Kiwanians talk basketball with SHS coach

Staff report

SIDNEY — John Willoughby, Sidney High School assistant principal and head basketball coach, addressed the Kiwanis Club of Sidney during a Thanksgiving luncheon hosted by the Sidney High School Key Club in the school’s library, Nov. 16.

This is his first year at SHS but previously served as athletic director and head basketball coach at Houston High School for 30 years. Willoughby played college basketball at Miami University in Oxford.

Willoughby distributed information about his expectations for the culture of Sidney basketball. In order of importance, what is good for the program, then the team, then the player, he said. His approach to decision-making is based on this hierarchy.

“I don’t want the player guessing what the coaches want,” he said.

Togetherness is another big factor. Players need to care more about winning than their own issues. True team chemistry starts in each player’s home with parents not ripping the coach or other players at home or in the stands.

“When you put yourself first, you normally end up last,” is another one of his mottoes.

Willoughby next discussed winning ways.

“Victory or defeat is not determined at the moment of crisis, but rather in the long and unspectacular period of preparation,” he said. “I am referring to a winning culture, developing winning habits and setting winning standards. Winning is all about commitment.”

Other attributes Willoughby discussed were toughness, discipline, chemistry, communication and trust. He then opened the floor for questions. While not going into specifics about certain teams, Willoughby stated that he felt Sidney would be competitive with everyone they play. Among five juniors and five sophomores on the team, there are six returning lettermen.

“Expectations are high,” he said. “You need all of your basketball players to make a great team; one player does not make a great team.”

Staff report