Tag: Drew Maddux

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 7 – Case Study – How A State Championship School Built A Trust-Based Program

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Coach Wooden often shared that ‘Love is the most powerful four-letter word.’ When building a championship culture, love and trust have to start at the top. Do your players trust that you have their best interests in mind? The answer to that probably comes down to whether you truly do have their best interest in mind. When it comes to loving your players and having them trust you – it has to be real. Do some introspection for your program – here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you truly care more about the kids or about winning?
  • Does each kid feel like they are special? This takes a lot of effort, but each kid should feel they are special and have a special role that contributes to the success of the program.
  • Are you distracted by cell phones or thinking about other things while you are coaching at practices or games?
Case Study – One of the most impressive programs I have observed live out this philosophy of loving their players is Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville Tennessee. Drew Maddux and Ingle Martin lead their basketball and football programs, respectively. They specifically have built a program based on Joe Ehrmann’s philosophies. It didn’t happen overnight, they spent two years having weekly studies of Joe’s books with their coaching staffs. They brought in outside mentors/advisors, Randy and Scott Hearon from the Nashville Coaching Coalition, to help guide them through the process and keep them accountable. You could write a book on all of the things they are doing right – but here are 3 that really jumped out at me:
  • ‘To be a man, you have to see a man’ – Coach Martin focuses on developing himself and his coaching staff to be the type of men that the boys should emulate
  • Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team:
    • Tell a childhood story that defined them
    • Tell a recent story that defines them
    • How does the public view them
    • Who their private self is
  • Build a program not a team – If you have Varsity, JV, freshmen – various levels – treat them all as part of one program. Talk to each kid every practice and call them by name. Coach Maddux has a state championship program- but they don’t do cuts. If a kid wants to be in the program, then he is.
CPA is a program that is all-in on loving kids and developing future leaders. It starts at the top and it requires a deep desire for the kids to succeed, not for the coach’s winning record to look good (however the culture they have produced has led to remarkable achievements on the field and court, consistently competing for and winning state championships over the past 5+ years.)
So commit to truly loving the kids you coach. Recently I interviewed Coach Randy Jackson, a successful high school football coach in Texas, and he shared with me:
 ‘A child’s chances of being successful are vastly improved if they know 5 people truly believe in them. As their coach, are you going to be 1 of the 5?’
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Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 2: Who are we?

Who are we? Establishing Program & Team Cornerstones
10 years ago one of my good friends Byron shared something life-changing in our adult Sunday school class. He shared a family crest he had developed with his family. It was pretty simple artistically speaking, but eternally powerful. His family had brainstormed and created 4 or 5 values that represented ‘Who we are.’ This provided the foundation for making decisions in the future – they just bounced them against their cornerstones. My family has adopted this same philosophy. We have an annual session where we brainstorm about who we are. I’ve attached the latest rendition of what we came up with. We keep it fun and sometimes even silly, so please understand the ‘Dog-botherers’ comment is an inside family joke and we love animals. 🙂
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Now we all know that if you try to focus on 10 or 20 things you will focus on nothing. So we then decide as a group on 4 or 5 of these values that will be our cornerstones.
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The more I talk to great coaches, the more I see this same type of process happening in great programs and teams. It starts with the coaches establishing the cornerstones of the program. But equally important is getting the buy-in from the team, so doing this type of brainstorming session with your team captains every year will establish your identity as a team. Here are some of the great ways I’ve seen this implemented:
  • Andres Montana – Learned from Bruce Brown at Proactive Coaching – Gather the coaches and 3 captains in preseason and define your Core Covenants – who are you going to be that season. Brainstorm by throwing words up on a board, then narrow it down to 2 or 3 that are going to define your team. Then you can order the livestrong-type bracelets that have those words on it. Check out Proactive Coaching’s guide to creating Core Covanants: First Steps to Building Successful Teams
  • Ken Stuursma’s program core covenants – from Raising a modern day knight:
    1. Accept responsibility
    2. Lead courageously
    3. Reject passivity
    4. Expect a greater reward
  • Chris Stricker’s program core covenants: CALI – Commitment, Accountability, Love, Integrity
  • Drew Maddux has Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is
  • Rob Elwood’s team have 2 cornerstones:
    1. Gratitude – We thank our parents, the referees, our coaches, our teammates
    2. Be organized, everything has a place
  • John O’Sullivan – Great teams don’t have rules – great teams have standards.  Rules are meant to be broken – standards are expectations that the team agrees upon and holds each other accountable to.
In his book Inside-out Coaching Joe Ehrmann shares the goal: ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach.’ It starts with your cornerstones.
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Achieving Peak Mental Performance – Factor #5: Keep It Simple Stupid

The Growth Mindset – 7 Key Factors to Achieve Peak Mental Performance​​​​​​​
Factor #5 – Simplify
Joe Daniel from The Football Coaching Podcast has one of my favorite quotes about simplifying:
‘Keep everything simple so that your kids build confidence, confident kids play fast, fast kids win games.’
That says it perfectly. The best way to quiet your mind is to not be thinking about a million things while playing. Here are a few other of my favorites that I’ve learned from great coaching minds:
  • Coach Shane Sams identifies 5 skills for each position – then those are the only skills they teach in practice for the entire year. For younger kids maybe only 3 or 4 skills. Repetitions are key – don’t keep changing things up.
  • ‘If your goal is to freeze an athlete – give them a whole bunch of stuff to think about’ – James Leath, head of leadership at IMG Academy
  • Renowned high school championship basketball coach at Christ Pres Academy in Nashville and former Vanderbilt star Drew Maddux uses the term ‘Boundaried Freedom’ – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays
I was watching the Golf Channel this week and they discussed how Jack Nicklaus credited much of his success to his ability to play present. The ability to stay in the moment allowed him to pay attention to details that many of his competitors missed – the wind speed and direction, the amount of power he was hitting with that day, and many other things that if he had complicated his mind with too many worries or concerns he would have missed. So Keep It Simple Stupid. You will have more fun and your athletes will go out there and play instead of going out there and thinking.
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WYC 071 – Elite Hoops Basketball – Lee Miller talks Living by Numbers


Lee Miller is the National Director and Skill Development Trainer for Elite Hoops Basketball. 2015 marks Lee Miller’s 12th year as Director of Elite Hoops. Previously, Miller has Co-directed the University of Georgia’s basketball camps, worked at Duke University basketball camps and assisted with Jack Haley’s NBA Complete Player Camp in California. In 2004, he was amongst the best upcoming NBA talent while working at the 27th annual Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp in Las Vegas. Since 2009, Miller has trained over 1100 players, 83 of which have gone on to play at the Division I level. One of which was the 2011 AJC High School Player of the Year and current UVA Cavalier Malcolm Brogdon. Miller also worked extensively for 4 years with 2014 Georgia Gatorade Player of the Year, Isaiah Wilkins.

Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com

Facebook: /EliteHoops

Twitter: @LeeMillerElite; @EliteHoops

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


  • ‘Success is the direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your very best’ – John Wooden

Coaching your own kids

  • Lee believes in letting the kids express interest before ‘forcing’ them into sports
  • With regards to travel sports: ‘What is too much?’ – Lee’s answer – if he or she has an off day, and they don’t want to go out and shoot in the driveway, then they are probably playing too many organized sports.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Early on -‘I started teaching players what I was taught’ and did not take the time to study whether it was really the best way to teach

Teaching Skills

  • Set up the expectation that the players need to bring the excitement and passion for the game, and as a coach you will be teaching them the skills they need to achieve success
  • Spend 75-80% of your practice time on fundamentals – not X’s and O’s. Great question to ask yourself at the younger ages: ‘How many times per game do we score from one of our offensive sets?’ – If it’s rare -then quit spending so much time on it and focus instead on teaching the kids fundamentals.

Building confidence

  • Living by numbers – They have created 15 core drills that can be measured numerically. The focus is on improvement.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Lee is a big believer in energy in the gym. This starts on Day 1.
  • The three T’s:
    • Talk
    • Touch
    • Tap
  • Every player is either a proton or an electron – they are either bringing positive energy or negative energy

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Lee coached a kid who was on the bubble as to making his middle school – but he committed and stuck with it and worked hard – and went on his make his freshmen team

Memorable Game

  • When Lee was coaching in high school – he had a loaded team that lost in the Elite 8 of the state championships – one lesson learned was that they should have gotten some of their younger players more experience earlier in the season

Best Stolen Idea

  • Go to other teams/coaches’ practices! At every level.
  • Watch the way different coaches motivate different players in different ways.

Best Book

Elite Hoops Basketball

  • Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com
  • Focus on fundamentals:
    • Skill development 90 minute sessions
    • Shooting club – Players get off 300-500 shots in 90 minutes
    • 3-on-3 leagues

Parting Advice

  • ‘Success is the direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your very best’ – John Wooden

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WYC 059 – Youth Basketball – Drew Maddux talks Manhood Mondays at CPA and Elite Hoops Basketball

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What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Drew Maddux shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Drew Maddux is the Head Coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) in Nashville. Maddux has a combined record of 240-44, while being ranked in the Top 10 each of those seasons. In 2008 and 2009, Maddux lead his team to the Region 5AA Championship. Maddux has acquired many coaching accomplishments being named the NBCA Coach of the Year in 2008, 2011-2012 District 10-AA Coach of the Year, 2012 Tennessean Coach of the Year, and 2012 Nashville Civitan Coach of the Year. In the 2011-2012 season, he lead to Lions to their first ever State Championship and finished the season an impressive 37-2. In 2012-13, Maddux lead the Lions to another State Championship with another 37-2 record. 2013-14 was yet another great season for Maddux and his program as the posted a record of 34-3 and went to the Final Four Drew has coached 4 Mr. Basketball award winners, 19 players that received college scholarships, and 1 NBA first round draft pick.

From 1994-1998, Maddux was a four year starter at Vanderbilt University where he scored an impressive 1689 points in his career, good for 11th all-time at Vandy. There he received several individual awards including All-SEC Freshman, USA Olympic Festival Team, First Team All-SEC, and Honorable Mention All-American honors. Off the court Maddux was just as impressive being an Academic All-SEC member as well as being recognized as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America in 1998. During his junior year, Maddux averaged a team best 16.8 points 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game as he lead his team to the NCAA Tournament.

Drew Maddux first started working with Elite Hoops in 2009 as a Camp Co-Director. Since then, Maddux has been instrumental in growing the Nashville market and in 2014, he will direct 6 NIKE Basketball Camps with over 600 players in attendance.

Twitter: @DrewMaddux; @EliteHoops

Facebook: /EliteHoops

Instagram: /elitehoops

Website: elitehoopsbasketball.com

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Career decisions

  • Drew had the opportunity to lead a large sales organization, but felt the calling to leave the business world and become a full-time coach

Identity being tied to athletic performance

  • As an athlete growing up, Drew felt he was only as good as his last sports performance
  • ‘My total mission in coaching is to release that identity-driven performance bug out of the lives of our kids and out of their hearts, and that they would understand and be able to perform with freedom and be able to experience all that they have been provided with.’

Joe Ehrmann’s 3 big lies being told to our kids

Coach Maddux teaches the boys he coaches about the 3 big myths/lies being taught about masculinity:

  1. Ballfield – a man’s worth is based on his athletic performance
  2. Bedroom – a man’s worth is based on his sexual conquests
  3. Boardroom – a man’s worth is based on his business successes

Coach Maddux contrasts these myths by teaching the real truths about what being a man is all about:

  1. Man was built to be in relationships with God, themselves, and others
  2. Man was built to be part of a cause that is bigger than themselves

To see more details about this see here: winningyouthcoaching.com/3-big-lies-2-truths/

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • In Drew’s early years he remembers still being too focused on outcomes and placing his worth on the team’s win/loss record
  • ‘We were running the program with a fear-based approach instead of a freedom-based approach.’

Creating a Winning Culture


  • Jim Collins book – Good to Great
  • Every aspect of your program becomes about excellence – Coach Maddux began an early morning regiment with his coaching staff
  • Jon Gordon – The Energy Bus – Get the energy vampires off the bus and surround yourselves with energy-givers and life-givers
  • 4 Word Mission statement: ‘Christ-centered, Others focused.’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • ‘It’s not what I know, it’s what the kids know.’ So keep it simple. Be great at 1 or 2 things instead of trying to be great at a bunch of things.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Boundaried Freedom – Create the culture and boundaries – and then give them the freedom to go make plays

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding


  • Life happens in the gray – every kid we serve have unique situations and unique families
  • Long-term transformation only happens when you create the right habits
  • Shared sacrifice with shared accountability



  • Coach Maddux does not do cuts – if you want to be on the team – you are
  • Coach has a goal to call every kid’s name to them at some point of every practice
  • During circle time they’ll call out a few of their leaders to speak a blessing about another player on the team.  This creates the culture built on loving each other, complimenting each other, encouraging each other.
  • Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team:
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is


  • Excellence and the pursuit of greatness should be a goal.  The scoreboard doesn’t define this.

Best Stolen Idea

  • Billy Donnovan, former Florida Gators and current Oklahoma City Thunder coach, the way he sets up his practices and team to be great passing teams.

Best Book

The One that Got Away

  • Drew lost his last game his senior year for the state championship in overtime
  • Drew lost a game at Vanderbilt to Kentucky at the buzzer
  • Lessons learned: to keep the game in context, the sun does come up the next day

Elite Hoops Basketball

  • Located in the Southeast – elitehoopsbasketball.com
  • Teaches basketball skills and life skills – to live an elite life
  • 3-on-3 leagues, camps

Parting Advice

  • ‘Pick up the trash’ – Use the opportunities given to leave people, places, and things better than we found them

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