Coach Charlie Fisher-Manheim Central: Interview
Written by: Dell Jackson on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
Ed note: We checked in with Coach Charlie Fisher. Coach Fisher teaches at Man. Central and has some interesting insights on his day and on the shot clock. Anyone who has watched Charlie coach will know that he is indeed authentic.Enjoy!
Tell our followers how you are progressing in terms of the program at Man. Central?
Our program is definitely moving in the right direction. We have 18 of our 19 JV/Varsity players returning from this past season and every one of our guys is committed to the success of our program. As a team, we have so much fun together. The guys are likeable and they genuinely get along with each other. They are hard workers, competitors, and truly enjoy playing the game. We went 10-12 this past season, improving significantly at the end of the season. I truly enjoyed coaching this team. Practices were awesome and games were fun…we played in a lot of close games. It was definitely an awesome learning experience for every one of our players. Whatever happens during my tenure at MC, I know I’ll look back on the 19-20 season and view it as a the turning point for our program and the way I approach the game as a coach. When you sit down and reflect on the season, you obviously want to win more than you lose and experience success, that’s why we work so hard. But in addition to that, you want to put yourself in a situation where you can make memories. Well, I would say I am very fortunate to be the head coach of our program and have the opportunity to coach my guys. Shout-out to our JH players and all my guys who worked really hard for us at the high school level. JD, Ebs, Wyatt, Grif, Mattie, Shull, Derck, Trey, Judd, Rohrer, Darren, Collin, Zeke, Benner, Ryan, Logan, Brady, Landon, Connor, and Mike.
You host a shoot-out in Jan…LL vs Mid Penn. How did that go over this year and what are your plans for the future?
It was awesome. We really enjoy hosting the event, as it brings great, competitive basketball into the Manheim Community. It’s also nice to have the LL and Mid-Penn compete against each other in a full slate of games. Next year we have 11 of the 12 slots filled. We went with some bigger schools from both leagues. Our gym is like a blast from the past, so I think a lot of the bigger schools who don’t necessarily have many opportunities to play in a smaller gym, really enjoy it.
LL Schools: MC, Warwick, Cedar Crest, Hempfield, and Ephrata (we need one more)
Mid-Penn Schools: Lower Dauphin, Northern York, Central Dauphin, Bishop McDevitt, Cedar Cliff, and Middletown
We know you teach at Man Central. What are you doing with your classes? How are the students adjusting?
Last Wednesday we started setting up online learning opportunities for our students. This whole thing is surreal, but I would say, as a district, our administrators and teachers have been on top of it and because of that, I’m confident our students will adjust to all of these changes. People, far better than me, have worked tremendously hard to make sure every student in our district is given the chance to be educated during these troubling times. At the moment, we aren’t doing anything to put too much of a burden on our students and parents, but we still want to provide them with daily opportunities to keep their minds sharp, as we offer them with various methods and styles of learning from which they can do at home. With us starting our second week, I would say our students are beginning to adjust to the new normal. I have had a solid participation rate for my class. I have them work on a few daily topics, work on some projects, and just focus on staying connected to them and their learning. I greet my students with a morning message every day and I’ve also been doing daily podcast. I’ve always wanted to do one and I can honestly say I am enjoying it. A lot of positive vibes. It’s called Fish’s Forum. I think I might stick with this after the fact. I love it. Aside from developing a daily routine, I would say the hardest part of all of this is the unknown. The fluidity of this pandemic and regulations changing at the drop of a hat, can make it very hard for people to adjust and settle in. It’s not easy, but we are here to assure our students and their families that we are all in this together and we will work our way through this.
What type of things have you done to stay in touch with current and future players during the covid19 problem?
I’ve been texting our guys. I like to stay connected with my guys no matter what the circumstance, but I have made sure I check in with them pretty frequently. Our conversations have all been positive. They are trying their best to keep busy and all appear to be switching up what they do throughout their day in order to help pass the time. One positive that I have gotten from many of them, is that they are appreciative of the time they can spend with their families. It’s a difficult time for many reasons, but one thing remains true, no matter what, high school kids are resilient. As far as basketball, I’ve sent the whole program different exercises and drills they can do. I think everyone’s goal at this point is just to stay as active as you can, keeping your bodies and mind sharp. I encourage them to dribble, shoot, and do strength training. Whatever they can do at their house.
Some chit chat on twitter about a shot clock in PA..Your thoughts?
I’m not a fan of a shot clock in high school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fast pace and finesse of today’s game, and the more games I watch from the late 90s and 00s, makes me really appreciate the way our sport has evolved. However, I don’t think a shot clock is going to make high school basketball better. Say you make a 40 second shot clock. I would love to know what percentage of possessions actually go over 40 seconds. I would guess it is a very low number. I think a shot clock leads to more bad shots and bad possessions. No shot clock keeps the chess of high school basketball intact, giving coaches freedom to prepare in whatever way they so choose. People who defend the shot clock say we need to catch up with the rest of basketball. Well, your average high school basketball team can’t compare to a college or pro team. High school sports are different and that’s what makes them so special. Not every team is equipped to play fast and get shots up in a hurry. I’m sure every coach wishes they could light it up with 60-70 points a night, but the beauty of coaching high school basketball is understanding your personnel and making adjustments as needed. Doing what you can to be successful. Some coaches know they have to pull up the shorts, get good possessions, and play hard nose defense. I always think it’s funny when a team goes into a game with a plan to grind it out and keep the score low. People who don’t understand the preparation behind it, think you’re going out there to stall. That’s not the case at all. In my experience, the second a team stops looking to score or attack, is when the turnovers start to come, which then leads to tight basketball players. A long possession doesn’t mean you’re stalling, it means you’re doing what you can, as a team, to compete and get good looks. The other thing that always makes me laugh is when people complain if a team is holding for last shot at the end of a quarter. If you have the ball with however much time is left in the quarter and you think it is in your team’s best interest to hold for one shot, then that is exactly what you should do. I think by keeping the game the way it is, you are allowing team’s to evolve with the times, but you’re also allowing a variety of styles to remain.
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