Coach Javon Lue: Every Athlete is Unique
If you are not going to be there, let me know. If you are going to be here, you are going to go hard, not be late, and not complain.
Coach Javon Lue has been playing basketball for as long as he can remember. As a result of his work ethic and passion for the game, he was able to play on the college level. Unfortunately, during his freshman year, he injured his shoulder.
Although, at the time this seemed to be a huge negative in his life, this allowed him to discover his passion for coaching. During rehab, he decided to go back to his former high school for training.
In doing this, he was able to reconnect with two former high school teammates that were still playing for the school. Coach Lue saw this as an opportunity to give back and help his former teammates. So, he would train with these athletes throughout the week, with the goal of helping his former teammates get better along with himself. Through the experience of training athletes who were younger than him, seeing them grow, and building relationships with them, Coach Lue knew that coaching is something that he wanted to do for a long time.
Coach Lue started coaching when he was in college. After his collegiate career was done, he started to prepare for playing professionally overseas at his former junior college. After he got done working out with some athletes one day, the head coach of the women’s team at HCC (NJCAA D1, JUCO) walked up to him. He told him that “if things do not work out overseas, you can work with me.”
Unfortunately, the tryout in Egypt that Coach Lue was hoping to make, was cancelled and never able to get rescheduled. Thus, he reached back out to the coach that offered him a position. This was the start of Coach Lue’s coaching career.
Today’s All In Takeaway’s are around the uniqueness of every athlete, dealing with athletes who are not extremely passionate about basketball, and what team culture looks like for Coach Lue.
All In Takeaway #1: Every Athlete has a Unique Set of Abilities
In the interview with Coach Lue, it was easy to tell that he puts a heavy emphasis on the uniqueness of every athlete. In fact, he will oftentimes tell the players that he works out with:
I do not want you to play like me, I want you to play like you.
In his workouts, Coach Lue likes to start off with helping the players master the fundamentals. Once this is accomplished, it is dependent on the athlete for where the workout can go from there. Whenever he mimics game situations within his training, he wants his athletes to be creative.
Although Coach Lue will recommend his athletes look at certain NBA players that he thinks have some similarities to their game, he is never suggesting that they should play exactly like them. Coaches, it is important to never forget that EVERY ATHLETE IS UNIQUE IN THEIR PLAYING STYLE. Do not shy away from this, instead, embrace it.
All In Takeaway #2: Some Players are not Extremely Passionate about Basketball
One of the most challenging times in Coach Lue’s career, was when an athlete walked up to him and said:
Some of us do not love the game, we just love what the game gives us.
At the time, this was new to him as basketball has been his passion for his entire life. However, some athletes enjoy being on the team so that they can stay in good shape, be a part of a team and community, and hang out with their friends. Knowing this, Coach Lue made sure to train the kids who were not extremely passionate about basketball differently than the players who want to play on the highest level.
Coaches, if you push the athlete who is not extremely passionate about basketball in the wrong way, they may quit the team as a result. To avoid this from happening, Coach Lue finds different ways to communicate, helps them find joy in being on the team, and helps them grow as an individual. Remember to remind yourself how great of an impact you can have on the kids off the court. If they quit, you will be unable to make this dramatic impact.
All In Takeaway #3: What Team Culture Means for Coach Lue
Many different areas came to mind as Coach Lue reflected on what team culture meant for him: accountability, excellence, being a student of the game, work ethic, identity, unity, family, and giving on and off the court. Coach Lue’s ideal team is a team that does well in the classroom, on the court, in the community, and is one unit. Being able to work with each other, understand where everyone is at, and unify towards one goal. Coach Lue places a clear emphasis on growth beyond basketball.
Coach Lue has been coaching for 7 years for various teams and levels. Currently, Coach Lue is focused on training athletes on all levels: high school, college, and professional! If you are interested in Coach Lue’s training services, click here to get in contact and learn more!
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