Sunday, April 29, 2012

Don Meyer Thoughts

 The three items below are thoughts we believe will be of value to coaches, players, and teams. 

     How To Avoid Grievances contains thoughts written by Coach John Wooden in a book called the Art of Living by Wilferd Peterson.  Coach Wooden has many thoughts inscribed in the book but these were some we thought would mean the most to coaches and players.  This book is on our top five list of books we suggest all coaches purchase.  To find the other four go to our website and punch the coaches corner and go to the must read book section of the coaches corner.

     The Mundanities of Excellence was taken from a clinic given by Paul Patterson of Taylor University at Valparaiso University.
Each fall Coach Keith Freeman and Coach Steve Bruce host a clinic for coaches and each year it is different in it's approach.
Coach Patterson is one of the finest coaches and men that I have ever had the chance to compete against and learn from.
His teams always exceed expectations and he does a better job out of getting more from less than any coach I know.

     The Creed of the Pack is a statement by the players on our 2002-2003 Wolves Basketball Team as to what is important to them and what they stand for.  Until a team can define WHAT'S US & WHAT'S NOT US it will never really have an identity.
Many of the basic thoughts for this creed come from 1st Corinthians 13:1-8. 

     Each of the three items in the newsletter speak in some way to team building.  There are basicall three things a coach does at any level.                      
                                      1)  Recruit
                                      2)  Team Build
                                      3)  Skill Development
We recruit when get the gym open in the evenings, on Saturdays, in the summer, and make our program special and unique.
Team building is an every day job and is the biggest thing we can ever do for the individuals in our programs.  Getting them involved in something bigger than themselves will teach lessons that will last a lifetime.  Skill development involves the fundamentals of the game on both ends of the floor and the mental approach to take the individual skills and perform them properly and quickly for the good of the team.

     We believe that there are four things essential for team building.     
                                                                                     1)   SHARED OWNERSHIP
                                                                                     2)   SHARED SUFFERING
                                                                                     3)   INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY
                                                                                     4)   COLLECTIVE PRIDE

    The reason we like our Creed of the Pack is because it is our players.  They worked through it together and they own it.
Any time we can have our players lead by the veterans on our team make decisions we find that those decisions are well thought out and followed with a greater commitment because they own those ideas and decisions.   No, we don't let them drive the bus but we let them help decide how we will feed the team, warm-up before a game, clean up the locker room on the road, and clean up the bus when we get home.

     Shared suffering is key because it pulls us all together.  It is always we, us, and our vs. me, my and mine.  It is our team vs. my time.  The tough tasks and times in life teach the best and longest remembered lessons.  The strength gained by helping and carrying a teammate through tough times helps many a player when he encounters tough situations with his life and/or family.

     The only time we like to use the word individual in our program is when the word responsibility is tacked on the end of it.
We must all be accountable for our attitude and effort for the program to succeed.  This starts with the coaches and then on down from the internal leadership of your team to the rawest rookie.  We would like for each man to be his own captain.   We stress buddy work and buddy coaching with veterans responsible for one or two rookies but each player is ultimately responsible for the work ethic, work habits, and choices he makes on and off the floor.

     Collective pride simply means that team success is what gives us pride.  There is a saying I am fond of that says, "The only thing that can save us is humility".  In looking at the Creed of the Pack the word proud scared me some until I realized that the pride in the pack was an outgrowth of service and unselfish acts of  love listed in the lines above.


1.   Get all the facts:  what went wrong…not who is to blame.
2.   Stay Calm:  find the solution together.  Do not permit emotion to take  
over.  Reason
3.   Criticize in private:  Listen if you want to be heard.  Disagree without being disagreeable.
4.   Commend before and perhaps after you criticize.  Help save face. 
5.   Keep your criticism constructive.
-Criticism is to correct, help, improve and prevent…not to punish.

-Treat all people with dignity and respect

When in charge; ponder
When in trouble; delegate
When in doubt; mumble

Looking back it seems to me
All the grief that had to be
Left me when the pain was ‘oer
Stronger than I had been before.

Handwritten inserts in John Wooden’s copy of THE ART OF LIVING
By Wilferd Peterson
The copy is forty years old.


Mundane:  Ordinary
Excellence:  Consistently Superior Performance


The changes required to move to a higher level of performance are not quantitative. 

Higher Quality.  Much, Much, Higher Quality.
There is no surplus of quality


Champions are ordinary people who do ordinary things extraordinarily well.

Make the practice like games, and the games like practices. 
Coach’s job is to replicate game situations in practice…  Joe Paterno

What are they eager to do?  Not willing but eager is the key.

Champions don’t look at it as a sacrifice.  Champions choose to live as champions.


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