Importance of Communication With Your Coach & How It Helped the Villanova Wildcats Reach the Final Four

By Joe Haefner

If any of you have followed the Villanova Wildcats, you’ll know that Dwayne Anderson has played a huge factor in Villanova’s run to the Final Four this year. Despite being an impact player averaging 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season, Dwayne barely played in his first 3 seasons at Villanova.

Alan Stein is a Strength & Conditioning coach for the perennial powerhouse Montrose Chrisitan and has trained NBA players such as Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. One of the many players he has trained and developed at Montrose has been Dwayne Anderson. Alan recently wrote an article about Dwayne Anderson and the reason behind his sudden success this season.

“He worked brutally hard every off season and exercised great communication with the Nova coaching staff on not only his desire to earn playing time, but exactly what he needed to do to earn it. He basically worked as hard as he could to fix the areas he (and the Nova staff) found weak in his yearly evaluation. In other words, he didn’t make excuses or point the finger and he didn’t feel entitled to more playing time… he rolled up his sleeves each and every off season and put in serious work. He was focused and determined.”

So many players want instant gratification and would quit within 1 or 2 years if they’re not getting playing time. This happens because a lot of these players have never faced adversity and were “The Star Player” throughout their whole playing career. When they’re not getting big minutes and scoring a lot, they quit.

Players are not the only ones guilty of this. The North American culture is obsessed with short-term success and has forgotten the long-term approach. Dwayne could’ve easily transferred to a mid-major and been an impact player, but he stuck it out and worked his butt off to get to where he’s at. He didn’t take the easy way out.

John Wooden once said, “Don’t look for big, quick improvements. Look for the little improvements one day at a time. That’s the only way change happens. And when it happens…it lasts

If you want to play, if you want to improve, and most importantly WANT TO WIN, you need to communicate with your coach. You need to put your ego aside, improve your game, and do whatever your team requires you to do to win.

If that requires you to score 0 points, make the good pass (notice, I didn’t say assist), dive for the loose ball, take the charge, and stop the star player on the opposing team, DO IT!

If it requires you to be patient, work hard in the offseason, sit on the bench, be a great practice player and challenge the players who get the playing time like Dwayne Anderson did for Villanova, DO IT!

If you have this mentality, you’ll not only be successful in basketball, you’ll be successful in the most important game…

LIFE.

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8 Comments

  1. Lesane — April 9, 2009 @ 7:08 am

    I think this type of lesson is so important. Players are people first, and in life should always look to improve by asking those in a position to have an impact to advise how you can get better. After getting the advice however you must be willing to enact an all out action plan to pursue the goal. This doesn’t mean you will wind up in the final four, but good things will certainly come your way

  2. Larry Knutson — April 9, 2009 @ 8:18 am

    I am a youth coach that stresses read-react and anticipation basketball. So many coaches teach plays that have very short life spans or gimmicks that work a few times. These things do not help a young player improve. This article hit home for me because it addresses the all important communication between player and coach as well as the work ethic an dmind set it takes to become a good player. Well done!!!!!!!!

  3. Timothy Odeke — April 11, 2009 @ 7:59 am

    This is actually a good article, its what I emphasise to my players in Uganda. It goes with the saying that one by one makes a bundle. Many young people want intant gratification yet to truly have something that is long term and lasting, you have to invest in the long term work outs, have a relentless and determined attitude to success. Nice article Alan an Joe, Kudos

  4. benjamin — April 13, 2009 @ 8:45 am

    pls i need our hap i m a good pal

  5. AndreThomas — April 14, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    This article hit home because I coach aau. basketball, alot of players ask me why or for what reason my high school coach only gives me garbage minutes. The player thinks he a star, protenically can be a star however he doesn’t want to see the totall picture. That basketball isn’t everything and he needs to be a student first, get good grades excell in the classroom,understand what is the priority first. I’ve told him continue to talk to your coach and work hard in the classroom and never give up!

  6. Omar Louis — April 19, 2009 @ 8:56 am

    This is a great story. One of the things that I get out of this story was the willingness of Dwayne Anderson to accept and try to improve upon the constructive criticism that he was given. How many of us are able to do that? This is especially true when most of these kids have been usually told that they can do no wrong. This is also a testament to the Villanova coaching staff. Often times we see programs essentially give up on players that they feel aren’t “cutting it.” Both the perserverance of Anderson and the patience of Villanova contributed to what turned out to be a successfull outcome for all.

  7. makram — April 19, 2009 @ 11:10 am

    thank u for this report it encourage me a lot but i wish for more details about basketball

  8. Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Taj Gibson, & The Little Things — November 26, 2009 @ 10:59 am

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