The Joys of Coaching

When my daughter Rebekah took a job as the girls’ varsity basketball coach for the Lyle-Austin Pacelli Athletics, she prevailed upon me to be her assistant (and JV coach), so since mid-November we’ve been having a lot of time together.

We’ve lost a lot more games than we’ve won this season, but last night we achieved our first winning streak, following Tuesday night’s win with a big comeback against the Schaeffer Academy Lions. After being down 30-15 at halftime, the Athletics girls went on a 25-1 run to start the second half.

That was fun!

Afterward, Bekah and I took a picture with my parents, Lew and LaVonne, who were there to watch their son and granddaughter coach a great-granddaughter.

The basketball season will be wrapping up in the next couple of weeks, so then I will be focusing on another type of coaching Lisa and I are doing as part of our new venture, HELPcare.

Through HELPcare we’re providing online education, community support and metabolic health coaching for people interested in making lifestyle changes to maximize their health, energy and longevity.

These services are available globally, but for people who become members of HELPcare Clinic they’re included at no extra charge.

HELPcare Clinic is the new direct primary care clinic I’m helping my good friend, Dr. David Strobel, open in our hometown of Austin, Minnesota. My new venture, HELPcare LLC, is contracted with HELPcare Clinic, his medical practice, to provide management services so he can focus on doctoring. We just opened last week.

This metabolic health coaching practice is built on what I’ve learned through my health journey over the last few years, and also the results Lisa has gotten. We started by coaching friends, and then the circle expanded over time.

I enjoy helping people discover their abilities to do more than they thought they could. It’s been really rewarding seeing people reclaim their health and even turn back the clock.

We feel better than we did 25 years ago, and are glad to help others looking to make similar changes.

And hopefully tonight we can make it three in a row for the Lyle-Pacelli girls!

If you don’t shoot, you can’t score

Yesterday I did a post about the Riverland Community College 70-foot buzzer beater to defeat North Iowa Area Community College.

I also tweeted the link from my account …

…and from the @PackerFastBreak Club account.

Then I went to bed. I had, after all, gotten up at 3:30 a.m. CT in Cleveland, and it had been a long day. So I was startled when my daughter Rebekah burst into our room a couple of hours later and said, “Dad! Vic’s shot is #2 on SportsCenter!”

I thought that was cool, but didn’t know I had anything to do with it. Since Riverland Community College had uploaded the video in the first place, I thought they must have tweeted it to #SCTop10. But when I got home tonight, Rebekah told me, “Dad! Did you know it was your tweet that got Vic on SportsCenter?!”

Sure enough:

So what did I learn from this?

The main lesson is the title of this post, and it has a double meaning. Obviously, if Victoria didn’t take the shot, they couldn’t have won, and if I hadn’t tweeted using the #SCTop10 tag, SportsCenter wouldn’t have seen it.

But a few other lessons come to mind, too:

Keep tweets short and simple to accomplish your purpose. In the tweet from my personal account, I included @ mentions of various Minnesota sports journalists. That did lead to one of them retweeting and passing along to colleagues:


But while I had included the #SCTop10 hashtag in that tweet, having so many @ mentions probably cluttered the tweet too much for the SportsCenter gang.

Keep Shooting. If I had just left it at the first tweet, SportsCenter would likely have missed it. In basketball nobody shoots 100 percent, so don’t stop just because your first tweet doesn’t “hit.”

Provide context. I could have just tweeted the YouTube link, but by putting the video within a blog post I could give the story behind the video. I think that made it easier for SportsCenter to include the clip in its nightly highlights.

There’s no substitute for great content. This was a great shot, captured on video.

All in all, it’s a fun case study. The @SportsCenter (4.1 million followers) tweet has been retweeted 238 times, and as of right now the original video has 7,700 views on YouTube.

What lessons would you take from this experience?

Another Austin Buzzer Beater

Regular readers who know of my family’s basketball roots may have seen this post from last March about my son’s basketball team, in which his teammate, my nephew Tom, took an alley oop pass for a last-second dunk to send Austin High School to the Minnesota State Basketball Tournament.

Last night my daughter Rebekah’s Riverland Community College basketball team had a similar ending, but I was in Cleveland and only heard the play-by-play over the phone. Rebekah had a great game with 19 points and 25 rebounds before fouling out with 2 minutes to play, and with 4.8 seconds left the opposing North Iowa Area Community College made 1 of 2 free throws to take a 2-point lead. Victoria Larson took the inbounds pass, dribbled 5 times to just past the 3/4 court mark, and let fly:

Congratulations Victoria on a once-in-a-lifetime shot!

A Happy Week for the Aase Family

This was a week that will be long remembered for the Aase family and for the Austin High School basketball program, as my son Joe and nephew Tom, both two-time all-conference players returning this year for their senior seasons, accepted scholarship offers to play college basketball.

Austin hasn’t had a scholarship basketball player since 1999, so having two players accept offers in one week is quite a milestone. And it’s pretty cool that I’m related to both of them!

Joe committed to Davidson College (read about it here and here), while Tom is going to the University of Sioux Falls.

It’s great to have these decisions made, so the boys can focus on their high school season. With three starters returning from last year’s state tournament team, Austin is hoping to make some noise.

March Madness in July

I’ve admittedly been infrequent (some might even say derelict) recently in developing new posts here on SMUG. The main reason is my focus during this season on my son Joe’s AAU basketball team, and chronicling their spring and summer season.

Right now we are in the middle of what I call “March Madness in July.” It’s the time when NCAA coaches are able to be on the road scouting talent and offering scholarships. Joe and his cousin Tom, both seniors-to-be for Austin High School, are playing with the Minnesota Magic Elite AAU team, based in the Twin Cities. And aside from my work-related blogging, my discretionary effort recently has been on the Magic site, where we have profiles of each of the players as well as video highlights from many of their games.

As I write this, Lisa and I are in the air above Tennessee on the way to Orlando for a national AAU tournament at the Wide World of Sports complex. Next week we head to Las Vegas for the Fab 48.

I probably will do a post with more analysis of the Magic site as part of the curriculum here, but for now here is video from the first half of one of the team’s stronger efforts, from a tournament in St. Cloud at the end of June:

The Magic site is similar to the site I developed for the Austin Packer Fast Break Club, which support the Austin High School team.

Both are examples of what you can accomplish with a Flip camera and $30 or less for a custom domain on