Entering his ninth year as the Head Coach of Andover Boys Basketball, Terrell Ivory ’00 utilizes his numerous years of playing and coaching experience to further connect with and reach out to his team.
Following his Post-Graduate year at Andover in 2000, Ivory played Division I basketball at Davidson College before beginning his professional career. Ivory returned to Andover 12 years later, and now guides his players with a concrete set of values alongside Assistant Coaches Tom Palleschi ’12 and Dan Schneider.
With a team full of players with different backgrounds, Ivory works to connect with his athletes and help them break away from repeating mistakes while creating better habits. With the season in full swing, the Andover currently sits at a 6-6 record.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I had some good coaches when I was growing up, and I think they were very influential in my development as a person—learning some of the things to be a good person and how to compete, good sportsmanship and how to deal with adversity. And for me, I enjoy doing just that, I like being a mentor. I feel like because I had some amazing people in my life that I was able to play for and learn under, I want to do the same thing for the kids that I work with.
How do you work well together as a coaching unit with Coach Palleschi and Coach Schneider?
I think they are really good communicators and they have different strengths. Both of them really know the game well, so they will understand the nuances or the details that it takes to help kids be good basketball players, and they do a good job of communicating that to the kids and helping them learn from their mistakes. I think the biggest thing for the coaching staff is to break bad habits and build good habits.
What do you value as coaches?
I think competing, effort, and playing the right way. Just understanding winning is really important, but it is not everything. I’ve said this before to the kids but I’d rather lose a game where our effort is amazing, we compete the right way, we play hard, and we execute, than win a game against a team that is not as talented as us where we don’t play hard. So, to me, winning is really important, and I don’t want to understate that, but I also think it’s a by-product of doing all those other things really well. Sometimes, you may do things really well and not win, and I think it’s okay. I value those details more than the result sometimes, but I do like the result that we need to win.
How is your coaching style unique?
Hopefully, I care and the kids believe that I care. I had old school coaches who were really intense and they yelled a lot, and I don’t feel like I have to do that. So, I try to communicate in a way that’s different, where I can talk to them and I don’t feel like I have to be overwhelming. That’s stressful. These guys here at Andover are really smart and really thoughtful, they care, they want to do the things that I am trying to get them to do. It’s hard to get them to do that all the time, but they’re trying. As long as they’re trying, I respect that.
How are you able to overcome player injuries as a coach? What changes are necessary to make?
It’s hard. That is really difficult. Just be patient, and we had to adjust how intense practices were in terms of how much we played against each other as opposed to simulating a lot of stuff and playing against no defense. You play live, which is playing against the other players in practice versus playing on air. In order for us to get better and learn how to execute, we really focused on that without defense. That also really helped because it’s less likely that you’re going to get injured if you are not playing against anybody on defense. It is really about executing and you have to imagine the defense is out there.