Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Practice...We're Talking About Practice

There are so many ways and methods when it comes to proper practice planning.  Throughout my 10 years of coaching since the finish of my college playing career, I have made changes and alterations to how I plan practice each season.  Is this good or bad...I don't know.  Maybe it's the perfectionist in me that makes me continue to tweak and change (or the ADD).  Whatever it is, I know that I found that there is no certain way to do cookie cutter method.  The biggest key is to make sure that you HAVE A PLAN, and it fits in with your philosophy and season goals. 

In our program, we have used the "Five Fundamental Areas" that we build into our practice time each day.

  1. Shooting
  2. Ball Handling
  3. Passing
  4. Rebounding
  5. M2M Defensive Principles
The time and depth of these areas change according to time of the season we are in, length of practice time, and based on needs during that practice.  As time has passed, I am more and more convinced that player development is much more important to success than what offense and defense you run. The Five Fundamentals helps us to accomplish this by making our players the best they are capable of becoming.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


It seems the more and more time goes on, the importance of networking in any job gets more and more important.  Gone are the days that being successful and doing things on your own can earn you the promotion or the job of your dreams.  Whether it is right or wrong, it is the way things are now. The importance of meeting new people, socializing, technological and face-to-face interactions, and constant contact are now becoming the norm in advancement.  It's time to get with the program and get out and network, network, network.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1 Week "Spark" Fundraiser for Jenna!

The boys basketball program at Payson has just started a fundraiser today to raise some money for Jenna Edwards & Family (Jenna is the 11yo sister of two players of mine - Aaron [Sr] & Dalton [So] who has been battling a tumor on the Optic chiasm since she was 4 years old.)  1 week (Tues. 9-20 thru Tues. 9-27) long fundraiser.


Spark (Reduced price & no shipping/tax)
$20 for Box / 14 Packets ($22.95 + Shipping & Tax normally)
$50 for Can / 42 Servings ($51.95 + Shipping & Tax normally)

Mandarin Orange, Pink Lemonade, Grape, Fruit Punch

Pre-pay for products and the order will be placed Tuesday Night 9-27-11.  When product arrives in approximately 3 days, it will be distributed to individuals ASAP.

Money made goes towards helping Jenna Edwards (11 yo sister of one of my players, Aaron Edwards @ Payson) for the travel and medical bills incurred in the treatment of her tumor on the Optic chiasm (located around the pituitary gland).  She is doing chemo right now and has battled this off and on since she was 4 years old.

Below is the article about Jenna Edwards from the Liberty-Bee...

Jenna Edwards, 11, of Payson, donated over 10 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
Beautiful Lengths is a partnership between Pantene and the American Cancer Society. The role
of Pantene is to help women grow long, strong, beautiful hair and provide the funds to turn this
hair into free, real-hair wigs for women with cancer. So far, Pantene has donated 18,000 free
real-hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks (877-227-1596) which distribute wigs
to cancer patients across the country. ( Beautiful Lengths tab)

Jenna’s is a special case because she may be in need of one these wigs in the near future.
At the age of 4, Jenna was diagnosed with an Optic glioma. Gliomas are tumors that grow in
various parts of the brain. Optic gliomas can affect one or both of the optic nerves, which carry
visual information to the brain from each eye. As is the case with Jenna, it can also grow in the
optic chiasm, the area where the optic nerves cross each other in front of the hypothalamus of the
brain. Optic gliomas are rare and the cause is unknown. Most optic gliomas are slow-growing
and non-cancerous and occur in children, almost always before the age of 20.

Jenna’s tumor had gone unnoticed until late January 2004; she became very lethargic and
unresponsive. An emergency CAT scan revealed that not only was there a tumor, but it was
hemorrhaging. It wasn’t until the surgery 4 days later that it was discovered to be an optic glioma.
Although they managed to save her vision and remove 95% of the tumor, the swelling and
hemorrhaging of the tumor damaged Jenna’s hypothalamus region of the brain along with her
pituitary gland. She also suffered a stroke as a result of the surgery. Jenna spent the following 6
weeks at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in recovery, learning to eat, speak and walk again. While
in recovery she started chemotherapy to fight what was left of the tumor after surgery. After 14
months of chemotherapy the tumor had stopped growing and shrunk to minimal size.

Jenna has spent the last 7 years undergoing extensive physical and occupational therapy to
battle the lasting affects of the stroke. All the while undergoing endocrine treatments of offset
the injury of the pituitary gland. She also has periodic MRI’s to monitor the status of the tumor.
Although she isn’t always able to do what children should be doing at her age, she continues to
move ahead with a heart warming smile on her face and laugh to share.

Unfortunately, in early June of this year, an MRI revealed that the tumor had started to grow
again. Under recommendation from Jenna’s team of doctors, she has started another regiment
of chemotherapy. Her first treatment was July 14. She will receive 24 doses over a 48 week
period with hopes to again shrink the tumor. Knowing that there was a good chance that she may
lose her hair, she decided to cut off the length and donate to others in need. In early June, she
had Amy Wagner, cut it off. Amy was helpful in finding a place that would use the hair to benefit
other women taking chemotherapy.

As Jenna continues to battle this unfortunate situation, she has always stayed positive. She will
be starting 6th grade this month at Payson Seymour Elementary, and plans to attend every day
possible, even while taking chemo.

Jenna and her family would like to thank everyone in the community for there continued support.
Jenna especially wants to thank all her friends and classmates for all the cards and support they
have provided this summer. If you see Jenna out in the community just come and say “HI”, your
greeting will be returned with a beautiful smile from a courageous beautiful girl.

 If interested contact Coach Brian Rea @ or text (815) 566-1409. Thanks!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Staying Fit - Day 2 - WOD

Now that school is underway and the hectic schedule is starting to become manageable, I am now able to get back to training myself to have the health, energy and stamina to go through the grind of another basketball season.  I love basketball, and being that it is the longest and most grueling sports season it is necessary for coaches to be in great shape to give their players the absolute best instruction and effort for its entirety.  Here is my workout for today:


  • Air Squats
  • Balance Touches
SuperSet Workout
  • DB 3-Way Lunges
  • Inverted Row
  • DB Swings
  • (Repeat this twice)

  • Leg Curls
  • DB  Bench Press
  • Underhand Grip Pulldowns
  • (Repeat this twice)

  • DB Biceps Curl
  • DB Lying Triceps Extension
  • Dips
  • (Repeat this twice)
Cool down stretching...Ok, now its time to head off to the gym!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Training for Athletes (Part 2)

After posting yesterday, I did some research on a couple college programs that use the CrossFit model to train their basketball players.  Everyone dies things just a little bit different, but in the end the reasoning and results are the same...Building explosive and strong players!

Two programs that use the model (and there are many others): University of Virginia & Tennessee Tech University.  Here are a few quotes from the Strength Coach at University of Virgina, Mike Curtis (Taken from the "Cavalier Talk" September 2011 Newsletter)...

I primarily and initially focus on an athletes' ability to be an efficient and effective mover.! I believe mobility, stability, and technical proficiency in fundamental movements should take place before any heavy loading is imposed.! In regards to specificity I think that there must be some level of simulation that needs to take place in order truly get athletes to execute movements they need in the competitive environment.
Start with the basics.! Master your own body weight first.! Establish mobility, stability, and efficiency in fundamental movement patterns.! You will become stronger and more powerful as you build relative strength and efficiency in movement.! Once you have established that you can progress to more advanced training protocols.

Those quotes right there sum up the reasoning behind why traditional weight room training is NOT for me and my program.  If I were a power lifting coach, then I see the tremendous benefit...But, until the Big 3 major sports (or any others for that matter) are played in a static position where you push/press/pull/squat a load 2x as heavy as yourself, I'll stick to training athletes to become better athletes...not better lifters.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Training for Athletes

How many times have I heard that "you gotta max out on bench and squat to see progress"...I call BS on that one.  As a basketball coach, and even more a trainer of all athletes, it is worthless and unsafe to worry about maxing out for any sport other than power-lifting.  Developing functional strength in all planes of movement, while being able to stay near 100% effort for the longest duration of time is what it is all about.

So what...You can bench 285 two times, good for you!  How about finishing 100 full range hand-release push-ups in under two minutes?  Can you accomplish this?  How many times in sport are we going to be laying on our back pressing 285 lbs off of us twice and then be crushed by it the third time?  Never.  How many times are you going to have to carry 400 lbs on your upper back and squat down and up twice? Never. So why do people continue to try and train athletes that way?  The answer is lack of knowledge and an unwillingness to think outside of the box.

This will be discussed in more length/depth in the upcoming posts...Have a great day!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adapting The System

After doing much research and thinking on "The System" made famous by Grinnell and LMU (and adapted slightly by Doug Porter), I see some very useful teaching tools/points that will serve well in the upcoming season.  As a student of the game, I am always interested in how others coach the X's & O's as well as philosophy.  I am an uptempo style coach by nature, but struggle with some parts of high scoring basketball because of the different defensive philosophy.  I LOVE DEFENSE.

Pressure, Run, Pressure...but not to give up easy shots.  With the athletes and skills that we currently have in our program, an adaptation of my own of "The System" is where I am at right now.  We will continue to be uptempo and attacking, but I don't know if I could ever be a total convert to "The System"...I think it will have to be my own "Quasi-System"!  Maybe if it works I can make my own DVD's!