Round Table 31

Hello and Welcome to the 3lst edition of the Coach’s Corner Round Table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table will feature our All-Star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question.  A new Coach’s Corner Round Table will drop around the 15th of each month.

July’s Round Table question is:  What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your coaching career and how did you overcome it?

Our Coaching Lineup this month:

Please enjoy this Round Table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast and once you’re finished listening please give the show a five star rating and review after you subscribe on your favorite podcast app..

If you are a basketball coach at any level please check out our Hoop Heads Coaching Mentorship Program.  You’ll get matched with one of our experienced Head Coaches and develop a relationship that will help take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @hoopheadspod for the latest updates on episodes, guests, and events from the Hoop Heads Pod.

Let’s hear from our coaches about the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced in their coaching career and how they overcame it.

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If you enjoyed this episode let our coaches know by clicking on the link below and sending them a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Rob Brost on Twitter!

Click here to thank Erik Buehler on Twitter!

Click here to thank Dell Leonard on Twitter!

Click here to thank Tod Kowalczyk on Twitter!

Click here to thank Don Showalter on Twitter!

Click here to thank Joe Stasyszyn on Twitter!

Click here to let Mike & Jason know about your number one takeaway from this episode!

And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at


[00:00:00] Narrator: [00:00:00] The Hoop Heads Podcast is brought to you by Head Start Basketball.

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Mike Klinzing: [00:02:53] Hello, and welcome to the 31st edition of the coach’s corner round table on the Hoop Heads Podcast. Each episode of the Coach’s Corner Round Table, we’ll feature our [00:03:00] all-star lineup of guests answering a single basketball question, a new coaches corner round table we’ll drop around the 15th of each month.

July’s round table question is “What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your coaching career and how did you overcome it?”

Our coaching lineup this month includes

Eric Buehler from Chatfield High School.

Rob Brost from Bolingbrook High School.

Tod Kowalczyk from the University of Toledo,

Dell Leonard from Mountain Home High School.

Don Showalter from USA basketball  

Joe Stasyszyn from Unleashed Potential.

Please enjoy this round table episode of the Hoop Heads Podcast. And once you’re finished listening, please give the show a five star rating and review.

If [00:04:00] you’re a basketball coach at any level, please check out our Hoop Heads coaching mentorship program.  You’ll get matched with one of our experienced head coaches and develop a relationship that will take your coaching, your team, your program, and your mindset to another level.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram @hoopheadspod for the latest updates on episodes, guests and events from the Hoop Heads Pod

Let’s hear from our coaches about the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced in their coaching career and how they overcame it.

Rob Brost from Bolingbrook High School, Bolingbrook, Illinois.

Rob Brost: [00:04:13] Hi, this is Rob bros, head boys’ basketball coach at Bolingbrook high school in Illinois. Today’s who peds round table. Is what is your biggest challenge in coaching? I think no it’s as I enter my 15th year as a high school coach, I was a college coach before my priorities have completely changed and I think the biggest challenge for me, coaching right now at the highest level of high school basketball in Illinois is meeting players needs off the floor.

While it’s still challenging them on the floor. I think this is becoming more and more critical for everybody not just in basketball, but in life and in dealing with students on the day to day, but specifically [00:05:00] in my case basketball players, I think number one, you have to meet them where they are and you have to let them know that where they are right now is okay.

And we’re working together to close that capability gap, both on the floor and off the floor. And so, you know, it’s difficult in today’s environment for kids to block out the noise of social media, the noise that maybe even their parents create the perceived pressure that they’re under. And caring about them as a person.

First, what we talk about this all the time as a team and individually with, with our players that you cannot improve as a player until you start to improve yourself as a person. And so you know, there’s no set way to do that. Every person has a different path and you have to meet your players where they are.

And again, I think it’s critically [00:06:00] important that wherever they are as a human being and wherever they are as a player is okay. And you need to listen to them and then provide a level of guidance for them to share with you what they’re going through both on and off the floor. You know, that is the most challenging thing because you want to meet all of your players needs and it’s very difficult to do so in today’s environment with, with everything that comes at these guys from all different levels.

And so that’s that’s by far, I think the biggest challenge for me personally, as a coach and that’s meaning players needs off the floor. First while at the same time, challenging them to close that capability gap that they have on the floor. And then obviously letting them know that it’s okay. To be right where they are.

If they’re a division three talent. That’s okay. They’re a division two talent. [00:07:00] That’s okay. They happened to be a division one talent that’s okay. But until you start improving yourself as a person and taking care of your needs off the floor, it’s going to be difficult to improve what you’re doing on the floor.

Rob roast Bolingbrook high school. Happy to be on again. Thank you guys, Mike, in particular for, for doing this, what you’re doing for basketball and bettering the game is, is just enormous. And it’s always a pleasure to be on until next time. Rob Broast Bolingbrook high school signing off. Take care.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:35] Chatfield Senior High School, Littleton, Colorado.

Erik Buehler: [00:07:41] What’s going on, who peds? This is Eric Mueller at Chatfield senior high. And this month we were asked to share what a greatest challenge in our coaching career has been and how we overcame it. For me, the biggest challenge I’ve had so far is basically getting asked to not come back to a [00:08:00] program.

And that was a tough battle. For me as a person and as a coach and in my personal life too just being asked to not coach a team anymore. And for me coming back from that wasn’t easy and it definitely needed to take some time and reevaluate my methods and, and what my beliefs were as a coach and how I wanted to learn from the situation and come back better than I have before.

And it was a process. But I’d say the main thing that I learned from it was everyone kept telling me and I didn’t want to hear it at the time that everything happens for a reason. And because. Got asked to leave that place. I’m in an amazing place now. And I’ve changed a lot of what I do as a coach and how I teach the game and how I interact with people.

And I think it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Hard to see the forest through the [00:09:00] forest, through the trees sometimes, but that’s the way life goes. So I’m still learning still improving from that situation. But definitely one of the better things has happened to me looking back on it.

But man, it was tough at the time. Hope this helps anyone out there. And look forward to talking to you guys again. Thank you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:20] Todd Kowlczyk from the University of Toledo.

Tod Kowalcyzk: [00:09:27] The biggest challenge that that I have faced in my career was narrating the situation we did at that time. We did not quite know the extent of the circumstances when we got here, but we were the most penalized team in college basketball, our first three seasons because of APR related stuff.

At a point our third year we had to post-season van. We were only allowed to have eight scholarship players that took away 10% of our games. And we aren’t allowed to practice for 14 hours. A week instead of a set of 20. And we only had five days instead of six. [00:10:00] But we overcame it by just staying positive, working through it.

Not use it as an excuse and more than anything, just getting our players, you know, better during that time. But you know, those, those things have, have, have lingering effects for quite some time, simply because we only have eight scholarship players, you know, it affects even three, four years down the road.

You know, but we certainly have looked back and learned a lot and probably were better for it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:10:30] Dell Leonard, Mountain Home High School, Mountain Home, Arkansas

Dell Leonard: [00:10:35] Dale Leonard, mountain home high school, mountain home, Arkansas. What is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my coaching career? And how did I overcome. I would have to say that the biggest challenge I ever faced was probably the first one I faced in my 26 year career. And that was when I was [00:11:00] hired.

I replaced a lady who was a legend and that was my first head coaching job and what I did to overcome it because the, the question marks were there, the doubts were there, all of that pressure was there. But what I realize is when someone has built a program, I personally believe that it’s not as difficult.

To just continue those traditions and, and those ways that that person had been implementing, I believe that’s easier than trying to come in and build something from ground zero. And I just tried to do what she always taught as, and when I was her assistant and. What I watched her teach was just work as hard as you can.

And I try to take advantage of an opportunity and always be [00:12:00] prepared. And I just tried to mirror her and learn from her and really reach out to other people. And the business who were successful and the coaching business is such a giving business. And I look back at the. The veteran coaches who helped me and reached out to young coach and help them get through a really difficult time right there.

And it just says a lot about our profession and how much that coaches help coaches. And I think that this podcast goes right along with that, but that’s, that’s my answer to this month round table question.

Mike Klinzing: [00:12:43] Don Showalter USA basketball.

Don Showalter: [00:12:49] Hi, Don Showalter here from USA basketball. And the question for this session was what’s. What is one of the biggest challenges that you’ve had during your coaching career [00:13:00] and how did you deal with that? I really think that coaches go through a lot of different challenges each and every year that are different.

Such as, you know, trying to improve your team. I think trying to build a culture are all challenges that we face the game basketball. I would say for me, one of the most personal challenges I had was when my dad passed away right during the middle of our season. And that, that was a personal challenge to, to really focus on, on our, my kids and making them better on the basketball court.

And dealing with the loss of my dad. So personally that was a big challenge for me as well. But again, I think we all go through challenges every year and how we deal with that. You know, we have to stay positive and just understand that as a challenge will that challenges will not go away.

You’re gonna have a challenge probably daily, weekly, yearly with your team. And, [00:14:00] and not only with your team, but with things that surround your team.

Thank you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:14:07] Joe Stasyszyn Unleashed Potential Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Joe Stasyszyn: [00:14:14] This month’s question is what was the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced in your coaching career?

And how did you overcome it? So for me, I would say probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. My coaching career was coaching my son in high school. It’s an experience that I had that I would never, ever trade or give back. I would do it over again if I had to, but I have to say it was very challenging, but one of the things that I did early on when I knew I was going to be coach my son here at Carlisle high school was talking to Dave Lee.

Dave Leibow coach’s son, Jeff Liebow here at Carlyle, and also, and I ended up coaching with coach Leibow later on as his assistant, before taking over as a head [00:15:00] coach and coaching my son. So I used him as a great resource. I know Jeff’s freshman year here at Carlyle was very challenging for him because he started on the varsity as a freshman.

And he went through a lot of the challenges that I would eventually go through with my son in coaching him and Jeff later went on to play at the university of North Carolina. Now he is one of the top assistants for Huber Davis at university of North Carolina. But in talking to coach Liebow, we just talked about the ins and outs, the ups and downs of coaching.

And I’ll never forget. One of the things that he always told me was he told his son when he was coaching him, that he had to make sure his son had to make sure that he was by far the best player on the team. So there would be no question as to. Him playing for his, for his dad is the head coach. And that’s something I told my son, Jordan, when he played for me as a freshmen and also started as a freshman, told him, you know, it couldn’t be close competition, couldn’t be close.

He had to be [00:16:00] so much better than everybody else for me to be able to put him on a floor and that, and that didn’t even stop people at first. But it’s certainly, you know, early on when he showed that he was one of the better players or the best player on the team In terms of our ability that helps with his, with his career and going forward, I’ll never forget his.

His first, his first conference game as a freshman, he came out and had 28 points for us on a road victory and a big win. And I actually had to move him over to the point. He was a user combo guard and played mostly to two, but my senior point guard found out early and I had to move him over to the point.

He did a tremendous job and that, and that quieted a lot of the talk, the noise about, you know, he’s only playing because his dad’s a coach, but a couple other things that I did. And trying to help with this difficult situation of coaching. My son was talked to Toby Smith, Toby Smith. The former coach at Kentucky had coached his son.

So I talked to him about how he handled coaching his sons. And he was very [00:17:00] helpful. Also talk that are hurleys the Hurley boys, Dan Hurley, and you know, talk to his dad a little. About coaching, coaching your sons. I remember a specific conversation I had with Dan and he really helped me in terms of how to handle a son.

And, and one of the most important things, I think that I’ve learned through this, you know, this time of coaching, my son was, you know, you w when you went home, you had to be a dad. Couldn’t talk about you. Couldn’t talk about all the things he did wrong. He couldn’t talk about the game 24 7. You had to go home and be a dad.

That’s something else that I learned from coaching my son that, you know, you had to keep the coach and player in the father and son relationship. So I think that really helped us in going forward and getting through that time. And as I said, you know, it was difficult at first. It got easier as it went along.

And then he eventually earned a division one scholarship to play at Fairleigh Dickinson university in the Northeast, in the Northeast conference. But you know, there were, there were, there are [00:18:00] many times. That are, I also had to watch that I wasn’t being harder on him than I was the other players.

And that’s the other piece of advice I got from coach Leibow and Tony Smith in there was that you know, had to coach him the same way I coached everybody else. Really isn’t fair to, to him. To coach him harder than everyone else, just because he was my son. And, you know, I had to prove that I wasn’t showing favoritism or things like that.

So I try to treat him as I treated all the other players on the team. And I think that really helped us with our relationship in through his, through his high school career. So I would say overall, that’s probably the most difficult time I had as a coach because, you know, I can remember. You know, early on in his freshman year of high school, kids in school would say, make comments to him about, you know, how he’s only playing.

And he’s only starting because his dad’s a coach and all those things, all those kinds of things. But he, he did a lot of sacrificing, you know, and all of his friends were going out and doing other [00:19:00] things. He was in the gym making himself better and in a long run, I think those, those types of things are the things that really helped him, you know, getting through that time and helped me.

To get through that time also. And as I said at the beginning, that’s something that I would never ever trade off or I would do the same thing over again. I can remember when he was coming to high school, I had questions about myself, whether I should step down and let somebody else coach him. And I’ll never forget my wife telling me at the time you know, you spent all this time helping to develop him from a young, from a young kid, a young player, To get to this point.

Why, why would you give that up now? And that was very, very sound advice. I’m glad I listened to her and I continued to coach him through his high school career. Thank you.

Mike Klinzing: [00:19:46] Thanks for checking out this month, Hoop Heads Podcast Round Table. We’ll be back next month with another question for our all-star lineup of coach. Thanks for listening to the hoop heads podcast presented by Head Start Basketball

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Mike Klinzing: [00:20:40] Thanks for listening to the Hoop Heads Podcast presented by Head Start Basketball

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