Notre Dame Head Men's Basketball Coach, Mike Brey, joined PCA's Vice President of External Relations, Casey Miller, for our Live Speaker Series powered by TeamSnap. At the helm of the program for the last 20 years, Brey had much insight and knowledge to share. Among the topics discussed were the unique challenges faced in a year like no other with the pandemic and the uproar of protest for social justice. With his typical calm and collected demeanor, Brey has helped his team through these difficult times with resilience and positivity.
Brey left all of us with some words of wisdom that we should hold on to for the future. Here are ten tips from Coach Mike Brey.
1. "My feeling has been, when my guys look over at me, they can't see a coach yelling at the ref. They have to see poise, not panic, and sometimes you have to fake that a little bit."
2. Make coaching your players a great experience for them. Players hang on to every word and all your body language so make every last syllable count. Have the goal to make your players feel comfortable enough to get back to you for anything after they leave your program.
3. "Our youth coaches are on the front lines of education... So many of the guys I'm coaching have had youth coaches that have had a huge impact on them and that message of how to be a good dude and how to be a good teammate and how to be upbeat and how to be enthusiastic and how to make good decisions. I would say that is so important and hopefully we have coaches getting trained and getting exposed to that."
4. "I think as a coach your goal is to always have a group take ownership of itself."
5. When recruiting players don't only consider talent level. Is the player a good teammate? How does this player treat his or her family? What's their personality like?
6. You should be firm and challenging as you coach your players. Challenge them to improve everyday and hold them accountable for that improvement. Motivate them to work harder every time they practice.
7. Always shine positivity even through negative moments. Never end a film session with a negative play. Even if you get killed that game, show the players a positive moment they can build from.
8."As a team, we expressed frustrations about what was going on, and we found a way to change things during the double crisis going on in our world." - Keeping an open dialogue with your players about problems not only in the game, but also outside of it is key to healthy team culture.
9. Managing the mental health of players is also an important job as a coach. Never underestimate how much players need their coaches and teammates to help maintain positive mental health.
10. "Be a confidence giver."
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