April 21, 2011    
     Anyone who knows me knows my love for great coaches like John Wooden, Pat Summit, and Mike Krzyzewski.  It seems I am always reading one of their books.  I am currently reading a book about John Wooden (You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned) written by a former player, Swen Nater.  I share the same belief system that John Wooden carries with regards to player treatment.
Here is an excerpt from the book; John Wooden is addressing his team in a preseason meeting:

"I am not going to treat you players all the same.  Giving you the same treatment does not make sense because you're all different.  The good Lord, in his infinite wisdom, did not make us all the same.  Goodness gracious, if he had, this would be a boring world, don't you think?  You are different from each other in height, weight, background, intelligence, talent, and many other ways.  For that reason, each one of you deserves individual treatment that is best for you.  I will decide what that treatment will be.  It may take the form of gentle encouragement or something a little stronger.  That depends on you.  It may also take the form of discipline.  But remember, all discipline will be earned by you based on what you have done prior.  So, I'm not going to treat you all the same, but I will give you the treatment you earn and deserve."

You Haven't Taught Until They Have Learned
By Swen Nater & Ronald Gallimore
 
March 2011
     As we work to build the best program we are capable of building for our kids, there are often things that occur that should make us step back and take a deeper look at what is really important.  My intent is to educate and to share so that our kids benefit from more thoughtful decision-making on the part of the adults in their lives. 
     Playing on a team with so many good players.....  Most, if not all, of the players in our program could probably be starters and major contributors for almost any program in the state.  So what is the advantage of playing on a team with so many good players?
     1.  Players have other good players to work against in practice.  This
          allows each player to develop their skills better than those who only
          see competition in a game two or three times a week. 
     2.  Players learn that they have to earn their playing time and that they
          have to produce in order to keep their playing time.  Especially in
          womens sports, girls often do not experience failure until they reach
          college.  For many, it is devastating!  It can completely ruin a girl's
          self-confidence.  Playing against a better level of competition prior to
          college prepares them for this struggle.  Players, more importantly
          parents, must give up their desire for their child to be the star so that
          they can be more prepared for the challenges faced as a college
          freshman.
     3.  No one player has to feel the pressure to "do it all."  This pressure is
          fine if you want your child to be "the star."  If you, however, have
          expectations and dreams of your child playing college basketball,
          working within a system is most important.  As good as players like
          Brittany Griner (Baylor) and Maya Moore (UCONN) are, to be
          successful, they have to work within the system their coaches put in
          place.  Once they learn how to do that, they are able to use their
          individual talent to succeed within that system.There are no college
          programs that succeed or compete in the NCAA without players who
          can work together as a team and execute a plan.  Unfortunately, one
          of the biggest complaints college coaches have about players they  
          have signed out of the Memphis area is that the kids struggle to run
          plays and learn "the system."