Many people assume that coaching is a natural progression for successful players. After all, who better to impart what it takes to succeed in basketball than people who have actually done it?
But the reality is that qualities that make someone a great basketball player are often different than the qualities that make someone a great coach. Jarvis Mitchell, a Flint native who went on to a good college career and pro career overseas and was known for his intensity, is now an assistant girls basketball coach at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. Eric Woodyard of the Flint Journal has a great story on the transition Mitchell has had to make on the sidelines:
“I started coaching fresh off of playing so that fire still burned,” Mitchell admitted. “I didn’t understand why people weren’t waking up in the morning working out and why people weren’t giving it all they’ve got so I had to mature very fast.”
Mitchell, 34, was known for his relentless competitive drive as a player.
His talent was comparable to former NBA player Travis Best. Mitchell excelled on every level so it was hard for him to accept anything less than a favorable outcome for his players so when they didn’t shine it was frustrating.
“We always would say that Jarvis’ coaching style was as of a player instead of being a coach,” Liggett head coach Omar Ahart said. “Both of them are great but as he’s been maturing into the coaching he’s learned so much patience. He’s still fiery because that’s just Jarvis but he’s learned to be more patient. He’s grown 100 percent.”