Defined in the dictionary this term means: “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”
Most coaches talk about it on offense, going to score or running your lane or advancing the ball. Defensively, we say “call out your man” or “who’s got the first pass” or “stop the ball”. In both cases the message is a to do something fast, to respond with urgency.
The transition I am going through is the change of going from one school to another, from one state to another, from one shoe brand to another and from one routine to another. If you have been in this business long enough you know what “Transiton” truly means.
When you are a young coach and single moving is easy, just pack your clothes and go. When you have a family its more complicated… kids have to change schools and find new friends. Spouses have to rebuild support systems and make new living arrangements.
While there are many difficult aspects of transition one of the hardest for me is leaving a team. I’ve always preached to players that I’m not doing my job if you don’t grow Athletically, Academically and Socially. So it’s very rewarding when you get a random text from a player like this:
“Thanks again for everything! I’ve learned a lot from you over these three years. I love how you always straight with people and not about some bullshit! You tell people what they don’t wanna hear but what they need to and I always loved that! Definitely gonna miss you and Maryland basketball going to miss you too!!! I’m also always here for you HOME BOY ♥️♥️😭😭”
And a student manager like this:
“Sorry I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to you, but I wish you the best at UMass. I came in as a freshman the same year you came in and I’ve learned a lot about basketball, but more importantly life, even if the message wasn’t necessarily directed towards me. I appreciate all that you’ve done for the players, managers, and program. Feel free to reach out if you ever need anything.”
This is the reason why I coach and for that I say Thank You and God Bless this “TRANSITION”
Cliff Warren Spent 9 seasons as the Head Coach at Jacksonville University where he compiled the most wins in School history. He has had stints as an assistant coach at Mt. St Mary’s, Siena College, Georgia Tech and Maryland and is currently the Associate Head Coach at The University of Massachusetts.