Atlantic Sun Conference. I had only briefly heard him speak at one of our WBCA conventions and could tell this was someone that was a basketball ‘junkie’ and thus why I wanted to be sure to get his program on my tour. Well I was not disappointed as the ‘nutty professor’ as I jokingly told him after the practice had his ‘classroom’ in full effect the entire time. A man of few words off the court, Karl is a high basketball IQ guy and very technical in many of his teachings and drill work and can easily see why he has won over 300 games on the sidelines. There was an emphasis today on zone offense & he actually took the team in for a short :20 film session. Not sure we can have the freedom of some of their movements, but got my ‘mad chemist’ mind thinking and came up with a few new zone looks (one for 3pt / another for interior look & one for both).

One fun surprise was to see Mel Thomas on staff – Mel played at UConn and I had attempted recruiting her in the earlier stages of her HS career while I was at Illinois State (needless to say she continued to improve quite a bit). I was humbled to see that she remembered my bald head (well it was shaved back then :-P) Karl is begins spoiled for sure with his staff – Chelsea Dermyer & Abbey Scharlow both of who are ready to make the jump to the next level if the opportunity/interest is there. But with a campus near the water & all this sun I couldn’t blame them if they wanted to stick around there for their career. I can’t imagine it will be long before Coach Smesko gets the call from a BCS level school to help build yet another program as well.

As this session ended I tried to get up to see the Men’s Soccer Coach – Bob Butehorn as he was the coach at St. Bonaventure Univ. back when I was 22 coaching out in NY. Unfortunately when I popped my head in he was in player meetings & we all know how those can run long 🙂. I had to stay on schedule as Miami was 2hrs away so needed to get on the road.

One other learning piece for me on these trips is I listen to various audio books while driving. Audio book #1 is Bo Schembechler’s Bo’s Lasting Lessons – Fundamentals of Leadership , . The dad’s may be the only ones that may remember this very successful Michigan football coach – but I could quickly pick up on his ‘old school’ approach that I do believe in certain aspects of a program can still be implemented w/ todays athletes.

University of Miami

I arrived on Miami’s campus with a little time to spare after fighting through a rain storm. I had been here twice before in my career: 1) played them when at St. Bonaventure under the old coach & in the old facility 2) McDonald’s All-American game in my 2nd year on the committee where I made it into a father/son trip.

Katie Meier (a Wheaton, IL native) I have respected from a far for years & my boss has always had a strong relationship with her. She is coming off of a summer of coaching the 19u USA Basketball team to gold in Lithuania. She has been a winner everywhere she has been in her career and her energy was felt the moment she walked in the gym w/ the players. This team plays a very ‘North-South’ style so was curious to see some of their drills & definitely will be using a couple to break up the normal routine this winter. I liked how their basic stretching incorporated some ball handling with it – so may change up a little of our format to start practices. Halfway through practice Katie came over to sit & I joked with her that she was being spoiled having two head coaches on her staff in Derrick Gibbs & Carolyn Kieger. Both have been with her since the beginning & can steer the ship while Katie took on a managerial role interjecting when needed. Octavia Blue just recently returned to campus and you can see her as a calming presence with the player & it won’t be long as her resume grows under Meier’s tutelage that she’ll be another up-comer

With not a lot of ‘post’ presence they worked on some new offensive schemes that got the ‘professor’ thinking of a new ‘wrinkle’ we can add to our transition possibly this year since our 4 players should be fairly mobile w/ decent ball handling skills.

As the session ended I got luck that Katie had a clear plate & was able to sit down and talk a number of different things after sharing some more drills with each other. One book that intrigued me that she used for her staff was Strengths Finder 2.0. This may be a homework assignment for the staff next off-season.

As I wished the staff well & headed to the airport. I thought I was going to have to start to paddle my way as the water levels were really starting to increase around the airport. Had a couple hours to do work as some of my original schedule had to be altered. Literally cancelled & re-booked a different hotel for when I land in Raleigh tonight due to Wake Forest & North Carolina changing their practices. Reminded me of recruiting days when you would shift and change ‘mid-stream’ on a regular….. don’t miss that as I like having a nice organized timeline – big surprise to you all I’m sure 🙂

Landed tonight and drove to Durham to the hotel & full night’s sleep that I wasn’t planning since now my first session is not until 1:30pm at North Carolina State

میز اداری صندلی مدیریتی صندلی اداری تبلیغات کلیکی میز تلویزیون پاراگلایدر آگهی رایگان محسن چاوشی دانلود آهنگ جدید خرید اینترنتی عکس بازیگران