Whitefield basketball coach, Tyrone Johnson discusses the importance of pre-season drills for a successful basketball program.
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Casey Bass: Today on Clubhouse Gas we’re going to talk with one of the most successful basketball coaches in the state of Georgia and its Tyrone Johnson. He’s going to talk about the need for conditioning and the need for character in his ball players and what he looks for as a young player start to develop and come into his program. It’s pretty interesting especially if you’ve got 13 or 14 year olds getting ready to take the next step in the high school basketball. So stay tune its Tyrone Johnson today on Clubhouse Gas.
We’re here at Whitefield Academy with Coach Tyrone Johnson. Coach thank you for joining us.
Tyrone Johnson: Sure, sure my pleasure.
Casey Bass: Now we’re still a little bit out from basketball season, what are we working on right now to get your guys ready for a big, long and hard basketball season? There is a lot of success here at Whitefield Academy, how do you get your guys ready to go?
Tyrone Johnson: Well you know what at this point motivation can be effective. I mean we’ve been to the finals a couple of times in a row and not been able to pull it out. So at this point there are four crucial things to work on.
Number one, working on conditioning; number two, strength and development training; number three, agility and then lastly, biometrics.
I want to make sure that we’re going to address those issues once the 29th get here.
Casey Bass: Right. 29th is when you can introduce basketball.
Casey Bass: So you're having full blown basketball practice with no basketball.
Tyrone Johnson: Yeah.
Casey Bass: And a lot of people will walk and say you can’t have basketball practice without a basketball, but you told me you won the championship right now.
Tyrone Johnson: Yeah, you are exactly right. I mean you think about it. If the season starts on the 29th and our first game will be on the 13th against Wheeler, I assure you I will not be able to take away two weeks of training to just do conditioning. Conditioning has to be assumed at this point. That’s primarily what we’re concentrating on. The guys are fit and strong and they should be ready to go.
Casey Bass: You are on a successful program here as we could see by the banners hanging around in this great facility. What do you look for? When you have a freshman maybe some 7th or 8th grader because you have a middle school here also, what are you looking for in a kid to say that kid is going to be ready for my program that’s a kid that I want to have on my team? What are you looking for fundamentally and from a character basis?
Tyrone Johnson: Well fundamentally even though – it’s not really a – I’ll tell you what I'm looking for first. I want to know that he loves the game because if a kid loves the games even if he doesn’t know how to work, you know what I'm saying? He will adjust. Now, if he doesn’t love the game and you try to push him he may eventually quit. And the second thing we are looking for we want to make sure that he can pick-up, he can comprehend, he could retain and learn some of the skills that we like to display during the development period. And then lastly as for the person of concerned, we try to evaluate his relationship with his parents, as well as if he’s in a position to come over here and really take some belief from our teachers. We have an outstanding academic faculty here and hopefully we’ll get kids who love the Lord and at least willing to venture out to establish a relationship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Casey Bass: How is your job as Dean of Men here relate help take away from your job as Head Basketball Coach?
Tyrone Johnson: Well I can tell you how it takes away first because you have to make that separation. My standards are high for my basketball players and so sometimes they may assume that I'm picking on them because I hold to a high standard there in high school, and that’s not the case. I mean, in this pointing case that as a Dean of Men I just want to make sure that we’ve got the kids understand the rules first, is willing to obey the rules and willing to adjust to the procedures and the academic standards that we have here at our school.
Well one of the ways that that helps I'm able to keep up from a character standpoint, as well as academic to be able to see where our kids are. I mean I can do it quickly. Before the day is out I know where our kids are standing academically because I have access to the grades.
Casey Bass: I've already talked to Head of Women’s Basketball Coach in UCLA and she wanted to talk about recruiting and she talked about character, how much do you stress that to your team?
Tyrone Johnson: Characters – without characters the kids won’t work. I mean you talked to many coaches and he’s going to tell you your kids has got to be able to work. So when you push him in drive and he has the rules stay inside the intangible is what matters the most; and that starts from the character development standpoint. That’s one of the reasons why we’re very interested to see when kids come over here we start a relationship with the parents because the kids are not willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the parents they're really going to struggle here.
I mean it’s a program. We are all family so we want to make sure that everybody is on one page.
Casey Bass: Well Coach we really appreciate you hanging out with us. Thank you for what you're doing to these kids. We’ll let you get back to practice. I know you’ve got a big season to get ready for. Hopefully we can do more stuff with you here on Clubhouse Gas.
This is Coach Tyrone Johnson and I'm Coach Casey Bass and we’ll see you right back here tomorrow on Clubhouse Gas.