SGG episode #43: Clovis West H.S. (CA) basketball coach Vance Walberg is a top innovator
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Vance Walberg is the head coach of Clovis West’s basketball team. Over the course of his long and distinguished career, he’s thrived at high school, community college, Division 1 college, and NBA levels. Coach Walberg is highly-regarded by coaches across the country, and in creating and generously sharing the dribble-drive offense, is known as one of the best innovators of the modern basketball era. In this SGG episode, we discussed: 1. The impact of growing up as the middle child in a household with six boys. 2. Getting cut multiple times in sports as a middle schooler… and always bouncing back, ultimately becoming the top player in the league. 3. His wife Rose’s impact on his career as a coach. 4. The 6:30am shooting opportunity that he presented to his teams: Going from 2 to 40 “everyday” kids in developing a hard-working program. 5. Chris Hernandez. “When your best player is your hardest worker, you’re in for a special season. 6. Why his teams don’t shoot free throws or have water breaks during practice. 7. The long-term dividends of Chris’ “10,000 free throw summers” – and the thank-you call he placed after a big Stanford victory. 8. His open-door policy with parents – including at practice. “Come by and see how hard your son works.” Rules: “Don’t come see me right after a game (24-hour rule). Don’t ask me to compare your son to another player.” 9. His daughter as a coach at the cross-town rival school. 10. The importance of his family in his life – and the way he prioritizes his role as a husband and dad above basketball. 11. “Getting my team to be 2, 3, 4 points better the following year.” 12. His purposeful commitment to learning and innovation, including the 1987 deal he struck with his athletic director that allowed him to learn from the best coaches in the country. 13. “Seeing the game through angles.” 14. Gaining ideas from other coaches – including what not to do. 15. Giving back to the game by sharing ideas with the thousands of coaches who contact him. 16. Working with George Karl and John Welch.