Want to Be Great? Imitate the Greats

Imitate the greats.

Steal without apology their traits.

To emulate.

And finally make it yours.

The phrase “steal without apology” comes from tip #3 in The Little Book of Talent, a book that once I read it changed my perspective on coaching and life.

Today I want to share my appreciation for two great coaches who allowed me to “steal without apology” from their online curriculums and knowledge about coaching. These men taught me how to truly connect with and impact kids both on and off the basketball court.

First, I want to talk about Jim Huber, Director of Coach Development at Breakthrough Basketball. Jim originally hired me into the Breakthrough Basketball family.  As an excited new employee, I started watching all of Jim’s training videos on Breakthrough Basketball’s intranet. I was then fortunate enough to train under him in person. From the minute I heard him speak, I yearned to soak in everything he did and said in order to improve myself. I immediately implemented his cadence and coaching methods when leading my first camp and have continued to hone my coaching abilities with him over the last 5 years. My emulation of Jim has allowed me to now work alongside him not only coaching on the court, but also creating and revising the curriculum for majority of the Breakthrough Basketball camps worldwide. I have grown to be one of the top youth coaches in the country, but never would have gotten there had I not emulated Jim Huber years ago. Thank you Jim, I am eternally grateful.

The second coach that I studied and emulated is Ganon Baker. After honing my coaching abilities under Jim for years, emulation turned into my own style of coaching. After stepping into my own style, I became passionate about reaching every player in the most innovative way possible. My mission was to reach each player and teach them basketball concepts in a way they could understand and apply. This is where my study of Ganon came in to play. By watching countless hours of Ganon’s videos online, he taught me how to coach by using sound bites. Sound bites are short phrases designed to capture players’ attention and increase the probability of them learning and applying the concept. After “stealing without apology” from Ganon, he reached out to me via social media to ask if I had a mentor. We have now had multiple exchanges via email and social media and I plan on training under him in person in the near future. Again, this would have never happened had I not emulated Ganon’s coaching style.

As a coach that is a lifelong learner, I always aim to imitate the greats. If you want to take yourself to the next level, I would recommend you do the same!