Art Parakhouski

Big men take a bit more time to develop.  It's a coaching cliche but it it true.  Has been forever.  I had the good fortune to coach a young developing big man for two years in college.  Art Parakhouski.  He was a dominant player in college and has gone on to become a strong professional player.  But he has been a slow starter with the teams he has played on in Europe and at times his coaches have not allowed him the time to get comfortable.  I was able to coach him again last season as a pro and watched him prove himself one of the best centers in the Eurocup.  This year he has taken another step playing with Nizhny Novgorod in the VTB and Euroleague.  Giving him the time to get comfortable and working to give him confidence makes all the difference in the world with someone like Art.  And a lot of other players and bigs as well.  So my point is this:  Some players need a bit more time than others but with the right approach they can continue developing for years and years and eventually grow into something special.  That is what's happening with Art.  Below is a button to the box score and story on Art getting 19 & 9 in a big win for his team over European power Unics Kazan.


Regardless of your coaching style, bear in mind the yogic practice of "satya."  There are a number of interpretations of "satya."  Here's a simple definition of the practice / philosophy that I like and try to apply.  

The yogic practice of satya (truth) focuses on carefully choosing our words so they do the least harm and most good.


Goal Simplified

Trying to do your best all the time is a goal everyone can be successful at.  And that is all anyone can ask.  But it's easier said than done.  The link below will take you to an interesting artlcle about one of the stars of this years World Series.

“I even go back to just my goals in spring training, literally my goals are to play each game as hard as I can to win,” he said. “That’s what I write down when I’m writing down my goals for the season.”

“I want to give every single game everything I have to win. And the rest, the numbers will take care of themselves. So I try to focus that simplified.”                - Hunter Pence

Dr. Jack Ramsay

I was fortunate to work at St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia under my basketball mentor Jim Lynam.  Jim played for the legendary Dr. Jack Ramsay at St. Joe's and with many degrees of separation have been influenced by Dr. Jack.  I later spent years working for the Portland Trail Blazers, a team Dr. Jack coached to the 1977 NBA championship so once again I felt a connection to him and his coaching tenants.  The following is a reminder of the uniquely great way he thought about the game from his 1978 book. The Coach's Art.

What is this game that runs through my mind? It is a ballet, a graceful sweep and flow of patterned movement, counterpointed by daring and imaginative flights of solitary brilliance. It is a dance which begins with opposition contesting every move. But in the exhilaration of a great performance, the opposition vanishes. The dancer does as he pleases. The game is unified action up and down the floor. . . . It is the solidarity of a single unifying purpose, the will to overcome adversity, the determination never to give in. It is winning; it is winning; it is winning.

Aspirations Aren't Strategy

Robert Blackwell was deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic planning under President George W. Bush and I once read a quote of his that struck a chord with me as a coach.  "Aspirations aren't strategy."  

Anybody can talk about winning and goals and it is good to aspire.  But to achieve goals you have to have a strategy - a series of actions to achieve that goal.  What is going to be done.  By whom?  When? Where? How?  Be purposeful with your planning in practice and keep you eye on not only the goal but the necessary strategy to achieve the goal.

Leadership - Korean Tae Kwon Do Style

A long time ago my son was taking Tae Kwon Do lessons and part of the training included learning some Korean verses about a number of different themes.  One being leadership.  He practiced it (with some help from his Dad) and had to recite it as part of one of his tests to earn a belt promotion.  This leadership verse has stuck with me since the time he learned it and it has greatly influenced my coaching style.

A leader is best when people barely know he exists.  Not so great when they obey and acclaim him, worse yet when they despise him.  But of a good leader, when his work his done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, "we did it ourselves."   Tae Kwon Do Leadership

I believe one of the keys to helping players achieve and get close to their capacity is to be a leader that doesn't need the spotlight.  A leader that doesn't seek the spotlight.  It's about the players.  Yes, they need a strategy and I will write about that soon.  But I beleive players appreciate a coach who is humble and unselfish.  

Persistence & Determination - Calvin Coolidge

If you have lived long enough to have experienced some highs and lows you might be able to appreciate the relevancy of this quote.  One of my favorites that I would like to share.  Persistence & Determination.  

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge


Why CoachBradBlog

Adding CoachBradBlog to gives me a place to share stuff about basketball, coaching, things connected to the game and at times some stuff that isn't.  I am not sure where this blog will lead but when thinking over whether to do this or not, I looked up some documents about blogs.  And one of the supposed purposes of blogging is to share knowledge.  Your own knowledge or perhaps knowledge learned from someone else.  If you have some expertise in a given area it's a good idea to share it and that is one of the reasons for this blog.  So here goes.