So many are looking for ways to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation and quarantine that so many across the nation are facing. For Snider boys basketball coach Jeremy Rauch, that means filling in some time with a passion project.
Rauch, in coordination with North Posey coach Heath Howington and Whiteland coach Nate Cangany have launched ‘Feel For The Game,’ a website driven at the basketball coaching community with a combination of tips, insights and conversation to help benefit a variety of basketball coaching levels.
“First of all, we are all kind of in isolation so the opportunity to connect with other coaches…what better time to do that?” Rauch says of launching this project now. “Second of all, we are coaches of a team sport. We believe in the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. So let us all work together and reach that level of knowledge that we couldn’t get to on our own.”
Rauch and Howington connected during one season together at Eastern High School. When Rauch left for a head coaching position at Southridge, Cangany took over his spot on the Eastern staff and the relationship of the three developed from there.
“We just stayed in touch over the years as basketball junkies. If I make a handout to give to the team, I will send it to them. ‘Hey, this is what I am looking at,’ and we send each other working docs so we just kind of collaborate in that way the last ten years,” Rauch said.
Rauch says that collaboration led the three to consider what else is out there for them to work together on. And while he has tossed around the idea of the coaching resource for a long time, the three of them have really looked at it the last couple of seasons. The trio looked at the fact there are probably a lot of resources out there they were not tapping into while also wondering how they themselves could give back to the game and provide their accumulated knowledge.
Currently, there isn’t a focus on monetizing ‘Feel For The Game,’ but just to use it as a chance to add more depth to thought with basketball junkies. Rauch says he wants to people to use it to think about aspects of the games deeply to help coaches run programs.
The website officially started pushing out the meat of their content on April 11 with a daily schedule established through the ‘Feel For The Game’ Twitter page for this first full week of content from April 13-17. The first week presented a combination of articles and video content. The first week included articles of Rauch’s “4 Pillars of Player Development” that he uses at Snider and well as “Adding Counters to your Sets,” written by Howington.
On April 15, the group launched their first Twitter Q&A live with former Indiana University player Jordan Hulls and on April 17, they will have their first Zoom presentation Cangany will talk about “Coaching During a Quartantine.” The diversity of presentations that the website and group can present is important to them in being a big resource while each of the three of them try to make at least one contribution each per week.
The website will also feature a lot of content not produced by Rauch, Howington and Cangany. During the first week, it was seven-time Sectional champion coach Shaun Busick, now of Zionsville that stepped in to share. Busick, who coached Rauch at Bellmont High School, wrote on why he switched from being a devoted man-to-man defense coach to someone using a zone defense.
“We each try to contribute something and we each try to reach out and tap into the insights of other coaches,” Rauch said. “I think that is kind of the idea is make it a website for coaches by various coaches. When you allow someone to contribute to your project or you allow them the opportunity to give something that they have, it is not only useful for coaches who benefit from the knowledge, it is rewarding for the coaches who get that opportunity.”
Among the coaches that Rauch look forward to adding insight from is South Bend Washington coach Ryan Varga. Snider and South Bend Washington scrimmaged each other this past season and Rauch reached out to get Varga to do a Zoom presentation on ‘Feel For The Game’ on the Panthers’ man defense.
“People are willing to solicit knowledge because it is something they have worked hard on. It tends, for basketball coaches, to be something they are passionate about,” Rauch said.