The Eric Hammer School Of Coaching: A Lesson For All Coaches

Quick note:  I hate the title of this blog.  I have a lot of different thoughts on this subject and that’s the summary I came up with off the cuff.

It’s old news now that Charles Oakley, Phil Jackson, and Jim Dolan have stolen headlines in the Knicks organization, but this blog spurns from a few weeks back when Derrick Rose went AWOL.  Straight up, he simply did not show up to the game, and not a soul knew why.  While that particular instance isn’t exactly the norm in pro sports, it seems as if athletes are regularly taking advantage of the fortune and opportunities they’ve been given, and sometimes too much.

I’d rather not dive into the current economics despite that being a major factor in how some players act.  What I’m more focused on is obvious lack of respect for too many players’ coaches and teammates.  And I’m also fed up with the lack of respect that coaches demand from their players.  It’s as much on them as anyone, if not more.  In my opinion which means absolutely nothing to anyone other than myself, without a mutual respect between players and coaches, the team has no chance of success.

When you think of great teams, you often attribute it to great coaching.  I’m talking coaches who have track records of winning and reputations for no nonsense.  Take Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, for example.  The Spurs are contenders every single year regardless of who they’re rostering, and that’s because the players love Pop.  He brings the best out of them, implements great strategies on the court, and rarely are there ever any controversial player issues.  Bill Belichick has a zero tolerance policy up in New England.  If you’re a superstar and show up late, you’re penalized.  Belichick isn’t afraid to cut ANYBODY either regardless of pedigree, age, career.  Tony LaRussa, former Cardinals manager, is another great example.  St Louis was in title contention every season because LaRussa commands the utmost respect from his guys.

I’ve given a lot of background and feelings and not enough about what I would do as a coach.  My locker room and my team would be no nonsense.  That would be non negotiable.  Zero tolerance for bullshit.  Zero tolerance zero exception.  If you show up late, you do not play.  If you fuck up off the field, you’re benched indefinitely if not cut.  When it comes to social media, I would hire someone to monitor each and every player’s social activity.  The amount of stupidity that athletes show on social media is absolutely astounding.  I have no time for people who aren’t committed to winning, and in order to prove that commitment you must obey to my dictatorship.  I will lead us to the promise land as long as you abide by my rules.  99% of coaches perpetuate disconnected locker rooms and enable all of the bullshit that goes on under their watch.  I won’t have to ask for the respect of my players because my actions and results will command that respect.  The players who want to win will show up ready to go to WORK.  If the team plays like shit, repercussions will be issued.

If it’s basketball, my guys are all going to be LIGHTS OUT from the free throw line.  Every practice will conclude with every player making 100 free throws.  If I have to hold post-game practices at 1am to instill that success, so be it.  If it’s baseball, fundamentals will never be sacrificed.  We will perfect small ball, and mental mistakes will not be tolerated.  Base running competency will be an asset not a detriment like it is for so many players/teams.  Football players will recover every fucking fumble.  If the play is dead and there’s a ball on the ground, we will recover it just in case.  If a screen pass is dropped and the ball is on the ground, we will recover it just in case.  My players WILL NOT make mental mistakes and continue to see playing time.  I believe that commanding the respect and this caliber of play will result in top performance on the field and good behavior off the field.  My philosophy will result in winning.  The players who don’t want to play for that type of coach can go elsewhere and we will win in spite of them.  My way or the highway, and if you’re down with that, you’re down with championships motherfucker.

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