A Game in the Life of an IM Coach

Intramural Managing Tips from Robert Sobelsohn

Intramural Managing Tips from Robert Sobelsohn

The Maroon-News Sports section recently caught up with newly appointed Intramural B Division basketball coach senior Robert Sobelsohn, who this week, led the Neel Ramajumpshots to a sizable victory. Sobelsohn reflects on his first game in this position and offers advice to other students managers.

I emerged on Cotterell Court this past Thursday in pleated pants, a suit jacket, a button down and a maroon tie. It was game day. With headset on head, Gatorades in hand and ample clipboards with dry-erase whiteboard-style basketball courts printed from Case earlier in the evening, I began my first day on the job managing a B League intramural basketball game.

The first seven-minutes of the game served as the most tense moments I had ever experienced in an intramural basketball game. Hot off of an IM Leagues dodgeball victory, I was promoted to the position of manager for the five-on-five basketball season. Basketball is definitely not my forte when it comes to sports. However, in my new role, I found that “playing” from the sidelines—coming up with encouraging cheers, banter and plays for my team—was fully sufficient for me. Here are some of the highlights from my first game, as well as some advice I have for other IM League Managers.

After the first basket was drained a little over the 7:30 mark, I quickly had to revise my coaching strategy. These changes would eventually lead to a 42-12 victory for my team, the Neel Ramajumpshots, at the conclusion of the forty minute game. Highlights during the game kept it engaging and entertaining, and I highly encourage others to attend future B League IM sporting events.

In response to a failed rebound, I instinctively snapped my clipboard over my knee. In this moment, a DVD copy of Borat placed on the clipboard splintered to the ground. The sideline referee gave his first warning to me that if any pieces made their way onto the court, I would draw a technical foul for my team. Heeding his warning, I made sure that when the stress of the game caused me to snap three other clipboards, I did so a few steps back from the court, behind the basket and off by the scoreboard.

In another exciting moment, I realized that my screaming had the potential to sway the referees decisions. After shouting for an intentional foul to occur during a breakaway in the second half, the whistle was blown almost immediately after a failed layup occurred. Although there was no contact, the vantage point and coaching techniques alone managed to cause the foul.

During this first game, I realized that I should not have brought Gatorade. I thought the seven bottles I brought would be more than enough for a team of five. Sadly, the Capri Sun pouches and apple juice boxes that my assistant coach brought to the game outshined the Gatorade during the half. In the end however, this worked in my favor, as I finished off four of the bottles myself during my aggressive pacing up and down the court over the course of the game.

Finally, remember that it is important to bring a physical therapist with you in the future. During the second half of the game, a flagrant foul occurred, causing the ejection of one of the opposing teams members. As I sat on the sideline slapping my player’s calf muscle, I wished that I had somebody more trained for sprains and twists than myself, or even had a muscle roller stick. I was there to coach the team and should not have been occupied with such atrocities.

After learning from these experiences, I am excited to return to coaching for my next game. For my other Intramural Basketball B League managers and coaches: I will see you on the court.

Contact Robert Sobelsohn at [email protected].