Bob Cantu Rising Coaches Basketball Coaching Clinic Notes

Bob Cantu Rising Coaches 2010 Basketball Coaching Clinic Notes


Bob Cantu was currently promoted to interim men’s basketball head coach at the University of Southern California. He is in his 12th season with USC (12-13) and has been in college basketball for 17 years. Coach Cantu has been a part of 4 different coaching regimes while at Southern California and has acquired a lot of coaching knowledge during that time. Here are some basketball coaching clinic notes that were taken while he spoke at the Rising Coaches Conference in 2010.

Basketball Coaching Clinic Notes


Every day you interact with people, it’s like an interview.

  • The only thing you can control is your own personal work ethic.
  • Make a name for yourself on your own staff!
  • Outwork everyone.
  • Sell yourself daily with your work ethic.
  • Find an area/niche and be great at it.
  • Take ownership and pride in everything- big and small.
  • Are you a “task guy” or a “responsibility guy”?
  • Be a “responsibility guy.”
  • You interview for your next job every day you are alive.

Start your own network.

  • Expand your network.
  • Write down 5 Assistant coaches & 3 Head Coaches, and work with those guys.
  • After hour messages (short and simple, no need for a return call from them).

What can you do to make the program better?

  • What do you bring to the table? (VERY IMPORTANT!).

Prepare to give the Head Coach information you think he needs, especially if you are trying to be retained on a staff that has left.

  • “You gotta last.”: What do you have to do to stay in the business?

If you have to say “if” about a recruit, don’t sign him.

  • i.e., If he played harder, he would be a high major talent.

It’s better to listen than to speak.

Be organized, be efficient.

  • Take notes and make an agenda for each day.
  • Budget your time and make things a priority.

Try to have everything run through you.

  • i.e., camp brochures, equipment supplies, travel, etc.
  • Become irreplaceable!

If you want something bad enough, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

Evaluate talent with your eyes, not your ears.

Be loyal – ALL THE TIME.

During recruiting, try to stand at the baseline, so the kid sees you and sit across from his bench to see interactions with coaches and refs when he is not in the game.

Ask a recruit who he is going to have help with the decision-making process.

  • Get information constantly.
  • Remember that a “key person” can change in the recruiting world.

“Who you know” will get you a job, but “what you know” will help you keep it.

Get to know your own players!!

  • Invest time with them, interact with them, and earn their trust.
  • We must get to know our players better!
  • Utilize pre and post practices (it’s essential!).

Be patient… doors will open and close over time for you.



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