Monday, March 09, 2009

UK's Billy Gillispie: how bad coaching is...bad!

*This post is not about basketball, even if you may think it is.

I have noticed in the past few years that there is a formula to being a successful college basketball coach, without really being a good coach. I began to notice this when the University of Kentucky picked their new coach, Billy Clyde Gillispie. Touted as an exciting young coach who would return UK to a hotbed for basketball success. Gillispie has recruited well, but his teams have not been very strong. Why? He’s one of the new and upcoming coaching sensations, why hasn’t he turned UK into a national power? (Not that it wasn’t before he got there, but that’s another story for another day.)

As I have watched Gillispie, I realized that he was using a model that is based on recruiting the top skilled players in the country, giving them a basic system to play in, and motivating them to play up to their talent level. It makes sense why someone would do this, because talented players are exciting to watch; talented players will make good plays that make coaches look good; talented players usually win. Thus the strength of this model is in recruiting and motivating; not coaching. This model is everywhere today in college basketball, mostly because it works.

You see if I have big, stronger, faster players, who shoot the ball better than your players, I will win. This does not make me a good coach; it makes me a great recruiter and motivational speaker. I should not be confused with a good coach, if I am just a recruiter and motivator. The results should not be confused with the means (Or just because somebody wins games, or even championships, does not mean they're a good coach!)

Now I say all this, not to dog UK, but to point out how it is easy to allow ourselves to miss the obvious - the fact that these guys cannot coach - because we’re blinded their success. Fans like winning, alumni like winning, athletic departments like winning, but coaching is not about winning. Coaching is about teaching. Coaching is about player development. Winning is a by-product of a well developed, well taught team.

What's the fall-out from the Billy Clyde coaching style? Well, basketball suffers. If players are not being taught the intricacies of how to play the game, then those details never get passed down. Eventually the game will erode and deteriorate. Things that have been learned will cease to be known. This is why good coaching is so important, it passes along the art of the game from generation to generation. This is why we need good coaches. The end result: basketball eventually dies.

This principle translates over into every discipline. The question we have to ask ourselves is, “Are people in a particular discipline more concerned with success or the purpose of that discipline?” This is the root of the problem, when people cease to care about anything other than success, the product will eventually suffer as people look for shot-cuts to success. We should not be deceived by this mindset, because in the end we only hurt ourselves by taking shortcuts.

What do you think?

5 comments:

the husband said...

If the players aren't taught the fundamentals, then if they make it to the pros, it turns into a team of solo acts and the game isn't as fun to watch or even be apart of. A person on a team of one never learns anything and never advances beyond their pre-existing mindset.

dan said...

this is true, and I think Billy Clyde is teaching a team game, just his players have never developed into better players. His mentor, Bill Self was the same way. Their players have never developed beyond their level of talent as freshmen. They are less "wide-eyed" of tough situations, but simply stay at the same level.

Its what happens when success comes before player development

jashby said...

Dan, Acie Law was a three star recruit and Gillispie turned him into a lottery pick. His first A&M team went from 0-16 in the league to 8-8. I can't say that he has done a good job so far at UK, but I disagree with his development of players. It was clearly not about talent at his last two schools.

dan said...

Acie was there before Billy. Billy's first year the guy was already a great player. Its the same model, a talented player who is given a simple system and motivated. Billy really didn't do anything.

BTW the whole 3-star rating is really subjective and somewhat overrated. Acie Law IV was a really talented player who shined when at A&M. How many 5-star players don't pan out. he was a top 150 recruit, so he was talented...

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,