Tommy Amaker, a Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board Member, has been Harvard's head basketball coach since 2007 after serving as head coach at Michigan and at Seton Hall.
His college basketball career began at Duke, where Amaker started at point guard for all four years, leading the team to four NCAA tournaments and the 1986 Championship game. He was the 1987 winner of the Henry Iba Corinthian Award as the nation’s top defensive player, and he was enshrined in the Duke Athletic Hall Of Fame in 2001. His playing career also includes a gold medal as part of the U.S. national team at the 1986 World Championships.
Amaker teaches his team to always be ready for the next moment by emphasizing the phrase or mantra "next play." As he explains in this video, and as his fellow National Advisory Board Member Shane Battier mentions in another PCADevZone video, "next play" comes from Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), who coached both of them at Duke University.
Amaker uses "next play" regardless of trying to move past a mistake on the court or to keep players focused after success. That is critical in a sport like basketball that moves back and forth so quickly.
As he says here, "The team that can move their emotions to the next moment will probably be the team that will be the most successful." Amaker also remarks that embracing this approach has served him and can serve others as they confront all of life's ups and downs.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Development Zone® of Positive Coaching Alliance. AAU is proud to provide FREE Coaches' Education for all AAU non-athlete members. This exciting program is administered by Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), using their Double-Goal Coach online courses.
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