In the March 28th edition of The Sporting News, Pitt Panther head coach Jamie Dixon was named the 2010-2011 NCAA men’s basketball Coach of the Year. Dixon’s primary area of focus is player development.
Gary McGhee, the team’s center, is interviewed in the article and discussed the elements of his growth as player under Dixon:
- Continual Improvement – Though they had gone through literally hundreds of practices and dozens of games together, Dixon was insightful enough to continue noticing things McGhee needed to work on . Leaders, are you constantly looking for ways those on your team can improve?
- Extra Training – Dixon took McGhee through extra drills and coaching before practices. Leaders, does your day begin at 8:00 AM and end at 5:00 PM or are you committed to using your disposable time to develop others?
- Instruction – During these extra training sessions, there was a tremendous amount of explanation about what was needed and why things were taking place. Leaders, are you creating buy-in by connecting-the-dots for your team about why decisions are being made?
- Motivation – The motivation Dixon gave was specifically so McGhee could get better. Leaders, is your motivational style “rah-rah” or is it targeted so that performance can be improved?
Leaders, if you are dedicated to developing your people in the four areas mentioned, the following results can take place:
- Loyalty – Few players transfer from Dixon’s teams if their careers start slowly.
- Focus – Few players from Dixon’s teams are constantly looking at their NBA Draft status.
- Unity – Few players from Dixon’s teams are disgruntled which often results in teams being splintered.
- Sacrifice – Few players from Dixon’s teams are selfish. Pitt basketball has developed an ethos. There is a “Pitt way” of doing things. If you sacrifice for the team, you know you will have individual success.
Leaders, can the same be said about those on your team? What techniques are you using to effectively coach those on your team?