Listening to your players can pay off

I found this article featuring Coach Drew and Vanderbilt basketball.  The article highlights that Coach Drew was able to turn around their season by getting input from his players.  This is something many coaches might be reluctant to do but can really pay dividends.

The path to the NCAA tournament started when Drew opened his ears and eyes to the suggestions of the players he inherited from the previous coaching staff, especially seniors Kornet and Nolan Cressler. He asked what motions from last season’s offense they would like to incorporate and what tweaks could be made defensively or elsewhere.

Drew bent his original plan, and they responded with wins.

“The players were great assistants to me,” Drew said. “I really relied on our players for feedback throughout the season. We have remarkable young men who are extremely intelligent. We would take feedback from them and talk about it. Some things we would modify and obviously some things we would tell them why we were not going to modify.

“But there was really good interaction, and they were very helpful for me.”

Drew’s father Homer also chimed in on this benefit:

Vanderbilt’s coaches learned to listen to players from the opposite end of the conversation. Both Bryce Drew and assistant coach Jake Diebler were standout players and team captains at Valparaiso, where coach Homer Drew, Bryce’s father, asked for advice from seniors and team captains.

When players pleaded to switch from a 2-3 zone to a man-to-man defense during a timeout, Homer Drew did it. And when the seniors wanted to scrap parts of a plan at midseason, he considered it, and sometimes followed their lead.

“I sought information from the seniors and captains,” Homer Drew said. “They know their team. They know their teammates. They have a feel for what needs to be done.

Bryce Drew listened, then saw Vanderbilt turn season around

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