WYC 022 Youth Basketball – Kevin Furtado talks girls basketball and the Intensity of Winning

Kevin picWhat does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Kevin Furtado shares coaching stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth coach.

Kevin is a Girls weight training coach and P.E. teacher at Upson Lee High School in Thomaston, Georgia. He is the Head Coach of Upson Lee’s Varsity Girls Basketball team. He has been coaching basketball for over 24 years. Kevin grew up in San Jose California and played football, basketball, and baseball growing up.

Twitter: @kevinfurtado

Website: coachfurtado.com

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

▪   ‘Winning is a process driven by character’ – Brett Ledbetter

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Coaching your own Kid

  • Kevin recalls several stories of his Dad’s coaching style – how inclusion of all kids was a priority ; and how his Dad pushed him to be a better team player

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

▪   ‘My first few years of coaching I focused on winning more than development. I don’t remember the wins as much as I remember the kids that have gone on to be better players’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • ‘The Intensity of Winning’ – This is measured by hard work. Hard work is a skill that can be developed. We are going to commit to dominating our opponent through hard work.
  • #1 skill is footwork – Balance, pivoting. Get a low chair stance. Ripping the ball, sweeping the ball. 4-Line Pivot drill – they do it every day at practice.
  • Lots of small-sided games. You get more touches with the ball if you are 3 on 3 vs. 5 on 5.
  • Fun game: Passing tag – have to pass the ball and ‘tag’ someone. Stop, catch, pivot, then tag. Timed drill –team with the lowest time wins. Can do it with more than 5 per team.
  • Every kid must have a ball! If you have 12 kids on the team you better have 12 balls!

Best Stolen Idea

  • Gene Durdin – Girls basketball coach at Buford H.S. in Georgia – taught Kevin:

o  The Breakfast Club. Ball-handling and shooting drills they do at 6 a.m. during the summer.

HUGE IDEA #1 – Pre-game warm-up – ‘How you warm-up is how you play the game.’ They start with high-intensity pass-catch drill. Then 4-corner pivot drill. Fast-paced, 6 or 7 drills. Everything together (take warm-ups off together.) Part of development is players learning how to prepare to win.

Coaching Resources

▪   I-practice builder – App that lets you build practice plan, and you can have video library.

▪   Coaches Eye – Can break down video in slow-motion. Be careful to show positive things when doing it as a team, then if you want to improve a specific skill with an individual

▪   94 50 Smart Sensor basketball – Basketball that analyzes your shot

▪   Beyondthehardwood.com – Developed by Matt Kramer and Randy Montgomery – great system for developing a program


▪   Discipline starts with being prepared as a coach

▪   Coaches – speak/teach in quick short phrases:

HUGE IDEA #2: 30 second/ 10 second time-outs – In the middle of a drill – call 30 second time-out – to teach a new concept

  • The biggest discipline is to have them sit out something they enjoy

Reward and Recognition

▪   ‘Practice-player of the day’; ‘Best communicator of the day’ – talk your action’; ‘Charge-card award’

▪   Circle of Giving – After games(particularly a loss) is not the time to rip into your team. Kevin has each player share something they saw the person on their right do well in the game.

Coaching Girls

  • Coach them as athletes just the same as boys. But social interactions are usually more important with girls than boys so make sure you take time to develop relationships

The One that Got Away

  • Coach Furtado shares a story where he didn’t handle a loss well – he learned poise

Coaching/Leadership Motivation

▪   Quote: ‘Winning is a process driven by character’ – Brett Ledbetter

▪   Book: ‘Competitive Drills for Winning Basketball’ by Jan Lahodny

▪   Book: ‘The Best-Laid Plans of a High School Basketball CEO’ – Randy Montgomery and Matt Kramer

▪   Favorite Podcasts:

▪      Winning Youth Coaching 🙂

▪      Hardwood Hustle – Alan Stein/Adam Bradley

▪      Athlete by Design – Jeremy Boone

▪      Whistle and a Clipboard – Jason Oates

▪      Who are You Sports – Rob Elwood

Parting Advice

▪   Focus on long-term athletic development

Interview Links / Promotional Partners

Hudl cover pictureHUDL


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