Here is part 2 of the 4 part series with Davis Payne…he talks about his general philosophy re coaching…his approach to his interview with the Kings and assistant coach vs. head coach responsibilities…
JF: General philosophy. We don’t always like to be labeled but if you were to try to define the type of coach you are, what would that be?
DP: This is always a funny thing to answer. You start with the obvious. A “player’s coach”, a “tactician” or a “motivator”. All these types of things. I’d like to think there’s a hybrid in there somewhere that has a little bit of everything. I think at times you rely a little bit on your strengths and your instincts, which would be to communicate, to walk step by step with the players. To motivate them in that regard based on an understanding of where they want to “get to”. But ultimately, a good feel for how the players want to play and how that works itself into success in this league. A disciplinarian or a taskmaster, I wouldn’t lean too far in that regard. I think there is fairness to how I coach. There’s firmness to how I coach. I think there’s a good balance there.
JF: When you were interviewed for the Kings’ assistant coaching position, did you approach it any differently since you have already had experience as a head coach?
DP: No, not in particular. I think you look at what you add as a coach. Whether that’s in the head coaching “ultimate decision making” position or as an assistant you’re going to have responsibilities that are yours and yours alone and you’ve got to get the job done. So, I think from that regard, you’re looking at it as part of a coaching staff and that’s what you have to think. One part is certainly a little bit different, but ultimately coaching is getting guys to do something they may not necessarily want to do and doing it together and I think whether that’s as a power-play group or as a group of penalty-killers or whether that is as a team, ultimately the head coaching responsibility, I think they all play a part in what we do as coaches.
JF: You may have already answered this in the previous answer, but anything you feel is a high priority when it comes to being an assistant coach on a coaching staff, as opposed to being a head coach? I know you may touched on some of those things, but maybe the highest priority, it’s always difficult to single out one thing, but if you were to say “I’m an assistant now, not the head coach, what do I have to do here”?
DP: Provide a link between the players and the head coach. That link allows us to see smoke before we see fire. It allows us to head those situations off. It provides clarity to what we are doing as a group. It provides clarity to the head coach as to where he may need to spend some of his time, which is a difficult part. The designation of the hours that you have in a day, can be tough so for us as assistants to not only work on our avenue of responsibility, but also, have these players know that they have got an ear and a voice to the head coach and potentially solving that and or passing that on, I think is crucial!