Advice from a Champion

Rob Smith – East Lansing Girls Varsity Coach

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to provide this next series of posts!!  Over the next week or so we will be hearing from East Lansing Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Rob Smith.  Coach Smith began his coaching career in his home town of Montague and has held basketball and softball coaching positions at Lowell, Elkton-Pigeon-Bayport, Grand Rapids Northview and Bath.

He and his teams have earned seven straight CAAC-Blue Conference Titles with four consecutive district and regional titles.  The East Lansing Varsity girls were State basketball finalists in 2008 and earned the State Class A Varsity Girls Basketball Championship in 2010!

Coach Smith is an eight time recipient of the Lansing State Journal Class A Coach of the Year and 2008 Michigan Coach of the Year!!

The first installment begins with Coach Smith addressing the question of what a youth player should do to prepare for the upcoming season.

One of the first things any player should do is get to a bookstore or library and pick out books on basketball.  They should gain an understanding of the game and what it means to players.  They may choose to read about Michael Jordan, Lebron James or learn from great coaches like John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski.  Young players need to begin to understand that skill and ability is important but knowledge of how the game works is what really makes a player successful.

The second thing a player can do is work on developing their “shot-line”.  Players need to line the ball up with their strong side foot, knee, elbow and hand and when they shoot develop a straight line to the basket.  As players develop muscle memory this “shot-line” approach will ultimately help players remove 50% of the possibility for a miss – imagine the increases in their scoring percentages!!

The third thing I would recommend is that players look into the Better Basketball DVD Series ( ).  The instruction provided encompasses really good principles of basketball that every player can apply on the court.

If I can leave players with any message at all it would be the importance of setting aside their individual wants and needs for that of the team.  I cannot stress enough how valuable a team player is to a coach.  Teams with unselfish players come together.  When they come together – anything is possible including winning that elusive state championship!

I hope you found this installment from Coach Smith helpful.  Please stay tuned as the next installment from Coach Smith will address how players can improve their offensive game.  Do not forget to leave any comments or suggestions!!


About rheadmore

I spend my working day at a great higher education institution by the name of Michigan State University. I try to spend a majority of my free time coaching youth sports, baseball and basketball are my favorites. This blog is dedicated to enhancing youth coaching and helping youth become successful and well contributing members of society. This philosophy was passed on to me by my father who always stressed leaving something better then the way you found it. I have been trying to live by those words for most of my adult life. Thanks for checking out my blog.
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2 Responses to Advice from a Champion

  1. Lynn Klenk says:

    I am very proud of my son Coach Smith and East Lansings girls basketball team you are so fun to watch!

    • rheadmore says:

      We are also very proud and lucky to have Rob here in East Lansing. I have learned a lot from him over the last few years and selfishly hope he is here forever!
      Thanks for the comment.

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