Wes Pifer (Twitter: @NAUCoachWes Email: Wes.Pifer@nau.edu) has made a career advancement since we last spoke. Today’s conversation is based on a private conversation Wes and I had re: episode #853 (Competition: You Gotta Be A DOG). We talked about our shared history, identifying those toughest competitors, and the mindset behind that competitive fire. We also talked college basketball recruiting, academics and how Wes evaluates prospects. This is a long interview, and I strongly recommend you listen to all of it — twice.
2:58 Special Episode: Wes Pifer Returns To Talk Competitiveness, Penn State Altoona Basketball Stories & Recruiting
3:43 Who is Wes Pifer?
5:00 Competitive Mentality: This episode is really about Competition and Mentality you bring to your work
13:42 Principles learned from Warren Buffet and Napoleon Bonaparte
14:55 What does it mean to be an Associate Head Coach?
16:35 Working with individual skill work. They need to be showing up in shape
17:15 Game Shape = Getting in Shape
17:50 You’ll know if a player is serious with how they show up on the first day
20:04 Basketball is not a game of dribbling, shooting, passing. It’s a game of running!
20:14 You can’t do anything at your highest level if you’re not in game shape
20:23 The best players are always in their best shape
25:20 Wes Pifer’s mindset back in college, thinking about where he should go next
30:02 Not everyone has that competitive fire inside of them
30:30 Mentality concerning competitiveness and how he sees the different kind of players in this era as a coach
31:03 Michael Jordan as Wes Pifer’s idol and his mentality
35:02 When a competitive fire is there, we’re ready to go into there. It’s what we’re looking for
35:50 Wes Pifer talks on how students react to adverse situations
37:23 Dealing with players with ability but not doing it the way it should be done
38:22 Level of Leadership I: Take care of your own business. You can’t tell anybody else anything until you take care of your own business.
38:28 Level of Leadership II: Be vocal
38:30 Level of Leadership III: Beat the hardest worker
38:34 Level of Leadership IV: Call out teammates
41:44 Confrontation and competing at the highest level
43:40 Brothers fight in the house to go out and run the neighbourhood together
43:53 You gotta be willing to have confrontation especially with people
47:59 It wasn’t about winning or losing the game. You know you’re better than this
48:42 Evaluate you performance
49:03 There’s a certain unspoken language that you’ have to have
49:24 You just gotta do it!
51:05 It’s not about how many shots we were getting up even though we got up shot. It wasn’t about dribble and drill even though we did it. It wasn’t about doing condition even though we were doing that stuff but it was the mentality behind the work that put us in position to do what we did on the court.
51:23 Documentary on ES band
52:21 It wasn’t about your ability to play, it’s all about your mentality
53:04 Identifying that ‘guy’ when it comes to putting a team together
57:43 Confronting fouls and difficult players
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