Jeff Osterman, USF Associate Head Coach
Coach Osterman is currently serving as the Associate Head Coach at the University of South Florida. Prior to his time at USF he has served as an assistant coach at Fordham, Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Russell Sage. Coach Osterman has also spent time as the Head Coach of Central Florida Community College where his teams had an impressive 85% winning percentage.
Pursue Your Love for the Game:
A New York City native, Coach Osterman’s coaching career began with a job that was costing him more to work than what he was actually making…and he LOVED it! Before choosing coaching as a career he was a college student at Siena College, following in the footsteps of many members of his family by pursuing a career in business. After working a summer college basketball camp he began to realize that “this coaching thing isn’t half bad!”
Told he would make more money if he worked with the girls as well as the boys, he had his first opportunity to coach girls at that camp. After his first experience of being closely exposed to girls’ basketball he began to appreciate the girls’ style of play and how they responded to coaching. In his experiences, the girls really wanted to learn; they asked for help and the game itself seemed more fundamentally driven. He found himself not having to deal with super male athletes who didn’t want to play as a team and weren’t interested in what the coach had to say.
Fueled by Faith:
Coaches can have seasons of burn out, leading them to contemplate getting out of the profession as a whole. Coach Osterman credits his faith and his family for keeping him grounded, always bringing him back to his ultimate purpose in coaching.
While speaking with him about burn out and adversity he told us about a big time USF recruit they lost to the team that was #1 in the country at the time. That team told the recruit if they visited USF their offer was off the table. Under pressure the recruit decided to go to that school without ever taking their official visit to see USF. He strongly believes that if the recruit would have come to visited USF she would have committed. It was very deflating and a moment that made him think about his purpose however he is a big believer in not dwelling on things. In fact, he has a 24-hour rule in which he won’t mull over anything, such as a heart breaking loss or losing a recruit, for more than 24-hours. “Good game, bad game, the sun comes up tomorrow, go get the next one!”
As coaches know, family time can be very limited during the season and during intense periods of recruiting (which can feel like the entire year). Coach cites that making the most of the time that he does have with his son and wife is a major priority in his life. “Quality over quantity is key!” He makes it a point to pray with his family every night, turn off his phone during their bedtime ritual, and work smart so that he can limit his hours in the office whenever possible.
Quick tip: plan your day the night before by prioritizing the five most important things you need to focus on getting done on that particular day.
Recruiting A Team of Coaches
Coach Osterman believes that a critical ingredient to putting together a staff is that they need to get along. Your players will pick up quickly if certain staff members are not getting along and it will decrease your credibility with them. He went as far as to say that you can’t be successful without a staff that isn’t cohesive. As a head coach putting a staff together, you must view your coaches as puzzle pieces; find a way for everyone to stay within their assigned role while also fitting in and sticking together with the other pieces to complete the puzzle.
Great staffs also know how to challenge each other behind closed doors. Coaches won’t always agree on everything behind closed doors but as soon as the decision is made the staff must have a unified front to present to their players.
Never Eat Alone:
For professional and personal development coach loves the mantra (and book) Never Eat Alone. If he knows he is going to fly into a specific city for a tournament he will try to meet up for a meal with friends or coaches nearby. If other coaches are making a trip near Tampa, he always insists that they get together for some quality time catching up. Some of his greatest friends are people that he wouldn’t have met without being intentional about building relationships via this game.
“Our game is funny because we all focus on beating each other on the court, but the rest of the time we need to be focused on sharing and making one another better.”
Who you know and the relationships you build are also key for coaching success. The Power of Who (also suggest to us by Karen Blair from VCU) is a book that he suggests for coaches to read in order to understand the power of networking and finding great mentors. Finding your circles of people that you can depend on and investing in one another is crucial. Be willing to ask people for help and advice and appreciate and value those who share but do not be discouraged by the people that don’t share. Some will, some won’t, find those who will and learn what you can! A fond memory that coach shared with us about the incredible mentors that you can find is a time he got to speak with a mentor for what he thought would be five minutes and turned into several hours. Coach Osterman only spoke for a few minutes of those hours as he sat and soaked up every word that this particular mentor invested in him! Due to experiences like this he tries to invest in other coaches to pay forward what was done for him.
Seeking to keep up with technology and share his coaching experiences with others, Coach Osterman began CoachOsterman.com. His website, set to play the song that every coach wants to hear while cutting down nets after their final game of the season (One Shining Moment) was a way for him to keep up on technology and create a place for sharing and learning with coaches and players.
You can check it out by clicking this link here: CoachOsterman.com . You won’t only find great basketball tips, plays and coaching philosophies but Coach has included his own personality by adding sections with restaurant reviews, some of his favorite recipes, and links to some of the best articles he has come across.
You can follow Coach Osterman on twitter: @coachosterman