Proof That Coaching Works

Brad Stevens and Coaching PassionBrad Stevens has already sent his mid-major Butler team to the final four, set countless school records but he has failed to live for four decades. He is energetic to watch and appears to energize his team from the sidelines.   His teams are focused, well executing and hard working; a combination that to this point has seen great success including a constant stream of upsets of major division 1 college basketball teams.

Stevens played college basketball with some degree of success and after graduating, took a job outside the field of sports, however his love for the game drove him back to it after hardly any time at all.   Stevens famously quit his job to take a volunteer assistant coaching position at Butler, despite having a family to support and mouths to feed.  His gamble of course paid off as he soon was put on the payroll and quietly and quickly worked his way up to the head coaching position.  That story alone should make playing for him a priority for all high-school recruits.  If you love the game of basketball then you should want to play for someone who loves the game just as much if not more then you and Stevens story proves his love.

There are many other reasons to want to play for Stevens. His ability to prepare his, what some would call, underdog teams for games against powerhouse teams in which he continuously has success shows a detailed and unique knowledge of the game.  It also shows a deep understanding of his own players and their strengths and weaknesses, which allows him to use and develop each of his players to the very best of their abilities.

As a fan of the game how could you not love Stevens and everything he stands for?  He is the man behind Cinderella, the ultimate underdog story. His passion is visible even through the lens of a television and passion itself is a reason to love sports.

I would encourage coaches to try and emulate this energy and passion Stevens brings to the game and see if your team doesn’t improve its performance or at the very least its attitude. Players’ levels of effort and enjoyment respond directly to the levels brought into practices and games by coaches. If you don’t feel passionate about what you are doing every time you step out onto a basketball court than it might be time to think about examining your priorities.

I hope that the future sees more youth in coaches in both the NBA and college basketball. I would never want to take away from the great coaches who have gleaned their knowledge through a lifetime of studying the game but it sure is refreshing to see youthful exuberance coming from the bench. I think it breathes life into the game and gives old aspects new perspectives. This is how the game will continue to evolve as it has in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

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