We Need More Draymonds

Image via  SB Nation

Image via SB Nation

Draymond Green is many things, maybe none more than polarizing. People either tend to love or hate him. His behavior at times drive spectators and opponents nuts. But along with that he is one of the greatest competitors I have had the pleasure of watching. His drive and will to win is insatiable. It’s something that is truly inspiring. He has become so important in almost every aspect of basketball for the Warriors, and in a sports world without many generalists, he has shown how valuable being one can be. He can pass, shoot, handle the ball, rebound, and defend both individually and collectively at a ridiculous level. There really isn’t much on the court he hasn’t shown competency in. This combined with his self-awareness (see articles here and here and here) has made him a guy that I have so much respect for as an athlete, and minus some of the antics, a guy who young athletes can use as a real example.

I wonder how good almost every other team would be with a guy like him?

Even in other sports, probably pretty good.

Supply A Canvas

Devising a gameplay but allowing the head coach to implement it. Formulating a defensive scheme but having someone else coach it. Drawing up the perfect inbounds play so the coach can call it during the next timeout. All these are small examples of a simple strategy that could prove ever so useful in your career aspirations.

The canvas strategy is a tool that can provide great benefits to those utilizing it. I first learned of the idea from Ryan Holiday's book Ego Is The Enemy (I highly recommend this book by they way). The strategy is simple, as Ryan explains "Find and make canvases for other people to paint on". I think this can really be applied in any setting where you are working "under" someone else, however I believe that it would be an extremely useful mindset for assistant coaches to take on in their daily work. The current climate of coaching is one in which so many people are looking to climb up the ranks, get that next job and fast forward to their ultimate goal. Every person is entitled to reaching their goal in whichever way they see fit, fair enough. To each is own as they progress on their journey but the canvas strategy could play a role in achieving these goals while also aiding in the success of the team they are coaching.

Let others take their credit on credit, while you defer and earn interest on the principal
— Ryan Holiday (Ego Is The Enemy)

I am sure many of you have asked yourselves a version of this question at least a few times, "what do I need to do in order to reach my goal?". It's a question I know I'm constantly asking myself and often times turning up answers that may or may not end up playing a pivotal role in my development. That's why I think this idea of imparting the canvas strategy as an assistant coach could pay huge dividends in the future. This is not a new idea and in fact has been utilized for many years by people such as Benjamin Franklin and Bill Belichick (both mentioned in the book). Looking at the Belichick example, and anyone who has read The Education of a Coach probably knows this, but Bill Belichick took a long road to become one of the most storied coaches in NFL history. He had many jobs before his reign began with the New England Patriots, many of which would not be deemed the most "desirable" to many people. His first job in professional football with the then Baltimore Colts consisted of immersing himself in film where he could in turn provide insights to the rest of the staff. Again in the words of Holiday, "he learned how to be a rising star without threatening or alienating anyone. He didn't mind doing any of this or any of the work that others saw as beneath them. He saw it as an investment in his future and I'd say that it has paid off."

I understand that not every coach will become Bill Belichick, nor does every coach want to become him. I do believe though that imparting the canvas strategy in your working life can provide you great benefits down the road. As President Harry Truman said, "it is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit". 


I started Coach In Full with high hopes and big expectations. For context, throughout my life many times a new idea pops into my head it takes hold of me, all consuming and I get so far down the road envisioning what it could become that I forget to just do the damn thing. This was true with Coach In Full. But I believe in our concept more than ever. My personal desire to learn from all of the people we have access to in the 21st century is never ending. That’s why I am taking a new approach. I guess I am considering this a refresh of sorts. Both with Coach In Full as well as my own life. I have always wanted to share thoughts and ideas, to start conversations, but many times my desire to make a blog post or podcast “perfect” has made this difficult. I realized (with the help of my wife) that if I continue to take this approach a good idea could go by the wayside, and that would be a shame. So I’m going to put myself out there more, be more vulnerable (as the brilliant Brené Brown talks about) all in the hopes of making Coach In Full a place where people can learn, discuss and grow. I am going to stop worrying if every post is “perfect”, or if I found just the right picture to go along with each one. Because what I always knew, but realized again was that there is no perfect and peripheral details don’t matter nearly as much anyway. What matters is the content and that it can be useful to someone, even just one person.

The great Seth Godin often tells his readers and listeners, to “write every day” and in his own words, “committing to having a point of view and scheduling a time and place to say something is almost certainly going to improve your thinking, your attitude and your trajectory.” I believe this and in doing so we will improve those things he mentions. I will strive to post something EVERY DAY, short or long it doesn’t matter. This is the new goal. I know it won’t always work out that way, such is life, but this is my aim.

So to wrap up this little spiel I want everyone to know that I still have those high hopes and big ideas but I also want to make this the best possible site for coaches to learn from on a daily basis and I know that taking a fresh approach can help us get to that point. As always your ideas, thoughts and feedback is welcome. More than ever it’s important that this be not unlike a co-op. We all should know that when a group works together it gets further than the individual.

I appreciate your support and can’t wait to make this platform what I know it can be.