Do You Have What It Takes to Coach the Jazz?

People see athletes and dream of being like them. From Michael Phelps to Michelle Kwan to Jimmer Fredette, athletes inspire us, not to mention give us someone to cheer for. And while the athletes are inspiring us, their coaches are inspiring them.

Jerry Sloan and the Utah Jazz
Jerry Sloan, Former Utah Jazz Coach

Coaches are an integral part of an athlete’s training. Jerry Sloan, the longest tenured coach in American professional sports, was key in the Utah Jazz winning 1,127 games and going to the NBA finals twice. LaVell Edwards coached the BYU football team to a 13-0 national championship.

But what if it doesn’t work out so hunky-dory? Dax Crum recalls how his “Coach said that one-handed boys don’t play basketball” (Relentless 28) crushing his dreams, but only for a little while. Currently Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson have resigned from coaching the Utah Jazz in the middle of the season, leaving the Jazz looking for a leader to help them pull ahead.

Tyrone Corbin was named the new head coach for the Utah Jazz. Now Jazz fans wait and see if he’s got what it takes to lead the team in to the future.

Tyrone Corbin, New Head Coach of the Utah Jazz
Tyrone Corbin, New Head Coach of the Utah Jazz

With that in mind, here are 5 things that a good coach should do:

  1. Push the Athlete(s) – Don’t be a tyrant, but also don’t be soft. A coach must help the athlete move forward, not be stagnate.
  2. Be a friend – The athlete is going to be around you, the coach, for long hours. Learn to like each other, or you may spend more time butting heads than practicing.
  3. Be Passionate – If you aren’t passionate about what you do, how can you expect your athlete to love it too and want to keep playing.
  4. Be a leader and a teacher – And that includes commanding the respect of the athlete, but also encouraging and helping the athlete get though any struggles that come up.
  5. Have patience – Please! Remember that the athlete is learning. That’s why they are getting coached. If they knew everything and could do anything, they wouldn’t need you.

And on the flip side, here are 5 things a good athlete should do:

  1. Be ready to work hard – If you don’t want to work hard, why are you an athlete. It takes sacrifice and time to get better, no matter what you do.
  2. Don’t be a Diva – especially if you are on a team. Being selfish doesn’t win you friends, no matter how good you are at your sport.
  3. Have good sportsmanship – Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want your opponent to do. You will be respected both on and off the field.
  4. Listen – to your coach, to your body, to your heart. But NOT to naysayers.
  5. Enjoy what you do – If you aren’t having enjoying it, then why are you doing it? Life is too short to spend it doing something that isn’t fulfilling, especially there are so many options available.

What are some traits you want to see in Tyrone Corbin or in coaches in general?

Any stories of how a coach helped or hindered your sports career?

3 thoughts on “Do You Have What It Takes to Coach the Jazz?

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  • February 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm
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    Thanks for this article! I’m interested to see what will happen with the Jazz now that Sloan is gone. This post makes me wonder how many professional athletes really meet the criteria you mentioned:

    1. Be ready to work hard – If you don’t want to work hard, why are you an athlete. It takes sacrifice and time to get better, no matter what you do.
    2. Don’t be a Diva – especially if you are on a team. Being selfish doesn’t win you friends, no matter how good you are at your sport.
    3. Have good sportsmanship – Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want your opponent to do. You will be respected both on and off the field.
    4. Listen – to your coach, to your body, to your heart. But NOT to naysayers.
    5. Enjoy what you do – If you aren’t having enjoying it, then why are you doing it? Life is too short to spend it doing something that isn’t fulfilling, especially there are so many options available.

    Interested to talk more about the new book Relentless too!

    • February 15, 2011 at 9:21 am
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      I’m sure that not as many athletes have those traits as should. It would be nice though. Really though these traits are pretty applicable to most everybody, athlete or not. You can be a good person whether you’re an athlete or not. You’re just a lot more visible as an athlete. That’s one of the things you’ll learn as you read Relentless.

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