Coach Gaudioso: The Difference Between a Team VS a Program
When coaches are recruiting or talking about their team, they refer it as a “program” instead of a “team”. However, what distinguishes a team versus a program? This is the question that was proposed to Coach Gaudioso last week over zoom.
Coach Gaudioso has only been a college basketball coach for a couple of years but has grown up around the game of basketball his entire life. In fact, before he decided to take up coaching on the college level, he spent much of his free time giving back to his community by coaching the youth and AAU. While he did this when he could, he worked professionally in the banking industry. That was until his dad passed away. Coach Gaudioso could not express it enough how much of an inspiration his dad was when he decided to pursue coaching on the college level as he was a coach himself for a number of years. Thus, to honor his dad and pursue his passion, Coach Gaudioso began his first college coaching role at a Division III Men’s Basketball program at City College.
What makes a program versus just a team? Better yet, what makes a good program? That is the focus of today’s All In Takeaways.
All In Takeaway #1: Coach Gaudioso Helping the Future of the Players
The first distinguisher that Coach Gaudioso noted in making a good program is helping the future of the athletes. “Our program is more of trying to get kids to graduate. It is about making sure the kids are successful off the court”. Of course, Coach Gaudioso and the rest of the team are trying to win games and championships, but they will never allow that to deter from the athletes focus on their future.
What are some ways programs can practically help the future of their athletes? By having academic check-ins and a place that the athletes can go to in order to in order to help them be a better students and future professionals in their field. For Saint Joseph University, the school that Coach Gaudioso is currently at, they have been blessed to have a really impactful compliance department and career center. That way, not only do the student athletes have all the tools that they need in order to succeed, but they also have a department at the school that will let the coaching staff know if any of the athletes’ grades start to suffer or they are not showing up to class.
Having both academic check-ins and a place where athletes can go to in order to succeed academically has shown tremendous results for the program. The GPA for the team has never been below a 3.3, achieving a 3.4 in the last semester alone.
All In Takeaway #2: Coach Gaudioso Player Led Program
Another critical aspect to having a program instead of a team is having the program be player led. This can take form in a variety of ways. For Saint Joseph, this oftentimes comes to fruition in having informal player led meetings. The best part about it is that these meetings DO NOT have to be ONLY about the game of basketball. In fact, these meetings will not have any agenda. It is strictly a time that the program can use to build a stronger team culture. Whatever it looks like for your team, you must have an aspect of your program be player led. This is a huge separator between good and great programs.
All In Takeaway #3: Relationships with the Players
The third of many important parts of a program is building a lasting relationship between the athletes and coaches. Coach Gaudioso takes a lot of pride in his role in this part of coaching. As a matter of fact, he purposely lives close to campus so that he can be accessible to the players at all times. A huge part of succeeding in this area as a program is having the coaches check-in with the players often. This can take the form of watching them coach AAU in the summer, a phone call, or a quick texting conversation. Doing this will show the athletes that you care for them beyond the game of basketball.
Summarily, although there are many key aspects to a program, Coach Gaudioso emphasized the three areas in particular: having a student athlete mindset, a player led culture, and building lasting relationships with the players. Currently, Coach Gaudioso is getting ready for his 3rd season as the assistant coach for the Men’s Basketball Team at Saint Joseph’s University. Saint Joseph Will be a lot of fun to watch as they head into the 2022-2023 season. Let’s go Eagles!!
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