The mental side of the game is overlooked and under-coached. What is going on in their heads is important.

You should have some players on your team who aren’t good enough.

You don’t have to coach good shot/bad shot. The best teams figure it out for themselves.

Defense and toughness travel.

Defining roles is restricting. You will discover things about your players you never knew by letting them play.

Practice is sacred – the most important 2 hours of your day.  Treat it that way every day.

When your scout/walkthrough gets past 12 minutes you are wasting your time.

The question “But what position will he play?” keeps us from getting good players more often than not.

Don’t try and control everything about your practice environment. You don’t play that way.

Recruit a point guard in every class.

Chemistry is overrated, a buzzword of convenience that we use when it fits our narrative.

The worst thing you can do as a coach is to say one thing and do another.

Play a lot of guys. It makes practice better.

I learn the most about my team when I listen to my players.

Define your defensive system.  It will give your players confidence.

Coach what they need.  Not what you feel.

Your kids will give you everything they have if you let them be themselves.

Disrespecting your assistants in front of your players hurts your program a lot more than you think.

Your practices will be better if you split the starters up and make the teams competitive.

It’s hard to count on a guy who thinks it’s no big deal when he’s 5 minutes late for class.

If you want it to be important to them, they have to see it’s important to you.

“If you accept it, expect it.” – Chip Kelly

Define your values in behavioral terms.

Scout teams hurt practice more than they help.  Focus on your team.

Make the most important game decisions before the game.

Long talks to the team before you start really hurt your practice.

I want to be a great coach and a great leader, but if I can only be one I’d rather be a great leader.

75% of what I talk about in huddles is not about X’s and O’s. It’s about leadership, approach and mentality.

I’ve never seen a team or a player that was too tough.

Coaches make too big of a deal about playing on the road.

Coaches make too big of a deal about how old guys are.

Your team’s level of buy-in is evident in the way they defend in transition.

Communication is much harder than we think it is – tell your team what you want them to say.

The pick-up games your team plays in the off-season are very important.

Telling your team you screwed up is one of the best ways to teach accountability.

When you are dishonest with them they will see right through you – even the dumb ones.


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About the Author: Bob Walsh was named the head coach at the University of Maine on May 7th, 2014. Walsh took over at Maine after running the Rhode Island College program from 2005-2014.  He took over a program that had not been to the NCAA Tournament in almost 30 years and presided over the most successful period in the program’s history.


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