A Frank Philosophy

26 Feb

After the Wildcats defeated Missouri 80-70 on Saturday afternoon, a reporter asked Kansas State coach Frank Martin to talk about his coaching style. Martin tilted his head to the side, wiped his hand across his face, and smiled, shaking his head.

“It is what it is, man,” he said with a laugh. Instead of leaving it at that, though, the coach went on to detail why he is so animated and hard-nosed in his instruction of the team, and the result was some interesting insight into why he does what he does. The following is what I took away from it.

1) He loves his job, and he quantifies the amount of that dedication by reminding everyone that he has been coaching for 26 years. As he himself says, he is an emotional guy, and he wants those surrounding him to have the same kind of fervor and enthusiasm for what they are doing.

“I have unbelievable passion for what I do. I want people with me who have unbelievable passion for what they do.”

2) He is a teacher, and he is responsible for ensuring his players learn how to do things the right way consistently so they can build toward their potential and not make errors that, if continued, will be detrimental further down the road.

“We spend countless hours rehearsing what we’re supposed to do. Why do you think it is that I don’t get aggravated with Jacob very much, just like I didn’t get aggravated with Denis very much? Because they’ve been through it, they understand, so they don’t make the mistakes that cost you games. I’ve got a very young team right now. They need to understand that every possession is important. Every minute of every practice, they have an opportunity to get better, and I hold people accountable.”

3) He doesn’t let people off the hook for less than they are capable of. When he sees mistakes, he calls them, and he does it so they will be better off in the long run.

“I tell you what, I’ve got children. I want people like me to deal with my children when I’m not around. I don’t want people to make their life easy. I want somebody who’s going to hold my kids accountable and who’s going to demand that they do right – not every once in a while, every day.”

4) He doesn’t let outside advice dictate how he runs his program.

“I understand I don’t make people happy sometimes, but as long as my players, my bosses, my family believe in me, that’s what matters to me.”

Senior guard Jacob Pullen also offered some thoughts on the part of the coach people see on the sideline.

“There’s a method to every madness, and for his it’s really just understanding his passion for the game.”

Pullen continued that, unlike some other coaches, Martin does not sugarcoat facts to make players happy; he tells them what they need to know to become better. Having a coach like Frank, as Pullen calls him, makes the players grow up as people, not just as athletes.

With the improvement that these guys have made over the course of this season, I’d say there’s merit to that.






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