Basketball on the Edge – The Three E’s & Input = Output

I had the pleasure of hosting two guest speakers at our camp in Strongsville yesterday. Coach Jeff Eicher, the Strongsville High School Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach and Darren Collins, the Strongsville High School Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach. I have known both of these outstanding coaches since I was in junior high school 30 or so years ago.

Each of them spoke and shared with the players a little about their program and the culture that they are creating. I pulled one key idea from each of their talks that I’d like to share with you.


First, from Coach Eicher. He talked about the three E’s that he uses with his players to measure their level of commitment to the game. The first E is EMPTY. Empty means the player is not working on their game at all. They don’t participate in optional activities during the off-season. They put the ball down the moment the season ends and don’t pick it up again until the following season begins. The second E is EVEN. Even means the player does what the coach requires. They attend team workouts, play in the summer league, come to practice/open gym. These players improve at the same pace as everyone else. The third E is EXTRA. Extra means the player does what is required of them plus they get in the gym and work on their game on their own time. These are the players in the program that truly excel and make the team better. Coach Eicher told the campers that a lot of hard work must go on while no one is watching before you can have success when the gym is packed for a big game.

Empty, Even, or Extra. Which type of player are you?


Second, from Coach Collins. He talked about the concept Input = Output. Coach Collins told the campers that he writes those words on the chalkboard every day when he teaches history class during the school year. What does it mean? Simply put, what you put into something is what you get out. If you give your best effort you are much more likely to get the results you want. If you go through the motions, or don’t work hard, or give up when things get tough you are unlikely to achieve your goals in school or on the basketball court. Many players are faced with challenging situations each day both on and off the court and spend their time complaining, pouting, or just giving less than their best.

Here’s quote from Dick DeVenzio about this concept of Input=Output and how different people approach might approach a similar situation.

“Someone, somewhere, could probably take your exact same set of circumstances and work wonders.”

If their input could work wonders why shouldn’t yours?

Thanks to Coach Eicher and Coach Collins for speaking with our campers, hopefully a few will have the opportunity to play for them someday!

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