In this week’s basketball coaching conversation, former NBA assistant coach and executive with Boston Celtics and LA Clippers Kevin Eastman joins the Basketball Podcast to discuss why the best are the best, and other insights from a lifetime in coaching.
Kevin Eastman has been a student-athlete, a rookie coach, an assistant coach, a head coach and a college athletic director. He is a corporate speaker and an internationally-known basketball clinician who brings his knowledge and experience in sports to the business world. He speaks on various topics, including championship culture, teamwork, leadership, motivation and individual success. His recent booked is called Why The Best Are The Best: 25 Words That Impact, Inspire, and Define Champions.
Over his 40 years in the game, Kevin Eastman has coached basketball at all levels, including 13 years in the NBA. He was a top assistant to Doc Rivers with the 2008 NBA World Championship Boston Celtics, and most recently served as an assistant coach and Vice President of Basketball Operations with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Eastman has worked with or coached an impressive group of current and future NBA All-Stars both as a coach and as Nike Basketball’s director of player development for the nation’s elite college and high school players. He continues his work with young elite players through USA Basketball and speaking to Nike audiences.
“I believe that success leaves footprints . . you’ve got to find them, you’ve got to follow them, then you’ve got to fit them.”
“Not everything we hear, see . . or learn will actually fit us at this current time in our life or our career. So, that’s where you’ve got to really discern what can I take that I can put into what I do.”
“When coaches go to clinics, they can do one of two things . . once they hear a good idea they can either memorize it or internalize it.”
“The most successful coaches and leaders . . have put a lot of thought into what they believe in and how they feel that their team or their organization should operate . . as they get a new idea that may enhance what they’re currently doing, then they insert that . . but they don’t insert every new thing that they hear.”
“I often talk about the word ‘truth’ . . and how it’s the most important word in all success. But everybody always think that truth is the negative things you tell people . . in fact, truth can be very, very positive . . like you have recognized them, you have appreciated them.”
“You can’t only talk to the player when you need them. That won’t build a relationship. You have to talk to them when nothing is needed. And sometimes ask them their opinion.”
“Sustained success doesn’t happen by accident . . you have to be intentional. My definition of ‘intentional’ is: what you do on purpose to fulfill your purpose.”
“You can’t just love winning. You have to love coaching. And part of loving coaching is loving the interaction of the people that you’re leading . . helping them to get where they want to go, helping them to become better . . maybe you believing in them before they had that belief in themselves.”
“Clarity must precede accountability. If you have not done a good job of defining exactly what it is that you need out of . . your player . . then I don’t believe . . we have the right to hold that player accountable.”
“Pause for a second . . and, if you can, quickly run through these . . questions. Do I need to say this? Second question: Do I need to say this now? Does it need to be said by me?”
“Repetition is what creates a habit and a habit is something you need in times of stress, in times of challenges . . in the moment of truth in a game.”
“We were driven by mindset. We wanted to get the right type of players that had the mindset to compete at a championship level.”
“The three dimensional look at success . . you have to learn from the past, you have to produce in the present, and you have to prepare for the future . . if your team . . or you as an individual . . can do those three things each and every day, you’ve got a shot at becoming the best you can become.”
“As Doc used to say, ‘Be an All-Star at your role.’ If you do that you’re going to have a nice career.”
Kevin Eastman Selected Links from the Podcast:
Kevin Eastman Breakdown:
1:00 – Importance of the Routine
3:00 – Importance of Application
6:00 – Back to Coaching
9:30 – Skill Development
13:00 – Spark Space vs Mind Space
15:30 – Building Relationship
20:30 – How Leaders Act
23:00 – You Must Love Coaching
26:00 – Putting Our Players Accountable
30:00 – Pause
33:00 – Teaching in Bullets
34:30 – Repetition would create skills
38:00 – Things that Make a Good Workout
41:30 – Routine, Pay Attention to Details and Defense
44:00 – Stronger Relationships
46:00 – Biggest Technical/tactical Impact
50:00 – Three Dimension Look at Success
52:00 – Conclusion
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