Coach Corey Eubanks: Wanting Players that Want You
I know you like basketball, but I think your playing days are over.
This is what the doctor told Coach Corey Eubanks after suffering another knee injury and having 3 surgeries on his left knee. After the doctor said this, he suggested that Coach Eubanks should get into coaching if he still wants to be involved in the sport that he loves.
This news was devastating for Coach Eubanks. Even through the next 2 years, it was hard for him to be anywhere close to the game of basketball. Even turning on ESPN was hard for him. Coach Eubanks was just so sick of not being able to play anymore, or at least not on the same level, and losing scholarship opportunities as a result.
If someone told Coach Eubanks at that time that one day, he was going to start his own organization for travel basketball, he would have thought they were crazy. However, one day when he was coaching his son’s church league basketball team, someone walked up to him and said,
I love what you are doing with this team and the passion that you coach with. Listen, my son’s team is currently looking for a new head coach as the old one stepped down. There is one other coach that would maybe be interested but we are looking for someone who really understands the game. We will cover any of your expenses but unfortunately, there is no room in the budget to pay you. Would you be interested in doing this?
Coach Eubanks told him that he cannot promise that he will be any good but would be more than willing to give it a shot. From there, his coaching career took off. Coach Eubanks went on to coach for several different travel teams before starting his own organization, the SC BlueJays.
Today’s All In Takeaway is around the value of getting athletes who want to play for your team.
All In Takeaway: The Value of having Players who want to Play for You
When you are teaching somebody something new, they have to be able to trust you. If your players trust you, you are going to win a lot of games, you are going to have successful teams, your team is going to get better, and the players are going to get better. But if you have players that are just on the team because they know that they are going to get minutes or this or that but are not actually listening and applying it, your team is not going to get much better. I have had that happen before too.
Coach Eubanks told us in his interview that coaches NEED to have players that want to play for you. In fact, coaches should not desire players who truly do not want to be on the team, no matter their talent level. Doing this will only cause harm to you, the athlete, and the entire team. Coach Eubanks has been blessed to have some extremely talented players play for his teams. In fact, one player had over 15 teams that were actively trying to get him for the travel basketball season. However, he refused to leave Coach Eubank’s program. He told Coach Eubanks,
I have gotten better playing under you than any other coach that I have ever played under.
Ultimately, getting the trust and buy in is crucial for building successful programs.
The SC BlueJays
The SC BlueJays is a travel basketball organization that Coach Eubank’s started around 3 years ago. Over the years, the organization has expanded to having multiple teams and is currently in the process of putting together yet another team. Coach Eubank’s wanted to offer families a more affordable solution for having their kids play travel basketball as many families are not able to afford the typical rate for sending their kids to play. Coach Eubanks tries to have the families pay for what they can but has covered for some kids to play for his team when their family could not afford it. Why does Coach Eubank’s do this? Here was his response,
It is just passion. I just love coaching. I want to give back to these kids. Give them opportunities that I never had.
Coach Eubanks cuts down on costs in any way that he can. For instance, his church was able to let his team practice in their gym two times a week for free. At the end of the season, if Coach Eubanks has any money left over, he will simply roll it into the next season. However, this typically will not happen as Coach Eubanks Oftentimes pays out of his own pocket when the funds start to get too low. Right now, Coach Eubanks is in the process of trying to raise money for a Dr. Swish shooting machine for his athletes. In fact, he will be putting on a free basketball camp this summer in South Carolina as a fundraiser. If you are interested in hearing more information on the camp or would be willing to donate…
Currently, Coach Eubanks Coaches the SC BlueJays and a team at Woodmont Middle School. As The SC BlueJays expand and continue to add more and more teams, it will be exciting to see the number of athletes that will be participating in travel basketball who would otherwise not be able to due to the high costs. All In supports and is right behind the SC BlueJays as Coach Eubanks look to stay faithful to his mission as they expand!
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