Today’s Tribe Spotlight features Tiffany Gonigam. Tiffany is the head coach of the Bureau Valley Storm girls basketball team.
Just 2 years after back-to-back 1 win seasons, the Bureau Valley girls basketball team won a regional championship. Read and React made this possible. As an assistant coach in 2011-2012, I watched our girls basketball program reach an all-time low posting a 1-28 record for the season. What I witnessed that year were attempts to robotically run plays that we could barely remember and the habit of throwing the ball to spots rather than react to the pressure of the defense and attacking. The following season, 2012-2013, I became the head coach. I chose to begin implementing the Read and React system. This was a very long process for our team. It was being built in at every level in the high school program and for our varsity team this meant running a very simple set of read and reactions on offense. We were much more competitive this season but still only able to reach a 1-28 record. Building upon the knowledge of how to play the game, using the read and react system in 2013-2014 we brought back a core of players who knew the system and were ready to implement the next set of layers. We had a successful season posting 10 wins. By 2014-2015 our Juniors knew Read and React and the Seniors had 2 years under their belt. The same program, players, and coaches that had back-to-back one-win seasons just 2 years ago, were now regional champions!!!
What do you love best about the Read & React?
I love that it teaches the players in our program how to love and play the game. Players understand the system and see the successful results of implementation and therefore they have a new passion and love of the game. For coaches, it allows for the same language to be used by all coaches at all levels. It is easy to input the first layers in our junior high and feeder programs and build upon this with the advanced layers at the high school level.
How and where did you first hear about the Read & React?
I first heard about the Read and React at a summer league in 2012. A bench personnel member for an opposing team commented on the athleticism of our sophomore team but their inability to just play the game. He told me to research Read and React and I bought it the next week. I was all in. I knew we had the talent, we just did not have the knowledge of the game. Read and React allows players to be best utilized not because they fit a certain position, but because they were the best on the team and going to give us the best opportunity to be successful.
How has your program changed since implementing the Read & React?
Our program has made dramatic changes and growth since implementing the Read and React just 2 years ago. The program has gained more interest, we have more girls that want to play basketball. The girls find it more enjoyable. They play harder because the actions and reactions have been built into habit. They have found success in playing the game of basketball and therefore it has made them more competitive and passionate about the game of basketball. They love the freedom of choosing what the Next Best Action is with the ball and take pride in contributing to the team in that way. We have built a new foundation and expectations for success.
Do all teams in your program run the Read & React?
We are currently running the Read and React freshman through varsity levels. We implement Read and Reaction drills at our lower level camps but have two different feeder schools and do not yet have the Rad and React fully implemented at those levels. We are hoping to do that in the near future.