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  • Jack Fleming

George Raveling - How to Empower Your Bench

Basketball pioneer and innovator George Raveling provides timeless wisdom on the art of creating a great bench.

Coaching U Live Clinic 2014 Notes

  • Nothing of life is of any value, unless you can share it with others.

  • The voices we listen to, determine the choices we make.


  1. Coach your team

2. Lead your program (we do a poor job of this)

  • What got you where you are today, won’t get you where you want to go in the future.

  • Self evaluate who we are and what we are about, constant refinement.

  • Find out what you don’t know, what you need to know.


  • Don’t build fences around your players, they spend too much time in compliance.

  • Forget about your needs, be a servant leader.

  • We spend too much time on the how.

  • Not enough time on the why.

  • Knight: always explained WHY and HOW it mattered, and would always be competitive.

  • We have responsibility to help athletes who can’t help themselves.

Building a Bench

  • Design your bench blueprint

  • Pick a team that best gives you a chance to win.

  • Knight 1984 Olympics: last guys will be picked on attitude, they will bust their ass every single day. They might never get to play.

  • Your bench must solve problems that others can’t solve.

  • Specialists = meet the demands of unique situations.

  • This makes them feel special.

  • Specific role = defence, shooters, leaders, protectors.

  • Find an energy bunny.

  • What are your bench expectations?

  • What is your substitution philosophy?

During The Game

  • Don’t put kids in if they haven’t been prepared.

  • The bench must be a classroom.

  • You can either be spectators or students.

  • Bench must be mentally participating in the game.

  • Do you have a captain on your bench?


  • Biggest mistake: I never defined players roles.

  • Can change as circumstances change.

  • It’s about how you perform in your minutes played.

  • 75% of all NBA players are role players.

  • San Antonio: everybody manifested their roles.

  • Some kids just win.

  • “That’s the way we always did it”, isn’t always right.

Life Lessons

  • Teach your kids how to be a leader

  • You are coaching somebody else’s child.

  • Do you teach them how to be a winner in life?

  • It’s execution that determines how good your strategy is.

“Everybody wants to be loved, respected, appreciated and valued.”
  • The true test of a relationship, is during times of crisis.

  • Notice what people don’t say, it says more than anything else.

People are illogical, unreasonable, self-centred — love them anyway.
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