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Coach Flip Naumburg's Journal

Thursday, January 4, 2007


My current coaching formula is to create a stronger, more unbreakable bond between coaches. I want this now more than ever, and perhaps need it that way, too.  Why now more than ever?  The answer is simply because in my mind 3 cubed is a greater number than one becomes when it is 3-wayed or cubed.  One is limited. Three is almost not limited at all. I want to go there.  Maybe I feel ready to do more when I get there than I ever have, I dunno.  I do literally want to see how much power one truly well balanced triumvirate of coaches can generate without screwing it up.  My plan is for us to 'bring it' aggressively as individuals and as a threesome and I do really think of it as a threesome, and that more than me relying on the chain of command style or concept too much.  The three as one Mr. Goodbrain thing seems to have more potential for the creative solutions to real dilemmas and problems. 

I do want to help to create a three-headed coaching monster, one made up of a three very different but very symbiotic craniums.  We need all the positive we can get. I must orchestrate, of course, but I guess I am approaching the idea of how to coach coaches in sort of a new way because I want to improve that part of MY game and get more out of it for us.


Ultimately we can only be as good as I lead us.  That is the part that makes it all so fun and a coach's behavior so obsessive.   In some ways I must say that the reality is this process rocks even though it also rolls me from time to time, too. 

Some years I will have a little more trust in the power of delegation for particular areas of play or player position where we might have perhaps more depth or experience.


I generally tend to like to see how far the scope of influence can filter its way into the main stream of what we do as a lacrosse team and pass itself on to the next generation.  I think this means I put my trust in trust and my faith in faith.  The teachings of time continuously fall from one side of the hourglass before being tipped over to the other and the program evolves in its own good way that way.


On the other side of the thought I can get a gut feeling that my hands or fingerprints must be all over this kid or that part of our team on this day or that year, and I will eagerly follow those instincts where they lead pretty much every time. At times I see a certain potential that might only come from a certain style of play that we must structure for from the first day.

In these situations I tend to think to myself, whether it be true or not, that only I can be the teacher, and I must teach this certain thing or things in that certain way of ways for all to be able to understand it within the certain framework of team concept where I want it to philosophically exist.  It certainly can become certainty if done right.  Too true.


Putting lacrosse concepts across effectively, delivered clearly, and shall we say certainly (last time), first with/to our coaches and then to have all three of us smoothly transpose it out and about on our player family tree is the coaching-as-a-well-oiled-machine, dream-come-true for me. 

I have goals for me as coach, for us as coaches.  I hope the other two have their own personal goals that exist only within what they want to accomplish specifically with this team and no other part of their life.  I don't want to define all of those for them.  I do want to put my finger on a few things just to help out where I can……


One goal or target is that we as coaches will do a great job of what we do and say when we 'break' from our coaching huddles, etc.  Yes, we all believe in the same stuff, but we don't, for example, want to waste our time teaching the same thing twice to the same guy, whether it is a game or practice.  Let's always be working on different flanks, but always with the complimenting agendas necessary for success.

I like to offer and issue coaching challenges to the assistants where they will need to zone in on one guy that they might or might not have chosen as the one for them to mentor (tell) or apprentice (show), but the process needs to fit some thing that we all agree we need.


By the way, I personally teach far more during my practice time than I ever attempt to in games.  Practice is for learning and teaching, while games are, in my mind, more for performing, and this does not exclude the coaching staff.  The learning from games often comes later and with proper reflection, but with practice it is a right now thing for me in every sense.  I can be as "urgent" about it all as I wish to be in practice.

We want to be able to discuss three ideas in the time it used to think about one option during a timeout or a halftime or whatever.  We as a coaching unit always want to use and spread our wisdom like we never have before.   This chain of coaching strength is an ongoing quest, not new or peculiar to any year or season.  I also see better, more effective, and cooperative work as something that is up to me to facilitate. There is some control to be had in this sector of coaching operations, but it always remains to be seen if you are lucky or smart enough to use it (assistant coaches) right.


So the coaching connection is huge to me right now during this pre-season.  It consumes much of my game planning for the season right now.  The image of a coaching iron triangle or our three 'plane' sides being connected like a seamless pyramid is pleasing to mentally pursue and it is a hopeful train of thought for me when I am chugging along down that track.  I want us as a trio of team trust to communicate great with one another.  If we could get down to using hand signals to indicate mood swings and things like that, I would be pleased and amused by all of the possibilities.


If we communicate great as a team of coaches then won't that become a team trademark at some point as well?

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