Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quick Hitters

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly. Some quick hitters on life.

I will start on the bad since I always like finishing on a positive- the things that make me cringe.
  • Wasted Talent: It's as simple as that. Figure out what the Lord blessed you with and make the most of it. If you actually open the present you will get to enjoy it.
  • Lack of Discipline: This could be choices off the court, effort in the classroom, not caring about your fitness, etc. I don't expect anyone to be perfect, but I do expect moderation on things that will impact your performance and your life. Discipline leads to success.
  • Selfishness: We were all born to think about ourselves first. At some point you learn that there are more people in this world than just you and the joy you feel from being unselfish can be extraordinary.
  • I typically stick with three topic points, but I can't pass up this last one- BEING SOFT: Mental toughness will split people right down the middle. How bad do you want it?

Now the good- the things that make me smile.

  • When the hardest worker gets rewarded: Life isn't about fair and at times the hardest worker doesn't always have the most success. However, when it happens, it's a great thing!
  • When I see my own kids, as well as the players succeed: My daughter learning how to walk for the first time with the biggest smile in the world, my son learning how to ride his bike on two wheels. When Janette Jackson comes to my office elated about doing well on her test, or Sarah Strand finds out she gets placed in Bozeman for her nursing clinicals, and when Katie Bussey hits the last second shot to beat Portland State at Portland and fist pumps in the air with our entire team off the bench.
  • Remebering that my job is not just about winning games: Anne Phippard gets in to graduate school at UW. Mara Hoefer gets an opportunity to play professionally in Germany. Nubia Garcia gets recognized on the cover of the NCAA Magazine and comes by my office this fall, just to say hi, catch me up on things going on in her life, and getting ready to finish her last semester before going on to play professionally.

I guess I should also mention an ice cold Coca Cola!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



Simple isn't it?

Your attitude affects everything.

Here are a few tips to help set YOU up to be happier with your environment.
  • Choose to play under a coach that has values and goals that you believe in. When you respect your coach and want to run through a wall for them, you will commit yourself to a whole new level. Negative ex. Utah Starzz coach fell asleep during film session isn't necessarily motivating the athlete.
  • Pick a school that suits your strengths. If you are a 5'4 point guard that is lightning quick, wouldn't you want to go somewhere the team is RUNNING?
  • Find a team you enjoy being around. This is a no brainer. If you are taking your game to the NEXT LEVEL then it's not worth the time being put in if you aren't enjoying the "journey" with those you are doing it with. Thanks to my BSU buddies, Launceston mates, and "Rockers!"

It really is that simple. The major, weather, semester vs quarter, location, conference all become less important when you focus on those three points. When you are happy, you have more energy, more motivation, and ultimately more results to take your game to the NEXT LEVEL.

Why throw in a curve ball when you can strike them out with three fast balls.

Coach Bin

Monday, September 21, 2009


I was asked recently to discuss what the relationships are like between coaches competing against one another. So here are a few of my "working relationships."

Sherri Murrel, Portland State:
When my son was three months old, I let Sherri hold him while we were out recruiting. I thought, what a great idea. Distract Sherri so I can see the talent! Justin wet through his diaper on her. Whoops.

Robin Selvig, University of Montana:
Robin is almost like a dad, one that screams a lot. I guess I feel that way since I played against him as a player! No one has more class than Robin. He even called me to congratulate us when we beat them.

Laurie Kelly, Northern Arizona:
If any of you have met Laurie, then you will understand when I say Big Personality. She just keeps me entertained. I always try and find a seat by her while recruiting because she's hilarious.

CT or to others Carla Taylor, Weber State:
Yes, another one that I played against. I can "distract" her too. She always wants to see the pictures of our kids. CT is a great match maker too, but you don't need to worry about Amy!

Jamie White, University of Northern Colorado:
I can't stand next to her staff. My neck starts to hurt. I played with Paige, 6'5, at Cleveland, but Paige, the high heels put me at your waist.

Wendy Schuller, Eastern Washington
Put on your thinkin caps! Wendy's team is usually our toughest competition when it comes to team GPA. We aren't just competitive on the court ya know.

Seton Sobolewski, Idaho State / Jamie Craighead, Sacramento State:
I hope to get to know these "new" Big Sky coaches and their staffs in the near future.

Here are a couple of other points:

Most likely to get a technical: This used to be Laurie (NAU) and Jamie (UNC), but I think I will throw Seton into the mix now. Great intensity!

Most unusual insects on the floor: This is a toss up between MSU and WSU. When the rodeo comes through you never know what is left behind.

Most entertaining crowd: MSU-I have my "GOLD" crowd that loves to get on the officials. Watch out for that pointing finger row!

Most boisterous crowd: U of M-The first year they got my two assistants confused as they were taunting the wrong coach. That was funny.

I LOVE the Big Sky Conference. I played in this conference, and as a coach I think this is one of the best class of coaches there are with such high integrity. I appreciate the challenge that each coach brings every game night.

If you see us on the road you'll probably see us sitting by each other, but don't worry you always want your best performance amongst your peers.

Coach Bin

Friday, September 18, 2009

And the answer is...

I am so disappointed that no one posted any answers, especially Helen. Just kidding.

With that being said, here are the answers to the WNBA questions and a little comment about last night's conclusion to the San Antonia vs Phoenix game.

1) Dan Hughes spits as far as the closest receiver. Did you see who sat furthest away, Becky!

2) My husband and I are guessing but believe Ann Wauters was 19 when she joined the WNBA.

3) Becky Hammon was a die hard ATV driver. I prefer the 2 wheel dirt bike.

4) Penny Taylor loves the spicy tuna roll.

In regards to the first playoff game last night between San Antonio and Phoenix, I will quote our football coach Rob Ash when I say it was just "BIZARRE."

The commentators couldn't believe Phoenix didn't foul with a two possession game, and then Pondexter thought the Mercury tied the game at the buzzer on Penny's three! Can you imagine being Penny and explaining that they just lost by one?

BIZARRE, but great job to Dan and his staff, and the San Antonio Silver Starzz. Penny, you were clutch at the end as well. I'd give you more touches in game two!

Coach Bin

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Finally the playoffs begin tonight. This post is to see how good your WNBA trivia is.

1) How far can Dan Hughes spit in a huddle?

2) How old is Ann Wauters now?

I think Ann was 12 years old when I played with her.

3) What recreational vehicle does Becky Hammon prefer?

4) What is Penny Taylor's favorite sushi roll?

Penny, come to Bozeman and I will buy it for you. I know it sounds crazy that Montana would have good sushi but we do.

Good luck to Coach Hughes and the Silver Starzz, and Penny, I will be rooting for your Mercury as well!

Turn on your television and post the answers if you know them!

Coach Bin

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Difference Between Fair & Equal

The hardest part of coaching is treating your student athletes fairly rather than equally.

Example #1) TEAM EXPECTATIONS. The question isn't what your expectations are but what you do as a coach when a student athlete fails to meet them.

Coach Bin's Answer: I have black and white consequences for black and white situations. Ex. A student athlete skips class. We have a "buddy" system where her "buddy" has ten hours of study table that week. Second offense = both get ten hours of study table. I haven't seen a second offense yet as they are much more accountable to their teammates than they are to themselves. Treat "equally."

The gray situations are the difficult ones = coach's discretion. I make good decisions when I:
  1. Get ALL of the facts
  2. Pray-I am more patient and rational
  3. Learn what caused the mistake so I can provide resources for change
  4. Articulate WHY there needs to be a change AND..
  5. Demand it . Treat "fairly."
“The truth is that many people set rules to keep from making decisions. Not me. I don’t want to be a manager or a dictator. I want to be a leader—and leadership is ongoing, adjustable, flexible, and dynamic. As such, leaders have to maintain a certain amount of discretion.” Coach K

Example #2) CONDITIONING. The more you can do as a team benefits your team chemistry, accountability, and commitment to each other. However, do you train a senior who is one of the most fit student athletes to come through the program the same as you train a freshman?

Coach Bin's Answer: NO. You train them as individually as you can for the TEAM'S success. We have some conditioning workouts that the entire team does together. Treat equally. We also have some workouts that are designed specifically for the individuals performance. Treat fairly.

As you make your own decisions regarding your team here is some advice.
  • Communicate, articulate, but don't expect every player to understand or agree with you.
  • Make the decision that you feel is best for the team first, individual second.
  • Get input from mentors but stick to your philosophy.

Oh, and develop thick skin!

Coach Bin

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Coaching Philosophies

I believe we all want to be the best at what we do. You learn from the coaches that have developed you, what you liked, didn't like, and mold to your strengths. Here are some of the points I have taken from my own mentors that have impacted the way I approach the game today.

John Meadows-Boulder Rockies, club coach. He made the game FUN! John is larger than life physically and mentally, and everyone who played for him experienced a whole new passion for the game both on and off the floor.

June Daughtery-Boise State University, college coach. My first encounter says it all when she showed up at my doorstep for my home visit standing 6'3 and telling me I looked taller at only 5'4 (with shoes on). She had a way about her that made you feel you could take on Michael Jordan.

Dan Hughes-Cleveland Rockers, WNBA coach. Dan made the game simple, "play hard, play smart," but his secret was to keep players that would compete in every drill. Good luck to the San Antonio Silver Starzz as the fight to make the WNBA playoffs. I have no doubt they will finish strong.

What great mentors I have in this great sport. Good luck to all the coaches out there because you will impact a life today. Make it a positive one.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Team Retreat

Here is the question for the day:

Are you a screamer or a non screamer?

A few of my experiences and reactions:
1) torn ACL-breathed heavily = non screamer
2) fell 30 feet on ropes course-told a joke to let team know I was ok = non screamer
3) sky diving-couldn't breathe = non screamer

Read below if you want to know what our student athletes are.

This weekend our team did our annual Labor Day "Retreat" to Hebgen Lake in West Yellowstone. Before all you compliance officers try and turn MSU in, I already made the team sign and pay for the costs of "renting" a boat EVEN THOUGH my husband and I own it. Isn't that ridiculous? I am off track.

Instead of camping like we usually do we decided to boat for the day as it was supposed to get down to freezing that night. My job is to retain my athletes so I thought that was a smart executive decision.

The weather was nice that afternoon around 78 degrees, but the water was only 65 so most of the team decided to tube rather than wake board or water ski. LaTisha Adams attempted to wake board for a second but jumped right out of the water after she got in.

Toughest-Coach Close (water skier), Sarah Strand (water skier), Coach Bin & husband Todd (water skiers), Rachel Semansky (wake boarder), son Justin and Coach Scanson's daughter Camryn (swimmers).

Screamer or Non Screamer: TUBING

Jamie Thornton-Non Screamer. She just wanted my husband Todd to go faster.

Erica Perry-SILENT Non Screamer and take charge. Directed driver to go one time over wake.

Sarah Strand-Non Screamer, non threatened. Wanted Todd to go faster.

Lyndi Siedensticker-Non Screamer with tubing moves. She would lift tube to jump the wake.

Katie Bussey-Only upperclassman to give out a scream, but still wanted to go faster.

Ashley Albert-Squeaker-Kind of screams, laughs, obviously enjoys tubing.

Rachel Semansky-Screamer I think. Hard to tell when she is on the tube with Chelsea Banis.

Kelsey Roben-Non screamer when riding with anyone BUT Chelsea Banis. Screamer when with.

LaTisha Adams-SMILER. First time boater that I believe enjoyed her first experience.

Ally Schmitt-Non screamer and veteran boater.

Chelsea Banis-SCREAMER, without pause, will need treatments for throat with trainer.

The day was a blast, literally when you see our fire pit for smores. Whether you are a screamer or non screamer, I believe we had 100% fun throughout. What a successful weekend for that!

College Degree vs. Non Degree
When we showed up at 10:00am and it was still 60 degrees, the coaching staff sat on the beach IN THE SUN, while the student athletes (working toward their degrees) sat around the picnic table in the shade. They will learn, and Semansky didn't need four blankets to keep her warm.

Coach Bin

Thursday, September 3, 2009


This summer just flew by. Maybe it was the unusual rain. Maybe it was the crazy July recruiting, or MAYBE it is that we are all just anxious to start this 2009-10 Season.

School began Monday, and our team has followed the example of my son taking his first steps. Why walk when you can RUN!

Our students are going to class, getting ahead in study table, testing in the beep test, bench, hang clean, and squats. Then we step on the court for our two hours of basketball workouts. You really can't accomplish a lot during two hours so you get very specific on your points of emphasis, DEFENSE!

The two hours are somewhat frustrating because that's where all of us want to be including our student athletes. Have you ever had an appetizer without the meal to follow? It leaves you a little HUNGRY.

Regardless, the energy is infectious, and not in a Swine Flu kind of way. This team and staff is SO excited to see what kind of team we can put on the floor this season.

Maybe this blog will be an appetizer and you will come back for more.

Coach Bin