I had the opportunity to attend a function a couple weeks ago with some of the most influential businessmen in the Valley. A room full of slacks and blazers. No one is drawing on napkins or using the salt and pepper shaker to simulate pick and roll actions like we do at coach socials. This was high class so I automatically knew I had no business being there. The way these things work is you basically go from one conversation to another answering the same questions (what do you do? Where are you from?). So here I am roaming the room and I get to this young entrepreneur who looks totally different than the crowd. Jeans, polo, looks like Sunshine from Remember the Titans. I ask him what he does, he asks me what I do. I tell him I lead the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association. He then said something to me that I don’t think I will ever forget. He said “I run a multi-million-dollar startup and you know what, whenever I go through times that are tough the voice that goes through my head is not my dad, my mom or a boss I had. It is my high school wrestling coach. He is still the voice that pushes me every day.”
That night I realized: EVERYONE NEEDS A COACH because good coaches impact lives and we as an association are THE place where good coaches go to get better. That is the night that the “why” about what we do every day cemented in my mind. The title of “coach” has as much or more weight in a community as any title one could have. The impact of “coach” in a community has a breadth and depth unlike any other. What you do is freaking cool and is changing the communities you live in.
In Arizona, we exist because we love and believe in coaches. Our mission though is to do 3 things. Develop, Serve and Connect this community. There are three things that our association is practically trying to create:
- Create a community for EVERY good coach: Let’s be clear, we are for good coaches and we are against bad coaches. A good coach is someone that is humble, hungry and good with people. We want at least one of those with every kid that plays basketball. If you aren’t those and don’t have a desire to be those, then we are more than fine with you not coaching anymore.
- Create a community for EVERY kid that wants to play to have equal access: There is a huge obstacle in our country and oftentimes it surrounds how much money one has and their ability to access transportation. Access to sports is leaving our inner city neighborhoods and the barrier of cost is becoming real and significant. As a coaches association we have the responsibility to advocate and find solutions for those that don’t have opportunity.
- In order to create this community, it takes everyone getting involved: Associations are communal not individual. The Arizona Basketball Coaches Association is not MY association, it is OUR association. The solutions and opportunities before us are much bigger than one person and will need to be cultivated much longer than one person can involved.
Your voice is inside a ton of kids heads right now telling them “make good choices”, “be disciplined”, “work hard”, “show up on time”, “you can be somebody and do great things”. WE NEED YOU to stay in that gym, become active in your state association, and we need make sure that as many kids as possible can hear your voice.
Matt King currently serves as the Executive Director of the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association and the Director of Basketball for CCV STARS. Matt was previously head high school coach at O’Connor High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Before O’Connor Matt was the head coach at Clovis High School for 3 years where the Wildcats made it to the State 5A semi-finals and State 5A Championship game. Matt has also worked with USA basketball for the past 8 1/2 years in a variety of roles including clinic speaker and lead clinician. He has helped write the curriculum for the USAB player development model and served as a copywriter with the Jr. NBA and USA Basketball in writing the youth guidelines. Matt is married to his beautiful wife Michelle, has two kids, Madison (7) and MIkayla (10) and they reside in Phoenix, Arizona.