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Coaches Clinics

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Ice9, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. Ice9

    Ice9 Active Member

    I was curious if anyone else has done this...for a reporter trying to get a better understanding of the game, how resourceful would it be to attend a coaches clinic? I know some NFL reporters watch game film the day after.
  2. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    It depends on several factors: the level of the clinic, the ability of the clinic speakers to convey the subject matter, and your own level of knowledge going in.

    Many clinics are so over-the-top technical they tell you little of use or interest to the average reader. Others are, in effect, evangelization sessions for coaches trying to sell their own particular system as the end-all and be-all of the sport.
  3. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    Good question. I always wondered this as well, but figured they may lean heavily toward the technical aspect.
  4. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Probably couldn't hurt, but you'd have to guard against coachspeak creeping into your stories.
  5. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    If you went to the coaches clinics I go to for my coaching gig you would get lots of great stories about how the area track coaches can take down 8-12 kegs in a night.
  6. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Go. Absolutely go.
    You can never learn too much about your subject.
    I always sat in the press-row seat nearest Hubie Brown. I went to Rupp's practices, Hall's, Crum's, Knight's, Krzyzewski's, every chance I had. Went to a Pitino clinic for an hour and came away thinking he IS as good as he wanted us to think he was. Damn.
    You not only learn the game, you learn what makes these guys great coaches -- they're great teachers.
    Use it for questions, use it for analysis. Just put it in your language,
  7. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Last one I attended produced good quotes on a coaching search, and a feature on a former offensive line coach in my coverage area.

    Talked to coach A during a break and coach B as he was leaving. Was confronted by another coach for my reporting on said coaching search, but it provided good background. Was glad I went.
  8. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Lots of upsides to going (hey, and already the coach speak). Good chance to network -- yes, it's important to network with coaches -- and a good chance to learn something. Coaches hate it when media criticizes them when they don't think you know where they are coming from. This helps fill that chasm, both in their perception and in reality.
  9. Brooklyn Bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Active Member

    If you go, just realize there are a lot of subjects that might not be that entertaining (running Inside Zone against a 3-stack, Def line pass rush techniques), but they all have a big-time college coach who is usually pretty good. One of the first Nike Clinics I went to, Mark Richt spent an hour going over one pass play. Not a package, not a series, one pass play--I coach and was lost in about 15 minutes.

    But you can always pick something up and it can be useful to get into the head of a coach, or at least get a better understanding of why certain plays are caller--or why they failed.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Coaches don't like criticism under any circumstances. If you go to a clinic and write something they don't like, you'll get, "Fucker goes to a weekend clinic and now he thinks he's Knute Rockne."
  11. Den1983

    Den1983 Active Member

    This is what I figured. I always try to attend as many practices as possible for the coaches I cover so I can get a grasp of their ways. Attending clinics would at least help me see why they believe so faithfully in whatever concepts they do.
  12. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Yes some will. Others will appreciate it when you take the time to understand things that most assume -- many times correctly so -- journalists aren't interested in understanding, but are deemed important by then.

    Here's the thing: If you are looking for instant gratification from going to these things, you won't get it. But if the ethic that makes you care enough to want to go to the clinic is consistent, the respect will come over time.
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