Danny Gallagher

Website – https://magnificatbluestreaks.org/teams/3106006/girls/basketball/varsity https://www.cosasports.com/

Email – dfgallagher10@gmail.com

Twitter – @dan_gallagher_

Danny Gallagher is the Girls’ Basketball Head Coach at Magnificat High School in Cleveland, Ohio.  Gallagher just completed his 5th season as the Head Coach after previously serving as both the boys’ freshman coach and varsity assistant at St. Edward High School under Eric Flannery.

Danny is also the Cleveland Old School Athletics AAU Basketball Director.

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Take some notes as you listen to this episode with Danny Gallagher, Head Girls’ Basketball Coach at Magnificat High School in Cleveland, Ohio.

What We Discuss with Danny Gallagher

  • Growing up as a coach’s son in Cleveland and his favorite high school players he remembers watching
  • Serving as a team manager at St. Edward (OH) High School as a junior and senior after having played freshman and JV basketball
  • The influence of St. Edward Head Boys’ Coach Eric Flannery
  • How being a manager can be a great stepping stone to coaching
  • Getting every kid on the team, whether they’re on the court or not to buy into the program
  • The importance of constant communication
  • Talk to all of your kids every day
  • “Once the girls are bought in and you have their trust they will literally run through a wall for you.”
  • “Boys need to have success to feel good about themselves. Girls need to feel good about themselves to have success.”
  • How building a family atmosphere leads to winning
  • “Our kids create our team standards for how they’re going to be on the court, how they’re going to be in the classroom, how they’re going to be outside of the classroom, outside of the school, in our community, and what they’re going to do to make our program what we want it to be.”
  • Having a theme or motto for your team every year
  • Reading books together as a team
  • Unity & Adversity
  • The trust required to have a great coaching staff
  • Relationships with other coaches
  • “The number one thing to help my coaches is to empower them and give them responsibility.”
  • Delegating responsibilities among your coaching staff
  • The time required to run a great high school basketball program
  • Why he and his team watch more film of themselves rather than their opponent
  • Having a 10 minute team meeting in the middle of every practice
  • Knowing your team and how that impacts practice design and length

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[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host Jason Sunkle. And tonight we are pleased to welcome to the podcast from Magnificant High School here in Cleveland, Danny Gallagher, Danny. Welcome.

[00:00:13] Danny Gallagher: Hey Mike and Jason. Thanks for having me guys.

[00:00:15] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. We are excited to have you on get a chance to dig into your basketball background, learn about all the things that you’ve been able to do through your coaching career.

Want to start out by going back in time to when you were a kid, talk to us a little bit about your first experiences in the game of that.

[00:00:30] Danny Gallagher: Well you know, I’m a coach’s kid. So my dad had me in the gym with him from the time I could basically walk. He was a coach at our lady of angels and then pretty early on at St. Ed’s. And I was with him all the time at his practices. He took me to a lot of local high school games when I was young you know, I remember going back to some St Joe’s games and a lot of Ignatius games and just being in the gym from a really, really young age,

[00:01:05] Mike Klinzing: Who are your favorite high school players that you remember from the time you were going to games?

[00:01:09] Danny Gallagher: Oh man. You know, the most exciting player I remember was a Mel Levitt from St. Joe. I mean, just some of the dunks that that guy had were, were pretty incredible. So I remember him, I remember the Kwasniak brothers. I remember the Ignatius guys like Sean Campbell, Tom Fox.

Some early nineties guys when I was about nine, 10 years old,

[00:01:37] Mike Klinzing: when you spent a lot of time in the gym with your dad, or you were going to his practice and doing things, what do you remember about that time in terms of. What were you doing during the practices where you just shoot around on the side, where you run in kind of being the little waterbug running in and out of kids who were practicing, where you, where you try to soak it in from almost a coaching perspective when you were nine, 10 years old, did that part of it intrigued you?

Just tell me a little bit about what it was like for you, what those experiences were when you were tagging along with your dad to practice.

[00:02:09] Danny Gallagher: Yeah. You know, I have a ton of memories of that kind of stuff. And you know, I just remember how fun it was every day. Being around those older guys and getting to watch them play and getting to ride the bus and them, them being really nice to me and then pulling me in the bus and having fun.

And you know, I think I did just about everything for them got them water joked around with them, messed around with them. They messed around with me. So, you know basketball was fun for me almost right away. And in my mind, that’s the most important part of the game.

[00:02:44] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. So when you think back to that time, and while you were playing, did you always have in the back of your mind that you wanted to coach or was that something that, yeah, it was kind of built into your life because your dad was a coach or was it something that creeped up on you once you were done playing?

How would you describe how you came to coaching?

[00:03:06] Danny Gallagher: You know, what was funny about that? Mike ismy dad was an assistant coach for a couple of years when I played AAU. Back when AAU was there was only about five or six teams and in Northeast, Ohio, not, not exactly the way it is now. There’s

[00:03:21] Mike Klinzing: There’s not only five or six anymore.  It was probably five or six on one street.

[00:03:27] Danny Gallagher: Exactly. Right. Yeah. No. And. Yeah. Was that fun back then, cause you really met kids from all over Northeast Ohio and you know, everyone was really good. Those again, just being young and playing in some of those games, that was great, but you know, my dad was an assistant coach, but other than that, he never coached me.

I had all different CYO coaches and AAU coaches and he never coached me in high school or anything like that. But I remember as a young age at a young age, every coach that I had used to kind of tell me, like you’re a really smart player, you’re kind of a coach on the floor. So I think that kind of stuff was just kind of instilled in me from, from being around my dad and practices and being around other coaches you know, from such a young age.

[00:04:18] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I think when you have that influence, when you’re a coach’s son clearly. One, you have more access to the game, both in terms of you as a player, and then just be exposed to, I think, kind of the inner workings of a coach’s life. If you haven’t been around a coach when you’re a kid and you only see it from that player’s perspective, I don’t think you have a realistic vision of necessarily what coaching is all about.

I think that’s one of the things that kids grow up as a coach sign and have a really good understanding of the amount of time that a coach puts in when they’re not with their players. Whereas if you’re just a player, I don’t think you always appreciate the amount of time that your coaches put in away from the practice floor or away from the gym on Friday or Tuesday night.

And so it sounds like you had a pretty realistic idea of what coaching was going to be all about. Was there a point where you started thinking that, Hey, this is really. I want to do for my career. When did you start thinking about, Hey, I’d really like to coach. I could see myself doing that for the entirety of my adult life.

[00:05:23] Danny Gallagher: I think I’ve come across that decision in a couple of different times. I just a couple of different ways for a few different reasons. The first one was after my sophomore year, I went to St. Ed’s. I played freshman and JV basketball and the summer between sophomore year and, and junior year, I did not find myself playing as much basketball and I couldn’t tell myself why.

And I was working more, I had a bunch of buddies that I was working with and we were having fun every day. And I kinda just, I don’t want to say lost love for the game, cause I didn’t lose love for the game, but I kind of lost love for playing. And I didn’t, I didn’t even go out my junior year, but I was a manager of the basketball team, my junior and senior year.

So Eric Flannery was at Eds and I kind of went to him and just said, look like I, I didn’t work on this all summer long. I’m not really interested in playing, but I still want to be around the game. I want to help. You know, I had a bunch of buddies on the basketball team still, and I was the manager, my junior and senior year.

So I would say that was the first time I realized I love basketball and I want to be involved in it. And I think I can help in many different ways and do a good job at it. And it started right there.

[00:06:45] Mike Klinzing: So what was your role, like what were some of the things that you took care of and then how did your relationship with coach Flannery work with you as again, the student manager, how did he help you to develop yourself? Because knowing what I know about him, I’m sure that he was giving you some guidance along the way, as you were expressing to him that maybe coaching was something that you were interested in getting into?

[00:07:08] Danny Gallagher: Yeah. I was a part of practice, so there was some times that I would be a part of drills if they needed me or you know, some scouting from here and there. You know, there was a lot of times where Eric would ask me in the office, like, Hey, what do you think? What do you see? You know, you’re friends with these guys.

Our team was, it was when Jawad Williams was there. I don’t know if you remember Jawad or not, but our team was, our team was good. But we definitely had some ups and downs. And I remember Eric asking my opinion a few times during that. So You know, Eric’s always been great. He’s always been a big part of my life, especially my coaching life.

And I learned a lot from him during that time. And you know, it, it was an experience that I credit a lot of the way I am today from, from doing that.

[00:07:57] Mike Klinzing: It’s always interesting. And this is something that I’ve shared on a couple other episodes. When we’ve talked to guys like yourself who have been managers, maybe at the high school level, maybe they’re at the college level, but I know when I was playing, I never, and this is, it sounds pretty naive and stupid at the time thinking about it now, but I never really thought of the idea of being a manager as being a way to step into coaching.

I always thought of it as, oh, this guy who was the manager, he just. Basketball likes being around the team and kind of wants to be a part of it. I never really looked at it as a stepping stone to a coaching career and then retrospective and looking back at it, you just see how one, how many people have taken that path into coaching.

And then number two, you start to see when you really look at it and analyze it. You say, wow, those student managers, whether it’s at the high school level or the college level, get such a behind the scenes, look and get involved in the coaching staff and go to meetings and are doing things that are watching what the assistant coaches are doing or watching what the head coaches doing or watching how they plan for a practice and are watching how things go when you’re traveling and trying to get all that stuff organized.

And to me, I think if you, if you really want to be a coach, I think you could probably make an argument that go in the manager route even more so oftentimes I think, than being a player. A lot of value out of that particular role in a program, just because you see so much compared to when you’re playing, you’re really seeing the playing side of it.

You’re not focused at all on what coaches are doing.

[00:09:35] Danny Gallagher:  Oh, absolutely. And you know, you get to see a lot behind the scenes. You get to see and hear a lot of conversations in the office. There’s a lot of things that I was involved in that you’d never would have been involved in if you were just a player.

[00:09:53] Mike Klinzing: Was it, I don’t want to say maybe difficult is not the right word, but what was it like for you to kind of straddle that line between the players and the coaches? Cause obviously guys are on the team, as you said, are your friends and yet you have the coaching staff, that’s asking your opinion about this thing or that thing.

And so how do you, how do you straddle that line between your friendship, with the players and your obligation responsibility to the coaches?

[00:10:22] Danny Gallagher: I think I was so young in high school at the time that Eric asked the right questions or brought me in at the right time.

So never really put me into a, a difficult decision to be in between players and coaches and things like that. You know, but I remember a few times pull in Jawad aside or pulling another teammate aside and just saying, listen, look here’s, here’s a couple of things that I think you can work on to, to be better, or even quickly at a timeout things like that telling Jawad, Hey you’re struggling with, with your outside shot today why don’t we, why don’t you get in the paint and try and mix it up and get to the free throw line just to kind of get yourself move and stuff like that.

You know, I think some of the coaches knew that and was just another use that as another route to say communicate with the players.

[00:11:16] Mike Klinzing: Absolutely. I think having that extra voice, especially a voice. I’m sure that your teammates and the guys that you were friends with, put some trust in you and respected what you had to say and knew that you were kind of going back and forth.

So you’re kind of that that go between between the coaching staff and the players. I could see the value. I could see the value in that. What’s your favorite memory from those two years, working with the program while you were a junior to senior in high school?

[00:11:45] Danny Gallagher: We traveled to, it was a tournament called a slam dunk to the beach in in Delaware.

So when we went, when we went up there, we got to see just some incredibly good players. I mean, I played AAU with Jawad from the time I was in fourth grade through high school. So you were never really in awe of him because he was just one of your buddies. He was very, very good, but we got to go and play against like Tyson Chandler and TJ Ford and, and, and guys like that.

So just being able to go and see some of these nationally ranked players in high school at that age it was always fun. And we the guys always had a great time on, on those trips. You know, just, just things like that, spending time with the guys, with your friends and you know, having a good time together.

[00:12:36] Mike Klinzing: I think that’s one of the things that’s really sort of interesting when you see guys that eventually ended up being pro players, when you see them playing at the high school level, It’s just clear. They stand out as just being different. And I always find that to be something that, again, when you look back, we see him in the moment.

You’re like this guy probably has a chance to eventually play in the pros. And then clearly you follow their career of guys that you saw that the two that stand out for me more than anything, clearly, LeBron, I saw him play when he was a shirt down at Cleveland state. When he was at St. V. The, the amount of the amount of court space that he could cover was probably the most.

The thing that stood out to me the most with him is just, I’m like, dude, four lengths of four strides and this guy’s down the court. He was just incredible. And the other guy that I saw I’ll play in high school, I saw him when he was in 10th grade, played against hilarious. It was Jimmy Jackson.

And when Jimmy Jackson was in 10th grade, my dad and I had only this is pre-internet time. So I don’t know what you know, this was probably like 19 86, 87, somewhere in there, 88. I can’t remember exactly when, but Jimmy Jackson was in 10th grade. My dad and I drove out to Elyria high school. And so I had no idea what Jimmy Jackson looked like or anything.

You just do that now there’s this guy who’s supposed to be really good. And so you go and you sit down clearly in the moment he comes out. And this is again, he’s in 10th grade. So it’s not even like he’s a senior. This is what he’s a 10th grader comes out and uses. Differently, but he looked like he looked like the Jimmy Jackson that showed up for the Dallas Mavericks whatever, eight years later he looked that way.

We use it 10th grade and those guys are just, they’re just built differently.

[00:14:16] Danny Gallagher: No doubt about that. I mean, like I said about Jawad, like growing up with them and being around them every day, you kind of didn’t really notice that kind of stuff. And then my, my early years of coaching at Eds we had guys like Delvon Rowe and Tom Pritchard and guys like that who were big 10 first team, second team players.

And you just didn’t really think of them like that at that time. But when you think about it afterwards, God were they good and, and, and the things that they could do for your team you know, game and game out there’s no doubt about you’re hitting it right on the head with exactly what you’re saying.

[00:14:57] Mike Klinzing: What do you think just as kind of a coaching question. I think sometimes coaches struggle with when you have a player who is that good? You may have a tendency as a coach, especially if you’re a young coach. You may have a tendency to let those players who are so talented, get away with things that maybe you wouldn’t let the eighth or ninth man on your team get away with.

So what are some things that you saw coach Flannery do with those guys who were the most talented players on the team that made it clear that everybody on the team was going to be held to the same high standard of excellence. So maybe what advice would you have for a coach out there in terms of coaching your bes

[00:15:41] Danny Gallagher: You know, I think preaching Eric does this, and  I definitely do it now at Mags. You know, just preaching that your entire program is, is a family atmosphere and that each kid on the varsity’s kid on the JVs kid on the freshmen are all integral parts of the program and, and all our contributors in one way or another.

So if you know, if our best player is out there on the court performing well they need to understand that it’s just as important. What number 12, 13 or 14 is up waving a towel, cheering cheering their teammates on from the bench. You know, those things are as equally as important to the success of the team.

And that’s something Eric, you. Is always done an unbelievable job in getting every kid on the team, whether they’re on the court or not to buy into the program. And I feel in year three here at Magnificat you know, I’m not going to say we’re on St Ed’s level, but you know, in our, in our playoff run this year or the end of the regular season we’d have a student section behind our bench that was full of our 14 freshmen, basketball players amongst other students, but the loudest ones in there were our freshmen players.

And they, I think they did that for the rest of the program because they understood and felt like they were important. They were a part of our program and this was another way for them to be able to contribute. So just making those kids feel like they are contributing as much as the best player and making the best players realize, Hey you guys you can’t do all of this without their support, without them pushing you in practice, none of this would be possible.

[00:17:34] Mike Klinzing: So how do you do that? What do you do personally with your players that are on the end of your bench that they’re not going to play much in game situations. So how do you keep those kids engaged in the program? How do you keep them engaged in practice? How do you make sure they’re engaged in the game so that you’re not having players 10, 11, 12 on your roster dragged down the rest of the program.

How do you keep those kids engaged? Where they’re the biggest supporters of the program, or they’re feeling a part of it where they’re super engaged, as opposed to, we all know that you can easily get into situations where those kids. Dragging the rest of the team down. So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen?

[00:18:15] Danny Gallagher: Now you’re a hundred percent right about that. I think number one, it starts with communication and just honest communication with them at all times. I meet with our girls as soon as the season’s over. I meet with them. After the spring, heading into the summer, I meet with them after the summer heading into the fall.

And then I try out there I do individual meetings, so I give them updates four or five times a year as to where they stand in the program. So it’s always clear where they’re at. And it can be hard, I think sometimes, and I think I’ve even made this mistake.

Sometimes you have to dial into Big time detail on that as, as far as to what their role could be. And that can be hard to do but at the beginning of a season, you don’t want to say you’re going to get this amount of minutes and that’s almost impossible to say, but just letting them know, Hey, you are number 12, you’re number 13, you’re number 14.

Your minutes are going to be very limited. You know, even if you’re working hard in practice it might not make a difference and probably won’t make a difference. And it’s hard for kids to hear that, but I think they appreciate it. And everyone works hard in practice or you wouldn’t be a part of the team.

Right. So I, number one, communication, and then number two, just continuing to preach that what they’re doing is just as important as what’s going on on the court. Because that can absolutely pull a team down and drag it down.

[00:19:53] Mike Klinzing: Do you find that you have to make sure that you’re being intentional with recognizing the contributions in a practice setting of those players who maybe don’t get a lot of playing time, because I think what happens to a lot of coaches and I’ll throw myself into this as well, is that if you’re not intentional about recognizing those players who don’t get a lot of playing time, it’s easy for them to kind of get lost in a practice setting, especially once you’re in, it’s one thing in the pre-season where you’re not playing games, but once you’re into your actual season, while you’re playing, you tend to put your focus on those kids that are going to actually play in the games.

And I think it’s difficult sometimes to make sure that you’re recognizing those kids who are playing at the end of the bench with their effort, their enthusiasm, the things that they do in practice to push your starters or push your second team to be able to continue to be better. So how intentional are you with making sure that you do that?

[00:20:52] Danny Gallagher: When I was young going to clinics all the time one thing, one piece that I got from a, a few different coaches. Was make sure you talk to all of your kids every day. And, and that is that could be as simple as Hey, how you doing?

How was your, how was your day in school? You know, so I think just recognizing each kid every day and making sure you’re having a conversation with each kid every day is, is really important. And if you lose sight of that you know, those kids will pick up on that fast, really fast. And if it goes more than a couple of days you definitely could cause yourself some problems.

So just letting them know you care, letting them talking to them a little bit about things that are going on in their lives, outside basketball. You know, it gets a little bit harder when you’re coaching girls and you’re a male coach, but you know, just asking them how their day went in school and, and things like that goes along.

[00:21:51] Mike Klinzing: So let’s touch on that in terms of a male coach in a female sport. First of all, talk about what is something that is an absolute joy about that. And then talk about something that maybe was, or is a challenge that you have to work to overcome.

[00:22:12] Danny Gallagher: The joy of it is once, once the girls are bought in and you have their trust they will literally run through a wall for you.

And they will do everything that you tell them to do word for word. So you have to really watch exactly what you’re saying and specifically how you are saying it. So being sarcastic does not work well, especially when you are coaching. If you’re joking around outside of, of basketball it’s fine, but literally word for word.

And they do not forget. So but that’s in my mind once you learn that and know that, I mean, That is a huge bonus. So if I know I can go into practice and I am going to put in five sets at the start of the season those kids are gonna know it and they’re going to know that fast.

[00:23:13] Mike Klinzing: Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that I’ve found when I have two daughters that I’ve coached both of them on the AAU level, and it’s just the girls and the boys.

There’s a different, there’s a different feel to it. And I’ve found that girls, that, again, this is a general rule. It’s a, it’s a generalization. It doesn’t clearly apply to everybody. But I found that the girls teams that I’ve coached that once you get them together as a team and once they buy into each other, and then once they buy into you and know that you have their best interests at heart, that they become much more coachable or at least they’re more receptive initially out of the gate.

I think the, I think girls will follow are much more likely to soak it up like a sponge, whereas the boys need to hear. More of the why and the explanation and how can this help me versus the girls were like, well, coach said it, I trust him. Let’s go ahead and do it. And that’s what I found to be the main difference between coaching the two genders and each one has its its positives and that are things that you really love about it.

But with the girls, I just always loved that. The feeling that they came together, so well, at least on the girls teams that I’ve coached and that once they were together, that you could lead them wherever you wanted them to go. And they were very, very receptive to that.

[00:24:33] Danny Gallagher: No doubt. When I got the job at Magnificat one of my old CYO coaches reached out to me and I hadn’t talked to him in like 20 years, but I posted it on, on Facebook that I adapt in the job.

And he had said to me he had coached a little bit of girls and boys, but he said, Danny you’re going from St. Ed’s to Mags from boys to girls and. The one thing you asked to think about all the time is, is boys need to have success to feel good about themselves. Girls need to feel good about themselves to have success.

And I’m so glad he reached out to me and told me that stuff because it made a world of difference when I sat down and thought about it and how I wanted to approach building and building this program.

[00:25:26] Mike Klinzing: So what does that look like on the ground? When you start thinking about, I need to make the girls feel good about themselves before we can have the kind of success we want to have, how do you go about doing that?

Is that through not only building the relationship between you, the coach and them, but I got to imagine it also means building those relationships between. Teammates. So how do you go about doing some of that team building? What were things maybe that you did your first year you tried? What are some things that you’ve learned over the course of the time that you’ve been there?

So just explain a little bit about how you go about that team-building aspect to make sure that your girls are feeling good, so that then you can have the success you want to have out on the floor.

[00:26:08] Danny Gallagher: I knew right away that I wanted to create, and I think every coach says this, but wanting to create a family atmosphere.

So almost immediately when I got in. I had a program cookout where every kid and every family came to the cookout you know, there was some activities and some things that we did there. And especially my first year, we did a lot of different things like that. A lot of different team activities.

I mean, we worked with empower sports. We over Christmas for a Christmas present you know, kind of a post finals gift. I had a country line dance instructor come in and the girls did country line dancing together. And, and anything we could do to any activity we could have, the girls have fun together be positive together and just continue to build their relationships together makes a big difference. And, and I think they felt that family atmosphere that we were going to care for one another, we were going to have fun with one another. And when you can have that you know, you’ll work as hard as you can for one another eventually. And eventually that took hold for us.

When they realized, okay, we have the talent, now we need to work for it. When we work for it, that translates to wins and winning is a lot more fun than losing. So we are, we are having fun, doing different things and building, building our family atmosphere. But we were losing and we lost a lot of games that first year.

And as we moved and transitioned into our second year, it became apparent to them. Like we’re having fun with one another. These coaches that we have are good people. We trust them. You know, now we have to take our work ethic to the next level. And it happened and all of a sudden, by midway through our second year we started winning games.

We started beating good teams and you know, it just set us up for the success we had last year.

[00:28:12] Mike Klinzing: All right. So talk to me a little bit about coming into a new program. And you’re trying to instill a culture that is going to be one where the girls are enjoying being a part of that program. You obviously want to eventually have that translate into wins on the scoreboard, but when it doesn’t translate into wins on the scoreboard.

And so you’re kind of come in and you’re selling, we’re going to turn this around. We’re going to have this culture. Get along, we’re going to do these special activities off the floor. And that’s, I always say that’s really easy to sell when your record is zero and zero or when your record is 18 and two, but when your record is three and nine, people start to grumble about, well, culture only gets you so far.

So how did you handle that? How do you think you should handle that as a coach? When you talk about how do you continue to be able to sell your vision of the program when you’re not seeing the tangible results that most people unfortunately use to judge, whether a program is being successful?

[00:29:18] Danny Gallagher: Well, let me tell you, Mike, that was the hardest part for me.

We were, 0 and 11, my first year and my first game, we played Canton McKinley at the field house against, at the time she was the reigning, miss basketball, Kiersten Bell, who I actually went on to win it three times I believe and lost the next 10. So it was something that, that was really difficult to be able to do.

But I think you need to have some backup on this a couple of different things. You know, you gotta have your staff on board with what you’re doing. If there’s even one person on your staff that doesn’t believe in the vision that could really cause a major problem when you’re going through times like that.

And I was lucky enough that I’ve got a bunch of great people surrounding me in that situation. And number two, I put some of this stuff on the girls where we created. Instead of having team rules. And this is again, something that I, that I took from Eric I have our kids create our team standards and standards for how they’re going to be on the court, how they’re going to be in the classroom, how they’re going to be outside of the classroom, outside of the school, in our community.

And, and what they’re going to do to make our program what we want it to be. So part of it I put in the responsibility of the kids and then the last thing that we do is kind of a backup, something that you can always fall back on is as we come up with a theme or a motto for the year  we’ve had different ones.

And my first year I had read a book by Darren Dineley called Relentless Optimist. Almost right before the season started. And it was, it was a, a fake story that this Darren Donley, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him or not. He he’s got a series of books. But this one was a story and it was the title was relentless optimism.

And it talked about the struggles of a, of a, a fictional baseball player and things that he went through and how a coach helped him out through these situations. And kind of talked about those things and talked about what you do in certain situations and how to pull the, the good out of situations and learn from the bad out of situations.

So kind of after each game, we would go back and read excerpts from that book. Talk about it. I’d have the girls talk about it, explain it, present it, and relate that back to what was going on in our games. Okay. So just to use our first game and as a, as an example we lose by 40 down at Canton McKinley and two days later we felt, we felt good about it.

Cause we went back to our meeting, we talked about it and we decided, Hey, we play, we’re not going to see a better player. The rest of the year. We’re not going to play in a tougher atmosphere the rest of the year. You know, here’s some things that we did bad that we got to fix that was behind us. And now we’re moving forward.

[00:32:30] Mike Klinzing: I think it’s really something that. When you talk about being able to use a book and you hear a lot about different teams using and doing a book study. And to me, I think there’s tremendous value in that. And it, sometimes it’s not even value that shows itself right in the moment when you’re going through.

And you’re talking about those kinds of things. But I think over time, when you say, Hey, we’re going to build a program and it’s not just going to be about a win or a loss in this one game or these two games or these three games where it’s really about trying to build something that’s sustainable to me going through and doing a book study.

If you’re a coach, I think on any level to me, it makes a ton of sense. And I think when you can get your players talking to each other, whether that’s by reading a book like you did, whether that’s by one of the things that I’ve done with my own kids, when I’ve coached their AAU teams to just put together.

A notebook that just has a series of like weekly lessons, about different things related to character, both on and off the court. And then what you do is you just, you get them, whether you’re sitting in the locker room or you’re sitting out on the floor, or you’re sitting in the bleachers wherever you’re doing these things and you get them talking, you get them talking one, it gets them to think about some of the things that we all think about as coaches all the time.

And then when they’re sharing it also gets them to open up. And I think deepens the bonds between players and you can’t always draw the direct line between we have a closer team and that translates to wins on the scoreboard. I think that line is jagged and crooked, but I do think it exists.

It’s just not a straight line. And so there’s tremendous value to me doing anything that you can put in front of the kids that impacts them, not only on the floor, But off the floor and not only in the moment, but it influences down a year later, five years later, 10 years later, to me, that’s really, really important.

[00:34:35] Danny Gallagher: No doubt. You know, and that like the last part of. You know, my thoughts on that this past year are I asked our girls. It was our first year that we had a big group of seniors. My first year we had three, my second year we had two and one of them got hurt. Preseason was out the whole year. So last year was the first year we had six seniors.

You know, that have been in the program and have been with me for three years. So what I did with them was, I said, look, this is in your hands. I want you guys to come up with our theme for the year or find a book for us. And at that point after the first few years I trusted them to go out and do it, they’ve been around me enough to know my expectations and understood how important that stuff was to our team especially throughout the entire season.

And. The theme they came up with was unity and adversity. Which at first I was like, man, I hope we’re not going to face too much adversity this year because we had enough our first few years.

[00:35:36] Mike Klinzing: Little did you know how the season was going to end? Right,

[00:35:38] Danny Gallagher: right, exactly. Right. And you know, I, I had our girls write a one to two pages on what unity adversity met meant to them and how that ties into being a Magnificat basketball player and why being a magnificent basketball players so important to you in your life.

And I had, so we had 14 girls and throughout the year I would have kids read them. So when adversity did hit you know, we’d go right to one of those and it would kind of calm everyone down, bring everyone back together. You know, we played a guy, a game against cornerstone Christian and.

We hadn’t gotten blown out all year and we were on our home floor and we had beaten them the year before. And man, they just came out and dropped us. It was just one of those nights, everything they put up, went in and we couldn’t do anything. Right. And you know, it was two weeks before the tournament was going to start and you could see it in our kids’ eyes.

It was almost panic mode. You know, like what is going on here? This hasn’t happened to us yet this year. And you know, the next day we just went back to that. You know, we went back to girl had a girl present, talk about what it meant to her, talk about why this is special to them, why they need to be unified when things get tough.

And you know, literally that was the best practice we had the whole year. So things like that are exactly what can pull you through tough times and are what builds strong bonds and what builds culture.

[00:37:14] Mike Klinzing: And I think that it’s even stronger when it comes from your players. So they’re not just.

They chose it. And then two, when you go back and you revisit what they wrote, it’s not words that are coming from the coach. Who’s standing in front of them instead, it’s coming from their locker room. It’s coming from their voices. And to me, that’s even more powerful, especially when those voices are backing up what you would want them to be saying as the coach.

I don’t think, I don’t think there’s anything more powerful than that.

[00:37:43] Danny Gallagher: No doubt. No doubt.

[00:37:46] Mike Klinzing: All right. So let me ask you this. You mentioned a little bit earlier about how important it was to have a good staff when you’re putting together and thinking about building a program and building your culture. So when you got there to mags, how did you go about putting your staff together?

And then what advice would you have for. Coach who’s maybe getting their first head coaching job in terms of what they should be looking for, building a staff. And I know it’s different for every coach has maybe different things that they look for, but just in general, how do you go about it? Or what’s your philosophy for building a staff?

[00:38:18] Danny Gallagher: You know, I think every coach says this, but you know, number one top of the list is trust. You know, who do you have that you know, if things get tough or things get bad is going to have your back no matter what you know, number two, I think he has to have people around you that aren’t afraid to.

You know, disagree with you or tell you that we’ve done it this way. I think we need to do it this way. And just not sit there and say yes, yes, yes, yes. Just because I’m the head coach you know, I want just just like kids need it. Every coach needs it. You know, constructive feedback and you gotta have people with backbone, that’ll do that.

And you also have to have people that if I disagree with them can move on from that quickly. So trust you know, people that you can go to for, for direction and advice, who won’t be afraid to tell you that stuff. And then honestly, experience. I mean, I Our staff, we were sitting and talking about it in our office the one day.

And you know, my dad is our JV coach and you know, he’s been coaching for literally 45 years on all different levels. You know, my assistant Brian Bruce was at Berea midpark. Then he came to mags. He was actually on the mags staff for a year before I came there. But I had built a relationship with him.

He’s been a coach for 13 years. I think he’s at now. You know, John Becker, Shawnee Becker is Brian Becker’s brother. He was at, he had a stint at mags in the early two thousands. And he’s been coaching now for, for 25 years. Kelly and I, and is another, she’s been at mags for, I think over 10 years now.

So I mean you don’t look around and see too many staffs with that much experience. And then when I sat down and thought about how many years I’ve been coaching, I can’t believe I’m saying this. But this, this, this coming season will be year number 20 for me, coaching those years go fast.

Don’t they? Oh my gosh. It’s unbelievable.

[00:40:30] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. It’s, it’s amazing. I think that’s one of the things when you, when you look at, or your experience in the moment, sometimes those days go slow. I can’t remember where I read it, but it was the days go slow, but the years go fast. And I think there are times where.

You know, when you think about coaching, that’s something that’s definitely true. And that makes me think of a story that just kind of brings it home for me as a coach. And it’s interesting. I had a my high school assistant coach. I ran into a onetime after this is probably, I don’t know whatever 20 years after I had played and just ran into him somewhere out in public and we’ve got to talk.

And did you started talking about different players that he remembered and this and that, and he’s like now, did you play with this guy or that guy? And I’m like, that guy played like five years before I even got to the school or five years after or whatever. And, and then I was like, how does he not read?

I’m like, how does he not remember that? Like, it just doesn’t make any sense. And then when you have your own team, you start to think back and you’re like, you remember the players and, but you don’t necessarily remember every single one, which team. Did that guy play with an who played with who and who which, which girls on this team versus that team.

And it’s just kind of interesting because again, once you start getting up to that, your 15 year, 20 year 25, it’s a lot of it starts to you remember the individual players far more than you remember the team wins and losses. And I think that goes for players too. And it’s something to keep in mind as a coach.

You know, how important the experience that you provide for kids is because ultimately, yeah, they may remember their record, but they’re not going to remember every single game and the wins and losses. It’s more about what was my experience like with my teammates, with my coaching staff and with my school and all those kinds of things.

So it’s just interesting. When you think back about the amount of time that you’ve been coaching, how those memories of all weave themselves together.

[00:42:25] Danny Gallagher: Yeah, no doubt. I’ve been fortunate with the years that I’ve been at Mags and then extremely fortunate for the 11 years that I was at St. Eds. With the friendships that I made people, I got to coach with kids that I got to coach families that I got to be around, the experiences that I get. I did a lot of, of my development as a coach to the competition that we had as coaches, as I was coming up at St Ed’s.

So you know, the whole story, everything we’ve been talking about so far you know, Eric’s coaching tree now is, is pretty big, and he’s got a lot of people from his staff that have gone out now and are head coaches or coach college or coach somewhere else. And the funny thing is, is there’s three of us that were, that were managers that are now coaching at, you know Josh Nugent was a manager and now he’s the head boys’ coach at Hawken and, and counter Donlin you know, coach with Rollie Massamino down at the school in Florida.

It’s kind of slipping my mind right now. So he he’s he coached some college now he’s back at, Ed’s doing you know, helping Eric and, and, and when we were young coaches, so coaching freshmen and coming up I w we competed and we learned from each other and we push each other and we made each other better.

And if one of us was going to a clinic, all of us had to go to a clinic because no one wanted to let the other person get a leg up on them. And, but it was fun and it was healthy and we were friends. So those, those relationships just they mean everything and, and their session advantage to be able to have.

[00:44:11] Mike Klinzing: All right. So two questions related to that. So you think about what Eric was able to do in terms of developing, not only his players and his program, but also developing his staff. And enabling you guys to be able to grow and do the things that you did while you were in the program, which helped you to learn the things that you needed to do to be able to become a head coach, to take over your own program at some point.

So I guess I have two questions related to the coaching staff piece of that one is what is your responsibility or how do you go about helping your coaching staff to develop themselves as coaches? And then two, how do you define roles for your staff in terms of, do you assign one coaches in charge of the defense one’s in charge of the offense one takes Bigs, one takes guards, or is it everybody’s coach and everything. How do you set up your staff and then what are your responsibilities to them to help them to develop this?

[00:45:11] Danny Gallagher: Yeah. You know, the number one thing to help coaches help my coaches is to empower them and give them responsibility.

So I’m a firm believer in our, our girls don’t want to hear me talk for 12 months. Okay. So I do a lot. I let my assistants do a lot, like in the summer when we introduce stuff, we do our breakdown stuff. If we’re putting in a new off fencer, we’re doing new things on defense, I’ll introduce it.

And then break the kids up in four groups and let my assistants take that segment and just kind of walk around and observe. And if I see something I might jump in or talk to the assistant after so you were doing this well, but. We need to work on it more this way, or this is, this is a language I want to use.

So just letting them do things and, and letting the kids hear a different voice and letting them hear their voice. If, if the kids see that, all right, the head coach is letting you know, the assistants do this stuff. That must mean he really respects them. So I need to respect them as much as I respect the head coach.

And I think that goes a long way. And as far as you know, how I handle duties you know, we definitely do have, like I said, a Shawnee Beckers on our staff and he, he pretty much works with our guards. You know, my dad pretty much works with our bigs, along with our other assistant, her name’s Kaylee.

You know, so they kind of handle that. And then as far as in game I let my assistant, my boss, Brian Bruce. He does all, we call them special teams. So he does all the out of bounds plays. I have Shawnee Becker, basically talk to me about the offense. Our female assistant coach, Kaylee will talk to me about the defense and you know, honestly, Brian, my assistant, Brian, this was something that I I’ve never seen.

I’ve heard of it. When, when, when I first hired him, we sat down and I asked, what were your responsibilities? You know, before I got the job and what have your responsibilities been along the way? And he said one responsibility that he had at Berea was as the assistant, he handled all the substitutions and it just kind of struck me.

I was like, well, that’s, that’s interesting. That’s different. I’ve never, I’ve never, I’ve heard of it, but I’ve never seen that before. I said, why don’t we try that? And that’s we tried that first scrimmage and, and I honestly kind of liked it. You know, there, of course there’s been times where I’ve yanked kids in or out or told them to kind of fix this lineup.

But I’m a, I’m a huge believer because of what Eric did for me to empower our coaches and let them have a lot of responsibility.

[00:47:57] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. I think that’s interesting. One of the things that I’ve always found and I spent, I don’t know, 13 or 14 years as a varsity assistant coach at Richmond Heights.

And there were times where I would make suggestions on substitutions and you kind of look at it from the assistant’s point of view. And then when you’re coaching your own team, I always found it to be. As the head coach, I always found it difficult to manage the substitutions and manage the minutes because I always was looking at other different things out on the floor.

And I would kind of lose sight of who was on my bench that I still needed to get into the game or who was tired or whatever. You kind of focus on all these different things. So that was something that whenever I did have an assistant at the AAU level, at least that was willing to kind of take over that responsibility of substituting.

I was always grateful for that because I felt like that was something that was difficult for me to focus on as opposed to be focusing on the bigger picture of what was going on in the game. So I’ve just, it’s interesting that, that you were kind of willing to take that, to take that leap, because I think as a head coach, one of the things that we’ve heard, especially from guys who have.

Over time. You know, I’ve been a head coach for a long time. One of the things that they say is really, really important that they feel like they’ve attribute some of their success to is the fact that they are willing to delegate almost the more that you delegate, the easier your job becomes and the better your program becomes when you, as the head coach are not micro-managing everything.

Are you starting to see that in your program?

[00:49:31] Danny Gallagher: Yeah, no doubt. You know, I’m extremely grateful for all the time that, that our staff puts in. And, and as we talk about a family atmosphere and, and, and everyone being equal and, and our, our coaches do so much for our kids.

We’ve grown so much since we’ve really done that. It took, it took the kids to realize this is the hard work that we have to put in. And they, and they especially realize that when we had the coaches willing to do it so it it’s absolutely come together for us in that way. And I attribute a bunch of our success to, to our assistant coaches and all the extra time they put in every staff and every program, every kid practices and all the really good ones practice really hard, right.

And coach really hard during practice. But to separate yourselves from other programs to be where we want to be to meet our expectations, we have to go well above and beyond that. And we have coaches that are willing to put that extra time in and It’s made a world of difference.

[00:50:53] Mike Klinzing: All right, let’s stop there and talk about this. I think this is one of the themes that has come through our podcasts and we talked to especially high school coaches is the amount of time that you have to put in as a head coach, as a staff, in order to have a successful program. And I think that that time, or that amount of time continues to grow year after year after year in terms of off season workouts and putting together shooting programs and being at summer league and doing all these different things, individual workouts and small group workouts that 15 years ago, 20 years ago, those things, if they existed, certainly not everybody was doing them.

Whereas now I think the baseline about a time that you have to put in as a high school coach has grown. Significantly over the last 15 or 20 years. So just talk a little bit about the time that you’re putting in a way, from what we would traditionally say is practice games, fall conditioning. What are some of the other things that you’re doing to help your program to step out and stand out so that people who are out there listening, just understand how much time it takes in order for you to have a successful program?

[00:52:07] Danny Gallagher: Well, if you, in a normal year, if you eliminate August and you eliminate the 30 days after, after you lose, you’re left with 10 months and I would say on our schedule in the off season, I have at least three days a week scheduled where we You know, either we  lift those three days a week and then do a combination of open gym or conditioning.

And the, and that’s in the off season during the season I think just like everyone else, I mean we’re six days a week, almost, almost every week. Not only practice lifting, film, all of that stuff, but, but the, the extra stuff you know, is, I couldn’t even tell it up Mike, to be honest with you.

I mean, our, our, our, our assistant coaches, the time that they put in to me is, is absolutely incredible. And it’s the reason why I’m where I’m at today is because I was willing to do the same thing when I was an assistant for Eric. You know, I was in there hours before practice doing workouts.

I was in hours after doing workouts and. You know, especially for me and I, and I credit this so much to, to learning the game you know, kind of making me what I am today and, and how I’ve learned is the hours that I’ve spent scouting and the hours that I’ve spent watching film. You know, we have so many unbelievable coaches in Northeast, Ohio in all of Ohio on the boys side and the girls side that I had basketball rooted in me, like I said, through my dad and through Eric Gosh.

I mean learning, just watching teams of guys Andy booth and, and when I was at EDS, we, we played molar and they were always a target for us. And so you’re always kind of looking ahead at, at Carl Kremer and Bob Krizancic. And Dave Schlabaugh down at Berlin Highland I, I’ve only been a girls’ coach for three years, but I between Dave Schlabaugh and Andy Booth, I’ve learned so much it’s just incredible the stuff you can learn from other people.

And, and if they get mad that I steal stuff, I really don’t care because it’s going to stop and it works.

[00:54:28] Mike Klinzing: I’m sure you’re not the only one stealing stuff from everybody. So I think that’s a, that’s a common theme and the profession, without question, how much time. How much film are you watching? I don’t know.

Just maybe break it down for off season. How much film are you watching in season to prepare for an opponent? How much film are you watching and then how much of that film do you share with your kids?

[00:54:53] Danny Gallagher: I would say in the off season, I take a couple weeks off after the season’s over, but then I’ll rewatch the entire season.

I  won’t say I did that every year as an assistant, but some years I did. And then every, every year as a head coach, I would go back and watch the entire season just to again, see if there, if there was anything that really jumped out of something that we missed that caused us to be really good or caused us to do things the way we didn’t want to do them.

You know, that happened on the court. So at the minimum in the off season, I would do that during the season. I have our, our assistant coaches Brian, Bruce, and Shawnee Becker. They alternate games as far as coming up with a scouting report. But I watch every opponent at least twice. And we’ll, we’ll have a meeting pretty much two days before we play a team talk about what they see a lot of the time because we’re very like-minded.

We just agree. And that’s good every once in a while I say, well, here’s kind of what I see. And here’s what I think we should do. And we’ll have a good talk about it. So that’s on the opponent. I’ll watch at least I’ll watch an opponent. I would say at least twice, if we have the film to do it or if I can get out and scout them.

And then as far as our film goes, I’ll probably watch each one of our games twice during the season. It huddles outstanding because you don’t have to sit there and static, even though there’s a lot of times that I still do. But you know, a lot of times I’ll sit back and get home and just kind of kick back and watch it all the way through once without hitting start and stop.

And then the next day I’ll go back and try and break it down a little bit more. And then as far as, as far as the kids go I don’t know what the right answer is, honestly, on how much film you should and should not watch. I’m a big believer in yeah. We need to worry more about what we are doing than what the opponent is doing.

So there’s certain things that we will talk about, but we do not spend a lot of time in practice on what the opponent is doing. You know, if there’s something different that another team does, then we may talk about it. But we just, we just run our stuff so much and concentrate on our system on what we want to do and what we think we’re going to be best at at the end of the year that we feel we don’t have to spend a ton of time watching that.

So when we watch film we’ll very, very rarely watch an upcoming opponent. We will watch ourselves, but because of huddle, I kind of put the responsibility on the kids also Hey You know, 15, 20 minutes watch film and just watch yourself. And then when we get into our team film I’ll break it down as a team, but that’s probably my, honestly, only about 40 minutes a week, maybe that we’re watching film as a team.

[00:58:10] Mike Klinzing: And when you do that, when you do that, are you looking at, are you looking at opponents actions? Are you looking at opponents personnel? What are you trying to share or get across to your kids when you’re watching the film? Was it more about their performance? Is it more about the other team’s actions or about the other teams, personnel?

[00:58:30] Danny Gallagher: I like to talk about the other team’s personnel. I’ve always been a believer in getting out and scouting and in person seeing the other team’s personnel. When I was at Eds that was very easy to do because we never had Tuesday games almost very rarely. So every Tuesday night I was out somewhere scouting.

And I would be able to see these, these kids in person, I just felt like if I could even just walk down during warmups and stand there for 30 seconds, I could gauge how do we match up physically with these guys and girls it’s so hard to get a personal in person scouting because everyone plays the same day at the same time, it kind of stinks.

But so you got to kind of rely on that on the film. It’s hard to rely on that. So I do not spend a lot of time on that. It’s basically. What we do. So how can we, how can we correct the things that we’re doing wrong? So that’s, that’s a way for the kids to physically see, all right, there, I am right on film.

And I was late recovering in weak side help because I didn’t have one foot on each side of the midline. I was one foot over the midline just, just, just breaking down little details like that.

[00:59:52] Mike Klinzing: You find yourself when you’re putting together a film breakdown for your kids. Do you find what’s the balance between you pointing out things that they need to do better versus you pointing out things that, Hey, this is exactly how we want to guard this particular action, or look how you got over to the midline or look at this cut that was executed perfectly.

What’s the balance between pointing out mistakes and 20 out positive place, for lack of a better way to say.

[01:00:20] Danny Gallagher: So when we, when we watch film, I’ll try and find a quarter of a game of, so if, if we play St Joe’s academy on Wednesday, we’ll watch film on Thursday and I’ll try and find a quarter that has exactly what you’re talking about, both okay.

Things that we can point out at night, I can just let this quarter play through. And as things happen good or bad, stop it, talk about it praise them when they do the things, right. And then give them constructive criticism when they do things wrong. And less, if I feel like, all right this quarter was, we played so well in this quarter that I can use that as a way to really boost the team’s confidence.

You know, if we come out after halftime and go on a 12 O run or 10 O run or something like that you know, I love showing them that kind of stuff. And I love being able to show them the reaction of the bench and, and the reaction of the kids on the court and really show them what positive energy can do for you, because it’s all right in front of you on tape and on film.

[01:01:35] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. That’s really cool that you’re pointing out things that aren’t just specifically basketball related. In other words, pointing out, Hey, look at our benches up after this basket or Hey, look at our world, but how everybody’s locked in at a time out, or look at us going and picking somebody up when they die for a loose ball or whatever it may be that you’re looking for, that you want to encourage those behaviors.

I think that’s really, really important. I think that’s something that coaches in the past, maybe didn’t spend a lot of time doing that. I think you’re starting to see more and more of that people realizing and understanding how important. Those pieces of building a good culture or it comes with, it goes back to the top of our conversation of how do you keep those kids aren’t playing as much.

How do you keep them involved in your team and how do you keep them buying in? Well, by recognizing them, you’re watching film, you say, Hey, look at, look at our bench here again. That’s recognition. Now it may not be the recognition that every kid wants of. Hey, I like they get more playing time, but certainly if you’re recognizing their efforts in the things that you’re trying to do, the things that you’re asking them to do that are culture building and not necessarily basketball on the floor related when you’re recognizing those things, you’re going to get more from it’s just like anything else when you praise it, you’re much more likely to recognize that you’re much more likely to get a good result.

For sure. When you think about putting together a practice plan, what is your, what’s your methodology for coming up with what you’re going to do day in and day out in practice? How do you go about deciding what drills you’re going to do? Putting together the sequence. When do you do it during the day? Just, just talk to me a little bit about your practice planning process.

[01:03:09] Danny Gallagher: For us, it kind of start most days, not every day, but most days it kind of starts right at, at the end of the practice the day before our coaches will sit down for a quick 10 minute meeting and we’ll talk about what was good, what was bad from that day. And, and, and let that conversation lead into what we need to work on the next day and I’ll get their ideas.

And then I’ll kind of sit down and overnight, and then I’ll always do it. You know, an hour or two before practice starts just in case another coach thinks of something in the morning, or if it’s something that I’ve said a couple times that I keep forgetting to do to one of them, our assistants, and they can throw me that, Hey we haven’t worked on post entry in awhile.

You know, it, it gives them the time to do it. So they know they have up until about one in the afternoon to, to give me that feedback. As far as the structure of our practice goes, I really think that it needs of our work both ways that there needs to be part of the practice that the kids know exactly what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it when they’re going to do it, and then also be able to, to change things up.

So, so kids aren’t getting bored with, with what they’re doing. So the start of our practice, we’ll do all, all of our drills. And we do a ton of, of up and down shooting drills. You know, I like to spend I would say at a minimum 40% of our practice is up and down shooting just running up and down You know, so you’re talking transitions, shooting, you’re talking three lines shooting.

You’re talking like five man weave stuff like, oh we, I probably have nine or 10 of those types of drills and I’ll probably do four or five of them each day you know, 11 man you know, war drill those kinds of things. And we’ll do all of those at the start of our practice.

And then, I know a lot of teams do this, but we’ve done it the last two years. And I think it’s, it’s made us improve big time is we chart every single free throw all season long and practice. So then we’ll go into a segment where we’ll shoot free throws for 10 minutes and each kid’s got to shoot two shots at each basket and you know, to and rotate to and rotate.

And then one thing that I do, that’s unique. Eric always had a meeting with the players before practice. Our coaches all work outside of the building. So some of them are coming in and some of them are coming in right at the start of practice. So I don’t want them to miss out on that kind of stuff. So, but I also thought it was very important for our kids to be able to sit down every day and for us to explain certain things or talk about something that happened yesterday.

So we can talk about it and move on and know that we have to move forward. So. In our practices after we do those drills and shoot free throws I’ll have a meeting like a 10 minute meeting right in the middle of practice where we’ll, we’ll go over to a whiteboard and I’ll kind of have a quote of the day kind of, kind of thing.

You know, Eric’s always called it mind candy. So I’ll have a quote ready on the board. Our girls will read it. They’ll they’ll explain it to me and, and what it means to them and how it relates to what’s going on with us, what’s going on with the team what’s going on with the situation of our season.

And then we’ll talk about what we want to work on the rest of practice. So what are our goals, the rest of practice, what are the things that we want to accomplish? Why are we doing this? So that might be a time where I talk about an opponent a little bit and say, here’s what they do.

Here’s what we’re going to do. And then we’ll go work on it or girls today, we need to work. And you know, blitzing ball screens and switching ball screens and offensively, we need to really work on getting into the key and jumps, stopping and having two feet and the key and, and, and throwing strong passes.

Whatever those things might be. So they know exactly what we’re going to do, kind of the rest of the practice and. I think it’s great because you never really have the kids wondering, like, what’s next, or when is this going to be over or how much longer, or any of that kind of stuff. And then, and some people think I’m crazy.

Like that that could you might have that an unbelievable start a practice and you can kill all your momentum by having that meeting. But I’m just really big on communication. And, and letting kids know what’s going to happen. What’s going to go on and giving them a chance to voice their opinions and, and, and talk about the team.

And it’s worked out great.

[01:08:00] Mike Klinzing: I think the benefit that I can see, one, obviously it’s great because if your coaches can’t be there and you want to have that meeting and have that communication, clearly you want to have everybody in your program there. If you’re doing that, where you’re the only coach there, and then your assistant coaches come in after the fact.

They’re not going to be privy to what was talked about, and they’re not going to have the same feel that you and your team have together. So I could see the value of that for sure. And then the second part of it, that to me is very, very interesting is it seems like it allows you to reset the focus of what it is that you want to accomplish in that practice and what the mindset should be and where we go from here.

And I guess you could make the argument against it in that. Well, yeah, you’re starting off. We had really great momentum and practice was really going well and now we’re going to dial it back in, but it seems to me that if you’re already dialed in for a good practice, that by taking the time to get the kids to focus even more, that you’re only going to enhance.

Has been a good practice. And if you’re maybe headed, conversely headed the other direction where maybe practice has been a little sluggish, now the ability to kind of reset and refocus to me, that seems like it could be tremendously valuable. I don’t one of the things that I can’t remember now where I read about it, but just talking about getting kids to be aware of their mental state and kind of what their effort looks like.

And if you constantly are resetting and self evaluating to me, that’s how you avoid having a bad practice because you spend, if you’re going to spend an hour and a half practicing and you just go through that hour and a half and the entire hour and a half is bad. Well, it seems like at some point you need to stop and reset with it.

That’s you as a coach resetting the entire team or just an individual player stopping and resetting themselves. I can see where that meeting could definitely allow you to. Do that mental reset and get everybody on the same page. And as you said, understand, what’s about to happen so that you can maximize the rest of your practice time.

[01:10:06] Danny Gallagher: Yeah, it, it, it, it works really well. I mean we don’t, we do not do a ton of conditioning. Like we don’t run a ton at the end of practice. And the reason why is we do so many of those drills at the start of practice that are game like actions. I mean, if you go, if you run five or six up and down shooting drills, and that’s your first 50 minutes of practice, kids are tired.

I don’t care what kind of shape they’re in. So when you can stop. And let them kind of breathe and collect their thoughts for 10 minutes. That’s another really good thing. So then we don’t have to waste time at the end of practice running. I mean, I, I do think there’s some things that putting kids on a line and, and making them tougher by having to make times but we don’t do that a ton.

The other thing it does is if you know, you, you get a good sense of your team after a couple of weeks. And if I can just tell like, Hey, these girls are having one one of their days that it’s not working out, I can just say, Hey, we need to get these two things in today, girls and we’re out of here.

So please give me and there’s been plenty of times where I’ve had an hour or an hour and 20 minutes planned for the rest of practice. And I can just see it in their face. Like, Hey, this is just a bad day. That we’ll just go 20 minutes. Give me, give me your attention for 20 minutes. Get the two things in that we really need to get in and we’ll get the heck out of here.

So it’s definitely different, but it’s definitely something that is, that has really worked for us.

[01:11:40] Mike Klinzing: I think that’s something that good coaches do is be able to read their team and understand maybe what they need in the moment. And by having the meetings, I’m sure that that gives you an opportunity again, to read.

And you talked about how. Communication was to you and how important it is to, to build that comradery amongst the team. And by putting that meeting in the middle of practice and making sure that your entire staff is there, giving your girls a chance to reset and refocus and know, Hey, this is what’s coming.

I mean, you think about a normal practice setting. And in most cases, what happens, players get done with school. They walked down to the locker room, they get changed. They come out on the floor and then they’re right into practice. And so many times that the practice plan isn’t necessarily shared with them.

They don’t necessarily know what’s coming. And so I think to be able to make players aware of what’s coming and what their expectations are to me, I could see, I could see the value in that without, without question. I want to ask you one more thing before we start to wrap up Danny, and it’s going to be a two-part question.

So the two part question is one. When you look forward at Magnificat, what is the biggest challenge that. You see in front of you and then number two, what’s the biggest joy, the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning, it says, man, I can’t wait to get to practice. I can’t wait to get to the school and work with my team.

[01:13:07] Danny Gallagher: You know, the, the, the question about the biggest challenges is, is a tough question. I think it’s just continuing to take the steps that we need to take. We’re on a really, really good path. And, and when we talked about goals before last season in know the girls their goal was to win a district championship and, and it happened.

And I’ve talked to our seniors already, and now that they’ve tasted that success their goals this year are, are bigger. And, and it’s just Not that I, not the pressure, but, but just the challenge of reaching those goals and, and when you set those high goals and let’s say it doesn’t happen because when I was at St Ed’s, you know even though Eric did a nice job of, of making sure everyone realized winning a district championship is a big deal.

A lot of schools never get to do that, and we were lucky to win so many of them but you know, expectations at that place and in the community where a state championship or bust. So if that didn’t happen in some eyes, that was a disappointing season. So I, I guess just for me still being early on You know, the way things got built pretty quickly, and then making the goal that we did and achieving it that challenge of continuing to move forward.

I would think it’s probably going to be the hardest thing, but also that’s, that’s could be also the answer to the second part of your question is what gets me up and drives me every day to, to continue to learn, to continue to develop our kids, to make our relationship stronger with our staff, to put more time in, to watch more film to do all of that stuff.

But you know, to further answer the second part of it you know, just getting messages back from, from kids that you’ve coached You know, we talked about this’ll be my 20th year of coaching. And I do remember the first team that I, that I coached her. I was an assistant coach with, because my younger brother played on it and you know, all of his buddies, I still talk with all the time and we talk about that kind of stuff.

And all my years at St. Ed’s I was just with, it was Pete Campbell Pete Campbell coached me at St. Ed’s and he was my assistant. It was his 50th birthday. So I was with him with P lack of Vic this, this past weekend you know, getting to share those experiences with the coaches. And then you know, as, as our girls left for school you know, having the correspondence back and forth with them, you know wishing them lock in also getting messages of thank you for everything you’ve done for me.

And, and just having the trust of those kids, if they have issues to call you or. And just have them tell you that, that, that our program made a significant difference for them in their development outside of basketball.

[01:16:21] Mike Klinzing: And I think that that’s something that, again, you don’t necessarily always see those things in the immediate moment, you see those relationships and those lessons that you’ve taught on the basketball floor.

Sometimes you don’t see those come to fruition until years later when you get those calls like you described, and your former players reach out to you, there’s nothing more satisfying. The coaching, I don’t think than that. And clearly we all the wins and losses are important, but that development of our players as people and that relationship that we build with them as a coach, I think there’s nothing more important than that.

And that’s certainly Danny been a theme that’s run through lots and lots of our podcasts with coaches that they’ve had that same field that you have, that those relationships and the ability to impact kids’ lives is really what it’s all about and share. We all love to win and that’s important. And, but it’s also important to make sure that we keep an eye on the fact that we’re put in charge of young people and try to have an impact on them positively.

And like I said, sometimes you don’t know what that impact is until 20 years later. And that’s when you really found out whether you had a winning season or a losing season, right. When you see what. Turn out to be. And when they reach back out to you and you get that phone call, it says, Hey coach, I don’t think there’s a better feeling out there than anything.

Before we wrap up Danny, I want to give you a chance to share with people how they can get in contact with you, maybe share your social media contacts, how they can find out more about your program at mags, or reach out to you if they’ve listened to the podcast and just want to see you know, talk to you more about some of the things that we’ve talked about here tonight, and maybe pick your brain on some, these.

[01:17:57] Danny Gallagher: Yeah. You know, first Mike, I just I want to thank you for having me on as a guest and then also for doing this I’m sure this is a ton of time for you and some of the guests you’ve had on have been incredible and your, and your coaches corners you know, there’s so much value in those.

So any coach that’s listening, if this is your first time, or you’ve only listened to a few of these, you gotta go back in, in Mike’s archives and check out all of those coaches corner episodes, because they’re, they’re invaluable some of the information that you get from some, some really good guys. But I can definitely be reached on Twitter.

I’m at Dan underscore Gallagher underscore. My email is just dGallagher@mags.org. Or honestly, my cell phone is (216) 570-4066. You know, anyone can reach out to me anytime. I love talking with other coaches. I love talking about the things we can do. I love being able, as I said earlier, to learn from other coaches.

So if anyone needs any help or is just looking to talk to someone else and get ideas I’m really happy to do that. You know, our doors in our gym are always open for any coach that wants to come in and watch practice or, or just come in for a coaches session.

[01:19:14] Mike Klinzing: Danny, we’ll get all that contact information in the show notes.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. The podcast, certainly the things that you mentioned or some of the things that are important to us and that we’re trying our very, very best to provide a positive light here in the basketball world and give coaches an opportunity to learn from some of the other great people that we’ve been able to have on the show.

And that’s really what it’s been all about for us. And we’re having a great time with it. And it’s, it’s, it’s a joy. Just like with you, when we talked about the amount of time you put in as a coach, I’d feel the same way. Jason feels the same way about podcasts and the amount of time that we’re putting into it is something that we feel like we get back.

We get back way more than what we give with the opportunity to talk to guys like yourself, just about the game of basketball and have these conversations. It means the world to us. So we can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your schedule tonight to jump on and join us. We really appreciate it.

To everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.