Most Important Question

Published by Aram Parunak on

Most Important Question

What do your players think you think is important?

Think about this for a second.  This is not “can they pass a test or can they repeat your team motto.” This is a question of in every conversation, interaction, practice, game etc. what do they think you think is important.

Do they know what you believe in?

Do they know how to get your trust? 

Do they know how to get on the floor? 

Do they believe that what your saying is what you really believe and that it will get them to where they are trying to go?

This is the most important question of the day.  Anyone can talk about their philosophy.  The problem is that what we say is pretty irrelevant. 

It is more important that every player that I coach be able to stand up and tell you exactly what my philosophy is without having to think about it and with the same passion and conviction that I have about it. My philosophy is only relevant if my players know it and know that I believe in it and won’t budge on it. 

If you say we are only going to shoot 3s and layups yet you have a player that consistently shoots pull up jumpers and is allowed to do so, then you’re going to have a hard time holding anyone else accountable. 

If you say playing good defense is part of your philosophy but your “best player” doesn’t play defense consistently yet he starts and gets more minutes than anybody then it doesn’t matter what you say your philosophy is.  Your players aren’t going to buy it. 

So let’s say that’s your situation. 

Most people would tell you that you should hold that player accountable. Maybe that’s true maybe it isn’t.  It’s not that obvious. Maybe you should evolve your philosophy to accommodate that player. Maybe you should stick to your guns.

Sometimes in order to meet players where they are and we need to adapt our philosophy to the situation.  In some situations budging a little means we lose everyone else. With every decision comes consequences. Holding players accountable is the “easy” answer but it’s not always the best one. You have to decide how you handle each situation. 

It is better to evolve your philosophy and make that clear than to say we have a philosophy and not hold everyone accountable to it. Let me say that again.

It is better to evolve your philosophy and make that clear than to say we have a philosophy and not hold everyone accountable to it.

Your players don’t have to agree with your philosophy. In fact, no matter what your philosophy is, it will be challenged. 

Yes, you have to believe in it?

Of course, your staff needs to believe in it?

Clearly, you must hold yourself and others accountable to it.

But the real question is, what do your players think you think is important?

If you are consistent with it they will get on board with it or they won’t and then we are back to where we were before. Ok, Great.  Now What?


Aram Parunak

After 18 years of coaching college basketball, Aram wants to use the Hoops College platform to have a greater impact on the game and the players who play it. Allow him to join you on your journey to be the best player with the most options you can possibly have.