Washington’s Flowers blooms where he is planted|Pack’s first-year coach looking to push the tempo

Published 9:34 am Friday, December 3, 2010

By By EDWIN MODLIN II, edwin@wdnweb.com, Staff Writer
In his first year as the head coach for the Washington High School boys varsity basketball team, Steven Flowers says they are a young team with a promising season in front of them.
Though this is Flowers’ first year as head coach, he has been with the Pam Pack for two years as the junior varsity coach. Some of the players he coaches now are the one’s he coached and mentored in previous years.
The way Flowers prioritizes his coaching is by a set of new rules he incorporates with all of his players.
“It’s a different philosophy than the previous coach,” he said. “I like to push and control the tempo. I like to get up and down the floor.”
He added that the previous coach, Joe Lawrence, would run drills, set up plays and run sets with sprints and running at the end of practices.
“I give them a lot more freedom,” Flowers said. “We scrimmaged the other night and were not able to run any of our offensive sets. We have to have a lot of offense, so I have to slow them down and structure that when it needs to be done. But usually, I just let them play and see where their skills are and build on that.”
As far as where academics takes a role in the game of basketball with his student-athletes, Flowers says it is big and takes the lead in everything they do.
“When I had the JV’s, we emphasized that they had to get to class, do the things they were supposed to do in class and pass, follow the school rules as well as the dress code and more,” he said. “And that carries on as they moved up to the varsity level. And if a kid gets in trouble in class, then he’s not playing in the next game. It’s as simple as that.”
According to Flowers, it’s about being accountable for one’s actions and their behaviors. However, he adds, it is not as harsh on the varsity level, as they have learned the lessons while playing on the junior varsity level.
“Though it’s a higher level, there are still consequences,” he said. “For example, if they get kicked out of a class then they will sit out an entire quarter of the following game.”
One of the ways Flowers likes to coach is by incorporating drills that involve continuous running.
“I never liked running after practice and always saw it as a form of punishment and not as conditioning,” he said. “And this way, while playing the game and being in constant motion they’re getting conditioned as well as being that much more prepared for the games. And that’s what practice is all about. This way they’re getting conditioned and don’t even realize it.”
From the start of the season until the end of it, Flowers said the most important thing he likes to instill on his players is character.
“Your character is who you are,” he said. “And if you present a good positive image to them, then they learn that from you and start to spread that amongst themselves.”
Flowers said, inside the game of basketball, Magic Johnson was the greatest influence on him.
“Mostly because I just like the way he played the game,” he said. “But as for a good influence … my father, (William Flowers). He always gave me good advice and had good character. Perfect example of a good man.”
Flowers’ way of coaching is different as well. He’s not the typical coach who yells at the players, whether they do something wrong or right.
“I think they respond better if you talk to them instead of talk at them,” he said. “And whatever your personality is also plays a factor, and I can’t be who I’m not. I’m not a coach who yells and screams, so I’m not going to do that.”
Flowers looks forward to the season and what is in front of the Pam Pack.
“I’ve coached a lot of these guys before, in JV, and I’m looking forward to the challenge and hopefully we’ll be pretty good this season,” he said.
Flowers and his team will be in action tonight, when the Pam Pack host Northside.