Thursday, April 18, 2013

ITS ALL ABOUT THE FANS & COMMUNITY
Home Games Must Be An Entertaining & Fun Experience


Crowd Cam Shot of Cathedral Phantoms vs. St. Paul  - 2013
When you coach a high school team it doesn't take long to realize that running a team is unlike running any other “business.” On one hand the competitive side of coaching is a driving force. I want to win championships. I want to win every game. Not just for me, but for the entire school (alumni, students, parents & staff), all of Northeast Los Angeles and for Middlebrooks Basketball fans everywhere. Fifteen + years into coaching and it still hurts every time my teams lose. I still have a hard time sleeping after any game we lose.

On the other side, running a high school basketball team has become a business in the world of elite level basketball. But unlike every other business, making the most money possible is not a driving motivation. I recognize that our REAL fans aren't only about wins and losses. They don’t bad mouth the team or coaches about what went right or wrong during each game. In fact, while they want us to win, they are fans, win or lose.
But to some fans, our games are more than just a game. They are a release. They are a connection to other family members. They are an escape from the realities of a very difficult life. There are fans who love my teams because it makes their lives better.
There are not many businesses that can begin to have that kind of impact on their customers/fans.

It is this connection that also drives me to make sure that every home game is about far more than basketball. I want to make sure that every time any fan walks into my gym they know that they will feel special. They will have a special experience. They will have an emotional connection. They will feel an energy and excitement they cannot get anywhere else. They will be able to see a look of joy in their family members. They will know that we respect the financial, emotional and time investment they have made in our program. In a years time they won’t remember the score, or even a single play from the game, but they will remember who they were with and how they felt during the game.

It is a special trust that is incumbent on me and my staff to live up to. It is expensive to deliver on this goal. But it is worth every penny. No matter what it costs. I’m proud of the fact that I spend, by all accounts, a lot of money on our program. We try to provide an unrivaled game entertainment and experience for fans. While other teams worry about the regular stuff high school programs think about, I worry about creating an experience that is unique and special to our fans, players and overall community. I focus on making sure our staff, parents and players remain committed to sacrificial preparation and understanding just how important what we do is to our community.


Monday, April 15, 2013


YOU WILL MISS 100% OF THE SHOTS YOU DO NOT TAKE
You Will Miss Most Of The Shots If You Do Not Practice
Opportunity...A chance for progress or advancement. When opportunity comes, you can not fear it nor shy away from it. You must embrace it and attempt to take full advantage. Will you fail? You might. But failure is guaranteed if you never try. Many people never try simply because they succumb to fear. Opportunities come and go because they do not take chance to embrace the moment. Basketball players do this all the time. They have a wide open shot but because of a lack of confidence they pass up on the shot and look to give the ball to another teammate who generally does not have as wide open a shot. I always tell my players, if you are open you MUST take the shot. If you don't, that guarantees you missed but if you shoot it, the chances of you making the shot are always greater than 0%.
Now a major reason for fear in opportunistic situations is a person knows in their heart that they failed to be prepared. "If you prepare yourself . . . you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears" (Eleanor Roosevelt). Preparation puts you in a strategic position to capitalize when opportunities arise. A lot of people want to take the shot but have a low percentage chance to convert because they did not practice. They never did the things necessary to put themselves in a position to be fully prepared to take advantage of opportunity when it presents itself. I tell my reserve players all the time, you never know when I will call your number to play in a game but will you be ready to seize the moment when I give you the chance. Did you get stronger in the weightroom, become a better shooter with lots of practice, become a better defender with a commitment to working on defensive drills outside of normal practice? I ask players a lot of questions all the time simply to reinforce in their minds that they need to train and practice hard so that they have answers when I ask the questions. Generally I already know the answer because you can see improvement in player through daily practice. But the ultimate point is to encourage them to always remain committed and focused on daily preparation, so that when opportunity presents itself, they can seize the moment; on and off the court!


Sunday, April 7, 2013

YOU ARE A CORPORATION
Approach All Aspects Of Life Just Like You Are A Business

We all go to work everyday and slave hard to make others money. My philosophy has always been, why not do that for yourself, at some level. While I know everyone is not going to be an entrepreneur, I still believe that everyone must learn to handle their own business. Manage your finances, monitor your children, invest in your relationships, develop yourself on an on-going basis…do what is necessary to maximize your operation! Do you understand all the line items that are important and are you developing all of your existing assets, while strategically looking to procure new assets? 

This same thought goes into my players on the court. Our players all want to play in college and earn a scholarship. The challenge is are they doing all of the things necessary to play in college. Do they take care of their main asset; their body. Do our nutrition plan, do our training program, put in extra work outside of team mandated workouts, go to doctor immediately when they feel pain, go to the trainer at school everyday to proactively make sure they are doing proper maintenance on their body, work hard in school so they have the highest grades possible, prepare for standardized testing so they score as high as possible and the list goes on and on. My point is are they addressing all of the core areas of business that affect earning a college scholarship. If not, then they are running their corporation poorly and will ultimately go out of business.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013


HOW TO MEASURE EFFORT
DON’T LIE TO YOURSELF ABOUT HOW HARD YOU ARE WORKING 

Head Coach William Middlebrooks & Varsity Team During A Team Huddle

Most people are not honest with themselves when it comes to assessing the effort they truly put it. It is easy to judge effort by how many hours a day passed while you are at work or in the gym. That’s the worst way to measure effort. The truth is many people are at work doing nothing or simply not being productive. They are just passing time wastefully. I see basketball players all the time in the gym not working out at game speed or just shooting shots they would never get in a game. They are not doing things that will make them better but in their minds they are working out. Many people waste time this way everyday in various areas of their lives but in their minds tell themselves they are giving effort.

In my mind, “effort is measured by setting goals and getting results,” (Mark Cuban). You have to ask yourself all the right questions and surround yourself with mentors and coaches that will challenge you to push yourself harder and harder each day. What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this person over and build a strong relationship? What did I need to do to understand how to fundraise well? What things will make me better than anyone else on the basketball court? What did I need to do to find an edge? Where does that edge come from, and how was I going to get there? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself and/or allow a mentor or coach guide you in to set and accomplish goals and objectives. Life is all about results. In the end, that is all that matters!

Friday, April 5, 2013



WHAT DIRECTION ARE YOU HEADED IN
Pay Attention To The Road

Rev Run said, “If you are going the wrong direction, turn the car around!” I thought that not only was a great quote but a simple core principle of life and basketball. When players are young and immature, sometimes they try to score at the opponent’s basket. The coach then has to try to get the players attention before they put the ball in the basket, which would give points to the other team.

Life is like a coach. If we are paying attention and sober minded, not operating out of emotion, life gives us all the warning signs of going in the wrong direction and likewise affirms when we are heading in the right direction. If your finances are low, that is a clear sign you are headed in the wrong direction. 

Obesity (and I can speak because I am fat…lol) tells us we are headed in the wrong direction. When things are just not going right, it is a good sign that you are going in the wrong direction. I always have believed that good things happen to good people; so if good things are not happening then it is a telling sign that our karma is not quite right and we need to get it right. 

The good thing about life is we always have a chance to get things right, as long as we are not dead. So if there is something you need to get right, use this blog as a sign to you that it is time to get things right!

From Coach Middlebrooks...
video

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Choice Is Power
Empowering The Student Athlete Within

Middlebrooks Academy Power Forward Idrissa Diallo


CHS Phantom Point Guard Josh Brown 
  A theme I have had recently with everyone I talk to is the reality that we all have power and that power is the ability to choose. Our bodies only do what our minds tell it to do, therefore every action is the result of choice. Even though they are young, I try to get our players to recognize that how hard they work, on and off the court, is a choice that comes from the personal power they have within. While external factors such as coaches, parents, teachers, mentors and other can influence choice, the ultimate power to actually choose lies within the individual player. No one can literally make you do anything. 

As a result of this power and the choices one makes, action are indicators of who a person is on the inside. The quality of work you do in the classroom, the effort you demonstrate on the court, the girl you decide to be attracted to, the friends that you hang around...all are the result of this power called choice. And as a coach, I make decisions about who you are as a person, not by what you say but rather by the actions you demonstrate. And I dare to say the colleges that recruit our guys make decisions based on the actions they see in our program, which has produced 192 visits from college coaches this past season.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013


 Stronger Faster Better

Protecting Student Athlete's Futures


When Louisville guard, Kevin Wear went down during the Louisville vs. Duke game last Sunday, several key things went through my mind. The first defined the issues that kept him from being at his strongest, such as nutrition and water. The next was the lack of conditioning that may have taken place throughout the year prior to the tournament. The last is the one thought that no one wants to believe can or will come to fruition, that the injury could have easily ended his career.
There is nothing more important than the need for student athletes to be the best at all times. What we allow them to put in their bodies is one of the things that will either keep them cutting edge or set them up for failure.  The only thing standing in the way of injury is our insistence that these student athletes learn how to care for their bodies in such a way that would help them to protect their tool instead of advocating the abuse of it. It is the most important thing that we can do. If done correctly they will have the ability to do things that are “supernatural.” If done wrong, their careers will be in jeopardy.

 Featured above: Josh Brown, Point Guard Cathedral High School Varsity Basketball Team