Coaches Week

Written By on December 13, 2015

In honor of it being coaches week and myself being a coach, I wanted to take time to track back through the years and go through some of the coaches I have worked with and learned from.

I will start off by going way way back to 2003 which was my first year playing on a basketball team! The coach was awesome… I will talk about him a bit later on.

2006-2007 This was my first year coaching and I spent my first year coaching with Steve Elwood. Steve’s coaching style was tailored around trying your best, including everyone and doing your job. We went on to have an awesome year. This was my first year coaching and this was the year I became quite close with the Davidson family. If it weren’t for them, I would not be coaching today.

2007- My second year coaching and probably the one that really changed my perspective on hoops. This year was spent with Jyoti Pawar, who is currently coaching on the mainland. This was the first year that I had started doing player development with players on an individual basis. This year was also a year where I learned so much about scouting and walking through another teams offence.. This season prepared me for what would be a life changing experience the following years.

2008-2011- I spent the next 3 seasons coaching with Mark Simpson. This experience was unbelievable and I am thankful to still be in close contact with him on a daily basis. What I valued the most about this experience was the life lessons that came along with the job. Being prepared, giving your best physical and mental effort, being there for others and holding yourself accountable. My experience with Simpson all started when I was a grade 8 kid and used to go watch practice and sit in the corner waiting for the day that I would get kicked out but I never did. Another thing I loved about this experience was the around the clock support you would receive and a chance to participate. I was put into situations where I could attend clinics, coach spring league and have all sorts of neat experiences in a competitive environment. Despite having coached 3 seasons together, in total I have been fortunate enough to spend about 8 years with Simpson.

2011- I spent my one year being a head coach and boy was that a hand full. I coached Junior boys along side my good friend Luke Bouma. Luke and I were high school teammates and he was one of the hardest workers I had been around. Coaching with him was so enjoyable because you knew his passion was evident. He so badly wanted to be back on the floor playing.

2012- Present… Remember my grade 6 coach? Well 9 years later he became a university head coach and brought me along for the ride. Coach Matt Kuzminski, who just recieved CCAA National Coach of The Year, has been a huge contributor to my drive to become the best coach possible. He has been a great mix of a players coach while maintaining team standards. Some individuals think you either have to be a hard ass or friends with your players.. coach has shown that with a good balance, you can do both. Being given the opportunity to make decisions that have impact is motivating and empowering.

With this coaching experience came another two coaches who have been along for the ride.

Scott Marr is one who has a tremendous ability to relate to every person and make them laugh while being able to get his message across. His ability to see things from a players perspective and how they apply in a game are amazing. These are the little details that may not make their way into a basketball clinic but will help you get a stop or a steal when you need one.

Djimith Ndiaye is one who has to deal with my childish fits on the road of why we didn’t X this or O that. However, the most important thing is that Jim is radiant with passion and always keeping a sight of whats really important. Jim is also able to get the guys fired up and restore them back to focus when it’s needed most!!

These are the coaches that I have spent a lot of time with however there are other coaches who have helped me a great deal and I definitely need to acknowledge them.

Chris Franklin: How fortunate are the kids to have a coach that puts in a tremendous amount of time with around the clock support. I am so fortunate to have coach to message at any time regarding anything and have a response back shortly. Coaching with Chris for a year enabled me to be a critical thinker and find key details in seeing how the defence guarded. I am truly grateful for his support!

Scott Clark: Coach Simpson introduced us two and I have been able to learn a lot from him. From watching Coach Kuzminski play for Coach Clark at Simon Fraser to spending time at the Agrodome watching teams play and learning the game from them. I have been fortunate to have had Coach Clark’s help with insights on hoops.

Ken Shields: A Canadian coaching legend and a coach that has made time for me on short notice. I have learned so much from coach Shields about culture and being detail oriented. Truly believing sometimes less is more and that it is better to pick a few things and do them very well than to pick a million things and do them ok.

A big thank you to all of the other coaches I have developed friendships with over the years and a big thank you to the players that have let me coach them!!


Thank you all for reading!!


Be sure to thank your coaches and grow the sport!!

Avneet Brar