Upward Sports uses white labeled MaxOne to move toward virtual enhancements in sports ministry experiences

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on July 31, 2020

Upward Sports and MaxOne

MaxOne and Upward Sports have partnered on a service offering that combines MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) and its best-in-class training solution with Upward’s extensive youth sports network. This collaboration will allow Upward partners to effectively administer virtual youth sports camps across the country this summer.

Under the new arrangement, Upward will white label MaxOne’s technology and make the platform available to their partners’ volunteer coaches and players. Upward Sports, a non-profit organization, partners with churches to provide the foundation for running youth sports experiences like leagues, clinics, and seasonal camps. “We admire and align with Upward’s mission to positively impact communities through youth sports,” said MaxOne CEO, Jason Mejeur.

Upward chose to partner with MaxOne over developing a technology platform themselves, which had been previously considered. “With MaxOne, we saw an opportunity to quickly move toward providing the best, safest option for virtual sports programming,” said Upward’s Director of Operations, Nathan Holm. “To successfully run our sports experiences, we needed a platform that could handle tens of thousands of players and be intuitive enough for coaches of all experience levels to use. MaxOne had that solution in place.”

Because the future impact of COVID-19 on youth sports remains uncertain, this partnership further prepares Upward and their partners to adapt as needed for future impacts and remain highly involved with their participants, which is central to the mission. “With a full suite of coaching, training, and communication tools in place, Upward can now focus on the continuity, quality, and community impact of virtual programming,” said Holm.

“This relationship demonstrates the versatility of our virtual coaching platform for a wide array of partners in the youth sports market,” said Mejeur. “White labeling our platform as a branded, customized part of their offering increases the value they provide to players. This helps build their brand awareness, credibility, and long-term loyalty.”

About MaxOne

MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform (‘VCP’) empowers organizations, trainers, coaches, and athletes with a digital solution to train, connect, and grow together, anywhere. With an increasing list of demands, directors and coaches need to be smarter in the development of their training programs and in the use of their time and resources. MaxOne’s VCP  features cutting edge training tools and provides a single hub for all communication, scheduling, coaching, and collaboration. Although MaxOne is headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, they are proud to comprise a primarily remote team around the globe.

About Upward Sports

Based in South Carolina, Upward Sports is a non-profit organization helping local churches positively impact their communities through youth sports. Upward provides strategic consulting in creating a comprehensive sports solution that includes, training materials, logistic and ministry resources, apparel, and a suite of virtual tools. The organization’s network expands nationwide to more than 1,500 churches reaching over 300,000 children annually. Upward focuses on being a trusted partner, bringing “proven and innovative solutions to create transformational sports experiences.”


Grand Rapids, MI

To learn more about a white-labeled VCP for your organization go to:  /custom-sports-coaching-and-training-apps/

How Virtual Coaching Platforms (‘VCP’) Help Youth Sports Adapt to COVID-19

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on June 30, 2020

LeaugeApps, a leading provider of youth sports management software solutions, recently published a survey of over 300 youth sports organizers. This comprehensive study reveals how organizers are adapting to the effects of COVID-19 by using digital tools for training, practices, coaching and community building. However, lingering concerns about player health and program effectiveness persist for many organizers and parents. This article will examine the top issues facing youth sports organizers and show how, with the right technology, these issues can be overcome to build a thriving organization.

How is COVID-19 Affecting Youth Sports Programs?

To understand how COVID-19 has changed the marketing, operation and administration of youth sports programs, it’s critical to first assess the current environment. The LeagueApps study includes nation-wide data from a wide variety of sports programs. Also included in the report is polling data from parents with children that are actively involved in sports programs. Altogether, this data provides clear indicators for how sports programs should change their operations, and the primary concerns among parents and players about program continuation.  

Key findings of the report include the following:

  • COVID-19 has accelerated trends in youth sports that were growing in popularity before the pandemic.
    • These trends include the adoption of digital applications frequently used by businesses (e.g. Zoom, Google Hangout), social media and virtual coaching platforms. 
  • Responding quickly and appropriately will determine whether organizations successfully navigate the “new normal.” 
    • Effective responses must include plans for remaining financially viable, ensuring players stay engaged and assuring parents about player safety. 54% of parents are unsure that their children’s sports programs will survive the pandemic effects.

Youth Sports Organizers are Using Virtual Meeting Tools to Adapt

60% of organizers surveyed said that they plan to use downtime during COVID-19 to focus on rebuilding their systems, processes and technology infrastructure. For most respondents, “technology infrastructure” means deploying some kind of virtual training and coaching capabilities.

In fact, the usage of virtual meeting technology was prevalent among almost all survey respondents, regardless of the program sport. Despite rapid adoption, the effectiveness of these new tools and their attractiveness to players varies significantly depending on the application(s) chosen.

A substantial majority of organizers are using virtual meeting tools or social media as interim virtual coaching solutions:

  • 50% of respondents are using Zoom or a similar business-focused webinar and meeting tools.
  • 25% of respondents are using common social media applications like Instagram.

How Effective are Virtual Meeting Tools for Youth Sports Programs?

While these tools have served sports programs as a temporary workaround, they will ultimately not provide the comprehensive solutions required for effective virtual coaching.

1 | They are insufficient as standalone communication platforms:

  • Many users have reported experiencing significant emotional and physical drain after using programs like Zoom; this is commonly called “Zoom fatigue”. While it can offer simple real-time 2-way communication, Zoom’s potentially negative side-effects can be mitigated by combining it with a virtual coaching platform (discussed below).
  • Popular social media applications like Instagram and Facebook have many features that make them distracting while in use. These applications are specifically designed to keep users preoccupied with notifications, news feeds and advertisements.  

2 | They are not built for virtual sports coaching:

  • Business-focused meeting tools like Zoom don’t facilitate team building opportunities like leaderboards, progress tracking and much more.
  • Many online meeting tools also lack any communication capabilities outside of when the meeting is currently in session. Effective, multi-channel (i.e. text and email) messaging is a key component of any successful virtual coaching program. 
  • Social media applications and webinar programs are not designed for distance athletic training (e.g. building virtual workout programs, drills and exercise routines). 

3 | They don’t support sustainable program growth:

  • Social media programs and tools like Zoom do not facilitate additional revenue generation for sports programs.
  • Additionally, online meeting tools do not provide an opportunity for sports programs to truly build their brand through whitelabeling capabilities, etc.

Top COVID-19 Concerns for Youth Sports Organizers and Parents

According to the LeaugueApps survey respondents, the primary impacts of COVID-19 specifically on youth sports are: 

  • Cancellation or delay of Fall sports programs
  • Generating interest in reformatted programs
  • Social distancing requirements that restrict safely conducting in-person practices
  • Parental concerns about player health and program continuation

So, how can youth sports organizers effectively and meaningfully respond to the challenges posed by technology constraints, COVID-19 restrictions and genuine concerns about player safety and program continuation?

The Benefits of Virtual Coaching Platforms

The alternatives to online meeting tools and social media applications are modern virtual coaching platforms (VCPs) designed specifically to facilitate remote communication, athlete training and team building.

Comprehensive and customizable VCPs like MaxOne provide organisers the ability to assure players and parents that their program can offer safe, compliant, highly effective and engaging experiences. 

MaxOne’s VCP was built for the challenges facing youth sports programs by offering advantages like the following:

  • Fight fatigue by combining Zoom with customizable training programs that allow players to proceed at their own pace – taking breaks as necessary to retain their focus and concentration.
  • Create additional revenue streams to support long-term financial health of the organization.
  • Mitigate the risk of future organization impacts due to COVID recurrence.
  • Differentiate program offerings with the most powerful virtual training experience available: 
    • On-demand training
    • Progress tracking over time
    • Compete on live leaderboards
    • Customizable training programs for individual athletes
    • AI-powered performance assessments

With an industry-leading VCP, organizers and coaches can offer players and parents innovative technology solutions that supplement in-person training and coaching. Benefits of this technology extend beyond a temporary fix for sports programs, including: 

  1. Increased player engagement
  2. Helping students develop self-discipline with practice schedules
  3. Greater coaching effectiveness on specific workout programs/techniques

Get started with a Virtual Coaching Platform Today

Regardless of how COVID-19 continues to impact youth sports, new research clearly shows that forward thinking organizers are focused on becoming more flexible, ensuring operational continuity and providing the most value possible to players and parents.

Experience the power of MaxOne’s Virtual Coaching Platform, and book a call today.

If you have questions please email info@gomaxone.com so a member from our team can assist you!

June 2020 Release Notes

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

MaxOne on June 8, 2020

Over the past month, we have pushed several new and exciting product enhancements out the door. Today, we want to highlight a few significant updates that will drastically improve the customer experience. Plan on seeing many more updates and new features in the coming weeks.

What’s New?

Workout Builder Complete Redesign

The MaxOne workout builder has been significantly enhanced to improve user-friendliness and decrease the time it takes coaches to create workouts. 

This includes a seamless drag-and-drop editor that allows users to place the exercises they want directly into the workout. Use filters to organize exercises and drills by their prospective training library (skill, strength, education) and customize sets and reps just as you could in the previous version, but this time with a fresh new design leading to increased efficiency for our coaches to get their workouts created faster than ever.

Add Descriptions when Building a Workout

Users now have the ability to add descriptions that will only affect the specific exercise in a workout without changing the description of the drill in the general training library.

For example, if a coach wants their athletes to complete their first rep of bench press at half speed to serve as a warm-up they can now address this by adding a description. When editing the sets and reps of a drill, simply click ‘Edit Description’ to add information with your specific coaching points. This will allow you to provide special notes on drills that are specific to the current workout you’re building.


Workout “Program Builder” Complete Redesign

In addition to enhancing the individual MaxOne workout builder, we’ve also improved the program builder feature. We have kept the same drag-and-drop style to maintain user friendliness but have improved the workflow in creating a multi-week workout program. 

Now, when building a workout program, you will be dragging your workouts into specific days in a calendar format making it easier to visualize how you plan to assign this program to your athletes. You can then duplicate weeks to create large programs quicker than before.

Assign a Multi-Week Workout Program 

Inside the new program builder, coaches can now assign entire multi-week workout programs to their team in just a few clicks. 

In our previous design, coaches had to click each workout in a program in order to assign it to their team. Now, simply select the program, the start date and group of athletes to assign it to and the workout will auto populate the remaining days and weeks of the program. 

This will greatly decrease the time it takes to build and deliver full workout programs to your team as well as help you deliver specific programs to specific groups. 

Ready to try out some of these new features? Login now.

Otherwise, wait to hear from us next month with more improvements to the MaxOne platform! In the meantime, if you have questions please email info@gomaxone.com so a member from our support team can assist you!

COVID-19 Assistance for Your Team With MaxOne

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Other, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

COVID-19 Assistance for your Team with MaxOne

COVID-19 has taken everybody by surprise. With schools closed across much of the United States, practice for spring sports have been cancelled and offseason regimens for all sports have been put on hold. This pandemic has left nearly 36 million youth athletes and their coaches stunned, and unsure of what to do and how to move forward.

While this may spell trouble for many programs, those coaches and teams who are using the MaxOne Team App for coaching, training, and team management can coach their entire team while students are social-distancing at home.

MaxOne’s Team App is being used by hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S. to stay connected in a time of limited face-to-face interaction. To date, MaxOne has helped more than 20,000 coaches and 200,000 athletes improve performance ranging from 12-40%, by creating virtual on-demand training environments.

How to keep your athletes active during COVID-19

As classrooms and meetings are turning virtual, it’s still important for coaches to stay connected and keep their athletes moving forward. MaxOne has always been concerned with improving youth sports around the nation and times like this require an all hands on deck approach that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

During this time of uncertainty, MaxOne is here to help give coaches the tools necessary to keep their teams moving in a positive direction. MaxOne is being used by hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S. to stay connected in a time of limited face-to-face interaction.

“We’ve spent the last year developing our athletes and working towards a goal. The last thing I would want to see is that progress and momentum lost. The ability to customize at-home workouts for our athletes while they are away from the weight room is extremely helpful,” says Riki Valdez, football coach at Sahuarita High School in Arizona.

In an effort to help athletes and coaches, we are providing our training and communication platform for free to any school or club through the end of May. Sign-up by clicking here.

Communicating with your team and their parents

In addition to MaxOne being a resource for keeping your team physically active, it’s also a great way for your whole program to stay connected. SMS, chat, and email are all available with MaxOne, allowing coaches to get updates and messages out to everyone with ease. 

“With the upcoming push towards limited face-to-face interaction, it’s important to our program to continue building a strong foundation for communication. Messaging and chat features paired with customizable content sharing gives our coaching staff confidence that we will continue to move our program forward in this new reality that we are facing,” continues Coach Valdez. 

It’s important that we get through this together, and take the necessary steps to weather the storm in its current state. Relationships still need to be built and the new reality of the “virtual locker room” shouldn’t change that. 

“With the current state of uncertainty, the MaxOne software is going to really help our coaching staff keep the relationship we have with our athletes going even if we aren’t able to be with them in person. Not to mention the ability it has to keep our parents in the loop as well so they can keep track of all the changes that are occurring.” says 

Keith Kilmer, football coach at Lowell High School in Indiana

Change is here, and whether you are ready for it or not, the MaxOne app is a great place to help you get started. 

Need more assistance? We are here to help.

Here at MaxOne, we are doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve closed our headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the near future, but are operating at full capacity as a remote team. If you need assistance, our customers come first so you can count on MaxOne to be there for you. 

[In case you missed it]  Sign-up here to access your free MaxOne account through the end of May.

Want to learn more about MaxOne? Check out our website HERE

You’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

This article is from Radius Athletics, a basketball coaching consulting firm that exists to serve, grow and develop basketball coaches at all levels. 

You’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry

I am a product of The South. I was born in the Mississippi River Delta country of Eastern Arkansas.

My grandfather grew up working in the cotton fields of Northeastern Arkansas and the Bootheel of Missouri before joining the Navy, fighting in World War II, then making a career repairing air conditioner compressors for the civil service while tinkering with lawn mowers as a side hustle.

Like many Southerners, my grandfather was known for his repertoire of colorful expressions. He was a character.

My grandfather, Drew (1925-2007).

One of his favorite expressions was “You’ve got bigger fish to fry.” He would use this when he wanted someone to know they had bigger problems than the small problem they were initially worried about. You are worried about the wrong thing(s).

A church-member would bring by a lawnmower that would not start, thinking they needed the spark plug replaced. Drew would take a look and often tell them “you’ve got bigger fish to fry.” Perhaps there was a much more serious issue – the engine needed to be replaced, for example.

“We’ve got bigger fish to fry” meant that we’re wasting time on small stuff instead of big, important things. We’ve got more important things to do. We need to fix the big problem, then the small problem.

In the hundreds of hours I’ve spent counseling coaches, the expression “we’ve got bigger fish to fry” has been useful.

  • You want to install a 150-page playbook, but you only have one player in your program who can shoot above 33% from three? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • You ask tons of intricate and technical questions about defending rare and complex actions you might face, but you struggle to get great effort from players on defense? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • You spend endless hours producing a thick scouting report while your team struggles to even break a press? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • You want your team to play great in games, but you do not have a high-energy, competitive practice culture? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • You are trying to win in a physically demanding sport with players who are unfit, oft-injured and weak? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.

This list could continue…

Often the small, immediate problems get our attention. But they only exist because we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Ignoring the big fish we need to fry does not make them go away.

Coaches try to solve big, systemic issues with small solutions. You think you can “coach” your way out of it. Too often we seek micro solutions for macro problems. Why?

Because frying the big fish is hard. It takes time and we want our teams and programs to win and be competitive before we are good. Too often coaches think little things are why teams win when big things are why they win. Little things do not matter until you have your big things in order.

Also, often frying the big fish is confrontational and uncomfortable therefore we avoid it.

My grandfather taught me this lesson using this colorful expression and the lesson stuck. Edge cases and minutiae do matter, but not equally. And they certainly do not matter as much until big things are in order.

Ask yourself if you are tackling the right things. Are we caught up in small things when we have bigger fish to fry? What are bigger fish we need to fry as a program before we can become competitive or reach the next level?

Chances are you are devoting time to low impact tasks, when there are bigger fish to fry.

Continue the conversation:

For help finding “what bigger fish you need to fry” please reach out and join our community for basketball coaches!

Any questions, contact us. Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! Sign up here for our twice-monthly newsletter for basketball coaches!

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about MaxOne? Schedule a free demo HERE! 

Interested in Writing for MaxOne? Email Luke@gomaxone.com to see how you can get started!

What’s Your Basketball Genre?

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

This article is from Radius Athletics, a basketball coaching consulting firm that exists to serve, grow and develop basketball coaches at all levels. 

What’s Your Basketball Genre?

Counseling Coaches Series: Basketball Coaching, like music, has genres. You don’t have to know or even pretend to care about all of them.

Imagine you have a friend, and this friend is into classical music. He can tell Beethoven from Bach within the first few notes. He has recordings of everything from Vivaldi to Chopin on his favorite listening device. His home is filled with the sweet sounds of classical music every waking hour.

He gets tickets to every symphony performance in his city and even travels to New York or Boston to hear special performances. By any definition this friend is a music lover, right?

But this friend could not tell Jay-Z from Tupac or Luke Bryan from George Strait. Ask him who the best rock band of all time is and he could not tell you if it was the Beatles or U2 because he is only vaguely familiar with either.

Classical music is his genre and to reach the depth of knowledge he has of the classics, he simply did not have the time nor headspace for other genres of music. There is simply too much music being made in genres ranging from Techno to Blues to know it all.

We’d have no problem imagining that our classical music-loving friend would not like nor care about Hip-Hop. He knows what he knows and likes what he likes. He is OK with being a classical music lover. You would not ask him to help you with a music trivia question unless it was about classical music. In which case he would be the only person you would ask.

Basketball and Basketball Coaching also has genres. And like music, there is too much info out there to be an expert on all of it. Developing your “Basketball Genre” is vital.

Imagine for a moment that all the written and digital information out there on different basketball strategies, offenses, defenses, drills, plays, sets, zone offenses, man-to-man offenses, full court presses, half court traps and BLOBs and SLOBs were all in hard copies and stored in one single place. How big would that facility need to be?!

If we stood in front of this facility and I said, “To be a good coach you have to know all this stuff.” What would your response be? Impossible.

Here’s something that may sound shocking – not only do you not have to know it all, you don’t even have to pretend to care about it all. You are not missing out.

Coaches often feel like they are falling behind their peers if they do not know it all (Or pretend to be trying to know it all.) In actuality, you will fall behind your peers if you endeavor to know it all.

Pick a genre, a more manageable sized slice of all this information and know it well – very well. And more importantly, be able to teach it to your players very well (which only comes from knowing it well).

Your “Basketball” genre – ball screen offense and man defense, for example – now serves as your filter. It helps you focus on applicable material and tune out info that is not applicable. You no longer have to buy every new instructional DVD or attend every session of the next clinic you go to. You cannot know it all and you most certainly cannot use it all anyway. So you can ignore non-applicable material stress free!

But you may well want to consume any and all materials that are in your genre. You study coaches and teams reflecting a similar genre as the one you have chosen. You develop a network of coaches who share the same genre. Deep knowledge of your chosen genre is the goal.

In counseling coaches, I often receive emails from coaches seeking resources on basketball tactics. Some of these emails are asking about tactics I know little to nothing about. My reply is “I don’t know, but here’s the email address to someone who does.”

This may seem crazy for someone who is branding their services as “a coach to coaches.” I am supposed to know it all, right? False. I know the things I know very well because I don’t know it all. Better stated, I know the things I know well because I didn’t try to know it all. There is not enough time. Giving planned neglect to much of basketball is exactly how a coach gains deep knowledge of a particular basketball genre.

One last analogy. In your first two years of college, you study many subjects at an introductory level. You take a semester of Biology, a semester of Government and semester of History. General knowledge of many subjects is a good thing.

But to graduate from the university you have to pick a major. In your final years, you study one subject deeply. Then you may go to graduate school and receive a master degree in that subject and some even go deeper and receive a doctorate.

Our friend has a doctorate in the classical music genre. He does not have to care about the new Brad Paisley album or wait in line for tickets when the Dave Matthews Band rolls through town. But he would not dream of missing the opening night of the symphony.

What’s your Basketball Genre?

Continue the conversation:

For help finding your basketball genre please reach out and join our community for basketball coaches!

Any questions, contact us. Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! Sign up here for our twice-monthly newsletter for basketball coaches!

Connect with Radius Athletics on Twitter

Read Orginal Article 

Additional Resources

Want to learn more about MaxOne? Schedule a free demo HERE! 

Interested in Writing for MaxOne? Email Luke@gomaxone.com to see how you can get started!

Basketball Player fighting for an offensive rebound

Offensive Rebounding Concepts

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

Basketball Player fighting for an offensive rebound

This article can be originally found on Positionlessbball.com. Positionless Basketball provides elite level basketball training and camps for youth players all the way to college and professional. This article breaks down four different offensive rebounding concepts…

Offensive Rebounding Concepts

Offensive rebounding is something coaches are always preaching.  Whether it is about not giving up offensive rebounds or having players crash the glass.  Coaches have a lot of different philosophies regarding offensive rebounds and they often depend on the personnel. Below I will discuss 4 different offensive rebounding concepts…

Weakside Flood

In a weakside flood, players flood the weak side of the lane for the offensive rebound.  The post player or player on the block goes to the weak side block when a shot goes up.  The next two players crashing the glass flood the weak side with one player in front of the rim and the other on the weak side.  The point guard retreats for transition defense. This is a concept that has been used by Illinois coach Brad Underwood. Below is a diagram of the weakside flood concept.  ​



The triangle concept is a classic concept to fill all sides of the basket for the rebound.  The point guard and shooter (or any players that are designated) get back on defense when the shot goes up.  The other three players fill the strong side block, weak side block, and middle lane to form a triangle. Below is a diagram of the triangle concept.



Top Back

This is a popular concept among pro and college teams.  Players who are below the free throw line can crash the offensive glass.  Players who end up above the free throw line on the shot must get back on defense.  Below is an example of the top back concept.




This is a concept that coaches use who believe that transition defense outweighs the possibility of an offensive rebound.  When the shot goes up all 5 players abandon the offensive glass and get back on defense. Coaches may also send their best offensive rebounder to try to get an offensive rebound and the other 4 players get back on defense.


Additional Resources

Read Original Article 

Connect with Positionless Basketball on Twitter

Want to learn more about MaxOne? Schedule a free demo HERE! 

Interested in Writing for MaxOne? Email Luke@gomaxone.com to see how you can get started!

Building a Culture of Trust

By | Baseball, Basketball, Coaches Resources, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Track, Volleyball, Wrestling

This article was originally written by Wes Simmons from @3DCoaches and it can originally be found on 3Dinstitute.com, a website dedicated to providing a framework for coaching built on a foundation of purpose and delivered through workshops and online learning. In this article, Wes discusses building trust within your program.

Building a Culture of Trust

Building a culture of trust is imperative if we want our teams to reach their fullest potential. Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. Any sustainable success we achieve is directly related to the processes we conceive. Good processes are what drive good results, so we need to help athletes learn to TRUST the process.

To build extraordinary teams, our team members must learn to TRUST in extraordinary ways.

To establish a culture of trust, it’s helpful to think about how trust needs to work for an athlete in 3 directions: upward, inward and outward.


First, athletes must trust US as their coaches (upward). As those in authority over our teams, we should regularly look in the mirror and ask ourselves questions like, “Do MY attitudes and actions breed trust or do they undermine it?”

As leaders, it’s essential that our words and actions line up. As athletes learn to trust us, they will become much more likely to trust the PROCESSES that we lay out for their development as individuals and as teams.


If our processes are right, and athletes buy into them because of their trust in us, their confidence will be on the rise. With hard work, repetition, and patience, our athletes will begin to trust in their OWN ABILITIES at a new level as well.

In other words, their trust will not only be UPWARD toward you as a coach but INWARD toward themselves. This is an essential character quality that will empower them to not only face adversity in pressurized sport situations but in the pressurized situations of life. If we can establish this type of confidence in our athletes, we set them up for success on and off the field.


Athletes need to trust UPWARD in you as the coach. They also need to trust INWARD in their own developed skill-set. Finally, they need to trust OUTWARD toward their teammates.

When you have a team full of individuals who trust that everyone else on the team will do THEIR job, great things begin to happen. And when it works in all 3 directions, UPWARD, INWARD, and OUTWARD, our culture begins to permeate with trust.

Where To Start

One of the best ways to GAIN trust is to GIVE trust. When we show our athletes that we trust them, that trust will begin to be reciprocated.

Remember, it starts with US. First and foremost, we need to demonstrate ourselves as being worthy to be trusted. One of the best ways to GAIN trust is to GIVE trust. When we show our athletes that we trust them, that trust will begin to be reciprocated. Here’s a short clip from a 3D Coaching Workshop where I was sharing along these lines:

When we’re intentional about giving more trust to our athletes, it should cause us to think carefully about the role of rules on our teams. Team rules are important, but we must always be willing to (re)evaluate our team rules in the light of relationships. Besides protecting people from various forms of harm, I believe rules should mostly exist to protect relationships.

If we want to build a culture of trust, we need relationships to flourish in every direction.

If this is our desire, as Joe Ehrmann has convincingly demonstrated, we really only need to enact 2 primary team rules:

  1. Coaches love your athletes
  2. Athletes love each other

If these rules define the boundaries for our programs, relationships will thrive, trust will skyrocket, and we will be well on our way to creating great team cohesion.

Read Original Article

Connect with Wes Simmons on Twitter 

What do YOU think?

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

This article is from Radius Athletics, a basketball coaching consulting firm that exists to serve, grow and develop basketball coaches at all levels. 

What do YOU think?

In the summer of 2015 some coaching friends encouraged me to begin sharing basketball info on social media and in blogs.

This information was well received and thanks to some hard work and strategic affiliations, Radius Athletics was born and I began offering my time to help coaches.

At first I thought this was going to be all about sharing X’s & O’s, drills and diagrams, but soon I realized some real and bigger needs had to precede that. We needed to have “macro” level conversations before any “micro” level conversations.

One day, in one of those micro-level conversations, I was leading an online clinic with a coach about man-to-man defense. We were making our way through technical matters such as stance, positioning and help rotations.

Throughout the conversation the coach kept interjecting with counterpoints to what I was sharing along these lines:

“I hear you coach, but I was at a clinic one time and I heard Izzo say…”

“I have the defensive DVD series from Geno Auriemma and he says…”

Growing frustrated, I stopped and asked the coach, “What do YOU think?”

The coach was a veritable encyclopedia of information on what the “big name” coaches thought about defensive matters but did not have thoughts of his own.

Coaching is not a trivia contest. Before you put the whistle around your neck and walk into the gym to run your first practice as head coach make up your own mind about how you want to teach things.

Sure, your ideas and teaching points may mirror those of a “big name” coach, but they will also run counter to the opinions of others.

I get it. There are insecurities at play here. You want to make sure you are teaching what is “right” or “best” and studying the teachings of prominent and accomplished coaches is a way of seeking validation.

But Izzo and Geno are not coaching your team, you are. Your players will not be asking Geno and Izzo the why’s and how’s of defense, they’ll be asking YOU.

It is not a waste of time to study the game and the teachings of others more experienced and accomplished, but you will run into conflicting information.

Prominent coaches and non-prominent coaches alike will have differing thoughts on the exact same matters. There will be no consensus.

Will you drown while swimming in the sea of conflicting information that exists? Going too far down this road or depending on validation from others is a slippery slope due to the vast amount of conflicting information in the basketball universe.

Coaching is about decisions and tradeoffs. Decide what you want to teach based on the tradeoffs you can live with. It is about instilling your vision on your team.

YOU will have to decide what you want to teach on matters big and small. Not easy. And what is even harder is then tuning out the abundance of conflicting information that runs counter to what you have decided.

Part of what we do with coaches is help them articulate their thoughts and beliefs. We help them spell out how they want their programs and teams to play the game. Of course, they may be influenced by other coaches and standing upon the work of others is part of coaching.

But first form your ideals, then second commit to them even in the face of well-reasoned disagreement.

It begins with the question, “What do YOU think?”

Continue the conversation:

For help with articulating what you want for your teams and programs please reach out and join our community for basketball coaches!

Any questions, contact us. Happy to talk hoops any time day or night! Sign up here for our twice-monthly newsletter for basketball coaches!

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Better Coaches Mindset: Feedback, Criticism and Trust

By | Basketball, Coaches Resources

December 5, 2017 - Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S. - Michigan State's head coach Tom Izzo talks with guard Cassius Winston (5) during NCAA basketball action between the Michigan State Spartans and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan State defeated Rutgers 62-52. Duncan Williams/CSM(Credit Image: © Duncan Williams/CSM via ZUMA Wire)

This article was written by Doug Brotherton, a writer for FastModel Sports. Doug is a seasoned coach, as well as an NBA scout. Through all of his experience, he has found the importance of trust and communication in basketball, which he discusses in this article.


Feedback, Criticism, and Trust

If you attend any basketball practice around the world, you are likely to hear the Coach stressing the importance of communication. It might be talking on defense, echoing a play call, or two players interacting. If you really want to learn about the communication of a basketball team, watch the players and coaches when there is a breakdown on the court. Do the players take the time to communicate through the challenges, or does one player bark instructions at the other? Do the players demonstrate respect for each other, or do they settle for negative body language? Does the coach worry about blame, or finding a solution? Does the player respond well to the coach’s feedback? In most cases, this depends on the culture, trust, and experience of the team involved. Great players and teams have a growth mindset. They are constantly seeking information, which can help them improve and get better.

So, what is the difference between criticism and feedback?

To make it easy for our basketball team to understand, we have used the following to demonstrate the difference between criticism and feedback.


Communicating a problem, which has already happened, and cannot be changed. Offering nothing to allow the person to improve or adjust their behavior/actions.

We want our team to avoid these messages.

EXAMPLE: “Becca, you have like eight turnovers. What are you doing!?!”



Communicating a problem in a way that allows someone to fix the problem moving forward.

This is required for Championship level communication.

EXAMPLE: “Becca, we can’t win the game if we keep turning it over. If you feel sped up, jump stop, and be strong with the ball.”


Another perspective, which comes from Tim Grover, who became famous as Michael Jordan’s personal trainer, “the only difference between feedback and criticism is how you hear it.”

As a coach, the most powerful way to control what your players hear, is to develop trust. Players will take every message as feedback, if they trust you, and believe that you have their best interest at heart. As the saying goes, “Players do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” As a coach, there are few things that are more important than establishing trust with your players.

Trusting people is easy. Whenever a person says, I have a tough time trusting people, they are wrong. We all trust people, every single day. Let me prove it. When you get behind the wheel and drive on a two-lane road, you are trusting a total stranger to control their vehicle and stay in their lane. In reality, you are trusting a random stranger with your life. When you get sick, you are trusting a doctor to prescribe you the correct medicine, to help you get healthy.

“As humans, we do not have a tough time with trust. We have a tough time trusting people, who have the ability to emotionally hurt us.”

This is where players, and parents, have a tough time trusting some coaches. They worry about being emotionally wounded, by the coach. They worry that the experience of playing basketball, which players love, might be damaged. This is the power that a coach must realize, and then use to their advantage. Going back to the earlier message, if a player knows that you care, they will not have a difficult time with trust. When a player trusts you, they will take any message, regardless of the delivery, as necessary feedback. Most importantly, if there is consistent trust throughout the program, then a setback can be viewed as an opportunity to learn and grow. This mindset will develop a team that is consistently improving and is bound to play their best basketball late in the season. Trust is a powerful tool. It helps players eliminate criticism, accept feedback, and is a necessary ingredient for a Championship team.

If you have questions, thoughts, or would like to further discuss this topic, you can reach Coach Doug Brotherton via email at: CoachBrotherton@gmail.com

He can also be reached on Twitter at: @CoachBrotherton

For more content from Doug Brotherton, follow him on social media @DynamicCoaches


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