Websites – https://thriveonchallenge.com/
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – @coachsowden
Podcast – Culture Builders
Shane Sowden is the Men’s Head Basketball Coach at Briercrest College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is also part of the Thrive On Challenge mentorship team and hosts the Culture Builders Podcast in support of the mission at Thrive on Challenge.
Shane grew up playing a variety of sports and ended up focusing on basketball and baseball in high school which led to a baseball scholarship opportunity at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. After university he was offered a varsity boys basketball head coaching position back in his home town so he moved back home after graduation to begin his coaching and teaching career. After his 5th season coaching high school ball, Sowden was asked to take over a struggling women’s basketball program at Briercrest College in Caronport, Saskatchewan. After 4 seasons he resigned and went back to coaching and teaching at the high school level where he spent the next 7 years as a teacher, administrator and coach. At that point Sowden felt the desire to get back into the college game and was hired to take over the men’s program at Briercrest College where he has been since 2018.
Our Hoop Heads Pod Webinar Series gives you access to some of the top minds in the game across all levels, from grassroots to the NBA. If you’re focused on improving your coaching and your team, we’ve got you covered! Visit hoopheadspod.com/webinars to get registered. The trailer for Thrive with Trevor Huffman, the first show from our newly created Hoop Heads Podcast Network is available now for you to download and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Thrive with Trevor Huffman will take you into the lives, minds, habits, and routines of the world’s best and brightest to help you improve your performance. Make sure you check it out!
Grab a pen and paper so you’re prepared to take some notes as you listen to this episode with Shane Sowden, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Briercrest College in Canada.
What We Discuss with Shane Sowden
- Growing up a multi-sport athlete
- Learning math from basketball and baseball cards
- Growing up a Bulls fan watching on WGN
- Will Vancouver get another shot at the NBA?
- His takeaways from The Last Dance
- Projecting NBA Stars of the past into today’s game
- The MJ – Kobe relationships
- Talking about life after the game with players
- Becoming a head high school coach at age 23
- Learning that it’s ok to ask for help
- Building a DVD collection as a young coach
- How important mentors have been to him throughout his career
- Why coaching can be a lonely profession
- Keeping focused on your “why”
- Two books he recommends – Inside Out Coaching by Joe Ehrman and Every Moment Matters by John O’Sullivan
- Exercise, reading, and prayer help him relieve stress
- Evolving into a transformational coach
- Allowing players to have a voice in his program
- Giving up some control and how tough that can be
- The differences coaching women vs men
- Getting connected to JP Nerbun and the impact that had on his coaching and program
- Joining the team at Thrive on Challenge
- Hosting the Culture Builders Podcast
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!Become a Patron!
- We’re excited to partner with Dr. Dish, the world’s best shooting machine! Mention the Hoop Heads Podcast when you place your order and get $300 off a brand new state of the art Dr. Dish Shooting Machine!
- Coaches, we’ve teamed up with Coach Tyler Whitcomb so you can now purchase his exclusive new playbooks right from the Hoop Heads Pod website. If you’re looking for ways to improve your team next season these playbooks blend affordability with the quality content that serious coaches are looking for.
Just visit hoopheadspod.com/store in and you’ll find playbooks from
- John Calipari of Kentucky
- Leonard Hamilton from Florida State
- Mike Young of Virginia Tech
Check out these great resources at hoopheadspod.com/store
- Last year at the Jr. NBA Summit I came across an amazing company called iSport360 and its Founder Ian Goldberg. Their youth sports app gets coaches, players and parents on the same page. Your team can set goals, share player feedback, training videos, sticker rewards, player evals and practice assignments. All to foster healthy team communication and culture. iSport360 is giving away its app all season long to every team that needs a virtual way to stay connected, stay active and strong: share training videos, practice assignments, sticker rewards and teammate chat in the virtual locker room. Get your team set up here or you can request a demo for your club here.
Being without basketball right now is tough for all of us, so we’ve partnered with Pro Skills Basketball to offer you a 50% discount on their Ultimate Shooting Guide & Video Program that will put players on a guided path to becoming the best shooter they can be. With ONE YEAR’s worth of workouts that include drills, games and competitions, players will gain access to a blueprint showing them what it takes to become an elite-level shooter. If you’re looking to improve your shooting at home, this program can help. Visit hoopheadspod.com/store to check it out.
- A comprehensive 30-page e-book with tips on shooting form, body control and developing a shooter’s mentality
- A year’s worth of daily assignments
- Access to videos that explain daily assignment drills
- Email reminders helping players stay on track
THANKS, SHANE SOWDEN
If you enjoyed this episode with Shane Sowden, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly NBA episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
TRANSCRIPT FOR SHANE SOWDEN – BRIERCREST COLLEGE HEAD MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH – EPISODE 318
[00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here with my co-host, Jason Sunkle and tonight we are pleased to welcome to the podcast. Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Briercrest College in Canada, Shane Sowden. Shane, Welcome to the podcast.
Shane Sowden: [00:00:13] Hey guys. Good to be here.
Mike Klinzing: [00:00:15] We are excited to have you on get a chance to dig into the varied experiences you’ve had in the game of basketball and in athletics in general, let’s go back in time to when you were a kid.
Talk to me a little bit about your athletic background, how you got into basketball. We also know that you were a college baseball player, so just kind of go through your childhood sports experience for us.
Shane Sowden: [00:00:34] Oh, man. yeah, ever since I remember, I think, probably the, the, the oldest story I have is my dad’s saying as soon as I could walk, I was picking up a ball.
it didn’t matter what sport it was. It was, picking up a ball, pick it up, those big red plastic bats, play in the backyard, running around all that sorts of things. So, ever since I was young, very attracted to sports, playing them all the [00:01:00] time, it’s all like.
Wanted to do, wanted to watch it. One of the play it, read. That’s basically how I learned how to read, reading the Baca sports cards and the sports section in the newspaper. I miss miss that. and, yeah, so growing up mostly played every sport. I could get my hand on. just wanted to try everything gravitated towards basketball and baseball.
as I got older and those were kind of the two sports, love the most, which is maybe a little different being here in Canada, all my friends played hockey. I wasn’t the best skater. I was bigger than a lot of them, but you put me on a pair of skates and, I can do too much.
So the field and the da and the court, where a lot more, a lot more fun, more conducive to my skill set and just, yeah, it was always playing whatever season it was, fall, it was football. Winter was street hockey, ice hockey, [00:02:00] basketball clubs, baseball on the, in the spring and summer.
It was just, as a, as I got older, Kind of settled on basketball and baseball in high school. And it really focused on those, those two sports played volleyball as well. And, yeah, those were my two, two loves, I guess, followed them passionately and then just went. Had the opportunity, to, go play either baseball or basketball at the college level.
And it just came down to choosing a, wanting to play at the highest level possible and, had more offers to go play baseball. So. Ended up choosing that path. But yeah, ever since I was young, just sports have been a huge part of my life, our family’s life. And, our family vacations were taken following me around playing sports.
And so, yeah, that’s kind of in a nutshell.
Mike Klinzing: [00:02:48] All right. Two questions. So you mentioned about looking at the statistics in the newspaper, which obviously people of our generation did a lot of, and that doesn’t exist anymore. But I always think about with [00:03:00] my own kids, one of the things that. I think about when it comes to whether it’s reading statistics in the newspaper or reading the back of baseball or basketball cards.
One of the things in math that I was always amazed at when I was a kid and I continue to be amazed at kids today is I learned how to do percentages from calculating basketball players, free throw and field goal percentage. And then baseball players, batting averages. And so you could tell me what’s five out of eight.
What percentage is that? And I would know simply because of sports, not because I was interested in the math piece of it. So did you find when you were a kid that you were able to quickly calculate percentages just based on your time spent with a box score and the newspaper.
Shane Sowden: [00:03:42] Oh, yeah. Like I can totally resonate with that and just brings back so many good memories, just even talking about it.
And, yeah, I used to, I used to be able to time when the newspaper boy. Was dropping off our paper every day, so I could time it, and you’d memorize those suckers and then you’ll go into [00:04:00] the Corner store just to get, 50 cent baseball, basketball cards with the gum in them and just memorizing stats.
Like I can still remember stats, from my favorite, whatever sport it was, how many goals a guy scored a year? How many points Michael Jordan had in 86? like all that kind of stuff. in calculating on base percentage, batting averages, field, goal, percentage, like all that kind of stuff.
And, yeah, almost saw that as like that help helped me in my school. Like I loved the math up until about probably my junior year of high school, because it was so conducive to just numbers and sports and being numbers based.
Mike Klinzing: [00:04:38] Absolutely. To follow up on that. Could you ever have foreseen a day where you didn’t have a newspaper. I always think back to when I was a kid and even on into adulthood and I would get up in the morning, whether it was before work or before school or. And whatever, and I’m eating my breakfast and I was always have the sports page next to me. And as newspapers sort of started [00:05:00] to fade away, I would always say, I’m always going to get the newspaper.
I can never see a time where I would be sitting and eating my breakfast cereal and have by phone or an iPad next to me. And I was like, ah, that’ll, I’ll never do that. And what am I doing now? I’m sitting there with my breakfast cereal and my phone, or my iPad, looking through articles and sports and all the things that I would have looked at in the newspaper.
It’s just such a strange phenomenon to not have that printed media in the same way. It’s so different from the way, I’m sure you grew up as well.
Shane Sowden: [00:05:30] Oh, extremely. And and in many ways I miss it so much and like I got three young boys and they’re, they’re there. Nine 11 and 13 right now.
And they’re into sports and all that. And it’s just a different, like they’re not looking at the sports cards, they’re not looking at the sports page, looking at the stats. And so it’s almost like as a father. Who, who loves that stuff and they’re interested in it. It’s almost like I got to show them like, here’s, here’s what we used to read.
Here’s what this used to look like. Here’s how we [00:06:00] learned, like, Hey, here’s this basketball card, look at the back. And you can see all these guys’ stats and how good they were and what they did and what they mean. And, but back then, it was just like, you get the paper, got the cereal box you read in the back of the cereal box.
Hopefully you’re getting some type of toy or card in the cereal box as well. you’re, you’re eating your Cheerios or whatever you’re eating and you’re reading the box scores and all the articles you possibly can from, from last night. and, yeah, like really, really missed that. Honestly, it’s a, I think it’s a lost art and it’s, it’s really too bad in many ways.
Mike Klinzing: [00:06:35] Yeah. I agree with you. I miss I missed having my physical paper that I can. Turn and flip. And clearly you think about now that ability to find whatever you want on demand and get scores and get updates. And instead of having to wait for the paper and say, I wonder what happened in that late West coast game.
And, I had to go to bed before it was over and maybe it’s not even going to be in the paper the next day. And then how am I going to find out the score of that? [00:07:00] Late games, just a totally different world. But I do miss having that physical paper next to me while I’m eating. My cereal is just one of those, again, weird corks of an old guy, like me trying to go back and think about what it was like when I was a kid.
Think about when, when you were young and you were collecting cards, who was your favorite baseball player? Who’s your favorite basketball player? One or two guys that you looked up to that were kind of the people that you were the biggest fans of when you were younger.
Shane Sowden: [00:07:26] Well, being, being in Canada, the teams we follow, the Toronto blue Jays of course.
So like loves, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, was a huge Roger Clemens fan. a lot of people forget, he played two years for the blue Jace. Roy holiday, huge, huge fan of him. And from a basketball standpoint is really, really unique. And I think this is what really started.
I think I was at first I was a bigger baseball fan growing up and really enjoyed basketball, but then. [00:08:00] I feel like basketball for a while there, caught up and just started really developing a deeper love for the game in high school. When we got our cable package up here and up here in Saskatchewan, we’re just above North Dakota.
And so we got a couple American channels and we never got ESPN, which when I was down in the States, love the ESPN, my goodness. But that’s for sure. It’s a whole nother world, right? The whole, yeah. But, The big, the big thing was we got our one sports channel. We got, we got WGN from Chicago. And so growing up, I watched a ton like, so watching the last dance right now is just so nostalgic for me because I grew up on the Chicago bulls.
we got every single game of theirs on WGN. And so. from basically 90, Oh man. 92, right through, the Jordan’s second three-year run there. watched probably hundreds of [00:09:00] Bulls games, like their, their intro music still gives me goosebumps. so it’s just, in Chicago is pretty far away from where we’re at, but so growing up, it was a blue Jays.
And then, honestly it was the Bulls. I was a huge Charlotte Hornets fan. My favorite player growing up was, Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson. I used to shoot like Larry Johnson. I liked that. I wish I could dunk like him, man. I’m showing my showing my boys and some of my players. yeah, this is who, this is who, whose poster I had on the wall, Larry Johnson, Shawn camp, these guys doing crazy things back in the day.
And. Just ordered a few. I think I got a few Larry Johnson, rookie cards off eBay the other day for like a buck, got them in the mail and the kids, my boys were like, who’s this? I was like, guys, this is who this is. Let’s go, so start showing them old, old clips of Larry Johnson with the Hornets. And, so those were kind of, my childhood favorites growing up.
still remember Charlotte taken out Boston for their first, [00:10:00] playoff series, went with Lonza mourning there and everything. So, yeah, that’s kinda, those were my. My team’s my heroes growing up. But yeah, the bulls WGN was a huge, probably a huge turning point.
Mike Klinzing: [00:10:21] I have a question. I have a question in regards to this.
So when, when the two Canada teams came, did you align yourself with, with Vancouver or Toronto, or did you really just kind stick with what you were accustomed to?
Shane Sowden: [00:10:24] I like both of them were huge. Were, most people up here, huge Raptor fans now, in many ways you can’t help, but just because I think they’re just really well run.
But I think it’s really unfortunate. Like, it’s kinda like in baseball and when the Montreal Expos were there each year for the Bluejays and the expos, cause they’re both like Canada’s team, but, I think the NBA really messed up by getting rid of the Grizzlies cause I think they could have been pretty, pretty huge and Vancouver’s a huge hotspot for basketball and so.
Yeah, for however many years, five or six years, whatever it is that they [00:11:00] were there, it’s really, it’s kind of like Seattle going to Oklahoma city just doesn’t feel right.
Mike Klinzing: [00:11:04] Yeah. Vancouver and Vancouver is such an awesome city. Like I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine anyone going there and being like, God, I want, I don’t want to live here. But man, I just like Vancouver is just, it’s a beautiful city. It’s an international city and I just can’t imagine. A place where that it being a place where a player would go. And I guess clearly if you’re an American and you have some distaste for being in a foreign country, maybe, but otherwise, I mean, it’s just, it’s just, I mean, it’s beautiful there.
I can’t imagine anybody going there and being like, Oh, this place thinks I wouldn’t want to play here.
Shane Sowden: [00:11:42] It is. It is on unreal. just the city, the city, the diversity, the weather, the weather is actually not like, like the rest of Canada. It’s actually really nice. I watched something, I watched like a Steve Nash documentary a couple of weeks ago with one of [00:12:00] my boys trying to try to teach them, some of that, Steve Nash doesn’t seem that old, but he’s, he is, for my kids anyways, apparently the Grizzlies could have picked Nash.
And they jumped over him. Like imagine if he had got picked by the Grizzlies. Oh man. Badness up here,
Mike Klinzing: [00:12:17] franchise icon. I mean, what had gone down clearly as the all time guy and would have been able to probably keep basketball for sure. In Vancouver. I still think there’s a chance that at some point maybe if Seattle comes back in and depending on when I wouldn’t be surprised, if at some point now it may not be in the next five or 10 years, but I wouldn’t be surprised at some point, if Vancouver gets another shot at pro basketball.
Shane Sowden: [00:12:38] Yeah, I think it’s one of the hotbeds that, in basketball and Canada just itself has exploded in the last 20, 25 years. and so, yeah, I think it’d be, even from a business standpoint, it’s, it’s almost, I think I can’t miss. Please have a team right now.
Mike Klinzing: [00:12:57] Yeah, I agree. I think if you put a team in [00:13:00] Seattle, it would make a ton of sense to expand and put a team in Vancouver as well.
You just have, you think about it from a travel standpoint, you got Portland and you got Seattle and you got Vancouver all sort of in that general note Pacific Northwest area. I think it’d be, it’d be perfect. You mentioned the last dance Jason. I have jumped on and done. We did a little recap after each one of the last.
Sunday nights. So just give me, what was your favorite scene moment takeaway maybe one or two things that were your favorite things that you saw in the documentary?
Shane Sowden: [00:13:30] I’ve done, I’ve read so much on Michael and the Bulls and everything, and feel and all that. Probably my favorite character that I hadn’t, maybe I could say character player, deep dive.
I’ve done two as was Dennis Rodman. I just, I enjoyed his story. I just think the part that I loved was, he was who he was. He love him or hate him, but [00:14:00] he was loyal. He loved the game. He relentlessly studied film and he was a huge piece. I don’t, just even seeing them work out after.
After games, like, just the guy was a absolute machine and, I don’t know how, if I could have ever coached him, but I just really, I really enjoyed his, his, his story so far. and, yeah, that’s the one, that’s the one I’ve enjoyed the most, but yeah, there’s so many, there’s so many good snippets.
I just, I just wish they had. I would have liked to hear from more Jordan’s family members. That’s the part I would’ve liked to hear more of.
Mike Klinzing: [00:14:43] It would have been interesting to hear, that you saw his son’s a little bit in the last two episodes. And, but we never obviously heard from his ex wife didn’t hear from his current wife at all, and yet it would have been, it would’ve been interesting to, to hear their perspective.
Obviously his father was such a big. The thread that [00:15:00] ran through that whole entire documentary, just the impact that his father had on him in the moment while his father was still there with him. And then clearly the inspiration that he provided after he passed away, unfortunately. And just how Jordan would draw on.
That emotion from his father’s life and then his father’s ultimately from his father’s death. And just the impact that it had on his entire career, I think was, was really telling. And then as far as the Rodman stuff goes, I think you’re right. One of the things that I found interesting about Rodman is that I think if you put, if you put that version of Dennis Rodman, it’s hard to believe that there were too many other situations where you would have a, a coach who would kind of.
Understand and be able to relate to the type of person Rodman was. And then it’s, it’s really amazing when you think about the competitor that Jordan was and how much emphasis he put on being the best player at all times, whether it was in a game [00:16:00] or in a practice setting, that him and. Pippin. And the other guys that make up the team were, I don’t know, okay.
Was the right word, but that they were able to get past the fact that Rodman was able to, again, not get away with, cause he was given permission, but just, they understood what Rodman was and wasn’t, and they were okay with that. And I don’t think that that would have happened to too many other places.
Shane Sowden: [00:16:26] No.And like, you just hit on so many, like man, that we could talk for hours on just a few of those main points you just brought up, like, Jordan’s relationship with his father, you know? And I think there was so many positive things that helped him be the man he is because of his father. I think both positive.
And maybe some negative things, right? Some challenges, maybe some father wounds he had, and it just very telling, with our own players and stuff like that, and then you look at, you look at, yeah, Rodman had just, [00:17:00] he had to be coached different. And in watching, watching that whole situation, I remember all the news stories back in the day, whatever year that was, I can’t remember, 96 or 97, whatever it was.
And. Hearing about that, I’m, I’m 2018, 19 years old at the time and being like, that’s crazy, then you start, like, how could you play with a, like, why would you bolt on your team like that? But then as a, as a coach now, 20, some years later, you sit back and be like, man, every single one of the guys on my team is, they’re different.
They have different personalities, they have different triggers. They have different ways of connecting with them. and so sometimes. Everything. Sometimes can’t be the same for every single player on your team. Right. Mmm. But what does that look like? It’s messy. It’s hard. and, take some time to, to engage with that.
And so in to develop a culture where, yeah, you have to have, I think. [00:18:00] Certain standards for excellence across the board. But then I think there’s sometimes it’s just, you gotta have a little bit of grace depending on certain situations. And I think Phil Jackson was just so tremendous in, navigating so many egos and personalities and, and then he did it again in LA, right?
Absolutely. So you always had a lot of talent, but I think sometimes that talent wasn’t winning until he got there.
Mike Klinzing: [00:18:25] And a lot of ways he was ahead of his time because you think about what coaching was prior to that, or the way that it was thought of was. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to do it because I said so, and if you’re not going to do it, here’s your punishment.
Here’s what’s going to happen to you. Here’s what we’re going to take away from you and I, Phil Jackson was at the forefront of the idea that being fair doesn’t necessarily mean being equal with everybody. And that, that case with Rodman clearly [00:19:00] illustrates that. Phil Jackson understood that if he tried to hold Rodman to the same standard as he held Michael Jordan, too, it wasn’t gonna work.
And you were going to get nothing from Dennis Rodman. He was going to be gone for your team, almost instance, instantaneously. And instead you have to figure out a way, as you said to understand each one of your players understand what their triggers are, understand what it is that they need. And obviously the things that Dennis Rodman needed were a little bit out of the ordinary.
But it’s kind of amazing that Phil Jackson was able to re, was able to recognize that and that not only was he able to recognize it, but then somehow he was able to convince his other players of why that was okay. And why Dennis was getting to do those things. And they, weren’t not that they even necessarily wanted to do those things, but still I’m sure it took some.
Card, some difficult conversations with those other players and say, look, we have to let Dennis do this. If we want to have him at his best when [00:20:00] we really need them. And that I’m sure were those were difficult conversations for Phil Jackson to have I’m. Sure.
Shane Sowden: [00:20:04] Well, and it’d be, it would have been interesting just to see like how, how, how many nights, how many weeks did he agonize over?
This is just like that, right? Yeah. And wrestling through that. And I guess that’s maybe part of the documentary too. Like, Jackson takes over an 89 for a coach who, Jordan really loved. Like he really loved Collins. Collins, helped him elevate his game. and it took what Phil. Over a year to get Jordan, to buy into a different style of play, a different system, a different mindset that you, and the same thing when he went to LA.
So I find, I just find Phil’s story. So, just, even as book 11 rings, like his story is just so fantastic. Right. and encouraging motivational and so much to learn just on just, just dealing with people, right. Working with people. Well,
Mike Klinzing: [00:20:57] Yeah. And that speaks so much to what coaching really is.
[00:21:00] And we can all talk about the X’s and O’s and practice design and all this stuff. But especially today, I think that those things, you can figure those out. If you’re a hard working and you’re somebody who’s resourceful, you can go out and you can find. Whether it’s mentors, whether it’s things on the internet, whether it’s going to clinics, you can find out about X’s and O’s, and you can figure out where to find a bunch of out of bounds plays and whatever authentic defensive systems you want to run.
Coaches are so willing to share that stuff today that. X’s and O’s, to me is so secondary to the ability to manage personalities and people and get everyone rowing that boat in the same direction and making sure everybody’s on board. And I think that’s something that clearly it comes through in the documentary that Phil Jackson was able to do that with some of in the case of Jordan, maybe the.
Biggest ego that has ever played the game and rightfully so, but to be able to navigate that just from [00:22:00] a human standpoint, I think is probably the most amazing part of it.
Shane Sowden: [00:22:04] Well, I think that’s the, probably the most beautiful part of the documentary of what Phil does it. I think it just, it started, it sheds more light on, I think, a, a movement that is growing a bit away from like coaches.
I think all coaches, like we love X’s and O’s, we love systems we want to, we want to. implement all that kind of stuff. We want to learn. Like we, in many cases we can’t get enough. Right. And we’ll pay for it right behind me in my office right now, I’ve got about 50 championship production DVDs, right?
I’m like, we’ll fork out big bucks for that, but then you take a step back because it’s like, it’s tangible as like, here’s what you do. Here’s how you teach it, but to teach how to communicate with human beings, well, how to lead others. shared vulnerability, communication skills, all that stuff, that I think is coming more to the forefront now.
And like you said, Phil was ahead of his time. but now like I’m [00:23:00] interested in books and podcasts and webinars on. On on emotional intelligence, right? Mental health. I’m connecting with my players because I think that’s the really important thing, especially like with, with all this COBIT stuff and just social media and everything.
I think that’s just such a huge thing moving forward is how do we develop self awareness within ourselves and with our, within our players. and, and what does that look like in our practices and our team meetings, week to week, day to day, And I don’t, there’s not a one size fits all kind of like Robin there.
and it’s it’s can change day to day, but it takes it’s messy and it’s hard. And I think sometimes as coaches, we’re scared to go there and I, I totally get it. It’s cause it’s hard and it’s not so black and white it’s that gray area. but yeah, that’s what I find so encouraging about Phil Jackson’s story is just, he went there, and it was hard.
[00:24:00] And I think they could have one more. I think the bulls could have one more and I think LA could have one more, like he could have had like 15 rings.
Mike Klinzing: [00:24:09] Yeah. I agree with you. I mean, I think there’s, I think there’s a, if you look at the Bulls, I think there’s a good chance that if Scottie doesn’t go down with the migraine in 1990, I think that they maybe when that game seven against the pistons, and then they go on and beat the Lakers for, and that would have been four to start it. And then at the end, obviously, if they bring that team back, there’s certainly they’d have, they would have had an opportunity to win the following year. I don’t know. I do think that if you take out the two, when he was retired, I don’t know that they can win.
I don’t know that they would have been able to win. All eight of those in a row, just cause you could see how yeah. You could see how grinding it was to be available, to be able to make it through there. But I do think you could make a case that they could have won one at the beginning of that first run and they could have won one at the end of the last run.
And then. [00:25:00] Clearly in LA, if, if they could have, they could have kept figured out how to get Shaq and Kobe on the same page and got each of those guys too. And I think primarily Coby cause he was in the secondary position while they were winning. If he could have got Colby to accept even a co-starring role, they could have stayed together in one for, for a long, long time.
they probably, they probably had, I don’t even know how many more, if, if those guys had been able to peacefully coexist point this out to them, like, cause I think the interesting point, if the Chicago bulls stick together in 99, do the San Antonio spurs become the San Antonio spurs or is everything changed because of the Bulls? Winning staying in, staying together because I have an interesting subplot that isn’t going to be talked about, but it could be, but I think Duncan was so good that even if the spurs don’t win it that year, that the bulls, maybe they get one more. I don’t know that they get more. I don’t [00:26:00] know if they get another one beyond one more because that last one was clearly difficult and they were running on fumes at that point.
So even if they get the next one. I still think that the spurs are coming simply because of how good Duncan is. And maybe they, clearly that takes away one title. If the bulls get the one at 99, but I don’t think it takes away the whole spurs. Dynasty over the next 18 or 19 years, I don’t think.
Shane Sowden: [00:26:24] But how awesome would that have been to see a bull’s spurs final? Yeah. In 99, like my goodness. That would have been, yeah, the score would have been 68-63.
Mike Klinzing: [00:26:35] Yeah. it could well have been that. Yeah. The scores of those games are just jarring. When you juxtapose it with the games today,
Shane Sowden: [00:26:43] Such a different game, the game has changed so much.
Mike Klinzing: [00:26:46] Yeah. Jason and I have talked a bunch about how. Yeah, you can look at Jordan scoring averages. And they’re phenomenal in any era, but then you think, okay, he’s averaging 33, a game in an era where teams are only [00:27:00] scoring his team’s only scoring 90 and he’s getting a third of their points. nowadays he score 30, you’re only getting a fourth of your team’s points.
Cause most teams are up in the, one 15, one 20 range and it’s just. It’s amazing how much the game has changed from the three and the spacing and just all that stuff that it’s a totally different game than what you’re watching in The Last Dance for sure.
Shane Sowden: [00:27:21] Yup. It would be nice. I wish we could just kind of, time-travel and put the Bulls, like just see, because it would be nice to see who could adjust, could LeBron adjust to 1980, 90, 95?
Like, I don’t know, like all that kind of stuff. It would just be, it would be so much fun to see.
Mike Klinzing: [00:27:38] It would, it really would. I think it, the thing that always intrigues me with that even more so than seeing the quote modern guys, like I’ve talked about before, I’d love to see, take will Chamberlain take 1962 will Chamberlain and throw them into, throw them into today’s game and just see what.
You see what he would look like or have him have grabbing his [00:28:00] athleticism and the kind of guy that he was, have him grow up where he’s now 25 years old in the year 2020, and what his 25 year old will Chamberlain look like in today’s game. Some of those guys who were older players and didn’t have the benefit of all the training and nutrition and travel and all the things that guys have today, I think it comes down to the best.
There is no doubt that. Basketball in 2020 evolution wise is better than it was in 1990 is better than it was in 1970 is better than it was in 1950 as a general rule. But I think you take the best players from any era you take. Bill Russell, you take will Chamberlain. You move those guys into the year 2020.
And yeah. Maybe if you just put, pick them up in a time machine and put them in 2020, they don’t look great. But if you have them grow up in that era, they’re going to be great. No matter what the era is that they play in.
Shane Sowden: [00:28:52] Oh, exactly. Exactly. And you’d like to see some of those guys that were just, they were unicorns back in the day, like to see them now, like you said, with all the [00:29:00] nutrition, the training now, like what would they be?
Mike Klinzing: [00:29:02] Yeah. And, and so much of it is just, I think so much of being a great athlete, especially when you get to the NBA level. Guys are so talented athletically that really what separates the best of the best is just the mentality. And I think Jordan’s mentality came through so clearly in the documentary that he was a guy who was supremely.
Gifted had every tool that you would ever want in a basketball player from his body type to this ability to jump and run and the size of his hands and all those things. But there’s other guys that had gifts that were similar to that from just a sheer physical standpoint. And what made him the best is just the mentality that he was going to do, whatever it took to win.
He was going to work harder than anybody in whatever setting he was put into. And he just wanted it more than other guys. And he was, I don’t want to say impervious to the pressure, but he wasn’t afraid of the ramifications of making a mistake and that’s what made him [00:30:00] great. And there’s just a lot of guys that don’t have that, and that translates to any year.
I don’t care. You could, it could be a hundred years from now. You translate Jordan’s mentality into a player a hundred years from now, and that player is still going to be ultra successful. Oh
Shane Sowden: [00:30:15] yeah. And it’s just like his mental focus and like, what did he say in the one. Why am I afraid to take a shot? I haven’t to miss a shot.
I haven’t taken yet, right? Yeah, exactly. Like that, of his, he just has meant like, just his is driven this and his focus, which I think is so amazing. Like just how, driven and focused he is. the, the, the interesting conversations that I’ve been having with, different coaches and friends surrounding that as again, it’s not in the documentary, you can’t.
Deep dive into every single topic, but I always wonder like, but what’s the, like we talked about him, them not interviewing his ex wife or his kids or stuff like that. It’s like, what’s the, what’s the collateral damage of that type of just ultra [00:31:00] focus for one thing. Right.
Mike Klinzing: [00:31:02] Yeah, there’s a, there’s a price to pay if you’re going to be great at anything.
I don’t care if it’s basketball. I don’t care if you’re the greatest doctor or you’re the greatest business owner or CEO, there is a price to pay for being that great at something, because in order to be that great, you have to have that single minded focus. You have to be present with that thing that you’re focused on to the detriment of.
Other things in your life. It’s kind of like if you’re, and again, I am in no way, shape or form in this conversation comparing myself to Michael Jordan. But when I was a kid, I played basketball. That’s what I wanted to do. And so when it was the night of my senior prom, I was at a local community college paying a dollar to go in and play, pick up basketball.
I wasn’t at the prom and people would ask me things like, well, what do why are you sacrificing all these other things? In order to play basketball. And my answer would always be, [00:32:00] it wasn’t a sacrifice. Like I didn’t, it wasn’t like a dilemma for me. I didn’t, wasn’t debating whether who I really want to go to the prom, but I got to work.
No, I just, I wanted to go play basketball. And I think that you give something up. If you’re going to pursue. Being the best at whatever it is that you love to do, or if you have that single minded focus like Jordan didn’t, I think you’re right. That, in a lot of cases, I think his family became collateral damage and he was so you could just see the guy was just wired.
Like I don’t, did he ever sleep? It just seems like he was always doing whatever and just had boundless energy. And if you’re a normal person who’s married to him, you have to be looking at that going, this is insane. Like how can this guy do this?
Shane Sowden: [00:32:46] How’s he do this, I think one, and they didn’t have time to go here, but I’d be really interested to see something in the future, just because some stuff’s coming out about his relationship with Kobe.
And, I think they [00:33:00] were a lot closer than a lot of people knew and, Jordan kind of mentored and taught Kobe so much, but there’s stuff coming out now, which I find fascinating is like, it seems like Kobe kind of figured out the family thing later on. It’s like he was so driven, but then near the end of his career started to make that switch to like more of a family man and realize that at a younger age than Jordan.
So Jordan starts seeing that in Kobe and then that’s how kind of Kobe Influenced Michael, now, especially like Michael has six year old twins. I didn’t even know that. Right. so, and now he’s kind of going back and he’s more of a family man now and, taking more time to be, be part of that.
And so I just think it’s just interesting how things come full circle sometimes.
Mike Klinzing: [00:33:47] Yeah, it really is. And I think that, like you said, that the influence of Kobe on Jordan, the inference of Jordan on Kobe, I don’t think anybody had any idea of the depth of their relationship prior to the Memorial service.
For Colby out there in LA, I [00:34:00] think that was surprising to a lot of people. And it’s been interesting to see the reaction to, so you think about Jordan’s post playing career and the three biggest things that he’s been in the public eye for one, his hall of fame speech, which sort of captured the competitive.
Killer Jordan. And then you had the Kobe Memorial, which captured a completely different side of people that I don’t think a lot of people even realize was in there. And then in the documentary you got to see, I think he went back to more of that competitive side of Jordan. That was more of what he wanted to.
Present within the documentary, which is again understandable, which relates to the story of him being the greatest player of all time and the story and everything that went along with the documentary. But I do think you’re right. There’s some interesting pieces to his personality that were left out.
And then I think the other thing that would be interesting, and I don’t know if we’ll ever get this, but you think about a guy like Jordan, who, the first time he retires, he goes and plays baseball. So he has that competitive piece of it. [00:35:00] He retires a second time, sits out. Then eventually decides to come back.
You wonder what that process was like for him coming back. And when did he decide to come back? Did he want to come back earlier and then. You have after the third retirement, now he buys the Hornets. He’s never really had a tremendous amount of success running a franchise. And you just wonder, like, how’s his day to day when you’re that wired to be that competitive and to be doing the things that he was doing out on the basketball floor.
You just wonder how much of a void there is day to day forum that he can’t do the things that he was. Put on the earth to do, for lack of a better way to say it was an
Shane Sowden: [00:35:39] article that was going around last week that he played Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, like two seasons ago and beat him one-on-one when you’re a 55 year old owner, how overall he was beats one of your best players? You’re definitely not going to be successful as a team, just my opinion. I don’t know. Oh man. But like you hit [00:36:00] on something really. I think really interesting there in that, Michael retires three times, it comes back twice, I think there was some, some pretty extenuating circumstances with the first retirement with his dad and just, I think he was worn out and all that kind of stuff.
But, you think about, we talked about mental health of our athletes and everything, and I still remember. When my college baseball career was done, I went and played summer ball. after our season was done, had a couple pro offers. Tryouts for independent ball, turned them down, had one semester left of school.
And I went back to my school and was hanging out with my old teammates who were still playing and everything. And I was not prepared at 23 years old. To not be part of a team anymore. Like I, and I didn’t, I didn’t know what was coming. Like, I didn’t know. the [00:37:00] loneliness, how much I would miss just being part of a team, going to battle every day, train together, being with each other.
Right. Like, and I think there’s a lot to be said, for Jordan, especially coming back with the wizards, like he probably just really, I just wonder, like how much you just missed that you said competitive guy loves to compete. he’s probably miserable for those two years, before he came back.
And so, but I think it’s very telling also think of just our current athletes, like whether you’re finishing your high school career or your college career, maybe you get lucky enough to play pro for a little bit. That transition is really difficult or can be really difficult. And like, it has me thinking Layla, like, how am I preparing my seniors or my guys for life after basketball.
Right. Cause they’re not part of that.
Mike Klinzing: [00:37:54] I don’t think that that’s something that a coach, again, we go back in time and I don’t think that’s something that. A [00:38:00] coach would have ever had a conversation with a player in that circumstance. I know that I never would have had that type of conversation with any coaches that I played for.
And I think what you said, struck a chord with me, because I know that when I was done playing that there was a void there. And to be honest with you, I can honestly say there’s still a void there. Like there’s nothing for me that I’ve done in my life and is ever replaced. Being a basketball player, as competitive as I might be as a coach, as competitive as I might be in my life and other things, there’s nothing that has replaced playing for me from a standpoint of the intensity of my focus and what I wanted to do.
Day to day. They’re just there just isn’t. And I think part of that is you play sports when you’re young and when things are fresh and it’s such an intense experience to be 14 years old, to [00:39:00] be 18 years old, to be 20 years old. And as you get older, you mellow and you have this deeper perspective, but when you’re young, you’re just so dialed in and so focused.
And then when that’s gone all of a sudden, because in most cases, Not that necessarily anybody thinks they’re going to have a pro career, but most high school players think I’m probably going to get a chance to play college basketball. If you’re somebody who loves the game and works at it and feels that way.
And conversely, when you’re a college player, you probably feel like I’m going to get a shot to play somewhere else. And then all of a sudden it’s finished and you’re right, Shane, that when you start thinking about the mental health of players and you start thinking about how to help them adjust to life after basketball, those are conversations that.
Coaches, probably in the past, never would have considered having, and now coaches like yourself and people who are starting to become aware of mental health issues that affect not just players, but people in general, those are the kind of conversations that as a coach, it’s almost, you’re almost obligated to have those, to be able to help your players.
When we talk about. [00:40:00] Trying to produce people that are going to have healthy, productive lives. That’s a big part of what we’re going to end up doing besides the basketball piece of it or the baseball piece of it, or soccer or whatever. It’s our obligation to be able to impact those players on a level that’s going to continue to benefit them after their, after they’re all done playing.
And I think that’s something that, again, it’s great to see coaching going in that direction.
Shane Sowden: [00:40:22] Well, I never, I never had those conversations with. All my coaches growing up as well, high school or college about life after baseball or basketball or whatever. and so I think one of the beautiful things as a coach now, I was like, as a, we’re coaches, we’re mentors, like whatever you want to call us, we get the opportunity to, to influence mentor are the players that we have the privilege of coaching and working with.
We get to give them what we weren’t given. Right. Like, we, we learn from all of our, the awesome coaches that we had growing up. We learned so much from [00:41:00] them what to do, but we also get to learn, but what was missing, you know? and so what, what would I, what, what did I need as a student athlete back in the day that I didn’t know at the time I needed, but now that I’m in this position, I get to be that or give that.
To the 12, 14 guys that are part of my program, every year. And so I think that’s just one of the, again, one of the great awareness pieces just in coaching now is that we, we get, we get to be that for our guys, and I’m glad that conversations are happening cause, yeah, definitely. I never had those in my playing career.
Mike Klinzing: [00:41:36] Absolutely not. So let’s go back to sort of the beginning of your coaching career and. As a college baseball player, you get done with school and you start thinking about what you’re going to do when I was coaching on your radar. And how did it become that basketball was the first opportunity that you got.
And then why did you decide to stay with basketball coaching as opposed to maybe coach and [00:42:00] baseball?
Shane Sowden: [00:42:00] Well, I knew ever since honestly, ever since, as far as I can remember, I always knew. And it probably became solidified in high school that I wanted to teach and coach. it was either one of those two things.
My, I remember my, I still remember the conversation. I was probably reading the re in the sports section over breakfast one morning in high school. And my dad asked me, he was like, Hey, have you, I think it was great. 11 or 11th grade. And he just asked, Hey, have you thought about what. You want to do after high school?
cause some, some post-secondary options were starting to come into view for both basketball and baseball. And I was like, well, I think I want to be a teacher or a pastor. And he’s like, Oh, okay. And ended up going, going the teaching route. And so, basically the way I got into coaching, I knew I always wanted to coach, Even in college talking with numerous of my teammates or roommates, we, all, many of us had dreams of, you [00:43:00] know, running, and I didn’t know what sport it was going to be yet.
I just knew I wanted to coach. Right. I looked like, I love both baseball and basketball. I’m like, heck I’ll I’ll do both. Just let me do both. which, maybe down the line, like I do get to kind of do both now, but, My last semester. so I played five years. I, I attended Northwestern state in Louisiana.
for two years, played two years there that I red shirt, my third year transferred then to, at the time it was central Missouri state university in Warrensburg, Missouri. So I went from a division one school division to school there. Now the university of central, Missouri, and, Played two years there and I had one semester left, so I had to go do my student teaching and practicum and all that kind of stuff in the fall.
So that’s when I went back and was living with some old teammates and stuff like that. And, I got an email. I was almost done my three, my semester there, and got an email [00:44:00] kind of oddly enough from, an old girlfriend’s mom who was a teacher in my hometown. And she just said, Hey, her. You might be coming, moving back home, after you graduate, our high school, we really need some needs a needs, a coach for their varsity boys basketball team.
They just need an assistant coach, but not a head coach. And I was like, well, if I’m back, I’d be interested, but I don’t know my plans yet. I had a, I had a job offer in Kansas city to teach elementary school and I was like, I really enjoyed the Kansas city area and, really enjoyed my time, living in the States and was thinking about that.
But I had just gotten engaged my, my girlfriend, who was living up here in Saskatchewan. And so we decided, you know what, like, let’s, let’s just start off back home. And, so ended up moving back home at Christmas, basically coming in to a program, that, [00:45:00] so I came in about six weeks into their season.
And it was a pretty big mess overall, probably the most challenging coaching situation I could find myself into. Right away. within two weeks I was no longer the assistant coach. I was the head coach because the head coach just stopped showing up. And so kind of by default, I was this 23 year old first time head coach.
And when I got there, we had 13 players, over Christmas break and we were pretty terrible. we did a lot of layups. We put it that way. and a lot of conditioning. So I was like, well, At the very least, we’re going to be able to keep up with teams if we can’t actually catching pass and shoot the ball.
so walked into that. And so within about a month, we only had six players for academic reasons. We were at a pretty rough school, legal issues, all that kind of stuff. And so. [00:46:00] But it was also probably, probably one of the most challenging coaching, introductions for a young guy could ever have in many ways, but it was also one of the best learning experiences.
And I have fond memories of those six guys, and I’m still in contact with a few of them now. And one of them actually teaches my kids. And we became pretty close and we worked really hard. Imagine going into, into games with six guys made, I had nobody complaining about playing time. We’ll put it that way.
Yeah, that’s for sure. Which was really good. So that’s kind of how I got my start. So I didn’t, I didn’t really pick a sport. I, I got an email and an opportunity and took it.
Mike Klinzing: [00:46:43] What did you learn? What’d you learn that first year? What were some things that you took away that maybe were different from what your perception of coaching was going into it?
What are some things that you took away from that first year that still impact you today?
Shane Sowden: [00:46:57] that I needed a lot of [00:47:00] help and it’s okay to ask for help. I was pretty, I was, at that time, I was five years out of, playing high school ball myself. And I was, for our area up here, I was a pretty strong player.
And then going to this other school where, the talent level was pretty low and I just kind of expected that I could tell guys what to do and they’d be able to do what I used to do. and I learned really quickly that that was unrealistic. and yeah, just learning how to run a practice. You know what, finding a system that fits your guys?
What, like, I had no idea, even what I wanted to run, I was like, you don’t do, we plays that we all, eventually we played a lot of zone just because we had six guys, but it’s like just trying to figure that out. But I learned right away how much, I didn’t know. and that I needed to start asking a lot of questions to other [00:48:00] coaches.
To learn, and that’s, and that’s basically when I started my, my DVD collection and borrowing binders from coaches all over the place. Cause there just, wasn’t this kind of like coaches weren’t sharing the game for free in 2003, like they are now, so for me, the biggest takeaway was, yeah, I just needed help and to get rid of my ego and just to ask a ton of questions to, I never got to be an assistant coach.
Right. I just got thrown into, Oh wait, sorry. I did for two weeks. and then just took over, a pretty messy situation.
Mike Klinzing: [00:48:40] So who did you go and talk to beyond going and getting the DVDs? Did you have a local coach in the area? Did you have, who did you go and talk to face to face to be able to ask questions too.
Shane Sowden: [00:48:50]
Ironically enough, there were three coaches that locally, my old high school coach, I went to him, [00:49:00] and his teams were so good. They were just, and they just, I mean, we, we played them, like, if you can imagine coaching against your old coach and losing by 80 points, like that’s how bad it was.
and then our, another coach locally, who was the coach of. Our rival when I was in high school, fantastic coach. he, I reached out to him and he had been teaching elementary school. He had moved on and was coaching some and had coached some of the players that I was going to be getting in a year or two.
And he basically just gave me his whole basketball library. He had me over to his house. He’s like, here you go. This is all I know. This is, this is what worked for me, make it your own. and then I had him actually come in and run some practices. he came in and he ran some practice. So I just got to learn like, and watch and observe and take notes.
Like here’s how you organize a practice. Here’s how you transition. here’s how you, you [00:50:00] make the best use of your time. So that was really huge. And then my old volleyball coach from high school, he helped me out as well. He, he played a Nia in North Dakota and so he had some basketball background.
He was a local referee and I just said, Hey, I’ll take anything I can get. So he came out and, to a practice and help me implement an offensive system that is that pick and roll system that we were trying to try and to do. So, I just kind of leaned on. People the local area that I was close to, compared to now, like, working with coaches all over North America and you can send it tweet or a text and an email.
And all of a sudden you got an 80 page PDF in your inbox.
Mike Klinzing: [00:50:44] Yeah it’s incredible. That’s one of the things that we’ve been, I don’t know if surprise is the right word, but we just been amazed by the willingness of coaches at every single level to share the game, to share what they know. And I’ve made the comment before that [00:51:00] in a lot of cases, even if you wanted to keep something secret today.
It’s almost impossible to be able to keep something to yourself anyway, even if you want it to, especially from an X’s and O’s standpoint, when you think about how game film is exchanged and all that kind of thing, it’s just, there’s, there’s nothing that is a secret anymore on the X’s and O’s side, the culture piece of it.
I think there’s still a lot of value in. The things that coaches do. And what we found is just people are willing to share. They want to help the game of basketball improve, and it’s no longer necessarily just about, Hey, I want my team to be successful and I really don’t care what goes on with all these other teams and these other players.
And instead it’s yeah, I want my team to be successful. I want my kids and my players to really have success, but I also want to see. Lots of other people in the game succeed and ultimately use the game to be able to improve the lives of everyone who’s involved with it. And to me, that’s been one of the things that I’ve enjoyed so much about the podcast is getting a chance to talk to coaches who are [00:52:00] so willing to share and who are so.
Focused on how to make the game itself better for everybody who’s involved in it. It’s been so refreshing for me to see that and be able to hear and talk to people from all over the country at all different levels of basketball.
Shane Sowden: [00:52:14] Well, it’s so it’s so refreshing. And so it’s so refreshing to the point that sometimes it almost gets overwhelming because you’re like, there’s so many people willing to talk to you, which I think is just a fantastic problem to have.
I couldn’t agree more, like just being all at a, I can get on my phone here and call up a culture in Louisiana, 30 hours away and be like, Hey, what, what do you got here? And all of a sudden, I got a fast, fast draw diagram in my inbox in two minutes. Right. or just being able to share whatever problem you have.
Like I think it’s, I think it’s pretty cool where we’re at and just the shift of. Not coaches just trying to protect their own program. [00:53:00] but the coaching, the coaching fraternity or brotherhood I think is actually becoming a brotherhood. It really is. Cause it’s a, it’s a grind. It’s a, there’s no better job, but it’s also extremely hard.
And I just, I don’t think people understand that. So to be able to connect with fellow coaches, Who can empathize? I think is sweet and much needed.
Mike Klinzing: [00:53:27] Yeah. There’s tremendous value in being able to connect with people who are going through the same thing. I acquainted a lot to your experience sometimes as a teacher in the classroom.
And I know that you’ll sometimes be in your school and I’ve been in this situation where you’ll be teaching and you’ll have a tough day or you’ll have a tough week. And you’ll think, gosh, I’m the only person that’s, this is happening too, because so often you just are inside your classroom and you’re dealing with your students and you’re not getting maybe an opportunity to talk to any of your coworkers.
And then you [00:54:00] finally do get a chance to talk to them and you realize, Oh yeah, Everybody’s experiencing these same frustrations and difficulties and joys that I am. And it’s nice to be able to share that with somebody. And I think coaching it’s very, very easy to fall into that same scenario where you’re so focused on your team.
You’re so focused on the winning and losing you’re so focused on getting the maximum amount of your team that you sometimes think that you’re the first person who’s experienced. This type of challenge with this player or this type of situation with this team. And yet you realize when you talk to other coaches that know these same things have been happening for years and years and years and years.
And there’s lots of people out there who have tried lots of different solutions to those problems. You just need to be able to find those people and to be able to step back out of your own situation and have a conversation with coaches, which obviously today is way, way easier to do than it was 20 or 30 years ago.
When we didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have the [00:55:00] openness of the coaching fraternity as you described. Well, and
Shane Sowden: [00:55:03] just, I think being able to flex your empathy muscle is such a huge, just to be able to show empathy to other coaches, but then to be vulnerable yourself. just to be like, I don’t know what to do in this situation, or I need help or, it can even come down to, I am just super stressed, anxious because of whatever reason.
And just being able to know that you’ve got so many fellow coaches. That will either just be a listening year for you to vent to, or, or to actually help give you some ideas like, Hey, but try this. Or just to encourage you to be like, Hey man, I’ve been there. It sucks, and just, sometimes coaches just need to know that they’re not alone.
Right. Cause I think coaching can be such a lonely profession. and I don’t know the stats on it, but, I talked [00:56:00] to a coach who was pretty high up the number of years ago and he went to, he was on this committee, he went to the national championships and he was just like, Shane. Does that, protect your family and your marriage at, at all costs because he’s like he went to this national championship with all these amazing coaches and they, like, they had their coaches, social media, like almost every single coach was either divorced, cheating on his spouse or was abusing some type of substance, mostly alcohol just because they were so stressed out with their job.
And I think now. We have a platform where it’s, again, it’s a lot easier to get support if we need it right. And be there for each other.
Mike Klinzing: [00:56:41] Absolutely. All right. That’s a great topic that we’ve touched on in several other podcasts, but I think it’s a one that’s worth investigating a little bit here with you as you brought it up.
And that is when you think about coaches in their lives. And you think about how coaching has evolved over time. And I [00:57:00] think that on every level. The amount of time required of a coach has always been high, but I think it’s increased in the last 10 years. Tremendously from what a high school coach, the baseline amount of hours that a high school coach has to put in both in and out of season in order to just be competitive, has risen at the college level.
I think it’s the same thing. There’s always been a demand on your time, but I think those demands continue to go up, especially based on the system of basketball that we have today and the need for. Player workouts and things to be organized and led by coaches and a lot of cases. So talk a little bit about, or maybe give some coaches, some tips, advice, some things that have worked for you in terms of protecting your family relationships, your marriage, your relationship with your kids, how you go about managing that compared to, or balanced with [00:58:00] your desire, your ambition as a coach to be as successful as you possibly can.
Shane Sowden: [00:58:05] Well, unfortunately I had, I had to learn the hard way, which, maybe some other coaches could empathize with me. They had to learn the hard way, you know? And so probably like most coaches I’m extremely driven. On more than one occasion woken up in the middle of the night, can’t get back to sleep.
So I’m just thinking about practice the next day or the game the night before or whatever it is. And, it can, it can be all consuming. And I still remember as a young coach, like just being, especially as our, we’d get, we got a little better every year with that first team that I had, but, I was like wondering like, is this, is this.
What this is going to be like, like getting pounded every night, getting a couple more wins every season like this, this, there has to be more than this. And then, then I got my first teaching job [00:59:00] two and a half years later, got to take over a program full time, started getting some success and then.
After two years there got, got offered. the head coach at age 28, got offered a head coaching job, coaching women’s college basketball at the same school, not now, but now I’m coaching the men’s program. And I did that for four years and love that for the first two and a half years, building up a program, a program that I took over that was winless.
And at that time, And then we grew it into a competitive program by year three and the pressures that started to come with that and my expectations weren’t meeting, I wasn’t meeting my own expectations. And then I started being, I was still teaching and coaching college basketball and, I, a young family [01:00:00] by that time we had.
Two of my boys were born. So, I had a newborn and a two year old and I ended up for me. I ended up resigning off that halfway through by fourth year. I finished out the year, but I was just, I got to the point where I was so mentally. Drained and thought I was just such a terrible coach because we had injuries and some culture stuff going on, but I had lost my, like, I didn’t know why I was doing this anymore.
Coaching became not fun. I was overeating, I was just anxious. I wasn’t healthy. I was not exercising, all that kind of stuff. And I wasn’t sleeping and my wife was worried about me. And so I was like, you know what, I need to step back. But. A friend, a friend after that gave me a book. And even though you probably had other guests talk about it, but it was kind of the start of my journey of kind of turning things around was the book Inside Out Coaching by, by Joel Ehrman.
[01:01:00] And if for coaches out there, if they, if they’re trying to pick a book to start. Out their coaching journey to figure out why they’re doing this. that’s probably the first one I would recommend. And then, the next one would probably be Every Moment Matters, a new release by John O’Sullivan like, those are for me, those are the top two books.
Just if you’re a coach starting out or a coach and a coach at any time here and read them, read them, read them, they just turn things around. And so our friend gave me this and. The book had some questions and it’s like, ask, like, why, why do you coach? What’s it? Like what, how does it feel to be coached by you?
why do you coach the way you do? And it also, you had you looking at, your past coaches and how they coached you and how much that’s influencing the way you coach. But I started things like, what is it like to be coached? By me, like how, how do my players feel being coached me? [01:02:00] Like, and then it introduced like a bigger purpose of coaching.
It wasn’t just to win basketball games. Like Joe Ehrman had taken over an inner city school in Baltimore and basically, his, his purpose was, developing, for lack of a better term life champions. Like he wanted to build young men and people would ask him, well, How, how do you, how do you gauge success?
And he’s like, ask me in 20 years, let’s see where my players are. Like, what kind of husbands are they? What kind of community members are they? What kind of fathers are they? That sort of stuff. And so he’s like, so he’s, he, that was the first time is weird. I don’t know why, but that was the first time I’d ever heard of a coach emphasize those things and still have success within his, his team.
And he was coaching football. So that kind of set me on a, on a different. Trajectory of, of just saying, Hey, I got a, I got to switch things around here. And so my purpose needs to be bigger than winning championships or making playoffs or winning games. [01:03:00] And because that’s always gonna be there. Cause I don’t think, I don’t know any coach who doesn’t want to win the game.
but that could be pretty empty if that’s all you’re doing at forty. So I had to kind of rediscover my why and, and, and think deeper as like, I always love my players, but, I think I was a bit, I would always say as a transformational coach, like I cared more about who my players are becoming rather than wins and losses.
But if you look, if I look back on it, look back on it. I’d have to be honest and say I was pretty transactional. and I would’ve, I was focused more on, Hey, what can Mike, what players can help me get to where I want to get as a coach? and. Started to experience some success and just realize I don’t want to succeed that way.
That’s not a fun way to succeed. And so, you had to protect myself, I work with a mentor and he keeps me in check of, of my why [01:04:00] and why I’m doing what I, and he’s a, he’s a sounding board for me and builds into me whether I’m down or up or just need help growing. I think coaches, we always need to grow, being vulnerable with my wife and just, being willing to just tell her.
When I’m tired or anxious or stressed. And, so she knows, instead of just trying to hold it in and power through and just be the tough guy, and just surrounding myself with friends, that I can talk to for me, I need to talk and if I talk, I feel better, before I used to hold it in and just be like, I just got to figure everything out, to kind of go along with our discussion of just the brotherhood or the.
Fraternity of coaches is to have coaches who can empathize and help. for the longest time I was a lone Wolf just trying to do it all myself. And that can be really exhausting and just realized I like having a team around me. I like having assistant coaches around me. I like having players. You, we have a shared vision.
Let’s go do [01:05:00] it together. It’s so much more rewarding to share that. Success or that growth or that vision with somebody else instead of just make it all about you. Cause then if you get there, you look around the room and nobody’s there. So, those are just a few things, and then just knowing who you are, like self care, taking care of yourself for me, a big one is just making sure I exercise a little bit every day, get the blood pumping, get the brain.
Right. reading’s a big thing for me. making sure I just get reading, just energizes me. Whether it’s an audio book or just a book, like on anything just, I just need to read. And it just seems like it’s like my morning, pick me up my coffee. Like just be, just go. I need that. And then, yeah, I just need friendships around me.
So, exercise, reading, it all, and probably a big one for me is just, it’s just prayer. just to center myself and to understanding why, why I do this, I’m a man of faith and just, just, Giving things to God when I feel stressed and even when things are going good. and, [01:06:00] so those are kind of the foundations of, of what keeps me, keeps me centered.
I can tell if, if one of those things is out of alignment, then I can, I can tell something’s off. We put it that way. And those around me can as well.
Mike Klinzing: [01:06:14] Do you think that up until the point where you got introduced to Joe Ehrman’s book and you had sort of that epiphany for lack of a better way of saying it, do you think that a lot of your growth as a coach was focused on the X’s and O’s side of, I have to learn more about the technical aspects of the game of basketball.
And then after that, Epiphany you became more focused on some of the things that you just talked about in terms of your, why the culture having an impact on your players and being more trans transformational as opposed to transactional. Is that, is that kind of the clear demarcation for you of when the shift went from I’m a [01:07:00] basketball coach and X’s and O’s coach, and that’s where my focus is to I’m more shifting towards the culture, transformational relationship style coach?
Shane Sowden: [01:07:11] 100%. And it’s, it’s funny because I started making that shift in my mind, but in practice it probably took me another three years, three, four years. so I started like, yeah, I wanna, I want to be this type of coach. I want to, the Joel airman way, all that kind of stuff.
And, so I was saying it, but I wasn’t living it. and that just creates a whole different other challenge because, if you’re saying one thing to your players and, but they’re seeing something else, there’s a disconnect there, you’re lacking authenticity and I didn’t see it in myself.
I thought I was, I was that guy. I’m like, Oh yeah, I’m being true. I care, I’m being transformational, all that, all, all that cliche cool stuff. And then, fast forward a few years, You [01:08:00] know, had started, was doing my master’s degree in leadership, but all kind of stuff and reading a lot of books and, came across a book called burn your goals by Joshua med and, and, it rocked my world Renovo, three, four times.
And. I remember after I’d read it that summer, I had just taken over the varsity boys program. Again, this was I think 2015. And, we had a really young team. I was starting five sophomores. So I knew we were going to take some lumps, but it was the, the next few years we’re going to be pretty fun. Cause I knew we were going to grow together.
And by the third year we had a pretty special team, but. About three weeks into that season, we’re in practice. And this is when the light bulb really came on, was we were, we were doing [01:09:00] some type of like lay up, like one on one type of type of drill is some passing, stuff like that. And sorry. No, it was like a two on two drill and we were turning the ball over, I think about every 15 seconds.
Like we could not make a play and I’m getting stressed, I’m getting frustrated. I don’t get, like, we know why we can’t do this simple thing. And again, we’re young and maybe I was having a bad day. I can’t remember. and my blood just starts to boil and, One more turnover happens and I just, I lose it.
I start screaming and yelling. I take the basketball, I counted against the floor and hits the roof. I just, I’m not saying anything constructive at all. I’m just mad at my guys. And after my little 32nd rant, the gym is just quiet. And I got all these 15, 16 year olds staring at me 17 year olds. My two assistant coaches just kind [01:10:00] of put their heads down and look at the floor and walk around and I just see faces and eyes just drop.
And I’m just like, what did I just do? Like we’re three weeks into our season. So we jumped to the next drill and it was terrible. All the, I just sucked the life out of practice. So we stopped practice early. I go home and as soon as I walked in the door, my wife just sees me and she’s like, what happened?
You could just see it on my. On my face and my bilanguage, I was like, I have to change. Like I can’t do this anymore. I can’t coach like this. I can’t be like, I’m never a big yeller screener screener, but I can be pretty intense. And I said, I got, I got to change. And next day, Had a meeting with my guys, apologize to them and just said, guys, that’s not the coach.
I want to be for you guys. That’s not the kind of coach I want to model. And I said, from this point on, is that I’m not, I’m not going to yell at you guys. Here’s the standards, here’s the expectations. [01:11:00] And if you don’t want to meet them, then. The penalty will you just won’t participate. That’s just what it is.
But I said, I’m not gonna, I’m not going to yell and scream at you guys to get you to do what I think you need to be doing. It’s like, I want you to find that motivation within you intrinsically. And I remember when I said it, cause we had pretty good relationships with the guys, but it was funny because some of the guys just kind of started snickering because they didn’t believe it.
And I was like, guys, I’m serious. And A few months later, some of the guys started like coach, when you told us that for the first time we thought it would last like a week or two and then be back to normal. And they’re like, no, but you stuck with it. And at first it was really hard. Cause a young team we’re making mistakes that we shouldn’t.
it was tough and we just started building in different principles that we were going to base our program off and live and die by them. I said, guys, This might take us longer to get where we’re going, but I’m tired. I’m tired of this old way of doing things and we’re going to try it. And that first year [01:12:00] was tough.
We took some lumps. the next year we experienced some growth, but we still weren’t getting a hundred percent buy in from the guys. And then by year three, when a lot of those guys were in their senior year, He was about, Oh, I don’t know, January, something just clicked. And it was kind of beautiful because it seemed everything we were teaching, the principles, pushing intrinsic motivation, all kinds of stuff just kinda came together.
And the guys just bought in 100% and it’s almost like. They knew what I was going to say before. Like we call time out and I start like coach note, we know what you’re going to say. And then they would just, they would say it. And I was like, this is awesome. But it took, it took two seasons and it was tough.
And then we ended up, we ended up finishing pretty strong that year and doing well. But, one of my players after that season stopped by was, I was the vice principal in the high school at the time. And he [01:13:00] stopped by my office and he just popped to say, coach, he’s like, I’d never understood for the first, it took, took me two seasons to buy into what you were, you were selling us.
And he’s like, now I get it. You know? Cause this was a kid who always wanted me to yell at him. He’s like yell at me, coach yell at me coach. And I’m like, I’m not yelling at you anymore. You need to find that motivation deep down. And you, you want to rebound or hustle or whatever it is we’re trying to get you to do.
Because you want what’s best for you and the team. Not because you’re scared that I’m going to yell at you. That’s not the point of this. Right. And he fought that for two years and then it finally clicked for him the last six weeks where if his senior year, and it was beautiful. cause here’s a kid who, I think that’s what he was used to at home.
And so that’s what he wanted from me. And I wasn’t going to do that anymore. So it, it was hard. It took. Time. maybe some other coaches could get [01:14:00] quicker buy in than I did than it taken two, two and a half seasons, but it was pretty, pretty sweet, being able to go through that and then see the fruit of that a few years later.
Mike Klinzing: [01:14:12] What were some specific things that you put in place? Some specific standards that you wanted your players to live up to that you had to find yourself? Just reminding them of what those standards were, as opposed to yelling at them and saying, Hey, you got to do this. What were some specific things that you put into place?
Shane Sowden: [01:14:30] No, this is not going to be this. Isn’t going to be crazy, like mind blowing, but at that time we just had to get back to the basics. And it, it basically started with, he got like, guys, what do you want this program to be? Right. And before it was me defining that all the time, it was like, okay, this is what we gotta do.
And I got to get these guys here so we can win games and win a championship, all that kind of stuff. And once I stopped dictating that and started making more player led, that’s when things [01:15:00] started to happen. So, when we just kind of met as a team is like, what are our standards? Okay. beyond time.
Well, what does beyond time look like everybody needs to be dressed and warmed up and ready to go five minutes before you say we’re supposed to be there. I’m like, beautiful love that. Let’s do that. Right. what does it look like in practice? like what does intensity look like in practice? So like, and what do you guys want the consequences to be?
If a, B and C don’t happen. So just started giving power of voice to the players to decide. Like guys, this isn’t my program. This is our program. And it’s more your program. Like I’m going to coach you. I love you guys. Let’s go. And yeah, I want to win, but what do you guys want this season to be like? And I always told them, I said, guys, I just want you guys to be done at the end of the season, just to have no regrets.
Did you get everything you could, you could give. So we just looked at everything from, [01:16:00] punctuality to team meetings to, what practice would look like. What does, even drills. I started letting some of my players. Like lead some, a practice, which was really hard to do my goodness, but it was just, to let them see that I’m trying to make this as your team guys.
But then it was also really interesting as me and my assistants sat off just to watch what the guys focused on. and then it told us like, here’s what the players are seeing. Here’s what, they feel that they need to get better at. So I think it just developed a lot more trust and clarity. And then, and then for me, To actually follow through with what I said, I was going to do, like how I was going to behave.
when I was like, guys, like the way I’ve been yelling and screaming sometimes and being upset. When is that ever okay. In the workplace, like when. Like, can I do that as a principal though? can your parents do [01:17:00] that at their workplace? Or what would happen if they did? Will they get fired?
Well, I’m like, then why is it okay for me to do that with you here? It’s it’s not right. There’s a better way to be intense. Right? So we just switched it from the, the team just started setting the standards. And I said, so, and if they didn’t meet them, then they decided the consequences of law. That was just, it wasn’t running.
It was just. Well, then just set us off. Cause it hurts more not to play or to not be a part of practice or not be part of what we’re, what we’re going into. So that was a strategy. And again, it took time, but it, but it worked and it kind of gave a voice to the players. And for the first time, I think they were given a voice to decide, well, what do you want this program to be?
And, yeah, it took some time, but, eventually it came around and, things started going pretty good in a couple of seasons.
Mike Klinzing: [01:17:53] What I love about that is something that I think is critically important when you’re talking about putting standards in place [01:18:00] for your team, and you can talk about our team’s going to play hard, or we’re going to be punctual, or we’re gonna do this, or do that.
And what I love about what you said is that you attached behaviors to those standards, because I think a lot of times as coaches, one of the things that we get caught up in is. We’ll say something of what we want. So we want intensity or we want punctuality, or we want whatever it is. And then we might know what we want that to look like, but our players are just guessing.
And I think it’s so, so important to be able to give players and actual behavior of this is what it looks like when we’re doing and meeting this standard. And when you do that, I think you make it a lot easier for the players to live up to that standard when they know. What the behavior is that’s associated with that standard when they know what you’re going to be judging them on same way you think about it in the classroom as a teacher, if your students know what the expectations are for the assignment, they’re much more [01:19:00] likely to be able to meet it as opposed to just throwing stuff out there.
Without any type of parameters of what it’s actually going to look like. And to me, that’s so, so important. And it goes to, again, the communication piece of being a great coach is being able to get your players to understand what you want and then getting them to buy in. So as you said, that it’s a player led team and the players are the ones taking that responsibility for putting those things together.
To me, that’s critical.
Shane Sowden: [01:19:29] I just think I’ve found again, it’s only over the last. Probably five years that I’ve really adopted and it’s tough giving up control. Cause I think as coaches, we love being in control and it gets hard. but as soon as I started asking the guys like, well, what do you want this to be?
Like, what do you want this to look like? Like what do you guys value? And then, they list core values, all that kind of stuff. We’ve all done it as coaches. But then like you said, well, what does that look like? Like what’s the behavior associated with that value, [01:20:00] right? Like what really matters to you guys?
And then we’ll like, whatever it is. So it was just really cool to start seeing the light bulbs go off in their own brains. And I’m like, and then it takes PR honestly it takes pressure off me as the coach. And like, I can, I can navigate those conversations. Right? Like we’re brainstorming on what kind of stuff, but all of a sudden it’s a different sense of, of buy-in because the players have decided.
So if, if the players. if somebody breaks one of the standards, I don’t like the word rules. if one of the players doesn’t meet the standard, they didn’t meet their own standard. It’s not my standard. It’s our standards, your standard, like you, you guys. And in some cases, it’s the guy that, he’s the one that came up with it.
Right. And so, right. So I just find, it’s just such a powerful exercise to do with your, with your players. But the big thing is you have to [01:21:00] follow through with it. Right? Cause a lot of players will at first test, are we actually going to abide by these? But yeah, I’ve just found that an incredibly powerful thing is let your, let your team drive.
What you value the behaviors and standards, does that, it’s all, it’s more on them.
Mike Klinzing: [01:21:17] Let’s talk a little bit about the difference between being a head coach on the women’s side head coach on the men’s side. What’s what’s different. What’s the same. What have you learned from having both experiences?
Shane Sowden: [01:21:32] Oh my goodness. I gotta be careful here. Mmm.
Probably that was probably the biggest thing I would say is that what I found in both cases was when I took over the women’s program, I had their trust right away. I had to lose their trust. So I took over the program, brought in, I came on, I [01:22:00] think we had 13 girls the first year and they trusted me right away.
And trust was established pretty quickly. And the only way I was not going to have that trust is if I did something to lose that trust. when I took over the men’s program two years ago, I remember having a team meeting. With that it was after their season was done. I was on campus. We had a team meeting with all the guys from that team and just basically for a chance for them to talk to me, ask me questions, that sort of thing.
Basically me get to lay out my vision, who I am. because at that time, many of them only like, well, he’s just a high school coach. And I’m like, well, I did coach college at one time and all that kind of stuff. But, I found with guys, you have to earn their trust. You don’t have it right away. And so it’s like, yeah, they’ll come play for you, but then it’s you gotta, I find I don’t, I didn’t, I don’t, you don’t get their trust right away.
Like, you’ve got to prove that you can do what your sacred say [01:23:00] you’re going to do. So I found that was one big difference with guys and girls. I found coaching the women’s game. They wanted to be told what to do more. They wanted to like run. A specific system is like, well, coach, like where do I go here, here and here.
And so they wanted a very scripted and maybe that was the type of player I had at that time and all that kind of stuff. And maybe the programs they came from, but the girls really wanted me just to lay every little detail out for them. Whereas I find with the guys and, the games changed over the last 10 years, but they want to kind of know what’s more of our, like how are we going to play?
Right. Like, what’s the expectation are we playing uptempo, moving the blood, whatever it is they want to, and then they want to have a bit of a framework, but they want to have more freedom within that framework. And so I found that really interesting is like trying to give. Kind of like the whole [01:24:00] thing with the team setting, the standards is like giving a bit of rope, letting guys make mistakes, coaching them through it, to gain that trust.
And then sometimes, honestly, a gain that trust is you getting up to play a certain way or wind to play a certain way and they may be skeptical, but you still let them kind of make their mistakes throughout it. So that they can see where you’re trying to lead them in order to gain that trust back. Okay.
Now, coach, now I get what you’re talking about, right. That sort of thing. So I think those are two of the, the biggest differences, with guys and girls. Probably the third one is,
I found building a healthy culture, much more difficult on the girl’s side. I found that if there’s some type of re like squabble or relational discord within the team, the girls will carry that onto the court. And I found, I found with the [01:25:00] guys, they might have a disagreement, but as soon as they step between the lines, they’re going to compete together.
And I found that with the girl that had to just work through things, like lot more, lot more conversations, working things out guys tend to get over things a little more in my situation, tended to kind of let things go, but you still had to deal with it. Because it was still linger, but when you step between the lines, I found the guys just kind of, they just go play at the, the girls will carry that on.
So those are kind of the three different challenges, but it was good having the perspective of both, because I think coaching the girls for four years has helped me tremendously, move in, move into the men’s college game.
Mike Klinzing: [01:25:43] Yeah. I can completely understand how having all those experiences and coaching at the high school level and coaching at the college level gives you this breadth of experience dealing with.
Players at different ages, players of different genders, different situations, all of which [01:26:00] helps you to become a better coach and each new situation that you move into, which leads us to what you’re doing with thrive on challenge and JP nervine and Nate Sanderson and how you got connected to both of them and what they’re trying to do, what their mission is, and then why that mission aligned with.
Your career goals. Just talk a little bit about how you got connected to them and what your role is in the organization and why it’s so important to you.
Shane Sowden: [01:26:27] Well, ever since, I’ve always been a reader, all that kind of stuff. And, a number of years ago, man must have been seven or eight years ago as I was just doing all this reading and started reading.
Books by these authors talking about, having a mentor in your life and started seeing different organizations pop up where they were offering like this one on one type of coaching relationship. And it was mostly in the sporting round with, with sport coaches of, Hey, you hire us to work with you and we’ll support you through whatever, [01:27:00] however long you hire them before.
But it basically, you know what, we’re going to be available for phone calls. now it’s now it’s like, Skype or zoom or whatever. but we’re going to be like different homework. We’re going to be there to just basically professional development in a one on one relationship and somebody to work with you.
Throughout a season when you need that support. And I always found, it was like a third party. Who’s not a close friend or a family member, but just somebody who can look at things objectively and you just share here’s what’s going on in my program. Here’s what I’m struggling with. Or here’s, what’s going really well.
Like what would you recommend? Or just somebody to vent to. It’s like, I’m pissed off this week and everything’s going to crap and you can just vent and then they can just be there for you, you know? so that like I’d read. Numerous guys doing this. And so I’d want it to do this for a while. And then two years ago I was making the switch.
I was from coaching high school, varsity boys too, and being [01:28:00] a vice principal and made the switch and applied and got the men’s. This men’s coaching. the men’s head coaching job here at Briercrest. And I was making that switch and I was like, man, I, as I’m making this big life change, I was 39 at the time.
I feel like it’s kind of like my midlife crisis. I’m switching, making this big, big career change can go on for it. And like, man, I really liked to work with somebody and hire, hire a mentor. Who’s doing this. And so a friend of mine knew JP. He was like, Hey buddy of mine, JP just started this business called thrive on challenge.
And he’s just, he’s, he’s podcasting, he’s writing articles and it’s all just coaching resources. And he’s starting to work with coaches. One-on-one you should give him a call. I was like, Sure. Let’s see, he’s just starting out that kind of excited me. Like, I dunno, I just kind of liked the idea of somebody just getting, going with this and gave JP a call and we hit it off.
We talked for like two, two and a half hours and he just wanted [01:29:00] to know my story where I’m at and where I’m going and all that kind of stuff. And so he
Shane Sowden: [01:29:05] really helped me transition, just, putting in different systems with our team, culturally, everything from just. How we run our practices, to the way we run our, how we set up our captains, how I communicate.
and then just, different just personal growth stuff. Like for me, it was, confidence, and just being there to help me grow personally in areas where I just needed to grow. and it was an absolute game changer. So after. Man six months, you had a pretty big impact on our, on our program.
We flew him over. He was in the States at the time he came, he worked with our program in year one. for a couple of days, guys loved it just really helped us get things going culturally [01:30:00] and, and, and setting a strong foundation. And, Yeah. At the, at the end of that year, he asked he was running two podcasts and he just said, Hey, would you be interested in taking over one of the podcasts?
And it’s just a short little, two, three minute leadership nugget for coaches. He’s like, I think it’d be good for you just to keep growing yourself. And so took that over. It’s called culture builders and yeah, you can find that. And then he just really encouraged me to start writing. So, I’ve written a few, few articles for the website and then.
This past January got to work with my first high school coach, in a one on one mentoring or mentorship, capacity. And basically what that looked like was for three months, we’d, we’d Skype every week and we’d call and, I’d passed on different resources and documents and books and just different things that we’ve done with our program, culturally systematically, we went through some books together.
And it was just there to support each other, right? [01:31:00] Like through every game and just text messages, send each other, podcasts, encouragement, and it’s just somebody walking through a season with you guiding you all the way. And, in every single situation that I’ve been, JP and are pretty good friends now, he’s had a huge impact.
On me, not just my coaching, but my relationships, with my kids and my spouse, all kind of stuff, just cause, It’s just been a sweet relationship. That way of just helping me know who I am, why I do what I do and bring me back to those things consistently. And that he ne he pushes me out of my comfort zone.
It’s like, Hey, why don’t you try this? Or why don’t you consider this? And so, yeah, they, they brought me on with their team, in the fall and yeah, it’s slowly, slowly been growing and, JP has been. JP and Nate are fantastic. Like people listening to [01:32:00] this, the checkout, the website and tons of free resources.
but really the heart of what we do is, is that, is that one on one mentorship. That’s the thing that, JP has worked with dozens and dozens and dozens of coaches and programs all over North America and, The fruit is there and just the impact that he’s had on these cultures. And so they can do everything from these one on one mentorship, relationships, from a distance to coming on campus for three days and working with your assistant coaches and, observing your practices and building in like all sorts, like team built, whatever you want.
Like there’s just. It’s really endless, but you just, our whole focus is we want to be there for other coaches and just to resource them and help equip them to be the best they can be. and like we said earlier tonight, I think a lot of coaches are just trying to go it on their own. and that’s the heart for, this is how can we.
[01:33:00] Help coaches just be better at what they’re doing and help give them the support they need, whether there’s seasons go on really good or really badly on the scoreboard. and so we’ve worked with everybody from high school to division one, and even like some corporations, like. Like professionals outside of sports.
So, it’s a pretty, I don’t know, it’s transformed my, my life, my coaching career. I love it. I tell everybody about it. it’s fantastic. I know JP was a guest earlier a few weeks ago, so, for people to check out that episode. And so, yeah, so that’s kind of that in a, in a nutshell, but yeah, probably won’t challenge.com.
It’s it’s, it’s, it’s a pretty sweet site and tons of resources there.
Mike Klinzing: [01:33:45] Absolutely. It’s great stuff. JP’s episode was fantastic. As we’re talking, that episode is already out. Last Wednesday night, we talked to Nate and his episode will be out before yours comes out, but shortly and it’s both [01:34:00] episodes have a tremendous amount of value for coaches as does your, so we just passed the hour and a half mark. So I want to give you a chance before we wrap up to just let people know where they can find you social media website. You already mentioned the Thrive on Challenge stuff. Go ahead and reiterate that. Just let people know where they can find out more about all the great stuff you’re doing.
And then I’ll jump back in and wrap up the episode.
Shane Sowden: [01:34:22] Perfect. I’m the head coach at Briercrest College Men’s Basketball. you can find me on Twitter @CoachSowden. That might be the best place to find me, email, I don’t know if you’ll put that in the show notes.
You can put my email on there. As well, we’d love to hear from you. yeah, doing that. The Culture Builders podcast, there’s articles on Thrive on Challenge. All our information’s all our information’s there. So, yeah, we love hearing from coaches with feedback and we just love connecting with coaches and if that’s something people are interested in, [01:35:00] that would be great.
And there’s one other thing I want to throw in here. just a little plug is up here in Canada. we get three international. spots to give away only three. And, it’s a lot, it’s pretty cheap when you cross that border, when you take the American dollar and then turn into the Canadian dollar.
But we’ve, we’ve had a few Americans up here playing last year as I’ve had really good experiences. And so, yeah, if, if there’s coaches listening to this from a recruiting, Perspective and they’re looking for a place to play. Canada’s a great place to come play and experience a different culture. and we’re, I’m currently looking for a player, but I mean, one more player for next year who’s an international player, so yeah, if somebody wants to reach out on Twitter or email I would love to hear from you.
Mike Klinzing: [01:35:51] Terrific. That would be fantastic. Coaches out there. Take Shane up on his offer. There’s so much good stuff that Shane JP and Nate are doing with [01:36:00] Thrive on Challenge.
I would highly recommend you check out their Culture Builders podcast. Make sure you check out the website. They’ve got a tremendous amount of free resources, a lot of great articles, what it takes to build a positive team culture, develop leadership within your team. It’s great stuff, Shane. We can’t thank you enough for spending an hour and a half with us tonight.
It’s been an absolute pleasure. I think there’s a ton of value in our conversation with, for coaches. Plus, we got a chance to talk a little Michael Jordan, which is always good. So I want to just thank you personally, and to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode.