"It's the Coach's Fault" .. a look at the phrase, not just sports-related, but also in the social environment. It's about a boy who finds his place in the world through basketball and a man who learns that there is much more to basketball than "just" basketball and more to basketball than "just" basketball.
A boy grows up in a broken family in Philadelphia. He gets in trouble and is sent to a reform school. There he finds the game of basketball. He pursues the dream of becoming a player and learns that the coaches behind us in every facet of our lives help us to become whoever and whatever we are.
He decides to try and become one of those coaches. There are triumphs, failures and even disasters along his journey. He learns the lesson that sometimes all we can do is... all we can do.
Why you should read this book!
Maybe one item, one sentence might strike a chord and influence you to think a little bit differently about something.
That one item may cause you to make a change in an offense or do something different with your kids, or do something different as a ref. If one sentence causes you to see your calls differently, coach your team a little differently, give one player a little more playing time or another player a little less playing time...
If something in this book results in your being less argumentative or better capable of holding your ground and doing what's best for you...if one small suggestion makes a change in anything you do, then everything that I have written here will have served its purpose. Ray "Ritz" Ingram
Why should you read this book...?
"There is almost always someone watching..."
"There is almost always someone watching..."
This phrase is usually attributed to activities in the field of sports. In this book however, I'd like to look at the phrase from another vantage point; not just sports related, but also in the social environment. Sometimes we can look at a sports activity and apply what we see in it to a situation that has absolutely no direct connection to an athletic activity.
We can look at how something develops in the athletic environment... and we can apply it to a social activity... we can apply it to an academic activity or we can apply it to something in the business field. We all get evaluated based on many different criteria and, in the end, regardless of whether the result is negative or positive, we can look back and say, "it's the coaches fault."
There is always someone watching....
With very few exceptions, every time someone does something (good or bad), in some manner it is possible to say that it's the coach's fault. Coaches are also teachers, parents and others in positions of authority. In a different sense, we are all coaches. Every one of us who comes in contact with others is placed in a position to teach. Even when we don't consciously make an effort to do so, our actions affect those around us and if we are in any way, shape or form in a leadership position, then we are coaching.
The successful individuals who were taught well and prepared for the task they accomplished... They had coaches.
Artland Dragons on the way up... with D. Strauch and C. Fleming
Nothing happens in a vacuum... Even when someone accomplishes something "seemingly" on their own, without assistance... Somewhere there was a motivating element. It might even be a negative experience. That player, who was cut from a team and later becomes a very good player may have been motivated by the coach who cut him. Yes, that player must go out and work his tail off to become a good player ... but he derives his motivation from the man who said he was not ready... In essence ... It was that coach's fault.
Coaches can show them the way.. But they have to do the work.
C. Wiegand fought through the pain and disappointment of injuries
In the Spring of 2016 she was awarded a scholarship to play at Gardner-Webb University
V. Karambatsa as a youth player in Leipzig in 2008
V. Karambatsa was a member of the Greek National Team in 2015
reunited in 2016-2017 while coaching the Women's Bundesliga Team in Gruenberg, Germany
For me, as a coach, it feels somewhat like an architect or interior designer who has a choice regarding accepting two job offers.
One potential client offers you a large amount of money to build something for him. He gives you all of the specifications and designs concepts. He provides all of the materials and funds.
Another interested party offers you less money and all he says is "Here is an idea of what I want. Build me something good, something I will like. Here are the funds you will need."
From the standpoint of personal income and headaches, the first client is certainly the best option, but there is something about the second opportunity.
What? You might ask.
It's the feeling of pride and accomplishment. It's yours. You started with nothing and put yourself into it. It's a part of you.
There is a definite distinction between coaching and teaching. Most coaches who are worth their salt are capable of coaching. Coaching is sometimes all about managing. Your players are generally well-skilled, and your job is to direct them to victory. You manage the game with offensive and defensive tactics. You manage playing time. No, it's not always easy, but the more skilled your players are, the better your chances of succeeding.
Teaching Basketball - now that is a completely different story. It is especially unique when it involves starting with players who have never played or who have minimal experience.
There is a special feeling in your heart when you look out on to the floor and see players who learned the game from its complicated beginnings and emerged on the other end and fundamentally solid players. Should one or two of them manage to excel and become really good players, then your sense of pride increases exponentially. I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with some great young individuals. With some of them, it is fair to say that I have gone full-circle.
A.Potratz (3rd from Right) started with me in Quakenbrueck
In 2016-2017 I had the opportunity to coach A. Potratz in the Women's Professional League in Germany (2.DBBL)
To have two players simultaneously playing professionally for me, who had both been set on their courses in my program made me feel really good.
Further down the road, to still have contact and good relations with former players always makes you feel good about what you've done.
Detlef Musch / Andreas Helmkamp
Detlef left Fulda and went on to have very successful career - first at Davidson College, then in the German Professional League and on the German National Team as well .. as did James Marsh (right)
No .. It's not just about the players who go to college or make it to the professional level.
S. Tarasewicz was a "late starter" who began playing in 2015...in 2017. In just two years, after putting in the extra time and effort, she was among the top scorers in her league. For me, it is just as rewarding to see her performing as a contributing member of my Women's Team in Germany in 2017, as it is to send other players on to college or professional teams. Aside from practicing, she also found the time to work full-time as a "Social-Jurist" and to assist with the translation of my book.
I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with so many great young individuals. Some of them essentially began with me. Others are players whose paths crossed with mine along the journey. I'll tell you more about many of them later. In some way we are all coaches. In our families, our communities, our jobs and in our teams... someone is looking to us for guidance... even if we don't realize it... In a manner of speaking, we are always coaching because there is almost always someone watching....
Role Models.... What motivated me...!
A Boy's Idol....
When I was a Junior at Olney High School, I began copying things in a scrap book, my "Commonplace Book" ...
What is a "Commonplace Book"
Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books.
They became significant in Early Modern Europe.
"Commonplace" is a translation of the Latin term locus communis which means "a theme or argument of general application", such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton's commonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual. Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanistsas an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator's particular interests.
So, there you have it...! .... and this is mine... actually my whole Web-Site and Facebook Pages are a sort of Commonplace Book...
I collected poems, newspaper articles and other writings. It became a collection of material which I would use for motivation. At the time it was solely intended to help me personally, but, over time, it became a source that I would use as a coach to try and guide others. Sometime, during my sophomore year at Hofstra, I found this poem and I have kept a copy of it to this day.
This Poem motivated me and helped to keep me moving in the right direction... It was written by Stewart "Stu" Brynn, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1934 and died in 2013.
He was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard and among other things he was the head football coach at Tabor College in Kansas.
A Boy's Idols....by Stu Byrnn
When I was six years old, I idolized two boys older than me by five and seven years. Both had all the makings of fine athletes. I watched them constantly as they caught a pass, hit a baseball, made a basket, and I pictured the day when I would be like them. I GREW AND THEY GREW.
I listened as they told of how they took it easy in practice sessions; how they refused to block for a teammate they didn't like; how they chewed Dentyne and rubbed their hands with after-shave lotion, so the coach wouldn't know they were smoking. I listened as they called their mother "old lady" and their father "old man"; as they called this teacher and that coach something else they spoke of Church and God as being non-existent.
I listened as they laughed about quitting a team; being thrown off a team; being thrown out of a game for fighting; being thrown out of school.
It thrilled me to catch a pass thrown by them, hit a ball pitched by them, or retrieve a basketball shot by them. My day was made when they would say "hello" or simply nod their head in my direction. They were my idols. I longed to be an athlete just like...