Skill Development with Kevin Lynum: Assistant Coach for Winthrop Women’s Basketball

Kevin Lynum, an assistant coach at Winthrop University, is entering his 1st season on staff with the Lady Eagles. This is his first season coaching at the Division 1 level. Kevin Lynum comes to the Winthrop program after spending last season (2016-17) as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Northwest Kansas Technical College. At Northwest Kansas Tech he held a 28-2 (.933) overall record, which set a program record for most wins in a single-season. He was nominated as a finalist for the WBCA/Marine Corps Junior College National Coach of the Year Award and recruited and coached two WBCA All-Americans.

Skill Development Differences: From Junior College to the Division 1 Level

  • Junior College (JuCo) players come in with various levels of skill sets because they are all attending Junior College for different reasons. They could be coming to JuCo to improve their grades, to improve their game from D2 caliber to D1 caliber, for financial reasons, etc. Due to the variety of players you get, skill development must be specifically structured in a way that best fits the particular situation of each individual every year.
  • In JuCo (compared to NCAA) the rules are less strict in terms of how many players you can have on the floor at once during a workout and the time allotted for on-court workouts. The JuCo level allows more time on the court in the pre-season for skill development and allows coaches more time to build stronger relationships with their players.

Pre-Season Skill Development Philosophy:

  • Derived from his 8 years spent with the United States Army.
  • Philosophy is to have all the players together as much as possible in the pre-season regardless of their position.
  • It is extremely important to bring the players together as one unit so no one is left behind. When they grow together, they do great things together.
  • Prefers to have all staff included in workouts so every player is getting the attention they need.

Evaluating Returning and Incoming Players as a New Staff

  • Watching your players play pick up in a normal setting, as if a coach is not watching, is the best way to expose them and allow you to see their good and bad habits (Side note: In Division 1, the NCAA allows coaches to have as many players as they want on the court at once for skill instruction within a 2 hour time limit per week).
  • Evaluating pick up allows them to be themselves and compete.
  • Evaluating from pick up allows you to establish a baseline of what you have inherited as a new coach and what you need to go get to run your system.
  • Drills do not always translate to games as pick up games do.
  • Personality traits can be learned from conditioning and weight sessions. You can see who has heart and the will to push through things when they are tired.

Quick Hits – Skill Development

  • Skill development is derived from expectation. You cannot expect a player to do something you did not teach them.
  • Teach the game as a curriculum. Step by step explain your thoughts on shooting, passing, offensive and defensive terminology, using screens, etc.
  • In a game, if you are not a threat offensively you will not be on the floor.
  • At the end of the day, players need to be able to be basketball players. When a play breaks down, and shot clock is at 5 seconds, have you taught your players enough for them to execute and get a bucket?
  • A play and set is just framework for the team, what a player does within the framework is what determines wins and loses!
  • Breaking off into groups on a consistent basis can divide the team up in the locker room and possibly cause unforced problems within the program.

Follow Coach Kevin Lynum on Twitter @CoachKevinLynum


Guest Writer: Tobias Pinson – Assistant Coach for Winthrop University 

Tobias Pinson is in his first season with the Eagle basketball program after being hired in June of 2017. Pinson went to Winthrop after serving as an assistant coach of the women’s basketball program at the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2016-17. Prior to his job with the Spartans, Pinson was a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team at Walsh University (2015-2016) in North Canton, OH. He also served as head JV coach for the women’s basketball team. He began his coaching career as a volunteer basketball assistant at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC while pursuing his undergraduate degree. Pinson is in the U.S Air Force Reserves in Air Transportation for the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Army Airfield in Fayetteville, NC.

Follow Coach Tobias Pinson on Twitter @tobiastalks_

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