• Peter Miller

Coaches are important educational leaders in our schools, communities, and universities. The Sport and the Growing Good (SGG) podcast provides embedded, front-line insights on winning and positive development. The SGG podcast can be heard here and on all major podcast platforms.

Seth Davis is a college basketball reporter for CBS Sports, a managing editor at The Athletic, and the author of Wooden: A Coach’s Life and Getting to Us: How Great Coaches Make Great Teams. He joined the SGG podcast to share insights on some of the great coaches he’s covered over the years. We discussed:

1. What he learned covering high school sports for the New Haven Register: Coaches aren’t that different across levels.

2. His memory of Gary Palladino, a legendary high school basketball coach in Connecticut telling his player, “I love you!”

3. A main indicator of coaching quality in youth sports: Demeanor. How are they talking to their players?

4. Wherever you’re coaching, it’s all about the relationships and authenticity.

5. Out-coaching the pros in the USA Basketball Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas – winning the gold medal! “They loved that I cared so much!”

6. The relationships between coaches from different schools – and why there tends to be more collegiality among basketball coaches.

7. The peer pressure of giving back at clinics, etc. John Wooden saying, “If you don’t do it, they say you’re a high hat.”

8. “There’s a real camaraderie among coaches.”

9. “Whatever business you’re in, you find that it’s a small community. That’s why I say be nice to everybody. Treat everybody well. Because you don’t know where they’re going to be…The same people you on the way up, you’ll see on the way down.

10. How Armen Keteyian supported him at a key career juncture.

11. Simple tip for how to operate in whatever line of work you’re in: “Be a mench!”

12. What should we think about with regard to finding the right fit in terms of where to coach? “Happiness.”

13. Coaches who “avoid the joy” for fear of losing their edge.

14. Coaches finding comfort amid tension and adversity.

15. Recalling Dick Vitale’s words: “I’m at my best as a parent when my kids are going through something tough.”

16. “Controlling the controllables.”

17. The challenges that families of coaches face.

18. Why Seth doesn’t create “hot seat” lists: “I’m not just looking at a coach. I’m looking at a husband, a father, a brother, a son, a boss of a staff. So there’s a lot more involved than just the person who’s in that chair.”