The Atlanta Hawks Emory Healthcare practice facility was abuzz as the first clinic involving Coach Lloyd Pierce and staff was about to begin. It was a who’s who of local collegiate, high school men’s and women’s coaches and other VIP guests who were in attendance to learn more about the new Hawks staff that has been assembled.

The clinic kicked off with Coach Pierce congratulating Nicki Collen (Head Coach of the Atlanta Dream), Darius Taylor (Assistant Coach) and the team for their accomplishments in the 2018 season. After his remarks, Coach Pierce and staff divided the coaches and VIP’s into four groups to speak on offense, defense, player development and game management (analytics, metrics and film). Each station, sixteen minutes in length, allowed for an in-depth look at the responsibilities that each staff will have in the upcoming season. The coaching staff owned their roles and gave all of us an understanding of how it all ties together in helping to prepare the young Hawks team for training camp in a couple of weeks.

I was most impressed with how the players interacted and engaged in the different segments. It was great to see former college standouts such as Alex Poythress and Thomas Robinson discuss the necessity of understanding plays and making proper reads. It was great to see exactly how to read defenses in certain situations to make the correct decisions in late clock situations.

Finally, as the coaches and VIP’s all reconvened for the final Q&A, the words “Sweat Equity” and “Trust” continued to be the theme echoed by Coach Pierce and staff. With a young team, you have to be willing to get on the court and put the work in with them. Whether its with the defense helping to understand footwork and positioning, or the offense understanding the reads of the defense.  All of this happens through a commitment of  Sweat Equity and Trust. The Sweat Equity and Trust that has developed since Coach Pierce’s hiring in May, will hopefully be evident through the continued development of this young team on and off the court. As fans, we look forward to seeing all of this come together as training camp kicks off in a couple of weeks.

Written by Lewis Preston