Thursday, April 18, 2013

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.

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