Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement is extremely powerful in coaching confidence and performance in our athletes. However, I do believe some coaches, parents, and teammates can misuse positive reinforcement when it hasn't yet been "earned".

Let me be more clear. As a coach with a certain level of expectation, it's important for my players to understand what the level is and we should only reinforce what we want to see repeatedly. Rather than "cheering" on finishing a workout subpar, or celebrating a win by 2 when you should have won by 20, we need to reinforce the details that raise the bar to the expected standard.

Sometimes as a coach you have to stop practice to address the detail you are looking for so everyone sees what it looks like, or you clip it in your self scouts. Once they have seen what is expected, the next step is for them to find the focus, desire, and pride in doing it the same way, again and again in order to achieve success we are looking for.

Coach Bin

Friday, October 22, 2010


I received a comment today that there was confusion on who wore silly bands in my recent blog.

My reader thought I was talking about Assistant Coach, Justin Scanson, rather than my six year old son. So for those of you reading about silly bands, Justin Scanson hasn't yet shown them on his wrist although I wouldn't put it past him.

I also wanted to note, that one helpful tip for those of you wanting to save some money on the silly band purchases can also include rubber bands. My two year old daughter has two rubber bands mixed in with the silly ones and hasn't yet noticed the difference.

That's just plain silly isn't it?

Coach Bin

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Silly Bands

Plain Silly or Plain Remarkable?

At Justin's school silly bands are the "in" thing right now. It's not just his school, however, as college students are even wearing them.

The question is why are they so cool?
#1 They are cheap so everyone can afford them
#2 They are creative and shaped in all kinds of things; cartoon characters, ballet dancers, boats, etc.
#3 They are universal so everyone can wear them

What is NOT silly is that kids as young as Justin's age are giving them to other students without expecting anything in return. If we continue the culture of just feeling good about making someone else happy then I think it may be the best invention ever.

Excluding In N Out Burger of course,

Coach Bin

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monster Award

Halloween is approaching so I thought this topic would be fitting.

The Monster Award is a ugly little bobble headed green monster that my staff gives to the most aggressive and consistent performer for the week of practice.

The first week senior Sarah Balian received the award because everything about her is just competitive. Sarah doesn't know how NOT to compete at everything she does and has a habit of going above and beyond in everything she does.

For example, Sarah is in the top of her class in Nursing, currently doing her clinicals, and also married.

This past week senior Lyndi Seidensticker received the monster for just plain getting after it. She also had a great performance against our scout team in our first scrimmage and has the back door cut down to a science.

Lyndi is also a great student in Education as she is going on to be a Math teacher and basketball coach down the road.

Our two seniors are both great examples of females raising the bar for the next generation that you can do it all and do it well.

Coach Bin

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Todd and I have been married for ten years and it seems like yesterday he picked me up in his old GMC pickup with that awful "Vandals" sticker in the back.

It just goes to show you shouldn't put bumper stickers on your vehicles. It nerely prevented an amazing ten years from beginning.

All joking aside, I love you Todd, and thanks for celebrating yesterday since we have practice tonight.

See what sacrifices he makes!

Coach Bin

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What Do Sushi and Basketball Have in Common?

  1. There is a Head Coach who makes the decisions and you need to trust them. My latest trip to Shiro's Sushi in Seattle proved just that. I was in town recruiting so I went to dinner with my former BSU teammate Janet Soderberg. The waitress gave us some suggestions on what to order and we ordered exactly that. By the way, those of you who ask for suggestions from your waitress or waiter and then don't order what they suggest are just like a basketball player running a different play than what the coach calls out. Coach knows best.
  2. The teams that play aggressive and are not afraid to take a risk end up on top! Sushi-Don't be afraid to try something you've never tried before. The "POKE" is SO good and the best sushi I have ever had. If I would have stayed with my "usual" order I would have never tasted perfection. The same applies to those of us on the court that don't push ourselves through our comfort zones.
  3. There is a towel to clean up afterward, or at Shiro's you have a hand towel before you eat. Janet and I weren't sure what they were initially for. I thought I was in first class on an airplane.
  4. You have winners and losers. You can find great sushi restaurants and bad ones just like you can good and bad teams. My rule of thumb is if they don't have wasabi at a sushi restaurant then probably try someplace else.
When you are in Seattle, however, you will win every night!

Coach Bin

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Free throw

I was just reading an article on the physical consistencies of some of the best free throw shooters in the NBA, those who shoot over 90% from the line.

I cannot begin to fathom how many free throws I shot in my career. I would assume, however, that the majority of college and professional basketball players have shot enough at the line to be great.

So why is it then that 90% is so rare?  If the 90% shooters have consistent physical attributes then what prevents everyone else from having these at the line when they shoot so many?

My opinion,

1) The free throw shot is at a dead point in the game. You have time to think. You now become a golfer on the putting green or a field goal kicker with no time left on the clock. It is a very different mentality than the typical fast paced game of basketball. Therefore, the mental ability to focus on your routine and block out the pressure becomes that much more important.

2) The ability to simulate a consistent shot every time you release belongs to those who have great focus and attention to the details. I know my great shooters will be the ones that I don't have to repeat myself on a correction to the problem. Some people put in the quantity but quantity is wasted when the mind is absent from appplication. In one word-consistency.

You will only be able to shoot as good as your self belief. We have all heard this before, but when you step to the line, when you step on the court, when you step on the field, I would think 90% of the time the game has already been won or lost in the mind.

Coach Bin