Matt Fletcher is the Head Men's Basketball Coach at Bethany Lutheran, a Division III school located in Mankato, MN. As a player, Matt is one of the best shooters in the history of the NSIC, one of the best Division II conferences in the country.
#BeDifferent is a topic that has evolved since I took over as the head coach at Bethany Lutheran College. Being an NCAA DIII Head Coach comes with many challenges, no scholarships, expensive schooling, and no off-season development. Along with the challenges comes a multi-duty contract. I have three jobs on this campus and I learned right away I am going to need to change my mindset and change the way my players approach this journey together.
We focus on the development and how we can #BeDifferent in three major areas of our lives, coach’s lives, and our player’s lives.
First, is we teach to #BeDifferent as a player. Few truly know what it takes to be a great player and it becomes even truer at the college level. We want players to learn how to hold themselves accountable, be confident in their craft, and be willing to take coaching from us, good and bad. Here are a few of the major things we push on a daily basis to our guys:
Build Confidence on your own – Get shots up on your ownLove being coached, listen and learn – Means we need to build trust with them to do so effectively Energy Every Day – Even when things aren’t fun, bring energy and excitement knowing there is a greater reward than any amount of fun can fill Do anything you can, for the good of this team.
Then we cover them as a student and person. To #BeDifferent in these crucial areas, allows us to help them prepare for the next stage of their lives, whatever that may be. Here are the NON-NEGOTIABLES for us developing in these two key areas:
ALWAYS ON TIME (5 min early, is on time)No hats, hoods, headphones in classSit in the first two rows of every classProgress reports and engagement with professors every two weeks. Engage with them!
We say, "THANK YOU" as often as we can. We all need to learn to appreciate everyone and everythingCommunication is always key, can never communicate too much or too early. Surrendering yourself to the good of a team/family. One of the hardest things to ask a young man to do. Every decision our staff and players make, reflects our program and our teammates/coaches.
#BeDifferent is the tool we have developed to make us a better basketball team, but more importantly, it has created a tool for us to use within our basketball program to develop all of us as people and get us prepared for whatever our future holds.
I am asked “why” I developed this all the time, and my answer is constant; my life changed playing at Southwest MN State University and I want to give that experience to every player that plays for me.