Δευτέρα 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2020


For the Eurolegaue game between FENERBAHCE-VALENCIA, the coach of Fenerbahce Kokoskov, seemed that he was counting a lot the low post game of Valencia, and that's why he prepared a surprising defencive adjustments with traps (mostly on Dubljevic after his second dribble).
So the idea was that whenever the ball was at the low post, the defenders were taking a format of 2-1-2 zone defence while everybody were shouting "TWO-TWO". Very quickly one defender was taking the middle spot in defence and he was ready for the trap, depending from which side the player with the ball was turning to. The rest of the zone defenders were ready for the rotations in case the ball was gone to the weak side. 
So let's watch all the times that ball went to the low post, the defensive adjustments, the offensive reactions, and if coach's decision had effect or not (without considering the fact that Fener lost the game by 86-90).

Κυριακή 30 Αυγούστου 2020


 Back in the good old days of the 60's, 70's, 80's, and even the 90's, coaches only had a few things to worry about with their players: Was their relationship at home okay; were they getting influenced by their friends in positive or negative ways; did they go to sleep early; were they heartbroken; did they have some nice interests and hobbies; what were their goals in the sport, and life in general.

The truth is, compared with today, the athletes then didn’t have many things to distract them, except for smoking cigarettes, some nice girls and a naughty nightlife. Soccer is no longer the biggest enemy of basketball, which was stealing kids to play that sport.

Today the biggest enemy is by far and away the playstation, the internet and social media platforms, which hold the kids inside their rooms. Keeping them awake, charged, and interacting until the early hours of the morning.

From 2010, the explosion of social media (facebook, instagram, twitter, and co) made a violent entry into our lives, and caught us totally unprepared. Most importantly, we were unprepared in how we would handle bad situations. Situations that were about to come from the use of social media platforms. The athletes of the past century (20th being only a few years ago) were beginning, and in some cases paying journalists, to write nice articles about them, interview them, or mention them as the key players of the game.

Today none of that is necessary. Today, without asking anyone's permission, they can make any and as many comments as they want. They can transfer their ideas and opinions about themselves or their team effortlessly. In other words, they can take their own interviews by themselves, and post them. Just click send. And I repeat, without anyone's permission.

The social media platforms offer them publicity, which they want, no matter if they deserve it or not. Social media gives them the possibility to say their opinion and ensure some people read them no matter if they themselves have any knowledge on the specific issue. Social media gives anyone the right to verbally attack anyone, fairly or not. Social media also allows one to promote their business, marketing their job as well as themselves with nice words and pretty pics or vids. At the end of the day we all know that humankind will never stop asking for more money, more power, more fame, and more recognition. At first glance, it looks like social media can offer us fame and recognition easily, without even taking anything in return. No price. Or that’s what we think.

The price is big, especially for those who forget the basic functions of social media and the basic principles of the ethic.

Although you know the number of your "friends/followers", in reality you do not know how many of them see or even read your posts. From that optic, you can visualise social media as just a "micro-world". Unfortunately, for some people that micro-world looks and feels very big and very important to them. With the "likes" they get, virtually enforcing their self confidence. For the real big personalities, that world is unbelievably small, almost zero.

Personally, I do not agree with many things that take place in the world of social media. I believe that it is a huge world that you can do many things with, but it’s not everything for everyone. For example, it could be used as an online meeting place for old schoolmates, or old friends that haven’t seen each other for years. A meeting point for strangers from different places and countries with the same hobbies. A place that people can promote their products or their jobs. A place where they can share pictures or news from famous or unknown places, even a meeting point for new contacts or for educational reasons.

The wrong way that social media has turned, I believe, is very visible to all of us, giving a very bad example to the new generation and to the youngsters. Most conversations that take place on facebook and twitter, are simply people being unbelievably rude and venting their anger. They do not even listen to someone else's opinion if it’s different than theirs. I believe that if the same people were having the same conversation face to face, drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, they wouldn’t dream of behaving in that way.

Unfortunately, these tranquil and respectful conversations are not happening on social media. I would need a psychologist to help me explain why. But if I were to guess I would say most of these aggressive posts belong to a group of sick people who have wanted some attention all their lives, and social media has given them the easy and effortless voice with which to do so. 

Even more unfortunate, this behaviour is being copied by many current athletes/players, ex players, general managers, and even team owners. Of course anyone can make the excuse that the president of the USA himself uses twitter, so no one can escape this social media trend? I will disagree and I will repeat that it’s not everything for everyone. A politician has the need to use a social media platform in order to first promote himself, to derogate his opponent, and then to talk about his ideas...or at least this is how it looks to me! That means that for politicians social media is another marketing tool, as it is for any other professional.

But let's stick more closely with the athletes/players, where we meet so many negative incidents and it’s the best example of how that evolution caught all of us unprepared. For me the athletes and players must never forget a few basic things:

1. They are members of a team. That means that they are not alone, they represent not only themselves any more, even in their personal life, they put the stamp of their team on whatever they do.

2.  They are more or less famous to a big group of people. Some of that group will always criticize them poorly. But, for some in the group they will be their idol, especially for the younger fans who will try to mimic them in whatever they do.

3. Whatever you write on social media, it stays there forever, even if you delete it.

4. If you read comments about yourself, they will change you as a person. No matter if they are good comments or bad comments. For sure they will change you and that will happen before you even realize it. Don’t read comments about yourself.

5. If you want to say something good, say it without hesitation. If you want to say something bad about a person you don’t like, keep your opinion to yourself. Don’t write anything. If you really believe it and are insistent to say something bad, wait. A couple of days might make you change your mind. Then, if you still want to do it, do it. Just remember you are also responsible for all the consequences.  

Winston Churchill said once: 

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out!” 

Of course, this quote can be associated with social media as well. Where the temptation to say something about any topic and disagree, is so big. It's like everyone’s pushing you from all sides to do it. We have many examples of athletes who made a bad comment or posted something that they shouldn’t. For the lucky ones, this simply landed them into big trouble. For others,  the consequence of those actions destroyed their careers.

Never forget that the athletes might not be kids, but they are young people. Some of them are not very experienced in life and at any given moment might make a mistake! Especially after some good game wins or championship trophies land. This will create a “yard” around them with many followers, which will make them feel strong, even stronger and more important than their own team, even their own sport.

As the head coach of the team it is my duty to avoid these bad situations. Although I was never a fan of “internal regulation” of the team, this last year in cooperation with the G.M. of the team, we added a paragraph to our rules. 

This rule explains very clearly that it is forbidden for the members of the team to write or comment on social media anything about his team, himself as a player, his teammates, his opponents, the referees and the organisation in general. Not in writing, not with pictures, not with video, or any subtle hints. The personal lifestyle that is portrayed to both media and social media should be according to the prestige and seriousness of the club. His followers must always see the image of a serious player. One without abuses and other negative actions that are out of the idea of sports. Any violation of these rules will have consequences, and they will be punished.


Of course the point is not the punishment but the prevention of those actions. Exactly as in the past, decades ago, where coaches were explaining, and at the same time imposing to their players how they will behave to their team, to their teammates, referees, and opponents. We now have to do the same to our players on anything that has to do with social media. Even if that will shock them. For certain they will not like it at the beginning. But that’s okay. Never forget that we as coaches are the people responsible for how we will form the athletic character of the player and their ethic when they are young. Of course we have the main responsibility on how we will teach them discipline! There will always be players that will not like what we say, but if all coaches are on the same page and walk on the same path having the same principles, then some things will be accepted more readily.

I always say that you must not talk to the player’s ears, but to their soul. And then they will listen to you, they will understand you, they will respect you.

Even with this experienced hand, it’s never certain. Someone can’t resist. That someone can’t resist the temptation of writing a joke, which at the end of the day, will look to some people like something racist. Or someone will write something about politics and people will consider that he represents a political party. Another player will mention something about religion and he will get into big trouble. Someone will post a totally immature photo or video, and of course the fashion of the modern days is to post a photo from the celebrations inside the locker room after a win, where everyone will look in ecstasy (something that i must admit to, as I’ve been inside a couple of these celebratory photos, until I realised that this action doesn’t represent me).

It’s strange, can you guess or even suspect that those photos will be inside the brain and sometimes inside the actual locker room of your opponent? Waiting until you will meet again. I would have done this. I know several coaches that would also put that photo in their player’s locker room the week before that game! So congratulations, you have given them extra energy and motivation to beat you next time.

We must all understand that the win itself is the supreme event and nothing can make it bigger, give it more value or make it last longer. Not even a photo. The more respect you give to your opponent before and after the game, the more you will enjoy the win, the more all people will respect you. Even if you will not know it. The more you respect your colleague, coach and fellow players, the more satisfaction you will get from the win.

Too many celebrations on made baskets, on wins, with photos and other ridiculous reactions, give me the impression of players who don’t believe in themselves. Of a team whose members didn’t believe they could win. A win which came suddenly and unexpectedly. A team whose only concern is after the win to self-promote.

Of course  I have to mention the agents of the players. Especially the agents of the mediocre  players and teams, who in order to look professional and skilled to their clients or to the market and to other potential candidate clients, will copy-paste the same post simply changing the numbers and the names:

“Congratulations to the player X of our agency Y for the mature performance with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist which helped his team Z to reach the win against W with the score 87-76  “

So the next day his teammates will laugh with him, or some others want to kill him. Unless of course their agent wrote something similar about them. If you are the coach, you can easily understand (because only a coach can really see it), the team has been split emotionally without anyone having said anything. On this point, I must mention that in the modern days that we live, the teams are already split, and no one sees it. Day by day this gap becomes bigger.

Instead of going to work out together, to shoot extra shots, to get improved together, to compete together, to psychologically help each other, to pass to each other for shots, do you know what teammates will do? They will go to their personal trainers and personal coaches. So please let us not ask ourselves any more why we cannot see many teams who look like really well organised teams, with a nice passing game. Do not ask why most of the clubs and the national team’s players play for themselves. Okay, I digress. This is a whole other topic of discussion, which we will have to analyse another time.

But honestly, it is my intention to judge the agents of the players. It is a job that I don’t know and there’s no doubt about it, they know it better than me. I don’t want to judge the presidents or owners of the teams. I am talking about the players! It is them that must understand what they must or must not do because it is them who are inside the frame and everybody else is looking at them. And even if they cannot understand this, we as coaches must  impose these rules. This is our job. Someone must put the rules in the team and the others must respect them.

Of course the biggest disappointment comes from some coaches who instead of being the best example, become the worst criticizers of other fellow coaches, or players, or any news about any topic that is around the net. I guess it must be in fashion to devalue people. Another trend is for everyone to know and perfectly understand someone else's job (except their own). I guess it’s a matter of character, education or insecurity. When they realize that they are not so capable, instead of trying to improve themselves, they try to degrade other people or their colleagues. Here I must ask you if you have ever thought how people who are in top positions and responsible for hiring other employees, (for example in our case, a coach to sign a player or a general manager to hire a coach) how they think, what standards they have and what actions do they take?

Personally, when I am interested about a player and I want to sign them, I find all the information I can get about them.  Talk to people in their close circle and environment. I ask anyone who can give me the smallest detail and this information does not have to do with how they play, but mostly about other things that I cannot see watching their games and their stats. If I can, I will ask even his barber and his neighbour (lol).

Now, with one look at their social media maybe you can understand many things. Here I will tell you a story. Once a very nice person who was starting their career as an assistant coach, asked me several times in a very polite way to hire them as my assistant at my next job. Although it was a little bit uncomfortable the way they were pressing me about it all the time, I admit that I liked their energy, the way they talked and their appetite to learn and reach high goals. When the opportunity appeared I immediately thought about them, but when I looked at his facebook profile, I saw a totally different person from what I had perceived. I saw someone who was criticizing top euroleague coaches, posting photos which were far away from the example of the coach and the sportlife, photos of immature life. Thank God I realized who they were before the start of our cooperation, before it would be too late. Maybe I was wrong, maybe they were a really nice person and could be a great assistant coach. Still, accepting my mistake, it’s their fault that they lost the chance they were seeking, even if only by the way they were using facebook.

Athletes and players, ex players, coaches, general managers, all of them must use social media in a very discreet and wise way. Keep a low profile. Especially the players who are the idols of so many people and especially for the kids. They must always think about those kids that follow them and not the “yard flatterers” who will try to be around them, or connect with them and steal from their shine.

The coaches are from their nature the leaders of the players, even the older players. The general managers are the most professional of everyone and they know exactly how a big organisation-company, no matter if its name is Real Madrid, Barcelona F.C, Chrysler, Toyota, Sony, Samsung, Vodafone, WIND, is being managed and with what rules. And as with the above companies, there is no employee who can “report” on their social media what is happening every day in their job. This same rule is for the players  who must cut off their job from their social media.

Of course we live in the era of marketing, even personal marketing, that means that some players want to use their social media for their “personal advertisement”. My advice to them will always be the same. You will help me to sign you if you post nice things about life, about people and human relationships, for the trips you made and the new places you visited, the experiences you got. You will not help me sign you if you post your seasonal basketball highlights. The highlights are not bad and maybe a player needs them for personal marketing, but what I am trying to explain is that you must promote yourself not only as a player with a talent, but also as a player educated with personality. It's the perfect package. Coaches want to sign balanced personalities, mentally strong, because they need leaders on the floor, and mostly they need rounded people that they can cooperate with and not just people that look after themselves.

Very often I say that it's easy to work, but difficult to cooperate! Now imagine what an example it would make and what leadership it would show if a player, instead his highlights and the 20 points that he made, posted the highlights of his teammate, yes teammate, who scored only 8 points but who gave 12 assists and was tireless and impressive. How nicely and easily this action would instantly unite a team!

More or less the same things stands for the general managers who sign coaches. They also want to sign balanced coaches with diverse education and I don’t necessarily mean academic education, I mean more from the sociological aspect, with emotional intelligence and a strong personality. And as I mentioned before, one view to social media of each one, maybe can give a clear picture for some G.M. to figure out if that coach deserves the position. And believe me that many companies also, before the interview with the candidate, check through their social media, and many candidates get “burnt” before the interview.

The conclusion is that social media can be used nicely and modestly, yet still be productive for players and coaches, in a way that will “highlight” their personalities, their sensitivities. To advertise themselves smartly and not selfishly. Also its not a bad idea to “disguise” their name using a nickname in order to cut off from basketball for awhile and talk about nice things or other hobbies with common people if they need to (for example it is difficult for a  famous player to join a facebook group for fishermen, they must use an alias).

As an epilogue I wouldn’t like to write my own words, but instead to point to one interview I read recently - the interview of Tsitsipas, the Tennis champion. Read his thoughts about social media (it’s important because his sport is lonely, it's not a team sport). I would also recommend you to take a look at the facebook page of a legend of European Basketball - Nick Galis. Very low profile, without making any attempt not to be forgotten. Very simple. Very professional. Very modest. So nothing was and nothing is coincidence!



Δευτέρα 29 Φεβρουαρίου 2016


         Many times we realized and gave emphasis that basketball is a miniature game
of life. If we accept the term "you win or you learn”, then after many games (big and
small), we will come out as a winner or more wise.
There have been many times that made me wonder if life gives us lessons for
basketball or it's the opposite. Maybe I see it like that because basketball is my life. I
don't mean that there is nothing else in life than basketball. I agree that there must be
a balance everywhere, but it's true that the biggest part of my daily schedule is
dedicated to basketball.
The inspiration of this article came from one speech given by Richard John, a
successful businessman, who explained how he reached success and then how he lost
everything. At that time, he realized what mistakes he made and he was able to
succeed and reach the top again. I believe that there are so many examples in
basketball worth discussing.
According to Richard John, the main reasons for success lie in the following "8
secrets of success"
1. PASSION for what you do. Don’t do it for money but because you love what you
do. If you do it for love, then money comes anyway.
2. HARD WORK. It's all hard work, nothing comes easily. It's also connected with
loving what you do cause it's the only way to work hard and have fun.
3. BE GOOD. To be successful with something, put your nose down and get damn
good at it. There is no magic, it's practice practice practice.
4. FOCUS. Be focused on what you do.
5. PUSH. Push yourself physically and mentally. You got to push through shyness and
6. SERVE. You've got to serve others with something of value (If he knew that we are
talking about basketball maybe he could say, you have to think about how to serve
your team)?
7. IDEAS: Listen, observe, be curious, ask questions, problem solve.
8. PERSIST. You've got to persist through failure, you've got to persist through crap
So I am wondering, was his speech was for businessmen or for players-coaches of
basketball? Until now, I had the opportunity to coach a lot of players who made big or
small careers in the NBA/WNBA. I used to ask the same question to everyone. What
was that thing that brought you to that level? What made you become such a good
player? Your talent? Your luck? Your brain? Except for one case, which we will talk
later, almost all of the players had the same answer: "It was the hard work coach. You
cannot imagine how much time and hard work I’ve dedicated to my body. When I was
in college, almost every day I had pain somewhere. I was always feeling tired. But I
was enjoying. And anytime I had the chance to play with my friends, I was going with
them to the playground, despite the fatigue. We talk about "a lot of basketball". I think
that's the reason that I made it to the NBA".
I don't want to talk with names but I am sure that all of us know cases of players that
many believed that they will become very good but they never became what
everybody believed they will be. Maybe for some young players, the achievement of
some small goals made them believe that they already conquered the Mt. Everest, that
they are already at the top and the rest of the way is easy. That group of the players
probably live in their own micro-world, probably surrounded by people who prefer to
compliment them about everything.
At that point of my conversation with my players, I make them wonder if they follow
the same recipe that brought them at the top, because its logical that if they don't then
it will start the fall.
I think that statistically, a large amount of players all over the world, when they reach
at the top, they stop working hard. According to my experience, this is happening
especially with the players from USA, but of course not only with them.
It's like they turn off a button inside them which says "ENOUGH WITH HARD
According to Richard John, all people believe that the road to success is a one straight
way. People that work on the 8 secrets of success reach their goals. But this is where
some of them start to rest.They think that they are already successful and they don't
need to follow the steps that brought them there anymore, and slowly those 8
elements of success collapse.
Money becomes the main reason that they play basketball and not their love for the
game. You can feel it very easy on every conversation. Automatically they feel a huge
gap inside their life which they think that they can fill it with an expensive car and
glamorous life. Somehow the fall already begun without anyone realizing it. Same
thing happened to Richard John, so he went to a psychologist and he explained to him
that he was feeling miserable, that he became rich with a lot of fortune but finally
money never brought the happiness. But money can buy pills against depression. So
he was walking in a path on which he didn't care for his job but for himself.
Eventually, the system threw him out of the market. That was the time that he realized
that he must start again from the very beginning, with all those components that
brought him to the top before. But this time, things were not so easy, it was much
harder than the previous time. It took him 7 years for his business to reach the top
again. Of course in the world of basketball, I doubt if a player or even a coach has this
much time or chances. You never know though, we said that PERSISTENCE is one of
the elements of success, but for sure in that case, time is not an ally.
I think that if we can keep one thing from that story, it is that the road to success is not
one straight line with the 8 elements on it. Reality shows us that the road to success is
a full cycle and the person who wants to reach success and to stay on top must always
walk on that cycle going from one element to the other and coming back to the
beginning without any stop.

Somewhere here I could finish my thoughts, but there was still something inside me
that didn't let me fill the whole puzzle. I keep making myself some questions: So
everything is so simple? so easy? The only thing you need to do is to work on those 8
secrets of success and success will come? and keep it like that for all your career?
And what about some other factors that take place in our life, like luck, environment,
chances? Some people have more chances , or they grow up in a family or in an
environment that gives them more opportunities. If you will be born with doctors as
parents, and you decide that you also want to be a doctor, then it's not going to be so
difficult in comparison with other kids who want to be doctors. The same if you are a
lawyer’s kid and you also want to be a lawyer. Even if you are the kid of some famous
politician, for sure you will succeed in any job you want to follow...(except of the job
of professional athlete. I saw many times kids from poor families to become super
doctors, but I never saw the kid of a famous politician to become a super athlete or a
champion somewhere).
Many times it can happen that most of the answers, most of the lessons, most of the
basketball moves come from our own players. I don't hide that from them that I
copied moves that I teach now, even some wise quotes, even some tactics which
unconsciously they made. So it was a player again who gave me the answers to the
above questions. I mentioned before about a special case in which a player who
answered me totally different on the question about reaching the highest level. She
answered to me: "Coach, every time that I am going inside the court to play, I don't
see anything else in front of me besides my son. I was poor and I got pregnant very
young. Until that time, I was playing only for fun, anyway I knew that I wasn't a
talented player and probably I will not be able to play on a big level. But all of a
sudden basketball became the only way to provide the milk to my baby. When I am
going inside the court, when I see my opponents, the only thing that I think is that
they will try to stop me from bringing milk to my son. And as you can understand,
there is no one and nothing in the world that can stop me. I think this is what brought
me to this level".
So from that answer, we all understand that a very big issue that we didn't mention is
"the heart of the athlete". Although that in the case of the athlete-mother, the
"motivation" looks like the biggest reason for her success, I strongly believe that
behind the motivation we will find the passion of what she is doing, as say in sports,
the player with a heart.
A famous psychologist, Mrs Angela Lee Duckworth, who made similar references
with Mr Richard John about success, gave her point of view a little bit more simple.
After many researches that took place in different schools and jobs with totally
different directions, she tried to find what is that element that will make people
succeed, and use it as an indication of a forecast for future successful people. So after
many years of success she concluded that it is the GRIT! As she says, "Grit is passion
and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking
with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for
years and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it's a
marathon, not a sprint". So according to her, these are the people that will succeed in
their lives.
These are great wise words that can find their place in basketball and with players and
coaches. (Many years later I found out that her book is the favorite book of Brad Stevens, the famous coach of Boston Celtics, which was a big inspiration for him).
That's why I wondered at the beginning of the article, is life a miniature game of
basketball or the opposite? Of course not (or maybe yes), but the only sure thing is
that the examples and lessons of life become examples and lessons in the general life
of basketball.

Κυριακή 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014


To be honest, I believe that in the 2014 NBA finals, MIAMI HEATS were not very focus on defense. Generally they let SAN ANTONIO SPURS do whatever they wanted on the floor without trying to cut their rhythm. The only game that HEAT show us a different face was on the second game and its not coincidence that it was the one and only game that SPURS scored under 100 points (110-96-111-107-104) and the one and only that HEAT won. So in that game HEAT were switching a lot on the screens and they were making a lot of defensive adjustments. A small sample of these you can watch on the following video.

Κυριακή 20 Οκτωβρίου 2013


Today I will present you one category of drills that college and high schools coaches are using very often, especially on the opening days. These drills are very well known drills as "hustle drills". In Europe we are not so familiar with these drills, I mean not as much as in the States, but the true is that through these drills we can teach a lot to our players, like how to fall down without injuries, or most important to create them a mentality of self sacrificing for the team,and of course they can be really fan. At the following video, coach of VCU himself is demonstrating the drill.

One more hustle drill similar with the previous one.

And one more here, although this one shows more how to take the charge

Τρίτη 29 Ιανουαρίου 2013


In women's euroleague, a very good Italian club (FAMILA SCHIO), runs very well an interesting match up zone defense. The (very good) coach of the team Maurizio Lasi achieved to hide the disadvantages of his bad defensivly players thru this zone, to confuse a lot his opponent and make them play very slow and to increase the possibilities of winning. Finally the moderate (until that time) team manage to entry to the final 8 of euroleague.
The rules that has that defense is mostly to follow every danger cut, to adjust and take positions very fast to 2-1-2 zone even if the point guard need to fill the middle of the paint or the center to follow on the top of the key. Of course in order to play that zone defense you need to have big guards, athletic bigs and excellant communication.
Maybe at the following video you'll have the feeling that defense is in man to man, but trust me they stay in zone.

Κυριακή 14 Οκτωβρίου 2012


Everyone more or less knows a team or player’s needs during the off season. Basically, the goal is, “improvement of all individual characteristics of the player", to mostly improve his/her weaknesses. It's the only time throughout the whole year that the player has an adequate amount of time to work on his weaknesses without concern of his muscles being overused or exhausted from the heavy weight lifting program or intensive sprints. Also, even the fear of changing, or improving his technique will not cost him performance because there are no official games during this period.
I ask the question, the same philosophy that we teach to our players, can we also apply it to ourselves, as coaches? In my opinion, it definitely can and it must be like that! No matter what level each of us is coaching, this is the only period that we can learn something new, and create new ideas and philosophies. In basketball, every two years presents new tactics and plays, or even brings back old plays in which the new generation of players has never seen before. I believe if we do not involve ourselves to keep up with everything new, we will actually be moving backwards since everything around us is moving very fast forwards. Don’t forget, at exactly the same time that we are trying to convince our players to do something which is totally opposite with our personal moves!
My point is that in exactly the same way that we try to improve our players in the weight room, or practicing on the court on his techniques with shooting, dribbling, passing, etc., are the same way that we must improve ourselves on the skills a coach must have. A quick note, some of these skills a coach must have are:
-Drills and practicing philosophy
-Plays and game philosophy
-Ways of communication
-Modernization of our job
and of course many more which anyone can add.
But now crucial questions appear, in which each one of us must ask ourselves, regarding:
Where do I need improvement?
What am I good at?
How shall I improve?
The answer to these questions is not as difficult as it looks. We live in the era of information that makes it easy to get informed of anything. There are many websites where we can always find something new. Also during the offseason, many clinics take place where the best coaches (at least interesting coaches) are eager to share their experiences and their knowledge, including their drills, plays, and game philosophies. For those that are more familiar comfortable with internet orders, there are plenty of DVD's from the states that can be inside your DVD player in less than a few days.
But the knowledge of the coaching is something that no one clinic can show us. That knowledge can be gained only from the observation of one coach by watching some games. My advice is to choose two or three coaches who you think are really good, download their games (it's very simple and easy to download any NBA, NCAA, or Euroleague game, even with some small amount of payment) and observe them very carefully. I personally prefer to watch Euroleague games, the March Madness of NCAA, KAI and the last playoff rounds of NBA; Also a lot of the Spanish league, and a bit of Italian, Russian, and Turkish league (of course I always follow the Greek league). Some of these games I record, and then watch them during the off season period. All of these games show me new directions of basketball, and help me create new ideas. It may sound strange, but the truth is that often times, communication with other coaches is something that can offer us many things and add a lot to our bag of knowledge.
And don't forget that in this period many important games take place, such as the Olympic Games, and World or European games, of all ages. As much as we want to watch all the games, no one has enough time to, because time is money. I suggest at least choosing the highest level games and analyzing them. Also during the off season those coaches who are unfamiliar with computers and the newest basketball software try to gain access to this equipment to make your lives easier, since this is the goal of technology after all.
Next, I believe that the most important thing for a coach is his inside charisma. It is not only how to show his players how to execute a drill, but how to inspire them to make the drill the best that they possibly can. In general, use basketball to inspire them about life. To be their father, their best friend, but at the same time be the one who everyone trusts as their leader. Some say leaders are born, but I believe that if someone is competent to realize and adapt that role, than anyone can be a leader in his own right.
The background and the education of the coach play a big role in his job, but his best weapons are his words which must touch the hearts of his players. Never forget that a coach is always a manager of personalities, but an even better manager of adversity, so he must have a many-sided multi-dimensional education in order to relate and correspond to his profession.
I dare to say that there are many books, even that have been written hundreds or thousands of years before us, that seem to have been specifically written for coaches, although they may not mention one word about sports. In my opinion, some of these great books are as follows (some are modern):

"The art of war" of Sun Tzou
"The prince" by Niccolo Machiavelli
I would also like to suggest to you the following books, but these will offer insight not just on being a coach, but also for one’s personality as well:
"The leader who had no title" Robin Sharma
"Women are from Venus, men are from Mars", especially suggesting to coaches who want to coach on women's basketball.

"Leading and Coaching Teams to Success: The secret life of teams"

"Personality: How to Unleash Your Hidden Strengths" by the specialist of these books Rob Yeung

"Out of our minds, learning to be creative" by the amazing Ken Robinson

There are of course many more “diamonds” that are hidden in bookstores that can really help improve the culture, attitude, and behavior of a coach towards not only his players, but to the people he works with, as well as his own family, all aspects that are very important and basic for a coach’s job.
I am pretty sure that this list of books on personality could be written even longer because maybe it is more important than the X's and O's. That is why I would be grateful if you could suggest to me any book in which I can positively influence my personality and life as a coach.
Let us never forget that although our job is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, at the same time it is the most beautiful! We help our players not just in basketball, but also build their character and develop their personalities to make them human beings for their futures and careers by establishing the basis foundations of hard work ethic and teamwork. This is a very big responsibility which we always have to be proud of and always try to be worthy.