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How to be an Extraordinary Assistant Coach

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1 How to be an Extraordinary Assistant Coach
Don Papasedero W.I.A.A. Coaches School July 30, 2010


3 Before we start, a few words…
Thanks to all of you for being a Coach! It should be regarded by you as a personal and professional honor! Everything you do can make a difference! Do you have a mission? Unique subject…tough to speak about…I need a way to spread the news! I have no choice but to speak authoritatively…(old and experienced coach)

4 I intend to help you look at yourself and what you ARE doing…and offer some ways I think you SHOULD be doing business. “This coaching stuff” is not as easy as it looks…a bit like eating an elephant. Don’t take notes! I will be ready to send them to you or visit about this presentation afterwards.

5 Coaching is Teaching! To be a good “teacher” of your sport, be ready to commit to 2 things: 1) You never know enough! 2) “I’m in” The coach of today needs a big tool kit and a blueprint for how and what is to be taught!

6 How do you choose to become a “coach”
How do you choose to become a “coach”? …and How do Head Coaches select their assistants?


8 “…you know, all I really knew was basketball
“…you know, all I really knew was basketball. I was really short and slow as a player…but really loud! Naturally I became a coach.” Red Auerbach

9 “I figured that if my son was going to get yelled at by really stupid people…I might as well be the loudest one.” Bill Belichick Sr. “I think I would look soooo sexy wearing those tight pants, bright colors and fancy head phones.” Hal Holbrook

10 “I hire a bunch of guys who say, “Yes, coach” all the time…but I only use those guys who say, “I have an idea Coach.” Lou Holtz (Notre Dame)

11 Richard Petty (NASCAR)
“We only hire them fellas’ that can’t live without the grease, oil, and noise. Also, these guys ain’t as handsome as me neither… I look bettah to the girlies.” Richard Petty (NASCAR)

12 “I hire ‘em (assistants) by the pants sizes of the last staff…saves money on new coaching gear.”
Howard Scellenberger (Miami)

13 “Assistants? Who needs ‘em…This isn’t called the damn “Greatest Show on Earth” because of the hired help!” P.T. Barnum

14 Assistant Coach’s roles a “Coach” of your sport a member of the coaching staff a “Teacher” of the game an Assistant to the Head Coach an ambassador for the game

15 The Assistant as a “Coach”
Loyalty. Use and refer to coach’s philosophy on everything. Make your assigned area the best! Set the pace of drills very rapidly in your coaching area! Coach everything on the run! NASCAR, baby! “A bad rep. is way better than a good stand” Mark Speckman Teach with your nature, strengths, and You!

16 Be prepared and detailed for every drill. Maximize your time
Be prepared and detailed for every drill. Maximize your time. Know what is to be taught, what equipment you need and plan on finding snakes. Model being on time, following chain of command, and effective learning habits...say, “Yes Coach!” Recognize what the athlete is capable of. Be corrective, positive, and focus on improvement. Teach the kid! Know your package cold.

17 Restate and remind everyone about the critical importance of fundamentals. Brilliant!
If you use anger, use 1 on 1 contact with the player that day! Do it! Heal us! “If your goal is to be a great coach, and their goal is to be great player, if they get theirs, you get yours.” Red Blake (Army)

18 The Assistant as a member of a coaching staff
Loyalty. Use and refer to the head coach’s philosophy for everything. Get in or get out! Do not --tch about the scheme if you don’t know it, or failed to try and develop it. Recognize that many of your fellow assistants are competitive people.

19 Do anything you can to increase your knowledge base
Do anything you can to increase your knowledge willing to learn! Fit social...this is important! Stay away from secret meetings. Never, never, never disagree in front of your players.

20 “It appears that this new “Staff Chemistry” thing is in all the winning teams… what the !*!?$ fellas git out there, find out how do we get us some?” Jim Owens (UW)

21 “Teamwork??? Hmm, ah, em, let’s see…I think that this teamwork thing is a bunch of guys in a big ‘ol hurry…doing exactly what I tell them to do.” Vince Dooley (Georgia)

22 The Assistant coach as a “teacher” of your sport
Loyalty. Use and refer to the head coach’s philosophy on everything. Integrity and veracity. They won’t play for a Phony-Ass coach. They will smell you a mile away! Be ready to be gone (home, girlfriend, boyfriend, etc.). Know their names! Treat the 3rd stringer the same as the starter.

23 …as a top “Assistant” to the Head Coach
Loyalty. Use and refer to the head coach’s philosophy on everything. Become indispensable. Period. Ask how to help... then take the lousy assignment that he assigns. Anticipate like “Radar” and shield the head coach as much as possible from distractions. No detail or job is “not your job” (ESPECIALLY EQUIPMENT!!)

24 The Assistant Coach as a positive ambassador for your sport
Loyalty. Use and refer to the head coach’s philosophy on everything. Don’t talk! (faculty, parents, press, community, other players) Do talk about: student/athletes, safety, sportsmanship, training rules, quality opponents, and team work.

25 Work to gain a positive “Coach” image.
Go very easy on hard language. Leave your colors at home when in bars, “at outings,” etc. BE DRESSED AT EVERY PRACTICE!!! How you look in all your fancy stuff on game days does not always reflect on your mission or quality of instruction.

26 …a few actual Head Coach’s comments on their former assistants…
”This guy sets very low personal and professional goals and constantly fails to achieve them.” ”____ he only coaches like I expect him to with constant supervision…and he is cornered like a rat in trap.” ”_____has incredible, vivid delusions of being an adequate coach.” ”_____fails to attend meetings...even when he is there in the room!”

27 …here’s some news for you Head Coaches!

28 Your staff needs passion
Your staff needs passion. Surround yourself with people that can’t live without the game. Create and publish your expectations. If they know what you want, and if they don’t do it…. Be ready to allow your staff to contribute and develop scheme. Watch for people that are good teachers. They will naturally learn to be good coaches. Be a social leader. Staffs that are “in-bred” like a bunch of rats need to be made uncomfortable at times.

29 Papasedero’s comments about a couple of Head Coaches…
“I thought I had seen every kind…but this guy looks like his last job was that bartender in the Star Wars movie.” “…he is not really a “has been”, more like a never will be.” “He has a heart problem…he has no heart.” “…he will bring great joy to this ball club…when he quits.” “I swear he doesn’t know what is going on out there…in here…over there…or any damn where!”

30 Coaching the JV, Frosh, or “C” teams?
“The more you can do, the more you can do.”

31 The Team? Develop players for the future?
Feed the current seasons’ older teams? Help the varsity win? Teach your team to win? or compete? Groom position players? “Magic Ball?” Develop and foster history, tradition, etc. Establish a niche within each class? Put “the young ones” on the map (in league)?

32 The Coach? Learn baby, learn! Be puppet-like for the boss
Make your team the “big time” Find a way to be a program wide expert! Prepare like it is HUGE! Make a unique name for yourself Be there…be a pest…be deserving

33 The JV or C team Player? Fundamentals are the most important And… Winning is the most important Having fun is the most important Which is it?

34 To all assistant coaches… another idea for you!
Visibility and active support for all of the other sports is an easy way to show your players that we care about them. Your players will recognize truth, empathy, honest support, and acceptance of them as “people,” not just as players. The community will also “see you there” and celebrate your dedication to their kids.

35 Attention JV, Frosh and “C” team coaches
Attention JV, Frosh and “C” team coaches!!! In most systems you are asked to do the most…with the least. Tough! Shake it off! Get with it or get out of it! “It is awfully hard to get them young dogs to hunt…but I keep sending them back out there so they will make us all fat.”

36 …even in “The Holy Play Book”
“There was a very wise, popular, extremely well-connected Head Coach of a desperate team in a hell of a tough league… His team was called “The Israelites,” His name was Abraham, and… …he died leaning on his staff!!


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