Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tourney Time!!

Well, tomorrow at 2:00 the new season begins. The Lady Broncs take on Frenchtown in the 4 vs 5 game. The winner will advance to the semi-final vs Anaconda, the #1 seed for the 6th year in a row.

There are numerous routes for our team to take and make it to state (in Hamilton)...however, we'd sure like to take the 3-0 route! Remember girls, it's not over until we've lost two games. Don't ever give up. Fight to the wire. Play with courage, have fun and play with composure.

Even though we're the number 5 seed, our best basketball is ahead of us. We're at home and we'll have an awesome crowd. Embrace this moment in time and play with confidence. Be your best when your best is required.

Go Broncs!

Coach Albert

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How productive are you?'s an interesting word. It can apply to so many areas of our life. How much homework can you get done in a two hour period? Can you stay focused or are you like I was in college, always wandering around, trying to find anything to do but school work?

Do you get your chores done in a timely manner or do you put them off until "later" and don't really start them until after mom has to nag you about it? How long does it take for you to write thank you cards after Christmas or a birthday?

What is your productivity like as a player? Do you make the most of your minutes or do you spend most of your time complaining about your lack of playing time? What are you doing with your minutes? Are you scoring, rebounding, playing solid defense or are you turning the ball over, soft on defense and making poor decisions? Are you helping or hurting? Are you productive?

This past game against Stevensville, my team was very productive despite not shooting the ball very well. We got key contributions from all players and our team "managed" the game very well. Our points per possession needs to increase but we are taking care of the ball and limiting our turnovers.

On a related note, I am especially proud of Ashley for her most recent "productivity" for the Montana State Women's basketball team. The Cats beat Portland State last weekend in perhaps their most complete game of the season. "Bert" was especially solid in her fifteen minutes of play...16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, an assist and no turnovers. Her field goal percentage has needed improvement, so her 6 for 8 performance was especially encouraging.

Yes, I'm bragging about my kid again. But my point is really how impressed I have been with Ashley's production as an 18 year old reserve player. Against Weber she only played 5 minutes but had 6 points and was in at the end to finish out a fairly close game. I am especially proud of her attitude and her willingness to embrace the role the coaches have laid out for her.

Like I always tell my team, every game is different. You need to be ready when you are called on. Make the most of your time. There are a lot of people out there who'd love to be in your shoes. Be productive.

Coach Albert

P.S. Check out Bert on the MSU website in a short interview after the PSU game.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unique Challenges

One of the unique challenges coaching presents is to make all members of a team FEEL valued while at the same time making sure the top 8 players or so get most of the reps. At the college level this means about 6 to 8 kids don't see much time...though there still is 40 minutes to find some time for kids. At the high school level (32 minute games), we practice with about 18 kids between our varsity/JV teams...this means about 8-10 kids see limited or no varsity time. Unlike college, we do a have a JV team for kids to participate on, but it's not uncommon for kids to feel "left out" during the week as the head coach is trying to prepare for the upcoming opponents.

Being a JV player may be one of the most trying positions to be in...I know, I too was a JV player. What I didn't realize at the time was what a privilege it was for me to simply be healthy enough to play at all. I made a team in the program...there were kids who got cut, who are injured, disabled or not skilled enough to be on the team. It's so easy to take our teammates, coaches, parents and just health in general for granted. We all need to keep an attitude of gratitude as we walk through this life.

In high school basketball, there are 160 minutes of playing time to distribute between our players. By comparison, soccer has 1320 minutes available to spread around. Again, basketball presents unique challenges. I am thankful our girls are so understanding and accommodating. It's tough being on varsity but not really playing much. Our coaching staff truly appreciates your commitment ladies. Just like my own experience, your turn will come. We need you now and especially the next couple of years. Stay positive, have fun and keep getting better. You are very much a valued part of the Lady Broncs!! Good luck this week vs the Beavers.

Coach Albert