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Out From The Box: Learning as a Life-Long Investment — even for coaches

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Tiebreaker Times Out From The Box: Learning as a Life-Long Investment — even for coaches Bandwagon Wire Basketball  World Hoops Clinic Tab Baldwin

In a recently-released statement by the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines, the group questioned the intentions of the coach Tab Baldwin in conducting Coaching Clinics with his World Hoop Clinics.

Quoting a portion of the statement, “He has been conducting basketball clinics in the last couple of years that cost more than what some coaches make in a month to participate in. In fact, his clinics are one of the most expensive ones in the country.”

In both the academe and in basketball coaching, there are common principles that apply. Let me share to you some points:

Investment of Time and Effort

I’ve been teaching for nearly a decade. I told myself when I responded to the vocation teaching that before turning 40 years old, I must finish my Master’s Degree. And I did — before I turned 37.

One must invest time, money, and effort to reach that certain point, because in the academe, you either pursue further studies and training, or you sink.

In the university with which I am presently affiliated, the minimum qualification to teach at least in the Senior High School is a Master’s Degree and a professional teaching license. Without those, you cannot be tenured or regularized. Education as a profession requires you to spend a portion of your earnings, devote your time and effort, and make sacrifices in order to achieve higher learning and become a better teacher.

Similarly, a basketball coach goes through the same experience.

After all, the job is not secure. There is no certainty of tenure when you take on this calling — as the saying goes, a basketball coach is only as good as his last win. They devote sleepless nights to strategize and make game plans; review their opponents and think about the next game after. They also have to invest in the right set of people to work alongside.

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In this industry, long, time-tested, and honest partnerships are scarce even with the sense of ‘fraternity’. The uncertain nature of the job means your close associate today could be a potential rival for your position tomorrow.

Monetary Investment

As mentioned earlier, in the academe, in order to improve and reach the upper echelons of the institution, you must invest in higher learning. It will not come cheap; one needs to sacrifice money in the name of personal and professional development.

Yes, there are scholarship grants available, but you will still spend for the instructional materials you’ll be needing.

In basketball coaching, it’s the same.

The way the game was played months before is not the way we play the game today, and will not be the way we play tomorrow. A good coach must be quick to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of competitive sports. As the Greek Philosopher Heraclitus will put it, “You cannot step on the same river twice.”

In order for coaches to develop their craft, they too must enrich themselves through further coaching training and updated knowledge, and that will often require spending a good amount of money. If you really want to learn, you will be willing to spend for quality and that means shelling out. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Quality learning is not cheap learning.

Yes, there are free resources around, but those can only take you so far without further investment.

In the three years of Coach Tab Baldwin’s World Hoop Clinics, we cannot deny the quality of the coaches, both international and local, whom he invited as resource speakers for their particular expertise in the game.

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For basketball coaches, it would be a mortal sin to pass up listening to the likes of Pero Cameron, Paul Henare, Natxo Lexcano, Nenad Trunic, Mark Dickel, Norman Black, Jimmy Alapag and Franz Pumaren, among others. Attendees have asserted that the fee was cheap in exchange for the things they learned and the new tricks they brought home. Quality does not come cheap in some instances, and if coaches would want to invest for their development, who are we to prevent them? There are even coaches who tap financial patrons just for them to be sponsored to attend coaching clinics abroad. Aren’t we happy that Coach Tab has been bringing in the same here?

In both the academe and in basketball coaching, the money that you invest for your personal development has a lasting lifetime value. The amount you will shell out will lead you to countless opportunities.

The World Hoops Clinic organized by Coach Tab Baldwin is a big shot in the arm for basketball coaches determined to learn and further their career in the profession. For three years, coaches have been blessed to learn from top notch local and international mentors who cannot be seen here everyday. We cannot afford to be slow if we want to develop our coaches, who will in turn develop our players. Let’s not waste something good in our midst.

Let this be a uniting point instead of a divisive one, because Coach Tab and his coaching clinics work towards the same goal as his critics — and that is to further the development of coaches and players, and Philippine basketball as a whole.

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Chris King De La Cruz is a basketball coach/ teacher. He teaches sports journalism at UST-IPEA and Fundamentals of Faith at UST Senior High School.

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