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Brad Stevens: Why Positive Coaching Is Powerful

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Brad Stevens (@BCCoachStevens), is the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics (@Celtics) and a PCA National Advisory Board Member. Stevens was the Head Coach of the Celtics until 2021. Stevens is most famous for his calm coaching style and demeanor on the sidelines. He is known for getting the most out of his players and led the Celtics to multiple Eastern Conference Finals appearances as the coach. Before joining the Celtics, Stevens rose to prominence as coach of the Butler University basketball team that he led to consecutive NCAA title game appearances.

In this video, Stevens explains that positive coaching is not "rah and yay" and cites research that indicates "the best leaders are warm and demanding." He suggests that coaches be approachable for players who need to explore challenges on the court or off, but once "between the lines" have an understanding that excellence is expected.

He specifies that those demands not be delivered in a demanding manner, though recognizes that the competitive nature of sports can bring out negative emotions. When that happens, it is important to quickly re-center and reassure players that even while operation at a high level is a must, coaches still understand that players are human.