What Coaching Has Taught Me !

I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I personally feel akin to the Last Dance and Michael  Jordan, Infatuated with his extraordinary ability to lead, execute and win. No surprises that I feel connected to “Zen Master” Phil Jackson and his different approach toward coaching,  as one of my mantra is “Being Different is The Difference “ and I think my assistant ‘s and player’s  would say that” Coach McKenzie is a little different.

In sports and particularly basketball we have a saying that “pressure can burst pipes”. In my opinion this coronavirus has exposed that we have a major leadership issue locally, nationally and globally.  As I watched and reflected on what I’ve learned about my leadership,

I ‘ve been pleased on how much athletics and coaching has been an asset in my leadership development and my growth as a person.

At times I been befuddled watching how leaders’ trip over themselves regarding decision making  whether it’s been education, healthcare, economics or a  number of issues that have arisen in this moment of crisis, There decision making has more  often created  more fear and anxieties than provided answer for those they serve.

It made me think about coaching how every day I had to deal adversaries and had to adapt on the drop of time. It really made me think how sports prepare you for leadership. I most certainly know that a basketball is not a life and death matter, but the skills need to be an effective leader certainly come into play.

In a moment of crisis people look to leaders for guidance, they want to know what to do, what to expect and how to act.  They want a voice they can trust and someone with a plan, sounds like coaching to me.

I thought about some of things required as a coach and what I’ve learned over the years.   So, I kind of just put together a list of Coaches must:

  • Have short memories and be ready to bounce back regardless of wins or losses.
  • We must be effective communicators; in the heat of the moment one cannot afford. miscommunication.
  • Every practice and every game you require that you have a plan, you can’t be effective or affective and not knowing what you want to accomplish.
  • Your plan must be organized and must sense to those with whom you are communicating.
  • It requires innovation, you must be able to take something old and make it look and sound new.
  • You must be a facilitator and get a group of individuals to work as a team, The “We Over Me”
  • You must be a foundation of knowledge for all of those which you are leading.
  • You must know when to be a General and when to be an advisor
  • You must have the ability to stay calm during chaos.
  • People need to know that they can trust you.
  • You must a Real Model and a Role Model.
  • You must the source of stability and consistency.
  • You must have the ability to teach and instruct.
  • You must be able to be both friend and foe
  • You must be able to inspire and motivate

Basketball -Much More Than Just A game

Editors: For Book request or other request please contact info@coachmckenzie.com



Minneapolis, MN- Coach, Motivational Speaker, Educator and now Author, Larry A.McKenzie is proud to announce the official release of his book, Basketball …Much More Than Just A Game (published by Authorhouse).

Larry McKenzie, currently the only coach in Minnesota basketball’s 99-year history to win four consecutive state titles shares his strategies for winning on the court and in life.

Much More Than Just A Game is a must read for young athletes and parents navigating the game of basketball. Incorporating ten life lessons, Coach McKenzie shows why he thinks BASKETBALL is merely a metaphor and tool that can be used to transform lives.

What Others are saying:

Coach McKenzie, Thank you for taking the time to write and publish your book, Basketball-much more than just a game. This book held my attention from beginning to end, I simply could not put it down. As you know I’m a father that coaches / trains my sons in basketball. I thank you for sharing your experiences as a father – coach with your son and daughter in this book. After reading your book, I had a talk with my sons and about the changes I was going to make in coaching them, and the biggest smile came over their faces. I believe the insight you gave in this book not only helped me as a coach, but as a father. This book is a must read. TO ANYONE INVOLVED IN BASKETBALL WHETHER PARENT COACH OR PLAYER, YOU NEED TO PURCHASE AND READ THIS BOOK-

Pastor Ken Stone
If only I had a copy of Basketball Much More Than Just a Game when I was raising my two sons, or even pages 44 and 45 on the characteristics of a pushy sports parent and tips for raising a good sport.

I raised my sons to love basketball, the way that my father, a basketball coach had raised me. It was an intense upbringing and sometimes harsh. We practiced and trained year round in order for my sons to reach my dream for them, to play college basketball. In the evenings I regularly took them out across the Twin Cities to see the best players and teams. Often that meant attending the games of the best team at that time, the Patrick Henry Patriots under the direction of Coach Larry McKenzie. I like to think that my sons earned their basketball PhD’s before they entered high school. PhD is an abbreviation for Patrick Henry Defense. My sons learned to appreciate waiting for up to two hours in order to get a seat at the biggest game in town, the drama of the Patriots vs. their North Side rival, the North Polars. They began to learn then that basketball was more than just a game–it was life.
If you are a coach of any sport, or a player trying to improve your game, or a parent trying to support your child in a sport, or just want to find out how one man who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks has excelled throughout life and is now raising up others like himself up and onto that path, please read Basketball More Than Just a Game by Larry McKenzie and then make sure you pass your copy onto a friend.

Tom Murray
Teacher at Minneapolis Patrick Henry High School