Carolyn Peck for many years starting when Coach Sue Gunter had her speak to our team many years ago. She has always been gracious to all of us in the game. I recall when she was done talking to our team that Coach Gunter asked her to give us as coaches some advice. She said, "Take care of your players and everything else will take care of itself."
I later spent five days with her and her staff while she was the head coach of the Orlando Miracle. She was again gracious in opening up her practices, her staff meetings and even her home to us to share all that she was doing in developing that young WNBA franchise.
Last week she took time out of her busy schedule to speak at the luncheon of the Assistant Coaching Symposium and here are just a few things she shared with us.
What she learned as an assistant to Pat Summitt:
"Know that you are going to make mistakes. And Coach Summitt has a simple philosophy. Screw up...fess up...don't cover up."
What she learned as an assistant to Nell Fortner:
1. Players come first
2. Operate as a team
3. Make the head coach look good.
Billie Moore taught her that nothing was more important than being yourself.
She also added a great sign of intelligence is "not what you know but you know you don't know."
While be the head coach at Purdue (and one her way to winning a National Championship) Coach Peck admitted that she could be demanding of her players. One particular practice she got on a player only to notice assistant coach Pam Stackhouse go to the same player immediately afterwards. This went on with two other players during the session so Coach Peck asked Coach Stackhouse what she was doing. She said she was handing each player a sweetart and telling them to hang there. What a unique way for an assistant coach to follow a negative with a positive.
Coach Peck: "Assistant coaches don't get enough credit for being Dr. Phil."
More from Coach Peck about being a good assistant coach:
1. Nothing is outside your job description
2. Be invested
3. Kids come first
Probably the best part of her talk to us was the following comment:
"What is your championship? Define what your championship is!"
Not all coaches have the resources to win a National Championship. Some may not have enough to win a conference championship. But that doesn't mean you can't have a championship program. Don Meyer once told me that "you don't have to win a championship to be a champion." Same is true of our programs. Think about what you can realistically accomplish and then set forth on your mission to just that.