This year marked the 10th year of the Jay Bilas Camp in Charlotte… and I’m proud to say I’ve worked every one! My role has evolved over the years. I started leading warm-ups for the players and I now moderate/facilitate the Coaches Leadership Program… a group of 10 hand selected D1 assistant coaches that aspire to be head coaches within the next 3 years. I also lead an informational session with the player’s parents.

Jay is present and heavily involved in every aspect of camp. The camp staff is phenomenal, the teaching is unparalleled, and the entire experience is first class. It is always one of the highlights of my year.

I first met Jay at the Nike Skills Academies in 2007 and I am honored to call him a friend and a mentor. He has had a profound impact on my life’s philosophy and how I approach my work. Jay is masterful communicator, a selfless leader, a generous friend and I learn something new from him every time I’m around him.

And this year’s camp was no exception.

As part of this year’s Coaches Leadership Program, Jay brought a rack of heavy hitters to share their wisdom and experiences… including Bob McKillop, Jon Scheyer, Kara Lawson, Tom Crean, Nate Oates, Ryan Odom, and Matt Doherty (just to name a few).

And while these were basketball coaches speaking to basketball coaches… the lessons and strategies they shared have very high utility and apply to every area of our life!

I took several pages of notes… and have provided the key takeaways below.


Because I believe a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Learning something of value and not sharing it is an act of selfishness.

Please help me pay it forward and share this with as many people as you can!

Key Notes & Takeaways from the 2023 Jay Bilas Camp:

“If you were in charge, would you hire you? If so, why? If not, what do you need to change/improve?”

“You don’t control if you get the job (outcome), you only control if you are worthy of the job (process).” – Jay Bilas

Your #1 goal when interviewing for a new job or new position is to convey your philosophy, perspective, and priorities with clarity and conviction.

The common advice of ‘just be yourself’ is only helpful if you have the self-awareness to know who you really are. You can’t ‘be yourself’ if you don’t ‘know yourself.’

Personal audit:

  • What is the primary skill or trait that gives you the best opportunity to progress to the next level?
  • What is the primary skill or trait that is most holding you back?

“You must be responsible for your role and accountable to the mission.” – NASA

“Just because you are in charge, it doesn’t mean you are a leader. Just because you aren’t in charge, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a leader.” – Jay Bilas

Here’s how you know if someone is a good fit for your team:

  • What’s good for YOU is also good for US.
  • What’s good for US is also good for YOU.

“The foundation of our culture is Trust, Commitment, and Care.” – Bob McKillop

“Great leaders learn to balance toughness with tenderness. They learn to be tough without losing tenderness and they learn to be tender without losing toughness.” – Bob McKillop

“Trust is built by being in harmony with the truth.” – Bob McKillop

“Sloppiness is a contagious disease.” – Bob McKillop

“Team Building is a consistent experience and investment… not a one day event.” – Bob McKillop

“There is a big difference between making suggestions (assistant coaches) and making decisions (head coaches).” – Jon Scheyer

“The hardest part of being a leader is making real time decisions with imperfect or insufficient information.” – Jon Scheyer

“You hire people you like. You hire people you want to be around.” – Jon Scheyer

“The primary leader should speak last at every meeting. The less you speak the more impactful your voice. Value and be open to your team’s input.” – Jon Scheyer

A leader needs to be crystal clear on the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I believe?
  • What are my non-negotiables?
  • What is my North Star?
  • What are my biggest strengths?
  • What are my opportunities for growth?
  • What matters most? What doesn’t?

“If they are important enough to attend your practice, they are important enough for you to introduce yourself.” – Tom Crean

“True character is treating those that can’t do anything for you the same way you treat those that can.” – Tom Crean

“The three most important life skills you can develop are selflessness, conviction, and problem solving.” – Tom Crean

“You will always have a low ceiling if you don’t learn to communicate effectively.” – Kara Lawson

“Aim to use the fewest words possible to make the maximum impact. Talking too much will cause your team to tune you out.” – Kara Lawson

“The most successful people learn to ‘Handle Hard Better’ than everyone else.” – Kara Lawson

“Have hard conversations ASAP. They won’t get easier or better by waiting!” – Kara Lawson

“When you have to have a tough conversation, strive to be honest, be direct, and be thoughtful.” – Kara Lawson

“Great leaders think independently, think critically, and think consistently.” – Kara Lawson

“Progressing in any industry is a combination of who you know and who knows you. Both are important.” – Kara Lawson


  • Why do I do what I do?
  • Why do I do what I do the way that I do it?

Who you know gets you there. What you know keeps you there.

“Culture is the sum of the people on your team and how they behave daily.” – Nate Oates

Survival of the fittest is NOT about who is biggest, strongest, or fastest. It’s about who adapts the quickest, most efficiently, and most effectively.

Winning is an outcome. Competing is a process.

“Have the humility to prepare and the confidence to execute.” – Jay Bilas

“What are the behaviors we tolerate? What are the behaviors we celebrate? The answer to those defines your culture.” – Ryan Odom

“Leadership is a learned behavior.” – Matt Doherty

“Your life is most impacted by the people you meet, the books you read, and the failures you’ve experienced.” – Matt Doherty

“Three primary pillars of any organization: talent, systems, and culture.” – Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty’s Six Knows:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Know your team
  3. Know your environment
  4. Know your vision
  5. Know your industry
  6. Know your truth

Great leaders create environments where each member of their team feels safe to tell the truth.

People follow competence. People gravitate towards confidence.

The three most common reasons we make poor decisions: ego, fear, insecurities.