Basketball Coach John Wooden was known for many many sayings. One that has always stood out in my mind is, "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over again?". Coach Wooden is certainly one of the top coaches in the history of sport, and arguably the greatest basketball coach off all time. He built a program from scratch at UCLA and then led them to become a consistent top caliber program in the country. Wooden would go on to lead UCLA to 10 NCAA Championships in 10 years.
There is much to be learned from a coach like Wooden, as he was able to lead others to greatness, and then keep them there for an extended period of time. He is known for teaching his players about details as small as how to wear their socks to keep from getting blisters.
His quote has always intrigued me and I believe that it is important for athletes AND coaches! As I have now been in the coaching business for 16 years, I have witnessed a lot of really good coaching, average coaching, and bad coaching. And what I have come to realize is that very few athletes are expected to do things the right way, they are just expected to do a task. They are expected to do a dribbling drill, a sprint drill, a cutting drill, an exercise, etc. but they are not expected to do it to their best ability. As an example, a coach will tell athletes to go get their warm drills done but not watch them them, not critique them, and not motivate the athlete to pick up intensity. It sounds simple, but it's not. As a high school coach of a team as big as 90 athletes, I know it can be exhausting, repetitive, and feel pointless at times but I can insure you that it is worth every second. Getting your athletes to perfect movements, intensities, and having correct posture in warm up drills daily could be the difference between drastic improvements this coming season or minimal improvements this season. Take the time to make them do it right. The more you make that happen now, the less you have to worry about finding time to make it right later! Your athletes will be light years ahead at tournament time if you decide to take the time to do it the right way now and every day.
So next time you feel like just sending your athletes over to the corner for hurdle drills with no coaching, rethink it. Make time to go coach it up and get your athletes to refine every movement, every rep, every day. Next time you want to stand around with coaches during the team warmup drills, take the coaches with you and push your athletes to go through every movement with intensity.