One of my favorite coaches to study is Kevin Eastman. Coach Eastman is retired and is a former D1 Head Coach, Nike Skills Trainer, long-time assistant coach for Doc Rivers in both Boston and Los Angeles.
Here are some bullet point notes that I have taken from him over the past several years. Included in this compilation are some notes that I took during on of his Coaching U Live Sessions in Indianapolis last year.
I also have a sample five minute video of Coach Eastman discussing his views on skill development. Click this link to see it.
Many of these notes came from my time last July at Coaching U Live.
As you think about ways to improve your program, I hope that you can apply at least a few of these to improving both your coaching staff and your players.
Success lies in the simplicity. Confusion lies in the sophistication.
Encourages players to have big eyes, big ears, and a small mouth.
Asks as many purposeful questions anytime he has an opportunity to learn from anyone. “I already know what I know. I don’t know enough. I need to know what you know.”
Don’t shoot 1000 shots. Take 1 perfect form shot 1000 times.
Be there before you get there. When Coach Eastman and Ray Allen were together with the Celtics, Allen did a drill where he would start out laying on the floor, get up as fast as possible, and back peddle to the 3 point arc, catch a pass from Eastman, and get the shot off as quickly as he could. When he hit the shot to send game 6 of the 2013 NBA finals to overtime, he had already “been there” (through hundreds of repetitions in his workouts.)
Be on a mission every day to seek and find new information that will make you a better coach and leader. Then take the time to think deeply about how you can immediately apply your new knowledge to your job.
Be so prepared as a coach that you have the answers before your players ask.
7 things he does daily
1) Read for 2 hours on basketball and leadership
2) Spend time in sustained thought
3) Plan/Organize how to apply those thoughts
4) Work out
5) Do his job
6) Daily family time
7) Get adequate sleep
Become a learn it all, not a know it all
Be a great question asker
Become a meticulous note taker and organize them to help you be better
Working hard should be a given for everyone. It is the price of admission
To get ahead, do the unrequired work that makes a difference.
No job is too big, no job is too small.
Figure out what you don’t know, then figure out a way to learn it and apply it.
Never pass up a basketball opportunity. As a small college coach, He got a call the night before a clinic to be a last minute replacement speaker at the clinic. He drove 12 hours to speak. There was a Nike rep at the clinic who heard him and helped him become a Nike skills trainer. One year he worked with Austin Rivers when Austin was a younger player. Doc Rivers liked what he did with Austin and hired him for the Celtics. That is how he got into the NBA.
Make a total commitment to undistracted thinking time every day.
Seek wisdom from those who came before you.
Have an improvement stamina, a development discipline that can stand the test of the greatness grind every day…
Mad, Sad, Hard–get over all of those!
The best organizations don’t just see teamwork as an internal necessity; they understand customers/vendors/fans, etc are vital teammates too!
We have all heard “seeing is believing”: so much application to leadership. To get your team to believe they have to see that you believe!
Letting your people know not only that you value them but also letting them know what you value in them gives everyone more confidence/enthusiasm!
A team is a variety of talents, attitudes, and commitments. The leader has to be able to reach them all and get the best out of them!
Best way to get your job done well: 1) Define your job. 2) Do your job. 3) Finish your job. 4) Evaluate your job. Lastly: make adjustments & repeat!
Leadership question. Do you raise the level of your team or maintain it? Constantly evaluate & improve!
Reminder to us all: the circles we travel in have tremendous bearing on how we think; how we view things; and how we make choices. Be careful!
Think about changing your mindset by changing your words. For me “problems” have become “challenges” & “competitions” to see if I can solve them!
Two groups you must pay 100% attention to: 1) the group of people (your circle) you travel in; 2) the group of thoughts you allow into your mind!
“Getting there” requires you first to “get in”. Get in the fight. Get in the hours. Get in the work. Get in the study. Get in the mindset!
What you put on paper is most powerful when you put it in front of you on a daily basis. Seeing it makes it become a part of you every day.
What matters most must be taken care of the most. This certainly goes for family but should also apply to it life & career. Self audit this!
Leadership comes with just as many difficult situations as it does with fulfilling moments. You must sign up for both!