I've spend the past few months being an assistant coach to the Paideia High School men's team (Gruel) and the women's team (Groove). It has been an interesting and rewarding experience for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am assisting my former head coach Michael Baccarini.
Much of my time has been spent holding a clipboard, finding times to talk strategy and technique with players on the side. The set-up at Paideia is very different than I had at Emory. Much more responsibility falls on the shoulders of the players, including subbing and strategy. The pros and cons of that system are pretty obvious, we have less control of what is going on, but the players develop their knowledge of the game which is valuable down the road.
It is also strange attending tournaments where we know we are at a huge disadvantage. We have attended 1 high school tournament (Deep Freeze) which was the week after try-outs. Ever since then we have been going to college tournaments (Southern and a B-team tournaments) where we know we are at a huge size/speed disadvantage. Fortunately we typically have as many years of playing experience (if not more) than our opponents, but it is tough telling a 5'4" freshman to go guard a 5'11" college junior and protect the open side.
It seems like the athletic discrepancy would force us to improve our strategy, which it does on some level, but the main mode of thought is "go our there and play better." Being a strategy junkie I find myself craving more time to go over the minutia of our offense or slight alterations we can make to our trap zone to capitalize on a players weakness. That leads me to my question for the panel:
What type of coach are you? Are you the micro-managing coach who calls every line and then tells everyone who to guard? Are you the coach that teaches at practice then sees if your babies can swim at tournaments? Lastly, is there a better/worse method of coaching depending on the level you are coaching at? I guess I'll go answer first.