Exploring Coaching – Dave Rose

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Coaching Book

On Monday, I shared some thoughts about coaching from The Little Book of Coaching by Ken Blanchard and Don Shula.  Today I am sharing how I feel Dave Rose stacks up against the advice in the book.

Dave Rose

dnews 0303bkccougars.spt_ byu  jaConviction-driven – “You can’t be a successful leader if you don’t have a clear idea of what you believe, where you’re headed, and what you’re willing to go to the mat for.” How easy would it have been for Coach Rose to turn a blind eye to the indiscretion that then-sophomore Brandon Davies shared with him as the season came to a close? That team was a heavy favorite to reach the Final Four led by Jimmer Fredette, an accomplishment not often dreamed of in Provo. But his commitment to the school at which he coaches led him to make the tough decision and suspend Davies from the team for the remainder of the season, right before conference championship week

Overlearning – Part of the overlearning aspect is a belief in people that they will always perform at their best.  While coaching the Dolphins, Shula had an assistant who was diagnosed with bone cancer.  While in the hospital, Coach visited him and told him he needed him on the field for training camp that coming July.  Mike Westhoff recovered and returned to the field where he always attributed Shula’s belief in his ability to recover as making a difference in his recovery process.  I believe Rose employs a similar set of ideals.  He sees his players, knows what he expects of them and then coaches and mentors them to that end.  As the outset of this season, we all expected Matt Carlino to take that next step towards greatness and instead, he seemed lost.  As we began to write him off, Dave Rose benched him and brought him off the bench.  He found a way to reach Carlino that brought out a new focus and drive in him that has been able to unlock more of his immense potential.  Rose’s ability to demand the best in those around him has allowed those around him to continually perform up and push Rose closer to that 200th victory in only 8 seasons – one of the fastest ever to reach that plateau.

Audible-ready – “Effective leaders, and the people and teams they coach, are ready to change when the situation demands it.” I recently heard an interview with Greg Wrubell on the Rise and Shout podcast where Greg discussed Rose and his rotational tendencies.  He said that Rose has always been a guy who no matter what, if you got two first-half fouls, you were going to sit.  Unfortunately, in this year’s Baylor game, both his stars, Davies and Haws, were in that category and consequently, were riding the bench.  To that point in the game, BYU had controlled tempo and style and led in the game.  At the point that Haws left the floor, the Bears went on a huge run and consequently, BYU never got back into the game.  Because of that learning opportunity, Rose had to “massage” his belief set and realize that he can’t win with both those guys on the bench; he would have to trust that they could play through the adversity and not come out worse for the wear.  His ability to adapt to a changing situation has allowed him to find new ways to get wins for this team and that readiness to audible, has also taught his team to be audible-ready.

Consistency – “Consistency is not behaving the same way all the time; it is behaving the same way in similar circumstances.”  I want to go back to 2011 and Davies’ indiscretion.  Rose’s consistency in handling the adversity proved to Brandon Davies that it would be best if he fought through his adversity and returned to Provo.  There are not many players who could have found the courage to return to play for a coach that had suspended him or to have to face the potential falling out of teammates and fans for costing his team their big chance.  But his ability to see Rose handle a tough situation with wisdom and love allowed him to see that Rose would not treat him any different that he previously had.

Honesty-based – Do you know anyone more authentic than Dave Rose? This is a world of coaches who spend a few years to get a team on track and then move on to bigger and better things.  Gary Anderson and Chip Kelly both recently told their teams they were staying put, only to leave for greener pastures shortly after.  Dave Rose has had chances to leave, but he has chosen to remain with BYU.  His desire to stay loyal to the University and the men on his team provides him a bridge to his team that allows him to stay connected to them and continue to command their admiration and respect.

Dave Rose seems to me to be a very genuine and caring person, coach, and leader.  He seems very honest and consistent in his work and I’m sure the same can be said for his personal life as well.  I can’t recall having much interest in BYU basketball, even when Steve Cleveland had them back in the mix year after year, but Dave Rose has done something with this team that has made me a fan and a believer in him.

If you want to read about Bronco Mendenhall, click here.
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