Frank Martin leads South Carolina into a Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament game Friday night against Baylor after his Gamecocks eliminated Duke last weekend.
Martin’s coaching roots date back to 15 years as a high school coach in Miami and winning three consecutive state titles at Miami Senior from 1996 to ’98. Martin was eventually fired after the state determined rules violations, although Martin has denied any wrongdoing.
In an interview with Mike & Mike this week via CoachingSearch.com, Martin said one of the key lessons he learned early on while coaching junior varsity basketball is that if the effort is there, there is no need to berate his players. A broken hand helped him learn that.
“I get it, I’m a passionate guy, I’m loud, I do that to myself. … But when kids play as hard as they play for me, I can’t go in the locker room and beat them up. They’re laying it on the line for me. I’ve got to help them,” he said. “It’s not about throwing chairs. I learned this when I was a young junior varsity basketball coach.
“I walked into a high school locker room, I was so mad at the team for the way we played in the first half, I didn’t know anything about coaching back then. I was 21 years old. I said, you know what, I’m going to motivate them by showing them toughness. I turned around and punched the blackboard. Didn’t realize there was a concrete wall right behind the blackboard. I broke my hand. I learned at an early stage that that doesn’t help anybody.”