Oct. 13, 2009
What is a Poophead?
-Gene Steinmeyer, Northwest Head Women's Basketball Coach
What is a poophead?
Coaches are always getting labeled by someone outside coaching. For instance, we might be a player's coach. I've heard coaches called things like a great x & o guy, a person who really relates to their players or a great delegator.
On the harsher side, I've heard coaches called control freaks, bad game managers, they love the mind games or just they're idiots, I could coach better than him/her!
Now, I'm going to take you to the coach's point of view. We have terms for our players, past and present. I'm going to give you a little insight into how we might label a certain segment of our players.
You won't find this term in any Webster Dictionary or even on the internet. However, this is how I define poophead - 1. A type of player that may not always believe what their coach preaches; 2. A type of player is sure they always know what's best; 3. A type of player that may cause his coach great anxiety.
I admit, we might use slightly different words for this definition, but you get my point. However, don't think being a poophead is always bad. Many of my best players have been poopheads. I put them into four categories. Here's my insight into poopheads.
LEVEL 1: The first level is really bad for the player. Sometimes, you'll let a player walk on to your program who may not be very talented. There is this real misconception that almost anyone can play college basketball. If you didn't play much in high school, you probably lack the talent to play in college. This level of poophead thinks their high school career was screwed up because their coach didn't like them.
This level of poophead soon finds out that his college coach doesn't like her any better than her high school coach. Maybe, just maybe, this poophead doesn't have any talent at all. Soon this poophead is just a normal college student claiming they would have been a great college player if only their high school and college coaches would have liked them.
LEVEL 2: This type of poophead is talented. Sometimes they are very talented. They have one major character flaw - they are very stubborn. This is usually inherited from one or two very stubborn parents. Those parents could probably be quoted weekly saying, "It's my way or the highway."
Unfortunately a level 2 poophead feels the same way about their basketball talents. Usually no matter how talented, college basketball players need to learn to play how their coach expects. If the player finds herself in level 2, she thinks, "I'm playing my way or it's the highway." Usually, they get their second wish. It's too bad, since the level 2 poophead is one of those players that everyone says "has potential." I had a fellow coach once tell me having potential is like having a refrigerator; they're nice to have but very tough to carry on your back.
LEVEL 3: We finally find a semi-successful poophead at level 3. This type of player is talented and stubborn. However, add to this mix a little common sense. I guess we can attribute this to heredity, also.
Typically, a level 3 poophead starts out like her way is the only way. Then the realization of serious bench time leads to an attack of common sense. The poophead suddenly does it the coach's way and has instant success. Everybody begins to think that we really have a star player for a long time to come. Unfortunately as her star rises, her common sense diminishes. A long time ago, I had a level 3 poophead that surely would have set all the team's three-point scoring marks. She had a great three years and was about to become a legend. Then common sense left her completely. She shot almost 500 three-point field goals her senior year and ended the year losing her starting job. Level 3 poopheads just can't stand prosperity.
LEVEL 4: A level 4 poophead is almost always the star player, the All-American, the Kodiak All-American, the person pictured on the schedule poster, etc.
First, a level 4 poophead must have excellent talent. Next, she has to have a "my way or the highway" attitude. A level 4 poophead always finds common sense very early on in her career. Finally, there can be no relapses like with a level 3 poophead. I really like level 4 poopheads. Most of the time, you never know if you had a level 4 poophead until after graduation.
Here's how you tell if a level 4 poophead is indeed a poophead. Check out how their roommates liked them in college. If they were always sure they were right, had a my way or the highway attitude, displayed very little common sense once they got back to their own dwelling space, then they must be a poophead. I just discovered what my wife, Michele, has known for a long time - it takes one to know one.
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