Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Recruits

When you are down to eight players because of unfortunate season ending injuries, your active players get very little rest in practices, if any. One adjustment is to shorten practices, but when you still have an entire conference season left to play, it's time to brainstorm some new ideas to improve your ability to move forward.

One solution is getting "scout guys" to help out. We currently have 2 to 3 regular scout guys, and they are awesome. Our coaches have also helped out. Coach Scanson and Coach Close have stayed extremely fit by jumping in, but with Coach Starr pregnant we continue to utilize her services on the sideline (and possibly offer her an extra snack or two to keep her happy).

Unfortunately, 2 to 3 scout guys still doesn't allow our athletes to get reps off, and I lose the services of two of my coaches coaching. So we decided to recruit students on campus. Here are some questions that had to be answered:

  • Who is a full time student that we know played basketball in high school?
  • Who played basketball in high school on our other sport teams that might be interested?
  • Most importantly, who WOULDN'T be interested in joining our squad now that preseason conditioning is over?
Thankfully we added three members to the roster over the past few weeks. Two of them have already made it through the Clearinghouse and got to suit up for their first contest last night against ISU.

Here are a few highlights of the game.
  1. Emily Allen- Shoots a step back three, misses but gets fouled. She immediately looks over to the bench and says "my bad" as to her decision to take the shot. She walks up to the free throw line for 3 shots. Makes the first, two claps for herself, then makes the second. She then remembers she forgot to go through her FT "routine".  So she does, and misses.
  2. Kelsey Roben- Dashes to the weakside block as Rachel Semansky feeds her a pass to the rim. She looked like a Giselle!
  3. Our new recruits Carrie Feenstra and Mary Anderson get in a DI collegiate game. We have a baseline out of bounds play and Coach Scanson is screaming to tell them where to lineup as they don't really know all of our plays yet. They look confused, I call a timeout.
  4. Time is running out, and Emily Allen sees Mary Anderson open on the weakside, she passes and Mary takes her first collegiate shot, 2 points.
  5. The most entertaining highlight, however, was watching Katie Bussey hustle all over the floor like the Energizer Bunny. She has never looked so fresh.
  6. Todd attending the game WITHOUT the kids.  When I asked how it was, he responded with a big relaxed smile, "It was everything I thought it would be."  I think he'll leave the kids with the babysitter more often.  Thanks Cassie!
I think the extra rest and having additional bodies in practices does help! Emily, however, is just Emily.

Coach Bin

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Don't Rush

Doesn't that advice hold true to so many things?

  1. Driving- Avoid accidents, tickets, etc.
  2. Eating- Avoid heartburn, enjoy the bite.
  3. Playing Basketball-You can play fast with execution, but rushing leads to mistakes.
  4. Communicating- This personally is hard for me when my adrenaline is at its peak. For example, after our win over Weber State I pointed out how well Kelsey Roben was moving on the court and said she ran like a Giselle. No, I didn't mean the super model... yes, I meant gazelle.
Slow Down!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Let me first start with my disappointment for all of our Montana Blog readers. I drew a cowboy and still didn't win the drawing contest? I can't believe that! LOL

Let's shift gears to what is going on with our team. Last week we opened up 2-0 conference play in the Fieldhouse. In Thursday's game we broke the 100 point barrier for the 2nd time this season and it's the worst I have ever felt after a victory. That's because Chelsea Banis went down for a season ending injury. This is our third season ending injury to our team this season.

As coaches, we go through a million emotions. The worst of them, though, is when a player gets injured. I'ts out of your control. You can't fix it, coach it, change it. It just is what it is, and you HAVE to maintain your positive outlook on what you can take away from it.

That leads us to two scenarios to deal with.

   1. My "Great Eight" as Lori Bussey (Katie's mom) came up with. These are the ones adapting to our situation, persevering, stepping up in other's absences. These kids are as mentally tough as any group I have ever coached.
So what are we working through with them you ask? We focus on what is in our control number one. We focus on each day and how to get better. We focus on execution, making up certain pieces now that our pieces are shaped differently. We control our practice times better so we don't overtrain with limited numbers. We bring in some additional practice players to help relieve some reps in practices. We consider having some additional players on our roster so we can rest our eight with hopefully some leads during the year. Most importantly, we maintain our vision and believe we can still accomplish everything we want to this season. We have a lot of talent, but our weapon is only as strong as our fight with it, and we have that!

     2.   Second scenario is making sure our injured athletes are still our glue, don't feel removed because there has been so much discussion on our "great eight" and what they are accomplishing. We are doing this all together. Our three perseverant souls will get through this stronger than ever. Ashley, Chelsea, and Kate each have competitive spirits, and long careers ahead of them. We keep them engaged by utilizing their eyes, their voices, and their experience with their teammates. We continue to rehab them well by being involved in their daily and weekly goals.

As we put these two scenarios together we create the most unified team I have ever coached. I have no idea what tomorrow brings, but I do know I have a Championship Team because of their character, focus, and work ethic. This is why I love team sports.

It's so much more rewarding when you get to share your experiences with others.

Coach Bin

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Macaroni Grill

Here is a recap of our latest trip to Utah.

  • Bus-Yes we took a bus and will NEVER do that again as you can't count on the weather. We left at 10:00am and arrived at 10:00pm. Our athletes didn't seem to mind as they slept for most of it in between the Princess and the Frog and Sherlock Holmes
  • Games-I told our bus driver Tom he is our bus driver for every bus trip we have as we went 2-0 with him. He took good care of us throughout the blizzards and traffic.
  • Rehab-It was important for me and our team to have our redshirt players travel with us. Ashley Albert is coming off an ACL reconstruction and Kate Webb had her pin removed from her stress fracture. We utilize both athletes on the bench during the games to take stats, chart opponent runs, and communicate on the bench. In between games they do rehab with our trainer during practices, pass for teammates, and focus on getting healthy!
  • Entertainment-This can include celebrating the New Year at the movie theatre, but most importantly eating well. I have included some very artistic drawings from our dinner at the Macaroni Grill. See if you can guess who drew the picture and most importantly your favorite artist.
Happy New Year!

Coach Bin

Elmo's portrait of Sarah Balian

Ausha Cole's love and basketball

Someone's attempt at tic tac toe

Rachel's sunny day
Coach Bin's Cowboy
Someone else's Cowgirl