Of all athletic professions, coaching is the one where an individual’s age, wisdom, and experience is truly valued. While some schools and professional teams have been bucking tradition and hiring younger coaches, it’s still a realm where people over 50 can shine.
Ron Adams, assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors, is 70 years old. When he hired him, Head Coach Steve Kerr was looking for “a venerable wise man, someone who had coached for decades but had no real desire to be promoted. Someone who would thus be free to speak his mind.”
Fellow assistant coach Bruce Fraser (53) appreciates his colleague’s perspective as well. “This business can engulf you, especially for us younger guys, and it gets worse as the season moves on. Here’s the guy who has lasted, and he makes sure to always remind us that there is more to the world.”
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Over the course of his career, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (73) learned the importance of delegating. “You can’t do everything yourself. As you get older, you realize that more. The key for any young coach, and anyone, really, is to have good people around you. I’ve always had that. But it’s important to let those people go to work, and not obsess over every little detail.”
Read the full article: Advice college basketball coaches would give their younger selves
In the lead up to this year’s March Madness, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski (age 71), reflected on his storied career, his humble beginnings, and the sacrifices his parents made for their family.
“For whatever reason, life will be good to you. It will offer you many opportunities, and you will do your best to make the most of them. Your ability to seize those opportunities lies in what you are doing right now and the people you have around you. Please pay attention. You will be talking about that schoolyard a half-century from now. You will still be able to feel the pavement beneath your feet and experience the joy of the countless celebrations of imagined victories. You will tell stories of your mother’s courage to locker rooms full of athletes and gymnasiums full of hopeful high school graduates. You’re not going to believe how lucky you are.”
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