Bill Snyder

“The thing Bill Snyder does better than anything else is he never puts limitations on anybody’s capabilities.”

Some really great stuff from people around Kansas State and former players on what makes Bill Snyder a great coach.

I saw this stat recently after Kansas State beat Texas 23-0.  Since 2011 the average ranking of the Texas recruiting classes has been #11.  During the same time period, the average ranking of the K-State recruiting classes has been #60.  23-0 Kansas State.

Finish With Hustle

We talk a lot as coaches about finishing plays, but you can also tell your guys how you wan them to finish plays.  You can’t count on everything happening exactly how you expect it to in a game, and you have to be able to react instinctively.  We talk to our players about “finishing with hustle.”

We spend a lot of time working on scramble situations.  Defensive rotations after we’ve doubled the basketball, 4 on 3 half-court defensive situations, odd-numbered transition breaks.  As much as we work and prepare our guys to play a certain way, so much of the game comes down to your players being able to react to what happens on the court.  They have to be able to make plays, and often they won’t be in 5 on 5 situations, simply executing a set play.  The game is played at a fast pace in an intense environment and your opponent is out their to try and stop you, creating plenty of scramble situations where your kids just have to react.

There is no way to know exactly where the ball will come off the rim, where the defense is going to be, or where your teammates will be.  “Finish with hustle” is a term we use to describe how we are going to react in these situations – no matter what comes up we are going to finish it on the run with great hustle.  We are trying to avoid that 1 or 2 seconds where players relax and try and figure out what is going on and what to do next.  We want them running, hustling, scrambling to try and find a way out no matter what just happened.

Finish every play with hustle.  It’s a great way to get your guys thinking that no matter what happens, they aren’t going to stop competing until the play is over.

Bruce Arians

So much great stuff in here about Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.  Easy guy to root for.

“Everybody needs a guy that believes in him, and Bruce was that guy for me. He made me believe I could do anything.”

“If you’re being asked to do a drill and your coach can’t tell you why you’re doing it, then don’t do it.”

“Guys respect him because whatever comes out of his mouth is true,” says Alexander, the Cardinals linebacker. “You might not like how he says it, but it’s truthful. Being around this league for 10 years, it’s rare to find that brutal honesty, that guy that doesn’t have a back-door agenda. It doesn’t matter who you are, he’s going to tell you when your stuff stinks. If you’re not confident in who you are, that can be scary.”

“My wife did a great job selling the kids on the next stop,” Arians says. “She was the hype man, telling them how great it was going to be, all the fun things that were in the next place. That was hard when the next stop was Starkville.”

Derek Fisher

So much great stuff in this Derek Fisher interview.  Take the 15 minutes to read it when you have the chance.

Q: What would you tell your team about what it was like winning a championship for the first time?

A: That none of what we ask them to do, and none of what they’re even asking themselves to do on a daily basis will make sense until the final buzzer goes off if we ever have a chance to play in the NBA Finals and win a championship. It’ll all seem like, “Why are they asking us to do that?” … “This doesn’t make sense” … “We should play the pick-and-roll a different way” … “Why are we running the triangle?” … “We should be able to do this.” And none of it makes sense, until the final buzzer goes off. Because it’s ALL an experiment unless you win. Because you go back to zero if you don’t win it. And so, when you win that first championship, that’s when you finally realize that all the sacrifice and the days when you thought you should have had a day off but the coach made you come anyway, and all the weightlifting and the training and pushing through the pain and back-to-backs and getting in at 3 in the morning and having to come back to practice at noon the next day — none of makes sense until then. That’s when they’ll realize what they thought they didn’t have all along, they already had it.

6 Traits of Effective Organizations

6 traits of effective organizations – from Brad Martin, former University of Memphis president and retired chairman and CEO of Saks.  This was passed along to us by our Athletic Director Karlton Creech.

Some really good stuff in here – “obsessive concentration” on the customer.  As coaches, who are our customers?  I also really like the idea of “prudent risk-taking that results in both failure and success.”  Reminds me of the idea of applauding spectacular failures that is a part of the training for the Chinese National diving team.  Finally, “empowerment among all colleagues.”  As coaches, are we empowering everyone around us to help our “customers?”

6 Traits of Effective Organizations – Brad Martin

1) Clearly defined values that guide all actions

2) Obsessive concentration on the customer

3) Intense and persistent focus on learning and growth

4) Prudent risk-taking that results in both failure and success

5) Empowerment among all colleagues to make their own judgments in the application of available resources to best serve the customer

6) Understanding that life and work intersect daily