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  • Writer's picturePeter Miller

Steve Collins is a teacher and the head basketball coach at Memorial High School in Madison. His long track record of success includes multiple state championships and coach of the year awards. Coach Collins is also known for his broader work in the coaching world, including a business, active social media presence, and multiple podcasts.

He joined the SGG podcast and we discussed:

1. Learning from his dad, his brother, and Madison East basketball Coach Boyle.

2. The Great Swami

3. Coach Boyle: “He had a lot of confidence in me.”

4. “When I speak at clinics, I ask coaches to close their eyes and imagine the coach that was their most influential coach and why…It’s never Xs and Os. It’s an interpersonal thing that made them feel complete…How did he make them feel? I try to remember that when I’m coaching too.”

5. Human beings want to feel loved and they want to have meaning.

6. The importance of having close relational connections with the team: “It’s the secret sauce. It’s what’s most important.”

7. “Taking a piece” of each coach he worked for.

8. Developing a blue print for building the Memorial program: scouting, summer camps, youth program… and a future NBA player.

9. The importance of having smart and supportive administration in a school.

10. “If I was coaching the same way I was 25 years ago, I would be unemployed…Things change. You better adapt with the times.”

11. “You have to adjust. You have to see your surroundings. See your players. See what their strengths and weaknesses are. And as a teacher, you always want to accentuate the positives and work on the negatives.”

12. Having a growth mindset as a coach.

13. Being willing to “throw out” plays and schemes that aren’t working.

14. High school coaches can’t recruit players to a system – so they need to be willing to recognize what they have talent-wise and appropriately adapt.

15. Delegating roles among a coaching staff.

16. The two most important days for a coach: the day you choose your team and the day you choose your staff.

17. Is there still a place for clinics? Yes, for bonding. Less so for content.

18. A perspective lesson from Covid: “Let’s enjoy the time we have!”


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