Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics is widely regarded as one of the best and brightest minds in coaching today. Two articles in the last week have started to pull back some of the layers surrounding Brad and what makes him successful.

ESPN’s TrueHoop did this piece on him last week, and the Boston Globe profiled him yesterday.

Two things stand out to me from the articles. First, in the ESPN piece, Kyrie Irving made the statement that “…every single possession matters to him”. Second, Brad himself says in the Globe article that, “…the magic is in the work.”

Two small snippets from the stories that illustrate Brad’s commitment to work and his understanding that every detail matters.

Colby Basketball Gone Viral

One of the things I love about Colby and my job here is the close interaction that exists between the coaches of every sport here on campus. My office space is in a room with most of the other assistant coaches. We share a good camaraderie and actively follow and cheer for each other’s sports. We also support each other and lend a hand when its appropriate – everyone has a little different area of expertise and you never know who might have a great idea to help you be a better coach.

Our Men’s Basketball team has done a great job this year of using highlight videos to shed light on their program and how they go about their business. They get a good number of hits for each video and hopefully attract some recruits. Their most recent video has set a new standard though – Barstool, Bleacher Report and USA Today (among others) have picked up on it and their hit counter has gone well beyond 50,000. Check it out:

Learning from Others

The offseason is the time when players and coaches alike have the opportunity to learn and grow. Players can improve their strength, their conditioning levels, and increase their skill thresholds on the ice. Coaches can improve their methodology, their philosophies and their leadership abilities. The key to all of this improvement is hard work and a willingness to learn. You never know who, what, or when you may learn something that will make the difference in a long season.

On a personal level, during the offseason I try to consume as much information as possible. I try to read a wide variety of things that may open my eyes to something new. Management books, coaching books, blogs, tweetchats, etc. Any one of these things may present an idea in a new light or address something that may help us win a game next year.

I try to branch outside of hockey. I want to talk to as many non-hockey coaches and read as many non-hockey things as possible. This way I have an opportunity to learn outside of the game. Talking to basketball coaches about how they manage their practices and game days, reading books about football coaches and how they achieved greatness, discussing season planning with a baseball coach, going over organizational theory with a business professor. I believe that all of these activities will help me and my team improve in some manner in the upcoming season. When you look outside of your sport, it becomes less about the sport itself and more about coaching, organization and management theory. It is an opportunity to hear a new voice and a new point of view and it may just present an option that makes the difference in your season.