Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coaches' Give and Take and Their Players

My coaching and teaching style as a college prof is similar—high expectation, tough love, and a willingness to help when someone wants help. But I don’t stomach laziness from me others. As the defensive coordinator I would have weekly meetings and rank my players at the meeting telling them their rank and why. It was my way of taking the guessing out of evaluation of a player. My players said they appreciated my honesty even when they disagreed with me. A couple of players I want to comment on. First John Colucci, John was about 5’ 7” sophomore who never played much before I arrived on the scene. But I saw something in him that I liked—John was tough as nails, had a great work ethic, superb field sense, and smooth stick skills. It took a bit but I persuaded Coach Hank Janzyck (Coach J as I called him) to give john a shot as a starter. Throughout my coaching tenor a G-burg coach J had to convince me that I player had more talent and ability than I could see too, it’s just how things go and the benefit of having a head coach who is humble enough to learn from his assistants and vice versa. With some convincing I got coach to agree that John should be getting more playing time and he did is junior year breaking into the starting lineup and never losing his place thereafter. John went on to have a great career at G-burg and his play made me look like a genius as he stymied his attackman, defended fast break with grace, and delivered bone crushing hits on a regular basis that fired up our team and sent opponents hobbling off the field. More importantly John led by example and he was an excellent example to our younger players both on and off the field.

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