Matt McLeod

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Matt McLeod was a head coach in Texas and Oklahoma high schools for 14 years, where he amassed 324 total wins and was recognized three times as the Texas Outstanding Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.​

Matt stepped away from coaching his own team after the 2020-21 season to offer an array of coaching services through Matt McLeod Basketball to help athletes, coaches, and parents at a deeper and more personal level, all across the world.

Matt spent the last four years of his coaching career as the head coach at Casady High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In four years, the program amassed 82 total wins including a 74.2% winning percentage over his final three seasons on the bench.

Prior to moving to the Sooner State, Matt had spent 10 years as a head coach in Texas. His last two seasons in Texas were spent at The Covenant Preparatory School (Kingwood, Texas), where the program amassed a record of 62-15, including a district championship and a 2016-17 Final Four appearance.

Matt also spends time assisting basketball athletes and coaches all over the United State through his work with both SAVI Basketball and PGC Basketball.

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Be sure to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Coach Matt McLeod.

What We Discuss with Matt McLeod

  • Growing up a Duke fan in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Working in college athletics after graduating, but getting an opportunity to be an AD and basketball coach in Texas
  • “I want to play the way my coach never let us play.”
  • His early strengths as a coach – relationships & player development
  • “You can have the best X’s and O’s in the world, but the end of that possession if the ball doesn’t go in the basket. It doesn’t really matter.”
  • Teaching players to make better reads
  • “No matter what else we did, we were going to shoot and we were going to work on our player development.”
  • “If you’re going to make the wrong decision, make it at full speed, don’t be hesitant. Because sometimes the wrong decision can still work out ok if we’re going hard and giving great effort.”
  • Talking less during practice to make it more like a game – you only get 5 timeouts
  • Using film daily on the floor before practice
  • “One thing for me that really made me so much better as a coach is when I started allowing key players on the team to give me feedback from practices and games.”
  • “Sometimes we forget a little too quickly as coaches that when you’re playing the game, it looks and feels a lot different than when you’re standing on the sideline coaching.”
  • “Right time, right place, right attitude.”
  • Why he lets his players coach the team during summer leagues
  • Finding ways to let players learn to lead during times with lower stakes
  • “If other schools aren’t trying to hire your assistants away as head coaches, you’re doing something wrong.”
  • “We always tried to identify what skill sets did every coach on staff have and let them really own those skill sets.”
  • “Every coach on your staff should be the head coach of something.”
  • “We want to build an environment and a culture where you knew you were cared about and making a mistake is okay.”
  • “Our program is filled with Love and Joy and Hard Work.”
  • Painting a vision from the very start, know where the roadblocks are and what success looks like
  • “Work hard to have those open, transparent conversations.”
  • Using a shooting leader board – ow it inspires players and can be used in discussions with parents
  • “If it’s really matters to me, I got to find a way to make it work.”
  • Providing value to coaches through
  • Thinking you have a great idea…and then it doesn’t work
  • The joy in seeing something click for a player, coach, or child

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[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my co-host Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to be joined by coach Matt McCleod, Matt, welcome to the Hoop Heads Pod.

[00:00:11] Matt McLeod: Appreciate it. Thanks for having a night, really really excited to our conversation.

[00:00:15] Mike Klinzing: Looking forward to diving in with you.  Get a chance to check out all the great things that you’ve been able to do over the course of your coaching career. Let’s start though, by going back in time to when you were a kid, tell me a little bit about some of your first experiences with the game about.

[00:00:31] Matt McLeod: Well, Mike, I would say that my life forever changed when I was six years old and I moved from Western New York down to Raleigh, North Carolina.

And so then growing up basically on tobacco road, you have no choice, but to love basketball. And so even going back to then I’ll never forget within a couple of days I decided I was a Duke fan and not a Carolina fan. And we can fight over all that later, but I just grew up around the game, loving the game whether it was playing it or even coaching it.

When I was in middle school, I started coaching my younger brother’s elementary school teams. There was just something inside me that attached to the game of basketball early on. And it’s been a part of my life ever since,

[00:01:08] Mike Klinzing: Not NC State?

[00:01:08] Matt McLeod:  Everybody can be a state fan. So I do, I have a great appreciation for the Wolfpack, always cheer for them.

But yeah, grew up diehard, Dukie like every other boy grew up convinced coach K one day was going to show up and offer me a scholarship that never happened. But but it was okay. I wasn’t a Duke level player at all. You figured it out eventually. Right? Eventually, actually he was at one of my high school games.

So this was back. I’m a older guy, graduated in the late nineties. And my junior year of high school, we walked into the gym second quarter, the girls game, and there’s coach K sitting in the stands. And so of course for the next 20 minutes, my teammates and I are all arguing over who he’s there to watch.

Cause obviously it’s one of us. Right. Like, I dunno, he’s there, he’s there to watch us. Yeah. And then as our game was tipping off and we were all excited to have coach K watch his play. He picked up his stuff and walked out before the game even tipped off. Well little did we know that his daughter was going to the opposing school?

And so he was there for the girls game and then got out right afterwards. But got that close to coach K and me in person one time.

[00:02:08] Mike Klinzing: No, it’s, it’s funny how. Back in the day, how uninformed we all were about the recruiting process of what was actually going on, because nowadays you think about how public everything is with kids saying this and that on Twitter and on Instagram and all the posts, just information that’s out there.

Whereas back in the late nineties or in the late eighties, when I would have been in high school, man, it’s just there. That stuff was not around at all. And you had no idea what was going on.

[00:02:35] Matt McLeod:  No idea whatsoever. And the cool thing was all the parents there at the school, let coach K be a dad that night. So I’ll never forget that experience, but yeah, you are so right.

Things are so different now than they were. Then we thought we had that find that undiscovered gem. It happened that night in Durham, North Carolina.

[00:02:55] Mike Klinzing: What’s your favorite memory of playing high school ball?

[00:03:01] Matt McLeod: Favorite memory would just have to be the competition. I was at a school that was not really a basketball school, so to speak, I’m more of a football school baseball school. And we had to run early, till the late in my high school career. We had had a lot of success and even, you know actually I don’t forget, my junior year, we beat a team that we had not beat in 20 years.

And so just having that, that moment, that feeling of doing something that. You know, has not been done a long time. People thought you couldn’t do. I mean, we were big time underdogs. We had no division one players, they had multiple D one players on their team. And I really do think that going back to that night was one thing that really inspired me to coach and to have give that same moment, that same opportunities to the players.

I was around to the players. I was coaching and I’ll just never forget that moment, that night winning that game top of the world. Nothing good can mess up my day, the next day and I just think those are the moments that we all hold on to as coaches and players. And that’s why even we take those tough losses and have the disappointing seasons.

We keep fighting through it to find more moments like that.

[00:04:01] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. When you get a special moment like that, especially from a high school standpoint, when you have guys that you’ve probably known your entire life, that you get an opportunity to play with, and then you get to share one of those moments, there’s nothing like that.

I think it’s really hard to top again, just because of the connection that you end up having with your high school teammates, you talked a little bit about how. I started out coaching. And you were coaching at the younger levels. And when you talk about that, that coaching bug, when did you feel like you first said, Ooh, I think this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I think this is really where I want to spend my time. When do you remember that kind of crystallizing for you?

[00:04:44] Matt McLeod: No. I remember throughout high school really feeling strong that I wanted to be a coach getting to do those things, impact the game in so many ways. I mean, again, growing up in North Carolina, whether it’s the division one level of division two level high school level, there’s incredible coaches all over the place that I got to just be around experience.

You know, pseudo learned from but then again, just like so many of us got to college and said, oh, I want chase the dollar signs. Do I want to be a lawyer? I’ll be a doctor, maybe wanna do something different. And so then throughout college really hadn’t pursued it as much or thought about as much, but after I was out of college for a year, there was just this piece of.

That didn’t feel fulfilled. And at the time I was, I was working in college athletics, but not, not coaching. I was working more in the media relations, sports information side, and it was awesome. I got to travel the country travel out of the country with teams and cover them. And, and it was having a lot of fun, but just felt like something was missing.

And so actually had at the time, my wife and I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we kind of had a conversation. And then October of that year, like, Hey, when the school year is done, let’s just move back to North Carolina. My, my wife’s a teacher and like I’m sure she can find a job. So. The only people I really knew in the coaching world at the high school level were in North Carolina.

So let’s go back, let’s do that. And limited, we know that about two and a half weeks later, I was gonna get a phone call from a school way down in Victoria, Texas actually had to look it up on the map the first time. Cause I didn’t know where it was, but it’s about two hours Southwest of Houston going down towards Corpus Christi.

And it was one of those friend of a friend of a friend kind of deals. And they had their athletic director walk out on them in the middle of the school year. And I got a phone call that said, Hey, heard, you’re interested in getting into the high school athletic side now, wondering if you’re, shouldn’t come down and interviewing.

And so obviously yes, the next flight out. Let me come down there. Let me, let me see what’s going on. And just had a really awesome opportunity at 25 years old to be an athletic director and take over the basketball team there to high school in Victoria, Texas.

[00:06:29] Mike Klinzing: Did you feel like you were ready in any way, shape or form or was it more a case of you didn’t know what you didn’t know.

[00:06:36] Matt McLeod: It was definitely, I didn’t know what, I didn’t know. I thought I was ready and I’m actually wanting to a situation where had one super talented player and the team would not have much success. The year before I got, there was interest situation I got there in January and did not coach the team, the rest of that season.

I was going to take over the next year. And so they really struggled that year. But I had one phenomenal All-state level player. And so we, we made a couple of changes. I think I’m sure experienced as a coach with similar that first year as a head coach. And again, I had no assistant coaching experience outside of being a manager when I was in college, but just stepped in and said, you know what?

I want to play the way my coach never let us play. And when I was growing up, it was always multiple post touches. And every possession we ran the flex offense, we were just going to grind that game into the low forties. And so we began just to pick up the pace and play with a little bit of pace and space and speed and.

Shoot, we won less than a third of our games last year, what’s the worst that could happen. And we kind of stumbled onto something there and found some success early on. Even that first season going all the way to the regional finals we got a buzzer beater hit on us that that kept us from going to the final four.

And so unfortunately that, that early success as a coach at that point time, I thought I knew everything. And so we had a great couple of years and then when the talent left, I learned it definitely is the Jimmys and Joes that makes us as a coach sometimes. And so that’s when I think that that about fourth year in coaching is when I really, really buckled in and learn what it meant to be a coach and to build a program regardless of what players we may or may not have in any given year when you look back at your team.

[00:08:07] Mike Klinzing: And I can completely relate to what you just said about thinking that you knew everything.

When I got my first coaching job, I was twenty-five years old. I was a head JV coach. And just like you, I had no assistance. And I walked in there thinking that I knew pretty much everything about the game. I had been a good player. I thought, well, that automatically makes me a good coach. And so I went through and you look back on it.

You’re like, oh God, I was I was terrible. I didn’t know anything about what I was doing, but I do know that there was one or two things that I was pretty good at. So when you think back to that time, when you get your first coaching job, what’s something that even retrospectively, when you look back, you say, Hmm, even though I made a lot of mistakes, even though I didn’t do this very well, what’s something that you feel like you were pretty good at right out of the gate, as it comes.

[00:08:58] Matt McLeod: Yeah, there are two things that I really stumbled onto early in my coaching career that I’m so glad I did. Cause I was able to continue to develop those things and really make it the, the foundation of who I, who I’ve been as a coach over all these years. And the first thing was relationships. And then I’m sure you had some experience.

I mean, when I’m 25 and they’re 16, 17, 18, there’s not that big of an age gap. And so it was able to find some great ways to connect with the players to have relationships with them off the floor, as well as on the floor. I mean, my wife and I had only been married for about a year, year and a half.

Man every weekend at my house, we were having 2K tournaments. You know, we were hanging out. I just wanted to be around them and build that beside we knew nobody where we were living. And so we just dove all in with building player relationships. And that was something that, so when we had tough days in practice, when we were having tough halves and, and I was really having to hold us accountable on certain things we had that bedrock of a relationship.

And so they knew how much I cared about them and it wasn’t just me yelling and screaming for no reason. So that was one thing early in my coaching career, I think saved me from a lot of headache. It was those relationships I had. And I’d say the second thing. Was player development. I walked into a situation, like I said, we did not have a lot of natural talent.

And so we spent that first off season together and even going into the season, it was not about running plays. It was not about sets. It was like we have to be able to not turn the ball over. When we get across half court, we have to be able to make sure we can get stops and have some positional awareness on defense and really the growth I saw in my team that first year kept me going down that road where it was less than less about how smart I was as a coach, but how well could I develop my players?

Not just with their skill sets, but also with their decision-making. And after that first year again, we’d had so much success in year one. We just rolled it over year two and then rolled it over to your three. And, and I think those are two things for sure that every coach. Then now that I mentor that I work with, or our friends who are going through new situations or I’ve taken over a new programs, it’s build relationships and build their skillset and their decision-making.

I think those are great things for us to do as coaches.

[00:11:01] Mike Klinzing: All right. So let’s talk about the helping them improve their decision making on the floor, the relationship piece of it. I get completely where you’re coming from with that in terms of being able to connect and get those kids to know and understand that you care about them more as people and not just as basketball players, and that allows you to coach them harder and get more out of them.

But let’s talk about the other piece of trying to build better decision makers out on the floor. So when you take over a program and obviously the program has been losing, you have some basketball things that you got to work on. And so if you’re going to work on basketball IQ, you’re gonna work on basketball.

Decision-making what does that look like for you? How do you go about developing that? Maybe give us one or two things. You focus on or just how you align your practices. What is it that you do to help players improve that on court decisions?

[00:11:50] Matt McLeod: Yeah. I say the first thing Mike for sure is shooting. You know, we have the best X’s and O’s in the world, but the end of that possession of the ball doesn’t go in the basket.

It doesn’t really matter. And so and again, just a, a, a by-product of my first head coaching job being in south Texas, we were heavily, heavily Hispanic. I think in the three years I was there. We had one guy who was taller than six, two or six, three. And so we were, we were short, we were quick. A lot of my guys had grown to play in soccer, just like I had.

That’s what I played in the off season in North Carolina. And so we, I was like, okay, well, how can we turn what they know and understand into what’s be successful on the court? And so I was like, well, if we don’t make shots, we’re not going to win games. And so really putting a huge emphasis on shooting and being able to force the defense to actually guard the width of the floor and force the defense to guard at and pass the three point line.

That was one thing that I just, I, for us always, and for any program, I think that’s, if you want to be successful on offense, especially in today’s game, if any kind of. Zero shooter or negative shooter on the floor, it’s really gonna impact your offense. So we spent a lot of time with that. And then when it came specifically to basketball IQ, we really focused on a three-step process.

And so the first thing was that baseline skill development. I mean, it’s really hard to make decisions if you can’t keep your eyes up while you’re dribbling with the pressure defense on you, right? Like, no earth-shattering news there, but we just had to start the foundational level with reps. Like we’re going to rep out and rep out and rep out whatever skill it is that we’re working on till we get to a pretty proficient level.

For us, a big thing that we love to teach is our players are attacking the basket is, is their drive decision. You know, what do I see in front of me as the defense rotates? And then. We read out what we need to do, then we have start making reads. And so what we would do in our practices is first we’d rep out, okay.

An open rim, or if you only get a, a shoulder or an arm and for, in front of you, what do you do then we would rep out, okay, great. Now you see chest of that rotating help side defender. When you see chest, what’s your decision, we call it a chest and shoulder reeds. So after we wrap it out and they begin to understand, then we go into the reads where now the defense is giving you one or the other.

And now can we connect the dots? You know, I heard JJ Reddit talking to his podcast one time, how has the light really went on for him in the NBA? When he realized, man, these teams only running like five or six different actions, they just call it different things. And now it becomes a game of memorization.

When I see this, I do that. And so that’s what we try to build out with our reads and. Hey, can we, now we’ve done it in a rep situation where the defense is completely static. Now we’ve done it in a binary decision making reads. Now we go real, can we do those same things and replicate them? And I think that’s one thing in our practices that we built out that we’d always have a minimum of 30 minutes of shooting.

You know, coach speak game shots, game spots, game speed. And then we would go 30 minutes of, of player development, which was some combination of skill set and decision making. And if there were multiple field trips and an assembly, and we only had an hour of practice, that was our practice. And which again, cause that was our foundation.

That was our bedrock. No matter what else we did, we were going to shoot and we were going to work on our player development.

[00:14:49] Mike Klinzing: How do you approach interjecting coaching into those players? Making decisions? In other words, when a player goes and let’s say you’re doing a small side of game of three on three, or you’re in a five on five scrimmage situation and a kid makes a read that.

An incorrect read for whatever. Again, this could be anything, but yeah, when that happens, how much do you balance? Hey, I stop it. And I explained to the kid, here’s what you sort of seen, or I ask a question or just how much do you let it flow and then talk about at the end. Just talk about your style in terms of how you get kids to understand what the best read is without completely interrupting the flow of practice in the action.

[00:15:31] Matt McLeod: Yeah, that’s a great question. I would say early in my coaching career, I did a terrible job of that. We were stopping practice all the time, every little individual decision that was wrong, we would stop and try to fix. And then I just realized, because again, we were every, every place that I’ve been in.

Really wanted to focus on having a faster tempo than w than what most of our opponents were used to. And so I just realized if I kept stopping practice all the time, that was building a disconnect with our team over what we wanted to see happen in games. And so we really try to use small sided games, lots of two on two and three on three to build that decision-making so that when mistakes have, when, when the wrong read happens, number one, we taught our players.

If you’re gonna make the wrong. Make it at full speed, don’t be hesitant. Cause sometimes the wrong decision can still work out. Okay. If we’re going hard and giving great effort and doing all of the things that we’re supposed to do. But then I think that one of the great benefits of going with a lot of small sided action and practice is now our players are off the floor and getting a little bit of rest and recovery and even watching their teammates go through decision-making.

So that’s where then we, as as our coaching staff would always have one person on the baseline asking questions, why did you make that read? Even if it’s the right read, sometimes we would still ask the same thing, which is we want to be very question-based. You know, I do think on one level players should do it because their coach says so, I mean, that’s, yes, we are aware positional leader, but if they only do it, because we say so we’re missing out as coaches.

And so I want to players to know that they, I wanted them to learn. I want them to have autonomy in the things that they were doing. And so if they, if we could kind of walk them down that path and they discover it on their own with their own words I thought that was where the really special things happen.

And then anytime we play five on five we would, I would love to say we never stopped the action when it was full court five on five, but, but that would be the goal. Because again, for us, we, we didn’t want the play to stop very often. We didn’t want, we want the other team, you’d call them timeouts in the first half, not us.

And so we would try to replicate that as much as possible in our practices.

[00:17:22] Mike Klinzing: So let’s say you are going five on five in a practice setting, and you’re going up and down and you see something that that you want to speak to one of the players about a decision to read something that you saw. How do you go about if you’re not going to try to stop the action?

Is that something that you might pull the player aside over the next water break and say, Hey, you remember play X, Y or Z? Is that something where they might sub out a minute or two later? And then an assistant coach grabs them and talks about that? Just how do you approach it? Because we all know, look, I’ve said this a couple thousand, the podcast, my first coaching experience, as that JV head coach, I came into that first practice.

Five minutes of the first drill and I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. And like, there was just five other things that were done incorrectly. And I have no idea how I’m going to coach all of these, all of these different things. I remember coming home, honestly, after that first practice mat and being like, oh my God, like, I don’t even, I don’t even know where to begin.

How do I narrow this down into what I can, what I can do and what I can say and how I can try to fix this stuff. So just, how do you approach, like at a five on five situation, if there’s something like, man, I’ve been working with this player on this decision and they just made that decision incorrectly.

How do you go about making sure that you get the information that, that player needs to be able to start to see and recognize what the better decision was?

[00:18:40] Matt McLeod: Yeah. Well, first of all, I’m just glad to know Mike, that I’m not the only one that felt that way after the first practice, because I remember too thinking.

How much time can I practice every week? Like we need to be in the gym like eight hours a day after school to fix everything that’s wrong. So you have this similar experience. I’m not there by myself. I would say that when we’re going like that, it to us again, we wanted that time. We want our practices to replicate games as much as possible.

And so that’s where you know, in game situations, as a coach, we only have five time outs. We do have, like you mentioned subbing opportunities, free throw opportunities, maybe a dead ball opportunity. And so that’s what we would, we would focus on doing, I’m a consummate note taker. Like I always have some kind of notebook in my pocket with a pen.

And so it would just be writing down those things again that were those glaring issues or glaring spots. And also for, I think sometimes as coaches we can get, or at least speaking for myself, I can get way too locked in on a single decision. Let’s say that player might’ve had the same decision five times in a five on five situation.

Well, if it makes the wrong decision the first time, but if he adjust on his own and makes the right decision the next three times or four times. There was no need for me to stop it. And so that’s where I think I found a lot of success letting go of the individual moments and zooming out in those situations, taking notes, pulling players aside during water breaks you know, subbing them out or maybe during a free throw situation, have them come on to the sideline real quick and give them a quick reminder.

But as the action was going on, and again, no coach is perfect. I failed many times at this, but we would really focus on doubling down on the correct decisions and just really letting that be what the players heard coming from our mouths while they were going up and down the floor. And just celebrate the wins, celebrate the great stuff.

And then, Hey, next water break. Next. You know, when this play’s done, when this segment, this five minute drill is done, then let’s have this conversation before.

[00:20:32] Mike Klinzing: How much do you use film to do some of that same stuff? So whether or not, obviously at the high school level, you may or may not have the opportunity to film practices and you don’t have as much time as a college coach to be able to sit and watch every single practice and go back to it.

But just think about it from a game perspective. How do you approach the balance between pointing out positives, which you just talked about, which is what you try to do, and then you kind of call it player over to the side. It’s more of a one-on-one thing where say, Hey, I noticed this. I’d like to see you do more of X or less of Y just, how do you approach that in a film.

[00:21:07] Matt McLeod: Yeah, I think film is an important component of practice every single day. Not hour long film sessions. I don’t, I can’t even keep my own attention for an hour in a film session. But what we, we were in overtime and it’s coaching in 2022 versus coaching in 2005 is a big difference. And so the access to things is incredible.

And probably about, I’d say probably eight or nine years. It just kind of clicked for me that you’ve got a camera in your pocket at all times. And so really even just pulling my phone out and filming 30 seconds of a drill or filming the action up and down the floor, a certain decisions being made.

And then I think that water breaks a great time just to pull the phone out and say, Hey, watch this, tell me what you think. Or we would try to also get into, to situations where maybe at three teams of five and while two teams are going up and down the floor that 13, that just got off the floor is reviewing some film with a coach, whether it’s on an iPad on a phone.

Last couple of years, we had a TV in the gym with us while you’re practicing. And so we would just Bluetooth it up there and, and watch. And I think that’s something that’s really, really key. You know, one thing that, that I’m really glad I started to do as a coach for the last three or four years.

And when I was still coaching high school, basketball is we started out every practice with six to eight minutes of film and it was either. You know, maybe highlights from the night before, if we’d had a big win. If we had a big rivalry game coming up, it was maybe whatever action that the other team was really good at and watching it and breaking it down or some days if we just need a little pick me up maybe it was a motivational video of some sorts.

But we would always spend that first six or eight minutes in the gym, around the TV watching some type of film and then, so it just, it built the culture of expecting to watch film. And I think that’s powerful for all of us as coaches going back and even watching some film now of some previous seasons.

I just remember, like, what was I thinking as a coach? Like why did I not call time out there? Why did we change our defense? It wasn’t working really well before then. So I think as much as we want our players to watch film, we as coaches we need to hold ourselves accountable and watch film and graded ourselves as well.

[00:23:06] Mike Klinzing: That’s very true that you can watch and look and see. And so often I think as coaches, we’re focusing on. Player X doing this player. Why doing that? And we sometimes forget, or don’t analyze our own performance, whether that’s comes to X and O decisions, substitution decisions by time out decisions. I think one of the things that if you watch basketball at the time, I think one of the things that at least for me, that I’ll find myself watching a game.

And one of the biggest things that always jumps out at me is, and again, it’s a lot easier sitting on your TV or sitting up in the stands to, to understand what it is to call a time out. But you watch, somebody says, you’re like, well, that’s like, why didn’t you call the time out there? Or why would you call a time out in that situation?

And so I think you’re right that to be able to self evaluate, to use that film to self-evaluate is really important. And that ability to look at yourself and figure out, Hey, what are my strengths and weaknesses? What am I good at? What am I improving? What do I need to continue to improve? I think as coaches, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to help.

Players get better that we forget that there’s an opportunity for us, not only out of season, which we all know that there’s opportunities to grow and develop, and there’s lots of ways it’s easier than it’s ever been from a coaching standpoint to do that. But I think sometimes in season, I think sometimes in season, right, we, we forget that we can self evaluate and try to help.

Not only our players get better, but help ourselves get better. And film’s a great way to do that.

[00:24:31] Matt McLeod: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, one thing, and I know, I think so often as coaches, we pray it’s generational and coaching, right? Like we do what our coaches did to begin with and our coaches did with their coaches did, and it just keeps going back.

And one thing for me that really made me so much better as a coach is when I started allowing key players on the team to give me feedback from practices and games. Hey, what do you think about how I’m doing as a coach? What, what do you think when, when I called this time out or when I didn’t call that time out?

When I changed our defenses, I mean, I think one. Sometimes we forget a little too quickly as coaches is that when you’re playing the game, it looks and feels a lot different than when you’re standing on the sideline coaching. And so being able to have players who care about the team and care about their teammates and care about winning and all the things we want them to care about as coaches, well, we should invest enough in those players to let them have that open feedback with us.

And we talk about with our program is always three things, Right Time, right place, right attitude. But if it was the right time, the right place, and you had the right attitude, there was nothing you could not talk about or bring up or say to us as coaches. Because then that, then it became us together versus coaches and players in these separate bubbles we were living in.

And I just think that was one thing for me as a coach that really, really helped me level up in our teams to be able to get through things that would have been tough to get through otherwise.

[00:25:52] Mike Klinzing: What’s something either a specific or maybe just a general theme, something that you’ve learned from those conversations, whether it’s, again, Particular incident, or maybe just an overarching theme that runs through the responses that you got from players and those kinds of.

[00:26:12] Matt McLeod: No for sure. I’ll one thing that we’ve always known in our programs during the summer is really the players coach themselves. Even I know every state’s a little different, the high school level, what the rules are, who can coach in the summer. But the coaching in Texas, in Oklahoma, both states, I would have been able to coach them in the summer with the leagues that I coached in, but really part of it is I wanted a break from them and I thought they also deserved a break from me.

And so would you know whether it’s getting a former player from our program a parent that we could really trust, but really. The person on the sideline, all they were doing was really just overseeing subbing and making sure that got guys got into the game. Besides that I wanted my players to call the offense, call the defense, let them really experience what it was like to be the coach on the floor.

And there was one time about four years ago where we had a new player coming in. He’s gonna be a sophomore for us and was definitely gonna be a starter on our varsity end up being our leading score that year. And this is a very new situation for him. He was used to being more micromanaged when he was on the court, even during the summer.

And so there was a, the first summer league game we played. All of a sudden we were, we were losing a team. We probably should have been losing two, but whatever, it’s the summer. And he comes over to me, grab a friend and a coach. Like, why are we still playing man defense? And I’m like, well, no, man is our traditional defense, but PJ I really don’t know why we’re running man defense.

Cause I don’t call the defense. He was like what I was like, no, remember before the game started, we talked about he’s like, yeah, but like, I didn’t think he really meant it. He’s like, I thought we got the game, he just started telling us what to do. And I was like, no, for real, like, I think you guys probably should have either change your pick and roll coverage or maybe do something a little different go to a match up or something, but you guys do whatever you want to do with you.

It’s the summer, it’s your time to experiment. And so he went out there and got the team together and started talking about making changes and things. And, but what I realized in that conversation with him is I hadn’t done a good enough job explaining why. And so, so many conversations with players have opened my eyes to.

I might understand it as a coach because I understand it. That’s the way I see the world. And that’s the filter that I see through my coaching lens. But if I don’t give my players a great why, it doesn’t matter, you’re not going to let those guys call they’re on offense and defense the whole summer.

But if I had never connected the dots for PJ it would have been a wasted exercise, but being able to say, Hey guys, listen, I want you to be able to see certain things on the floor, come over to me with suggestions and ideas of how to change it. I think that’s how we can have the best relationship and the best team moving forward.

And so it was a great conversation. He and I had that night and moving forward, man, now they understood, Hey, when, when coach says let’s make a change, he really means it. He sees something specific versus I just change, change the defense or change the offense just because I feel like it. So that was definitely a very big eye-opening experience for me, making sure I was always given the Y during those conversations,

[00:28:50] Mike Klinzing: I liked the idea of giving the players freedom or that responsibility in the summertime, because one of the things that you hear coaches talk about a lot. We’ve had plenty of conversations on the podcast with different people about this, where a coach, one of the things that they want to do is develop leaders within their program. And so you talk about, well, how do I develop leaders during the season?

And what is it that I’m going to do? And what’s the value of somebody being a captain and how do we go about making sure that we don’t just have one kid leading that everybody has responsibility to lead? And it’s a topic of conversation that I know you’ve been involved in many conversations about it.

And so have I, and it’s something that coaches are always looking to do. So to me, this makes a lot of sense when I think about, okay, if I step back in the summertime as a coach and I put that responsibility on the players and especially coming off of building that relationship during the season and getting them to understand what your expectations are and all those things, as you’re starting to put your program together.

Now, once the players have. The handle on it and they can do that in the summertime. Now, when you come back to the season and you’re asking for players to be leaders, or you’re having them take responsibility and take accountability for what’s going on out on the floor, that’s something that comes a lot easier because they have some experience in what oftentimes it’s lower stakes, right?

You’re playing in a summer league. There’s not, there’s not the same stakes people don’t understand is the record’s not going on. Anybody’s, nobody’s keeping track of your stats. You’re just going out there and you’re playing and trying to get better. And sort of, it makes a ton of sense to me to be able to give that responsibility to players in the summertime.

And now I’m sure you see the benefits of that when they come back to you in the season, because now you’ve actually given them a chance to develop those leadership skills. I think so often we talk about, Hey, our team doesn’t have any leaders, right? We need more leaders on the team, but we as coaches, I think sometimes fail to.

Give kids an opportunity to lead it. To me, this is a great way to give kids an opportunity to lead in a slightly lower stakes environment.

[00:30:51] Matt McLeod: Yeah. You know, just as far as getting, finding ways that players can lead during those low stakes times, I think is something that really helped me find success as a coach and, and early, even early on the process.

I don’t even think I realized how beneficial it was, but those summer, even during summer sessions and skills workouts of having players maybe lead the workout that we had written down as coaches, or really, I always set a goal. Anytime we were at a new location, a new place taking over a program by the end of that first summer or a minimum going into summer.

Number two players would be responsible for coming up with workouts where maybe Dillard is in charge of the 15 to 20 minutes shooting segment. If we have a 60 minute workout and then Jackson’s in charge for the 20 minutes of ball-handling and then DJs and charge of 20 minutes of live action and how we’re going to play those games.

What the point system is going to look like. And I think it’s really giving players opportunities to lead as much as possible. And I think we all, as coaches can do a better job of that in the off season. I would even challenge coaches to do that during the season. I know sometimes it’s hard for us to let go of control in season when, when the records matter and the lights are on and the real Jersey being worn.

But we would always look for ways to let players make decisions throughout the course of practices throughout the course of games throughout the course of even, even planning for the next opponent. One year when I, when I took over at a new program and we were going, it was year two there, and we were coming back from Christmas.

And that first practice after Christmas was big because we’re about three days away from playing the big Crosstown rival. It was like it was a non-league game, but it mattered probably the most. And I was feeling that pressure as a coach to make sure we’re gonna be successful that night. And it was actually that same player talking about earlier, PJ, who is his first summer with us was, was beamed out, being able to experiment with what it meant to call his own defense while he was playing and have conversations with teammates about coverages and things.

And we walked in and out. And I forget because we have three days of practice. I had my whole speech ready. And am I going to, we walked into the room and said, okay guys, day one today is it’s about knocking the rust off. We have a little extra time where we’re making sure we’re going to be out on the floor, making sure we’re all in great shape.

We want to be able to play at speed. You know, tomorrow we’ll work a little more into our opponent and then day three, we’ll really, really fully focus on our opponent getting ready for Friday night’s game. And, and PJ said, well, coach, you don’t have to worry about getting ready for, for the opponent. I’ve already done that.

And I was like, really what we’re talking about. And he laid down a scouting report in front of me. And it didn’t surprise me. He was someone who was fully invested in the team and watched nearly as much film as I do as a coach. And he had spent his Christmas break watching and breaking down that opponent.

And I really think part of the reason he felt so confident in doing that was because. We had given him and his teammates opportunities all throughout the course of the year to take ownership and to look for ways to make it better. And you know what, I flipped through that scouting report that night, Mike, and it was probably 88% of what I would have said.

And so we rolled with it. He was like, you know what, 88% from a teammate, they’re going to be a hundred percent bought in. And so it, it was great. We came up a little short, but it was a battle back and forth and, and it was not his scouting report that cost us the game. I’m sure there’s a couple of decisions I made as a coach or substitution patterns.

He had us fully prepared for, for what we need to do on offense and what we do on defense. And so, yeah, just like you mentioned, finding those ways to give players individual and even group wide leading opportunities. I think that’s transformational for us as coaches and for our programs.

[00:34:08] Mike Klinzing: So when you do that with players, obviously it has an impact, but you also have to be able to work with your staff and empower them to be able to have some responsibilities.

And that obviously, if you can tap into your assistant coaches strict. And get them to the point where they can help to contribute to what you’re trying to do as a program. That’s when you really can start to get things rolling. And we’ve talked to numerous coaches, we’ve talked about the fact that when they started, oftentimes as a young coach, like we talked about earlier, where you just feel like you have to have your hand in every single thing.

And the idea of giving decisions to players is unbelievably scary. And even giving decisions or responsibilities to assistant coaches is something that a lot of young coaches have a really hard time doing, because obviously one of the reasons that you’re successful is because you have a little bit of an ego, especially you have a background as a player, your ego is very important and right.

So I think I could be the best at whatever it is that I’m trying to do. And yet we talked to so many coaches, math that have told them. When I really started to be successful is when I started to let go of so many more things that I empowered the people that were part of our program. Again, whether that’s the players of the coaching staff to be able to do things.

So when you think about how you utilize your staff, when you’ve been lucky enough to have one, how, how have you been able to delegate and empower your assistants to be able to do things, to help make your program better?

[00:35:33] Matt McLeod: Yeah. You know, Mike, I got some great advice from a mentor when I was in my second or third year as a head coach and was having a civil conversation.

Like how do I best use my assistants? How do I know if I’m doing a good job with them? And, and one thing he said, and he said, If other schools aren’t trying to hire your assistants, always had coaches, you’re doing something wrong. He said, that should be your goal. As a head coach, he goes, Hey, coach should be to develop and to pour into these assistant coaches so that they’re ready for their head coaching job.

And that really began to change the way I viewed my assistant coaches. And so that was, yeah, for me, it was the exact same thing as what you’re talking about is when I began to let go of certain responsibilities and really empower my assistance. And I don’t think it’s a blind empowerment where a new coach on your staff that you don’t know very well.

And Hey, all right, coach, now you’re in charge of the defense from start to finish. Like, no, like we can’t just turn everything over without a plan, without some leadership and development and teaching and even coaching our assistant coaches. But I, that was one thing that we always tried to identify is what skillsets did every coach on staff have and let them really own those skillsets.

And so if we had a coach on staff who was great at player development he became. The head coach of player development. And so he and I would have conversations about, okay, these are the things we’re looking for. These are the proficiencies that we want to have as a team. And then really being able to turn him loose, to figure out what is the best way to get from where we are now to where we want to go.

Or if we had a coach that was super passionate about defense pay, great, you are our defensive coordinator. You’re responsible for watching our opponents, seeing their tendencies, what they do and coming up with that first round of ideas of the best things for us to do to stop them. And really over the years, that that type of relationship rolled into what I had at the last high school Catholic high school in Oklahoma city, that I was coaching at where my top assistant coach, he ran all the defense like we, and I would talk and I I’ll give them thoughts and ideas, but he loved it.

He did such a great job at it, and it really gave me a chance to, in practice, to step back and watch and begin to think, and even talk with players and ask them questions. And you know, what do they think about these things are doing? How’s it playing out for them in games versus. MI, so to speak, having the Mike in my hand at all times I heard Buzz Williams talk one time.

And he said that every coach on your staff should be the head coach of something. Maybe it’s just one thing. Maybe it’s the head coach of travel and they’re making sure the bus is scheduled. It’s gassed up. It’s ready to go. But really, I mean, that’s, there’s rarely an assistant coach that doesn’t aspire to be a head coach.

And so what can we do as head coaches to really help them level up? So they’re ready for that first opportunity that they get.

[00:38:08] Mike Klinzing: Yeah, that’s so important. I think it’s something that the longer you’re in the profession, the more you realize how much of a responsibility that is as a head coach, to be able to develop your assistance into the types of coaches at other programs, as you said, would love to hire and get to be part of their staff.

And I think when you’re a head coach, you do a good job of that. You’re not only helping the assistant coaches. You’re not only helping yourself as the head coaches, they’re taking some of that responsibility, but you’re also making it better for. Your players cause they’re hearing different voices on different things.

And I love what you said about being able to step back and see that big picture often equate that to, when you think about the adage sort of in the, in the business world where somebody is working, they’re always working in their business instead of working on their business. And it’s like, I’m doing, I’m doing all this minutia, right?

I I’m the person that has to balance the books. I’m the person that I still order, the, whatever the widgets on the person that has to do all these little things that really other people could be doing, where I could be focused on the bigger picture. And I think sometimes as coaches, we get caught up in such that minutia that we don’t ever have a time to take, take that deep breath step back, and really look at, Hey, what’s going on in the totality of our team, of our program.

What are the big picture things that I need to look at because we’re so focused on that day to day, when you can give some of that to your players, you can give some of that to your assistant coach. I think it just really can empower you to be able to develop and look at your overall program and be able to create one that is what you want.

And a lot of times, like I said, that’s hard to do in the moment. Well, so when you think about big picture things that you’ve had success with everywhere you’ve been, if you had to point to one or two things that you feel like have been the key to your success at each of your stops, what would you say are those things that are kind of been your non-negotiables things that, Hey, we’ve been able to do this kind of everywhere we’ve been?

[00:40:12] Matt McLeod: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, I was actually recently listened to a hoops that podcast you had with Nate Sanderson and talk about some, the different places he’s been. I was like, man, I was like getting my notebook out, writing things down for the next time. If I ever take over a program again, cause he had some great stuff to say and really get specific ideas.

He’s so good. And I think it was really also like Lots of confirmation. And what I heard him said, I think a lot of times coaches sometimes don’t even realize that we’re doing a great job at certain things. We hear other successful coaches talk about what makes them successful and listen to Nate.

Like he’s like, oh, I did that. Oh yeah, we did that too. And it was just that, that yes. You know we as coaches so often or on the right path, Just because the nature of our profession, it’s almost like we’re in silos. You know, Matt’s at his school, Mike’s at his school, Nate’s at his school. And because we’re like running our own race, a lot of times we don’t understand man, other guys going through the same thing and what I’m doing actually really is super successful.

And being able to see that, and that’s what I really actually enjoyed this last year, not coaching a team, but going into watch practices at the college level of the high school level, the middle school level, the pro level it doesn’t matter what level it is, but just being able to go in and watching things that work.

And I would say for me as we’ve taken over five or six different programs, and really each time had the opportunity to level them up who we were as a team, the expectations of the program and, and what, what might be possible moving forward. The two things that we always, always, always, always hung our hat on was number one culture.

And part of me like even hesitate to say that word, because that is such a catchy word. And our profession today is what’s the culture bringing you. This time of year, was it when so many new head coaches are taking over and you listen to their press conferences and the college level rarely do they not talk about culture.

And so we know it’s important, but even what does that mean? And so two things that we always wanted, our teams is number one is, is build an environment where they felt they had a safe space, a safe space to make mistakes. We don’t learn if we don’t make mistakes, but I think a lot of times in practices, a player makes a mistake and we as coaches, every mistake, we’re all over them about in a very negative way.

And so we want to build an environment and a culture where what you knew you were cared about and she made a mistake is okay. You know, some mistakes were a lot easier to work through than others with players in poor choices and things, but you know what, no matter what you did we were going to be there with you and work through it with you.

And the second thing that we want to do in our environment was build one of joy. You know, I love hearing coach Drew, talk about that Baylor during this last season. And just having a place where you want to come and have fun. I mean, I don’t know about. You know, professions where if you hate your job and it is just a, the, the biggest drag in the world to go there for to five, like you’re not going to last very long.

And even hear Nate talk about that when you guys are having a conversation like last class period of the day, are players excited about going to practice? Are they thinking of every reason not to show up? And so I think that’s, that’s the environment that we’d always try to, again, like a safe space, one was full of love and joy.

And the third thing was going to be, is gonna be full of hard work. And that we really know as coaches, if we could set the tone with turning over every rock when it comes to film and watching opponents and, and coming up with the best strategies and ideas and expecting that same effort from the players and practices.

When we started to do those three or four things in the culture things began to work themselves out along the process. And so that’s one thing that we’ve always focused on. And as far as on the court going, I mentioned a bit earlier, but for us, it was always so big in that first meeting we had as a team is to talk about.

You might not be used to the style that we’re gonna play because we’re in play a faster pace than most teams. And we me personally, I’m, I am all in 100% committed to action based on offenses, over sets and plays and running those things. And so we just let them. Well, it’s going to, it’s going to be a process and it’s not going to look pretty at first.

But if you give it a chance you know, those first couple of weeks of scrimmages, even that first week or two games, our turnover rate is probably gonna be a little high because we’re playing faster than most of you are used to. Our, our shooting percentage would probably be a little lower because it’s just different in those first couple of games.

And it is then what we can do in, in practices and those simulations. But if you give it a chance about that third week of the regular season, now there’s going to be a flip that switched and turn over rate goes down, shooting percentage goes up the, the frustrations begin to dissipate a little bit and the successes and the celebrations go up.

And so. Painting that vision from the start in the summer. And let them know what’s coming up ahead. You know, really the, the, the idea of an expert versus a novice is I think something we, as coaches could do a better job of explaining to our players. And one thing that makes the expert so special is they know exactly what to look for.

You know, if we’re playing the piano, I’ve got a sister sister’s a phenomenal piano player. You never want to hear me on the keyboard. Right. But as a novice, if I’m sitting down trying to play something, I’m trying to figure out every individual note, I’m looking all over the keyboard and trying to connect the dots between what I see and what I hear, what my fingers are doing, but she’s an expert.

She doesn’t need all the information because she knows what she needs to look for. She needs to know exact, she knows exactly in what’s coming next. What’s most. And so that’s what we try to do as a coaching staff first me with my staff and then us as a staff with our players, and then even with our families and administration, everybody who’s involved in that process is, Hey, this is what our journey is going to look like.

These are some of the roadblocks and the hiccups and construction zones that we’ll hit along the way. But if we all will stay with this process, it’s going to be really, really special at the end.

[00:45:35] Mike Klinzing: That communication upfront, I think is really important to be able to share with everybody who’s a stakeholder in your program.

You just mentioned administrators, parents, obviously the players, but you have to lay out, what’s going to be expected. And if you don’t, a lot of times, those voids get filled by unrealistic expectations, where, when you’re talking about like a player who, if you don’t communicate what their role is going to be and where you see them in the program, every kid’s going to come into fall practice or the first game thinking, Hey, I’m about to play.

30 minutes and a 32 minute game, but parents are going to think the same thing right there. If you don’t, if you don’t communicate clearly where a player stands, that’s oftentimes where the frustrations of players and parents come from is that lack of communication, lack of understanding of where exactly you stand.

So I think, especially when you take over a brand new program, you have to come in and you have to make sure that people understand those expectations. So we talked a little bit about coaches. We talked a little bit about players. Let’s talk a little bit about the parents’ side of it and your experience as a high school head coach.

What are some of the things that you’ve done to try to better engage parents, to get them to become a part of your program in a positive way versus sort of the way we always hear about parents, which is, oh, they’re a problem. And they’re wearing us out and they’re complaining and this and that. So how do you try to get the parents on your side for lack of better way of saying it and buying into what it is that you’re trying to do with the program?

[00:47:06] Matt McLeod: Yeah, there’s one image that I always keep at the forefront of my mind’s eye. Anytime I’m doing the parent and early in my coaching career, anytime I was interact with parent, I kind of saw it as me sitting on one side of the desk or the table and them sitting on the other and an adversarial role like there’s just that, that picture we always have in those meetings we have with parents after, hopefully not right after a game, hopefully we’re taking some time before we meet with somebody.

But whether it’s during our off period or whatever it is, we want to be with a parent and a couple of years into my coaching career. Just kind of flip that image into what really, what the parents want is. Is best for their child. And what I want is also what I feel is best for their child.

We just have two different lenses. We’re looking through, they’re looking through only their child’s lens. And as a coach, I’m looking through Jimmy’s lens and Johnny’s lens and everybody else’s lens at the same time. And so it kind of flipped that picture in my head to, Hey, you know what? We’re actually sitting on the same side of the table, wanting what is best for the individual athlete.

And, but what I have to do is do a great job of communicating. What, how that best fits the athletes needs, the athletes wants the athletes desires in with the whole scope and sequence of what we’re doing as a team. And so I think a couple of things that I’ve done that just been so helpful for me as a coach is number one, I’m very transparent with the coach, with the player, or I’m sorry with the parents.

When we talk, I’m not transparent as far as, Hey, come in and watch film, tell me what you think I should do, but just really being straightforward and honest with them Hey if Johnny wants more playing time, I understand that I want Johnny to play more. Right. I think as a coach, if we kind of help pants or sound like.

You know, how much we care about or feel about your son or daughter does not, is not measured by playing time. You know, we can care a lot about some players that maybe they just don’t have the right skills to be there, or even, maybe just a person in front of them is just better than them. And it’s sometimes it’s, that’s the hard, hard thing to overcome and communicate.

And so really we would work hard to have those open, transparent conversations. Early in the process. I think my, my young, young, young coach Matt early in my coaching career I would avoid parents at all costs early on just like the matter of the upset. I’m not sure you know, and and then all of a sudden, the only time they would ever track me down was when things were bad.

So the only time we ever had conversations is when they were frustrated is when things weren’t going their son or their daughters away, the way they felt they should go. And so I think his coach is a great thing we can do is, is start the conversation early and have times when we’re around the parents and let them know in our first meeting every year, whether it’s the first year when we take over a program or the parent meeting, we have every year leading up to a season in that first meeting, we’re telling the parents, Hey, this is our system.

This is our strategy. These are things that we’re focused on this year. These are things that we believe in to help may successful. This is how your son or your daughter can earn more playing time and take them through and I’ll even say, Hey, listen, I know a lot of you in this room are passionate.

The game have played at high levels, and there are a lot of different ways to skin the cat, as far as the game of basketball goes I don’t, as a coach, I believe there’s only one absolute and the end of basketball and that is more points wins. And besides that there’s so many different ways we can find ways to be successful and to win games and just communicate with and say, this is the way that we feel is best as a coaching staff.

And this is how you can help support your son or your daughter as we’re going through the process and then just making it very, very straightforward for them. You know, one thing that we found as coaches that were great with these parent conversations, because for whatever reason, Mike, I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but so often it comes down to how many shots a certain person is getting.

You know, we need more shots when they say playing time, they really mean more shots. They want to see the ball go up in the air. And so one thing we need as a team was. Your freedom to let the ball fly to your games was directly associated with how well you shot during practice. And so if a parent came to me frustrated about the lack of opportunities for their, for their son, for their daughter, my conversation was, well, have you checked the leaderboard?

Cause we, we gave our players access to our leaderboards throughout the things we different do in practice. I would love for Timmy to shoot more than the next game as well. Unfortunately, his averages and his scores just aren’t there yet. And as soon as Timmy hits those scores, man, he’s able to let it fly all that he wants to do in a game.

And so having those V you know, so softens coaching, there’s always gonna be subjective partner coaching, but if we can clearly define when we do this, that will happen. I think that helps. You know, it’s not going to take every parent quote problem or issue or concern away. But it’s really just to help us set the table for us as coaches and how we have those conversations and how we can navigate those waters with parents.

[00:51:47] Mike Klinzing: Certainly having that quantitative data to back up or support your point, your subjective point as a coach, I think is always valuable. It’s much better. It’s just like being a parent. Right. And you talked about it a little earlier as a coach. When you share the why with your players or your kids, you tend to get a much better response than because I said so.

Absolutely. Cause I said, so it might’ve worked well when I was a kid in the seventies, but I don’t think it works quite as well now as it used to. So if you can have some data to back that up, that certainly is going to help. When you talk about that data, what are some things that you chart and then what’s your process for charting?

Because I know one of the things. High school coaches sometimes struggle with is, Hey, I’ve got my staff of whatever. Some coaches might only have one varsity assistant and maybe their JV practice practices a different time. And so the idea of figuring out how do I chart stuff and still actually coach the practice I think, is something that coaches sometimes struggle with.

So what’s your process for what you chart and then how you actually physically go about carting it?

[00:52:51] Matt McLeod: Yeah, no for sure. That’s a great question. You know what, whatever it is, whether it’s charting shots or whether it’s whatever we’re looking for as a coach when it comes down to it, we have to figure out a way to make it work.

You know? So often we tell players, Hey, no excuses. It is what it is. Figure it out. I know you’re only five, five. If you want playing time, you gotta be special at something, you’re not six’ five”, like your teammate is. So I think sometimes as coaches, at least for me I would, a lot of times. Really let things become excuses oh, we don’t have the budget for this, or I don’t have enough people on staff to do that.

But really what I was communicating was I haven’t found it. If it’s really matters to me, I got to find a way to make it work. And so when it came down to things like that, like, yeah, even the last couple of years with, with COVID and how that’s impact different situations and things, there was a time for awhile where I was the only coach in practice with our team that was full of seniors, we were expected great things and we couldn’t lose our standard of tracking.

And so what we’ve done throughout the years and what we will always do anytime I’m coaching a team, whether it’s, again, just me or with a staff full of coaches and managers and assistants or whatever else. Number one is that earlier I mentioned, we would have a 30 minute dedicated shooting segment and practice and a big chunk of what that shooting segment would be, would be sets of 10 of every player where they’re shooting from.

I’d be a little different. We would tailor it to where they were getting most of their shots of end games. We wouldn’t just say, Hey. 50 catches shoot threes 10 from all five spots, we would actually know the data. What, what locations are we getting threes for our most often as a team than specifically you as a player, what locations are you getting most threes from, or even do you shoot a higher percentage on one side of the floor versus the other?

And is there enough data there that says, Hey, we should get you on the right side more than the left and try to figure out where that sweet spot was. And then we would, we would make sure our players were tracking that and whether it was a scrap of paper and a pencil that was underneath the goal that they were writing it down and then we’d turn it at the end of practice.

And then I would take into my computer and put it in Google sheets and just have it set up to track. Or maybe if we had a great manager one year or an extra assistant coach, maybe they were inputting that information in real time, but we were just making sure. That we really valued, you know?

Cause I think that’s where a lot of things as coaches, like we want our players to if it comes to decision-making we want the players to be okay, define it, plan it, measure it, like, go for it. Well, are we doing that same thing in our practices? And so again, going back to shooting, we would define what our expectations were for us.

We had what we’d call our Greenlight standard. And so we would have not only the, the sets of 10 that we were tracking, but you know, similar to like coach neighbors and university of Arkansas on the women’s side has got some great stuff on YouTube that you can find, but we would, every year would pick out two or three shooting drills that had some kind of time to it and some kind of score attached to it.

And then based upon what your average was is what it would give you the freedom to shoot. Like one of my favorite shooting Joes that we use, we called it Reddick 94 shooting. So you had four minutes and 90 shots, whichever came first and your time. And for us as a team, if you could average 45 makes or more in those four minutes, maximum 90 shots, then you were, you had the freedom to shoot any time that when you caught the ball, you were on balance in range and rhythm, right?

Those three things, check, check, let it fly. Even if you were to for seven, like let it fly. You’re you are open and you’ve proven over the course of time, what a great shooter you are. And then for us, we would also have the opportunity for players to level up. If we had a player who was averaging, let’s say 55 or more making that same drill if they were oh, of 14, we were still drawing up plays for them, right?

Like, because you’ve proven you’re a great shooter over time. It’s like Kobe Bryant said shooting is math. If I’m a 50% shooter and I’m over four, that just means I’m gonna make five. And my next six. And so I think a lot of times it’s, it’s easy for us as coaches to in the moment make adjustments when things don’t feel like they’re going well.

Just like we, we always preach yet trust the process. And so we would track those things and at a minimum, right, Google sheets is great. It’s free. It’s out there. We would input all of our information in that we’d have different tabs for different shooting drills and what was great. Cause then players could actually go back and see their averages over time.

And then one thing that I’ve found was an unintended benefit of going to the shooting system approach that we had, where we tracked and we measured you know, we made plans for it and we always talk about scores. You know, I think a lot of times I talked to coaches and, and they get really frustrated, have the end of practice, like what’s practices done know.

Practices over players are on their own. That a lot of frustration. I hear one of two things. Either players don’t stay after practice, right? The moment it’s 1, 2, 3 break. They are out of the gym as fast as possible. Or number two, it turns into like an attempted dunk contest on the guy side or some kind of jelly roll layup contest.

Dunkers. Yes. Fake Dockers. I was there. I can’t, I can’t judge it. That was me at 17 as well.

[00:57:41] Mike Klinzing: Sorry. I talked to my son about that all the time. Like I’m like, man, there’s a lot of fake Dunkers out here.

[00:57:47] Matt McLeod: Yeah, that’s true. And what we found is when we went to the shooting system approach because you will always have the freedom to shoot those same tests on your own and then report the score.

And if you didn’t like your score, don’t report it. But if you like your score report, the coach let no. And all of a sudden players who would be really close to earning that freedom to shoot after practice, they were getting up more shots. They were getting with a teammate like if it’s menial threads, Hey Mike, if you’ll rebound for me for the next two minutes, I’ll rebound for you for two minutes and let’s see if we can improve our score.

And then all of a sudden, the players who had already earned the freedom to shoot saw their teammates were gunning for them. And so they would shoot more after practice and it was this great natural, healthy competition that all of a sudden, it’d be 30, 40 minutes after practice. We still have five or six guys getting shots up.

Not because we told them to, but because they knew, Hey, if I put in the work and my scores. I’m going to have the freedom to shoot in prac in games. You know, it’s not this coach like me or not. It’s one of my scores say, what do my numbers say? And again, we can’t do that for every single stat or every single thing a player can bring to the to the team on the floor.

But shooting is definitely one thing that we can track and measure as coaches.

[00:58:50] Mike Klinzing: Well, you talked about it right off the top, right? You can do a whole bunch of things right and if the ball doesn’t go in the basket, not a whole lot else matters.

[00:58:58] Matt McLeod: Absolutely. 100%.

[00:59:01] Mike Klinzing: You can have the greatest X’s and o’s in the world.And that ball still just sometimes we’ll go in the hole. I know I’ve had coach my own kids over the years. Probably said this more than I did when I was a high school coach. But cause you’re getting your coach, the kids with your, when they’re younger and shooting percentage they’re out lower.

But I can, I can, I can just imagine so many times it’s sitting next to my assistant coaches over the years and just turning to him and go the ball just doesn’t go in. It just doesn’t it just doesn’t. It just doesn’t go in the basket. You can do all these other things, but ultimately if you, if you can’t shoot, it’s gonna, it’s going to kill you both as a player and as a coach, and to be able to inspire kids to want to get shots up on their own.

And then, like I said, to have that empirical data that you can then show to a player that you can show to a parent that you can use. Again, it’s not the be all end all, but it’s just another thing that you can put in place to make sure that people understand of, Hey, there’s, there’s actual thought and reasoning behind the decision of who plays, who gets to shoot and all those things.

And I think it’s interesting what you were talking about, what it really comes down to is how many shots does my kid get? And I think one of the things that you learn as a parent sitting in the stands is you’ve come to realize that. In most cases there, it’s really interesting to, to hear, hear parents and just listen to them talk.

And no matter whether you have the parent have the star player, or you have the parent of the 12th, man, they can, they can always find a reason to be unhappy if they want to be unhappy. And the star, the star players, parent is not unhappy because in the blowout, the star player gets taken out and doesn’t get to play their normal amount of minutes.

And so therefore it doesn’t get the score, their normal amount of points, or they’re only getting 15 shouts a game, but they should be getting 20. And then, yeah, the player 12 who just wants their kid to be on the floor for a minute during meaningful games, not just be able to play during blowouts. And there’s just, it just runs the gamut through everybody.

And I think that the lesson here for me as I sit and listen to the parents, and I think about it both from a coaching standpoint and a parent’s standpoint is you just have to. You just have to sit back as a parent and understand that it’s the, it’s the kid’s journey ultimately. And if, if there is a disagreement with the coach, it should, it should usually come from the player.

Certainly first it should come from the player and discussion between the player, the player and the coach first. And I think you said it best when, when you give your players opportunities to have those conversations, then chances are, you’ve already had that difficult conversation with the player because those lines of communication are open.

And I find at least oftentimes every once in a while you get a kid who’s delusional, but for the most part kids know, right? I mean, for the most part, if two kids are competing for the same position, the kid who doesn’t get it most often, I think understands that, Hey, this guy is just, he’s better than me.

I’m going against them everyday in practice. Now they might not want to admit it. But I think when push comes to shove, they really know more often those problems come. Parents pushing whatever it is. I might my friend, Greg white, who’s been on the podcast a bunch of times, a head coach of a high school team in Arkansas.

He says, whenever he tries to deal with parents or thinks about having to figure out a way to be able to communicate better with parents, he says, I always just try to remember that every parent wants the lineup to be the four best players and their kid. And that’s how, that’s how that, that’s how every, that’s how every parent approaches it.

I want the four best players on the floor and my son or my daughter. And if you think about it that way, it kind of just in your mind, you can kind of break the, break, the tension and kind of get you to understand that, Hey, this parent, they’re not necessarily coming at it from the most realistic perspective.

And then you just try to figure out the best way to make sure that again, you get them to buy into what you’re trying to do and, and get them on your side. And then, then you can have the type of experience for both parents and players that you want to have as part of your program.

[01:03:17] Matt McLeod: No, absolutely. I agree.

And I’m sorry, we said earlier, the more we can have consistent conversations, both with our players and the parents of our players the more that those other things just kind of can’t take care of themselves in the end. Not that we don’t care, laissez-faire whatever happens, happens. But even recently, I was on on the phone with a former parent of a player of mine.

And he was, had just finished up his freshman year of college, had gone to a sign with the division two school and had a full ride, but didn’t quite have the playing time that he was hoping for. The kid, the son and the dad said this with the son understood the, the lack of planning time, a lot better than his dad did.

But then end of the season comes in now with just the way that the college basketball works and the transfer portal and options and things the phone call to me was from the dad like, well, should he transfer? What do you think you should do? And I was like, well, I don’t have you, what does your son say?

And so we had a conversation and really what, what this dad said to me, which I think is his coaches. Like these are the relationships that we’re looking for the parents, because it’s not just in the moment. I think the best coaches are looking at what’s. Our relationships will be like five years after your son or daughter stopped playing for me.

You know, when they’re going through a hard time in life. Cause that’s where it’s bigger than the X’s and O’s, and I know you and I are, are so much aligned on that and we want to win. We want to have great seasons whenever possible, but this is a long-term relationship. And so when he, when we were having a conversation, he said, you know what, coach?

He goes. I just want to thank you for never stopping talking to me. He’s like, there were several times over the course of my son’s high school career when I don’t know if I would have talked to me anymore. And I still to say, Hey man we’re all passionate. You know, I mean, he played college basketball.

He’s actually also a college official. And so he knows the game. But just my style of coaching and the way that I approach offensive defense is different than what he would do. And so, yeah, we just had a great laugh over that in the conversation. And I was so thankful in that moment that I’d stayed true to who I knew I was supposed to be as a coach.

I think early in my coaching career, I would begin to almost chameleon like act different ways with different parents and try to say things in a certain way. So hopefully they understand, but they’re not going to get mad at me at the end where, Hey, we always want to speak the truth with love.

But we got to keep speaking the truth to the parents that are there are have these players from our programs.

[01:05:31] Mike Klinzing: Yeah. Being able to have those honest conversations is critical. I think if you try to sugar coat things and you try to tell people what they want to hear, you’re just going to end up getting yourself in trouble and you’re gonna make the future conversations even more difficult, difficult.

It just makes sense to have the conversation upfront, move on, and then everybody understands where everybody stands.

[01:05:51] Matt McLeod: Yeah. So it’s like, we think we’re just sweeping things under the rug, but really what we’re doing is creating a landslide. That’s going to come to a head at some point in time.

[01:06:00] Mike Klinzing: Exactly. And we can all think of those situations.  I’m sure. In our personal lives, in our coaching lives, in our professional lives where you made the mistake of, I’m just going to kind of weasel around this thing and then it ends up being a lot worse in the end. And so you’re much better off, I think, as you get older, you come to realize that you got to say what you got to say, and the sooner you do that, the better off everybody is.

All right. Let’s talk about your decision. Let’s talk about your decision to step away from high school coaching and sort of this next phase. Of your coaching career, where you’re getting into more coach consulting, you’re getting into trying to have a bigger impact on the coaching profession. Just tell us a little bit about the journey to get there, what you thought about, why you made that decision.

And then we can dive into some of the specific things that you’re doing as a part of that.

[01:06:51] Matt McLeod: Yeah, no, I appreciate it. You know, I had the awesome opportunity to be a high school head coach for 14 years. Tons of successful seasons loved everywhere that we had been. But also moved a lot. You know, I think early in my coach was like so many of us and I would say there’s however we want to approach our coaching journey.

Whether that’s always move up to the next highest level, always be looking for the, like, I get it. I understand it. I’m not saying there’s just one way, right? There’s not just one way to coach the game. And there’s not just one way to approach our coaching journey. And throughout the course of our career of early on, for me, it was always what’s the next job that I can get.

Where every spring I was just hounding different state association boards, looking for job openings, applying for 30 jobs, seeing what was out there and going and going and going. And after about seven or eight years of just kind of chasing my tail realized, Hey, you know what. The grass is greener where you water it.

And so when we were just outside of Houston, Texas it was my fourth coaching spot. I had been in seven or eight years as a head coach. We we’d moved a lot. We really thought, Hey, we’re going to, we’re going to get here. We’re going to plant our feet. We’re going to just dig roots. It’s gonna be great.

And. Two great super successful years. In fact, my second year there in the Houston area you know, that year we went 32, an eight during the season made it all the way to the final four. And if we don’t, we don’t have time for me to tell you the story, but if Disney made a movie of our loss in that game, nobody would believe it.

It was one of those things where everything went wrong for us and credit to them, everything went right. They hit the shots that we did, and it was an amazing victory for our opponent. But again, we just two great seasons riding high. And actually we were going to lose every player who mattered off of that team just about.

And, but I’d never been more excited as a coach to develop into plan and mainly have these eighth graders coming up and it’s gonna be two tough years, but man, what can we do to get back here in three or four years to this point? And about a week and a half later found out that I was no longer going to be the coach at the school anymore.

And it was one of those shocking moments that I think we’ve all had. You know, I’ll never forget when I was a teenager walking into the kitchen. Happy, upbeat, excited. And then I see the look on my parents’ faces and I’m like, Ooh, what did I do this time? You know, like you just know that moment. And so I had a similar one.

You know, it was a couple of weeks outside of the season walked into to the office of, of one of the people who were in charge of school and, and found out we just, we hadn’t always seen Idaho, but behind closed doors, but had always supported in public and in front and whatever. We all have our own reasons to do things, but found out I was not going to be back the next year as the coach.

And that was really tough for me actually went through. I grew up in Southeast, like we talked about North Carolina and. I don’t know if anybody intentionally ever taught me this, but it was definitely something that I learned at an early age or at least thought I was supposed to learn was that has a guy.

You don’t show emotions. If if you have anything that’s frustrating or you’re upset about swallow it, bury it be, be tough. And we do need more toughness in our world today. But I also think emotions are real. And for the first time in my life, I mean, I went through a four month stretch where every single job I applied for, I was denied.

Like as coaches, once you’re around long enough those jobs you should definitely get. And I was applying for every job is even at the time my wife and I had four kids and I’m thinking I gotta feed them. I gotta take care of like, what are we going to do? Even that one tough day when I found out I wasn’t coming back, I’ll never forget.

I was sitting outside. My wife was sitting with me. We were on the just sitting outside in the grass and hadn’t gone in to tell the kids yet. And our neighbor comes across from across the street, could tell I’ve had a bad day and put San Antonio has a rough day. And Matt was like, yeah, man, you have no idea.

He goes, Hey, It could be worse. You could have been fired. And all of a sudden, just the look on my face, he was like, oh my goodness. Right? Cause I started crying and upset and you know, again, then go to this next four month stretch where I’m not getting jobs. And really on a personal level began to deal with anxiety and depression in ways that I had never experienced before.

And so found, I ended up going to Cassidy high school in Oklahoma city and had a great four years there. And, and the reason I kind of built all the way up to answer your very simple question about stepping away is at the end of the 20, 20, 21 season just realized there were some changes happening to the school.

They were, they were deciding kind of go in a different direction with athletics. And I was looking for maybe what’s next for me, just in my own life. I have an incredible wifi. I’m married way, way up. I don’t know whatever did to convince her to marry me. And she had just started home business and it was exploding.

And I was like, you know what, maybe it’s a good time for me to take a step back. And cause once I went through what I went through with losing a job and dealing with the anxiety of not being able to find a job and being passed over and all those things, as I began to share that story to the coaches, I learned how many coaches went through the same thing, kinda like talking about earlier when I was listening to Nate and you have a conversation like, oh yeah, I was doing those things too.

But at the same, even the bad side the frustrating side is the same. So many coaches lose a job that they care about. That’s outside of their control. So many coaches have anxiety. So many coaches are doing everything they can to be successful and just don’t have the support from all the stakeholders like we were talking about earlier.

And so at the end of that, 2020-21 season just felt like it was a great time for me to not just impact the 12 or 15 guys on my varsity team or the 35 40 guys in my high school program. But in this new stage of life, how can I help journey with and support coaches, players, and parents all across the country, all across the world who are going through similar things and help them just find ways to level up, right?

They want to get from point a to point B, but they’re not really sure the steps in between. And so now I’ve had the co-op to start this journey where I’m helping. Like I said, coaches, players, and parents not only define what’s next, but come up with a plan of how to get there for, they want out of the game of basketball.

[01:12:32] Mike Klinzing: So what does that look like on the ground? What are some things that you’re doing to impact those people directly? How are you getting in touch with them? Just explain exactly what it is that you do.

[01:12:44] Matt McLeod: No for sure. You know, number one, it’s really important to me to serve and provide great resources at no cost.

You know, obviously I have some things I do that, that have a cost attached to it, but I want to provide incredible value for everyone and anyone. And so really simple, kind of got on the computer one day. Went to and started my own website. So it’s coach and I’m on the website.

I have video breakdowns and film breakdowns of whether it’s team concepts or actions or skills. Also have a, a weekly newsletter that goes out to players, coaches, and parents it’s called the deep three. Then I also have my coaches newsletter the coaches corner that goes out every week, every other week with, with thoughts and ideas specifically for coaches.

And so just trying to provide that FA value through, like I said, film breakdowns through newsletters, through analyzing what’s going on in the game of basketball today. Also have a blog that I write this there on my website that really get likes. I try to provide great value. And then on top of that finding ways where I can connect with coaches and, and I do one-on-one coaching with coaches, one-on-one coaching with players, whether it’s on the court or off the court helping them walk through the college recruitment process.

You already talked about that earlier. It’s a lot different now than it was 15 or 20 years ago. And really just helping. Coaches players, parents navigate these waters. Also do some small group, like cohort type coaching with coaches. During this, during the season, we did a way to focus on skill development in season, because I think that’s a lot, that’s one thing a lot of coaches are looking for, but we don’t always quite know how to do.

And so just finding ways like that, like I said, where I can bring value and help coaches, players, parents, wherever they’re at get to wherever they want to go to with the game of basketball.

[01:14:22] Mike Klinzing: What’s been the value to you on a personal level from going through this. Cause when I hear about this, one of the things that I think the podcast has done for me is it’s exposed me to so many great basketball minds, so many different ways of approaching the game and thinking about it, that it’s got me to go back and self-analyze like, we talked about earlier and figure out, Hey, what is it that I’m doing that I can do better?

And even in my day to day teaching job, there’s things that I’ve learned. People that we’ve had on the podcast that I’ve been able to take back and use to be able to impact what I do day to day. So when you think about, yeah, you’re having an impact on others, but what have you learned for yourself through this process?

Maybe it’s just in terms of solidifying and kind of bringing everything together into one place, or just, we’ll talk a little bit about what you’ve gained from this process.

[01:15:21] Matt McLeod: Oh, man, I’ve gained so much through this process. Number one is really just realizing the importance as a coach to not just having what you do, but having what you do written down what is our system?

What is our approach? Like things that I think allows us coaches We all want to develop, like we talked about earlier, sometimes we don’t know how to end season out of season. There might be more options, but you know, my first handful of years, as a coach, my development plan was go to YouTube and watch videos get on every newsletter possible and read them as much as I could and highlight and print off and save.

And, but it didn’t have a, a plan for me to follow. You know, it was just kind of whatever, fell in my lap, whatever rabbit hole I got down through on YouTube and tried to learn something new. And so it’s really taught me the importance of, of making sure that like, Hey, as a coach, like, I know not only what’s important and where I want to go, but like, what are we gonna do in between?

So like meeting one of the coaches I’m working with right now he’s a high school girl’s coach in Minnesota and came on as a consultant with them at the end, the current season. And so I was watching a little bit of film and kind of ask him what he’s thinking about his team and where he’d like to go.

And one thing, he was like, man, I wish you a better decision makers. Like I like the stuff that we run, but if we can make better decisions. So I said, okay, well, well, how are you going to make better decisions? And it was kind of quiet there for a second. You know, I was like, Ooh, I hadn’t thought about that.

And we all have that as coaches, right? Like we’re so in the weeds of it, all that we might miss out on opportunities. And so it’s he and I then kind over the next six weeks came up with what is his off season plan going to look like, and how’s he going to implement it for his players? And that’s something I wish I had done a better job of as a coach myself is, Hey, first off season, this is the end in mind, which I think I did a pretty good job of, but what I miss was the in-between.

If this is going to look like this in October, And let’s say we’re having this meeting on June 1st. Well, this is what it needs to look like by September. If it’s like that in September, this is what it needs to look like by August 1st and really kind of stealing from football coaches in that regard where you have the end result mind that Friday night game is Friday from be ready.

Thursday has to look like this a Thursday. And with like that Wednesday’s present practice has to look like this and building from the end back to the beginning versus starting where I am and hoping I get to where I want to go.

[01:17:36] Mike Klinzing: What’s been the most fun part of the non-basketball side of this in terms of maybe the business part of it, whether it’s just building the website or doing the marketing, or just the things that it takes in order to kind of get this off the ground that are non-basketball related.

Has there been any part of that that’s been maybe more fun than what you expected?

[01:17:57] Matt McLeod: I think the fun, I’m sure you’ve had a similar experiences with, with what you’ve been doing. Like there are so many times. I am convinced I have the world’s best idea. Like this is going to be so good. Every, every person is not only going to click on like the title to my email.

So get everyone’s going to open up a hundred percent open rate. And the quality of the content is so good. They’re all going to sign up for it right away. And then it’s crickets, right? Like, oh, only a third of the people I sent it to like, even what my best friend didn’t open this. Right. Cause we can get really in the details in the weeds or share or even emails and who’s opening it.

So that’s been one thing like, man, it’s just like in coaching, sometimes we think we have the best idea, the best game plan. If it’s for three minutes in that game and it’s not working, it’s time to do something different. And so that’s been a lot of fun for me. That’s always was my approach to coaching.

You know what? We’re going to try it. And if it doesn’t work, no worries. We’ll do something different the next time. We’ll, we’ll figure it out. And so I’ve had a lot of fun just failing and seeing what doesn’t work and then, you know how it goes every once in a while. Something that I didn’t think was going to be that big of an idea or something that I didn’t really think was going to have a ton of value.

Getting the testimonials back in, getting the emails and the texts and the direct messages of the impact, that, that little tiny thing, what I felt was tiny the major impact that had on others. And so that’s been a lot of fun as well.

[01:19:16] Mike Klinzing: That’s so true, when it comes to trying to figure out what. Like click on what people might want, what programs that you can put together, people are going to want to be a part of.

It’s always interesting and we’ve had some different iterations of things we’ve done. And I think we always try to experiment with social media and try to figure out what works and what are people going to want to click on? And what’s the, how can we, how can we grow our followers? How can we grow the listenership?

And it’s always, I tell people, it’s just, you’re just throwing things at the wall and trying to see what sticks. And so you just keep trying different things. And that’s part of the fun of developing, whether it’s a podcast or a website or a coaching consultancy or whatever it might be. You’re just trying to figure out what it is that is going to work.

And a lot of times, I think there’s a tremendous amount of value that you can provide. It’s just a matter of how do you use. Unlock that through marketing or through the right plan to be able to get it to the right people. And I think that’s the challenge. And coaching’s a lot like that, where you have this vision of what you want to do.

You have these different parts, the players, you have your assistant coaches, you have the greater school community, and you had all these different things that are kind of playing into whether or not you can have success. And then it’s up to you to kind of mix, mix and match and put those parts together and really figure out what it’s going to be and what it’s going to work and how you can unlock the things that you want to bring to the table that you can share the value that you can bring to other people.

And that’s the challenge. That’s the fun and the nice part about it. Whether you’re podcasting, you’re coaching, you’re working with a team you’re working with other coaches, whatever it might be. I think the most fun and gratifying part of that is all through it. You get the chance to build relationships with really good people who are trying to do.

Good things. And in our case, doing great things through the game of basketball, which is a game that we all love. And that’s something that, to be able to do that for me, with a game that’s been as great to me as a game of basketball has been, whatever little I’m giving back through this podcast just makes it so that I feel like that all the game has been has given to me that in some small way, I’m able to connect with people who have that same feeling, get the same joy from the game as I do, and hopefully share that so that we can continue to impact the game and just make it better for coaches, for players, for everybody who’s involved in it.

That to me is really what it’s all about.

[01:21:42] Matt McLeod: Oh man. So, so true. And even, you know what things I’m doing right now, as well as is going and doing team clinics and working on the ground with whether it’s the coaching staff or running practices or doing some of the off season development. And, and for me, it’s been just, I love seeing those light bulbs turn on for players.

Last weekend I was in North Carolina working with a middle school group and just some of these girls that, that they don’t know what they don’t know. We talked about that before we left his coaches, but players are the same way. And just seeing the light come on for the first time we were, we were actually just running a very simple split action off the ball.

And I think we went the first. 10 minutes without even getting an open look off of it. But just staying with it, all of a sudden something clicked. And even though the defense knew it was coming the girls got nine straight layups out a split action. And all of a sudden now it’s protections the best thing in the world.

There’s a lot of ways to do it. It was just seeing those wins. Cause I think you, you talked about your kids and I’ve got four kids myself and just seeing them be successful at what they care about. That brings so much joy to me as a dad I want them to fail. I want them to fall off the bike.

I want them to have the overcome adversity, but when they can find that click and they level up, I mean, I get so excited. And so that’s what I love about what I get to do right now is. Whether it’s the coaches I work with, whether it’s the teams I go in and train, and whether it’s the parents that I meet with and talk through about how to be a better sports parent just seeing those light bulbs come on.

And you know, again, it’s not just me, it’s not, it’s not that I’m the smartest person in the room. I’ve just been able to be in rooms with lots of smart people over the course of my life. Basketball has been really, really good to me. Like it’s been to you. And so being able to take the things that I’ve learned as the dumbest person in the room, but just pass that knowledge forward, man.

I didn’t think that I could love something as much as I loved coaching the games and the strategy. But this last year has been a lot of fun and I’m having just really enjoying what I get to do now.

[01:23:41] Mike Klinzing: So I don’t want to throw rain on your parade here, but my next question is when you look forward and you look ahead three to five years out, where do you see yourself?

What’s the future hold for. You as a coach for just where do you see yourself in three and three to five years? What’s the plan?

[01:24:02] Matt McLeod: Yeah, that’s a really, really good question. That’s when I asked myself almost every day, when I wake up what I’m doing today, what I’m doing, what am I doing today?

Is this going to be, what I want to do in three to five years? Is this taking me down that path? You know, ah, 12 months ago. I told you I definitely will get back into coaching at some point in time. And maybe I do I’ve got four kids, like I said, two sons who, man, whatever sports and seasons or favorite sport right now, they’re fifth grade and second grade.

So they’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re already navigating those waters. And my fifth grade son, Hey, Hey man, do you want me to coach you in high school? And his answer was, I don’t know, that might be kind of weird. And I was like, yeah, I kind of feel the same way. And so we’ll navigate as it comes to it.

You know, coaching at the college level is something that I have always had a desire to do and some op opportunities here and there. But man, that lifestyle is very tough on the families. You and I both sure have friends, I’ve got lots of great friends. I know you do too. That we’ll have four or five great years.

And then one below average year, and all of a sudden they’re looking for a new house. They’re looking for a new job. And so those are the things that we’re bouncing out, but I would say three to five years from now, I want to be doing what I’m doing right now. I want to be finding ways on a daily basis to impact the people that I get to come in contact with.

And if that’s still going to be through a newsletter and through YouTube videos and through going in and running practices and consulting. Hey, awesome. If that. You know, working at the professional level, whether it’s in player development or working on a staff somewhere, Hey, great. If it’s going to take an over a, a tiny class, a high school somewhere, that’s got 30 total high school students, Hey, let’s go there and do the best job that we can with that situation that we’re given.

But man I love what I’m doing right now and just want to keep finding ways for the next three to five years to, to be impacting the game in a positive way and impacting the people who care about this game, that guys like you and I love so much.

[01:25:51] Mike Klinzing: That’s well said. I’m glad you didn’t throw that question back at me and asked me, so,

[01:25:55] Matt McLeod: okay, next time, next time I get to turn the microphone on you.

[01:26:00] Mike Klinzing: Next time when you sstart your podcast, that’s going to be your next thing. So you still have it. You start that you can have me on as a guest. All right, before we finish up, I want to give you a chance to share how people can reach out to you, connect with you, share your website again, tell them how they can subscribe to the newsletter, social media, whatever you want to share.

And then after you do that, I’ll jump back in and wrap things up.

[01:26:19] Matt McLeod: Sounds great. Yeah, Mike, I appreciate it. You know, the website is My last name is spelled M C L E O D. So is where the website is people. They can sign up for the newsletter right there. Also one thing that I love doing is I do a complimentary 20 minute consultations with players, coaches, whoever wants it.

And so right there, when you go to the homepage of the website, it says, get connected. When you click on that, you have the opportunity to just go straight to my calendar and book a 20 minute phone call, or I’m sorry, 20 minute zoom call. We’ll. We’ll just talk about what’s going on in the game of basketball for you and maybe some ideas, some thoughts I had that might be able to help you out with whatever going on as a player or a coach love interacting on social media.

Same handle on both Twitter and Instagram. It’s just @_MattMcCloud. Love interacting with coaches on Twitter. Like Mike, I don’t think I appreciate it enough when I was coaching in high school, the value of the things that are on Twitter for us as coaches.

And so even now, just stepping back and having a little more free time to dive deeper into that social media platform, there is such great content out there and love to interact with others who are, who are on Twitter and looking to level up as a coach and, and help me get better in the things that I’m doing in life.

[01:27:37] Mike Klinzing: It is so easy to find stuff on Twitter, and it is amazing that if you take the time to go through the value of things that people are sharing, if you can, if you can tune out all the goofiness that’s on there and really focusing on what the good stuff is, there’s a ton of coaching resources, and there’s so many people, and this is one of the things that has been really gratifying about the podcast.

And I think it’s just a part of the way coaches are today. There’s so many people that are willing to share, and that’s what makes it makes the coaching profession. So great is just whether it’s on Twitter, whether it’s through podcasts, Doing something like you, somebody offering, Hey, here’s 20 minutes of my time to kind of get on.

Let’s just talk through this. And it’s amazing that you can connect with coaches all over the country through all these different ways. And it’s something that when you go back again, 20, 30 years, it was, it was impossible. It was impossible. You know, so many guys, I think you mentioned about being in a silo earlier that there was so often where 20 or 30 years ago a coach, you didn’t have anybody to turn to like your coaches that you were coaching against, that were in your area.

They were all your rivals. You didn’t really want to sit down and talk shop with them because. You’re going to play it probably. And now you can just, I mean, you could be here in Ohio and you can have a map, a friendship with a coach in California, you can call them up and talk all you want because you know, you’re never going to play them and people are just so willing to share.

And that’s, what’s been really, you know just a great part of, of the coaching profession. It’s certainly a great part of the podcast and I’m sure you know, a great piece of what you’re trying to do. So again, Matt, we cannot thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule to jump out with us.

It’s been a lot of fun having the conversation. We look forward to staying in touch and just continuing to be able to share the game. And again, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your schedule. So thank you and to everyone out there, we appreciate you listening and we will catch you on our next episode.