The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Academy hosted a free coaches clinic on Tuesday night for 356 local area coaches inside State Farm Arena. The event was supported by the Atlanta Hawks Foundation, an organization that invests resources into the development of coaches throughout the Georgia community. A diverse group of speakers with specialized coaching and training backgrounds gave key insight into the profession and live drill and scrimmage demonstrations. Almost every participant in the crowd had cameras rolling and notes flying away as they soaked in all of the knowledge in the room.
After a networking reception, participating coaches were surprised by welcoming remarks and a presentation by Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce.
“The biggest thing I can share is It’s all about helping others,” said Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce. “What I’m trying to do in the city of Atlanta outside of basketball is all about helping others. When you take on the role and assignment as a coach you have to take on that responsibility as well. There’s no magical drill or formula that’s going to help your player become better next week, it’s about putting in work, it’s about developing character, it’s about spending time and applying what you know to others. And if that eventually and hopefully helps them get better than you’ve done your job.”
Pierce continued: “Ultimately it always comes back to are you getting the most and the best out of the players that you’re coaching. Then you can start divising and coming up with the drills that you’re working on. Because if you know your players and you get to know your players. You get to know what motivates them what pushes them what challenges them … you’ll know what drill to do.”
After his presentation he began answering questions from the crowd on his coaching style, opinions on winning culture, and how to humble cocky players.
The event was emceed by Atlanta Hawks television play-by-play announcer, Bob Rathbun, who introduced every speaker onto the floor. Presenters included Don Showalter, Director of Coach Development for the USA Basketball Youth Division, who spent his time on the mic discussing team skill development. Two of the Hawks assistant coaches, Matt Hill and Nate Babcock, dived into the nitty-gritty of player development.
Other speakers included Atlanta Dream Head Coach Nikki Collen who gave her insight on man-to-man defense. She utilized the volunteer athletes who she placed on the court and ran through demonstrations for the participating coaches to take away and use for their own players. Lastly a speech was given on coaching “today’s” player by ESPN National Recruiting Director for Basketball Paul Biancardi.
A lot of the participants in the crowd were second time attendees. Including Clarence Lynch, who coaches 9 year old and 10 year old youth league basketball for the Lanier Cluster.
“This year was better, they made a lot of improvement, a lot of good speakers. So I enjoyed it.” He said.
The night ended with networking and a photo session on the Hawks Peachtree edition floor.