What started out as a few coaches bouncing ideas off of each other quickly turned into something much bigger. Under the leadership of former Alcon State basketball head coach Luther Riley, the Elite Coaches Academy was formed to provide educational webinars for coaches including Forest Hill men’s basketball head coach Jerry Currie.
“My goal is to learn and be as much as a sponge as I can with such a great group of coaches around the state and really other parts of the country,” said Currie. “It’s a great deal for a young aspiring coach who wants to be great.”
This week’s virtual clinic featured four NBA coaches including former Dallas Mavericks player development coach Mike Procopio.
“You’re waiting for the next correction,” said Procopio. “That’s our job when we’re working a player up. We’re looking for the next correction. So if your eyes are not anywhere but on the player and you don’t want to correct them right when they make a mistake, then I think we’re doing our players a diservice.”
Former Golden State Warriors scout Mark Grabow even provided on-court tips on how to have an efficient practice and D1 general manager Mike Espy explained how he helps athletes develop speed through strength. Duke basketball freshman Jaemyn Brakefield helped demonstrate.
“Eventually they’re going to get it because you are beating into their head the why,” said Espy. “Then I really show them and tell them and then they see it on the court. They see themselves able to go from here to there and then they understand and then they get it.”
One big takeaway from the clinic was the importance of teaching players to be disciplined at a young age. Northwest Jackson middle school head coach Ashli Sutton elaborated on what it took for her to build a state championship program.
“Everybody is not a scorer, everybody is not a rebounder, and everybody is not just going to put up double digits every game,” said Sutton. “So know your role, do your role well, and we put all of those roles together and we can have a championship program.”