Sunday Sit Down: Best Virginia Head Coach James Long
Long breaks down coaching BV, lessons learned and coming together as a team in a week’s time
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Best Virginia Head Coach James Long joins this week’s Sunday Sit Down to break down what it’s like coaching the team, lessons he learned from last year, and how BV is able to come together as a cohesive unit in only a week’s time.
The team this year features alum from not just WVU, but also Division II colleges, and the Big Ten, adding another level of challenge in getting these players to gel as a team, “I think the most important thing is just clarity and role... you’re in a new situation, and you’re not sure what’s expected of you, it’s gonna really take sometime but you know the more precise I can define their role and what’s expected of them and what I think they do well, I think that kind of limits the time that it’s gonna take to trust each other and that’s probably my main job in the TBT is to really be clear in their role, and what’s expected of them,” said Long.
It’s not only about the players coming into their roles, but Long as well, “I think the other thing to is you have to find out what your presence is as a coach and I think for me its focus and hopefully knowledge of the game and I think when I’m presenting them with this is what were gonna do, I think it has to be knowledgeable and you have to provide information of hey this is why it works, this is why were gonna do what were gonna do.”
Earning trust quickly is one of the most important aspects of Best Virginia finding success, “You have to provide that why and now we have, for me, last year was tough because I hadn’t coached in the TBT so it was tough to be like hey we’ve done this before, you kind of just went off, ‘hey I watched these games, this is what I think wins you the TBT’ cause you know were not there to win three games, were there to win six or there’s no point of playing, so now that I’ve done it for a year and we have experience in games, you can say hey this is what happened last year, this is how we think that we can win six games,” said Long.
While becoming a team and getting to know each other’s style of play is crucial, one of last year’s initial challenges was actually how well Long knew some of his players, “We all know each other so the trust was there but from me being head coach to them being players that was a different dynamic and I think what we struggled with a little bit was how well we all knew each other and there is experience there like I knew who this guy was in college and you really have to fight how well you guys know each other and you have to be in the now of this is what’s this guy’s giving us,” Long noted.
Long returns with a year of experience with Best Virginia, and lessons learned to strengthen the team’s chances this time around, “When something like that’s done, the first game I’m watching and the first thing I’m doing is the Team 23 game, like I enjoy learning and we failed and I want to know why and you know that’s why were doing what were doing, I went in with a plan last year and I really wanted to stick with even to the point where I wanted substitutions to come in at a certain point, so it kind of took away from the feel of the game, if Kevin as getting tot he end of one of his stints at the beginning of the game, and he started making a couple shots, I didn’t want to take him out but then he’s playing for an extended period of time and that hurts him at the end of the game, so I think just in general I want tot have a plan but have a feel for the game.”
Copyright 2022 WDTV. All rights reserved.