Ford still learning on the job as Danville boys basketball coach

Published 5:00 pm Friday, June 21, 2024

Just like his players, Tryston Ford is still learning every day.

Ford has shed the “interim” tag, but he still considers himself new on the job as he enters his second year as Danville’s boys basketball coach.

He was named the interim coach of the Admirals just over a year ago, and he was promoted to head coach last month.

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He said one of the most valuable things he has learned during his time on the job is the importance of staying on an even keel even as he continues to learn the ropes of coaching.

“(I try) just to never get too high or too low, just to stay steady, stay focused and stay on a common goal, which is just to keep improving each game and each practice,” Ford said. “And that’s for me and for them.”

Ford said he is both teaching and learning at the same time.

“I always remind my players they’re not the only ones learning. I’m still learning,” he said. “I’m still learning about game management, I’m still learning about preparation, I’m still learning about scheduling (in the summer).”

Ford took Danville to the inaugural team camp at Campbellsville University Harrodsburg last week as part of a busy June schedule that he said is the second phase of what has been a busy offseason for the Admirals.

He said they have been in the gym and the weight room almost nonstop since the season ended in February.

“When the offseason starts with weightlifting, that’s part one. Now we’re finally getting to play games and this is part two, so we’ve got to stay focused on this and continue to grow and build our team chemistry,” he said.

It’s a critical time for the Admirals, as Ford will field an inexperienced team for the second straight season.

“I feel like we learn every day,” Ford said. “I feel like the growth has been tremendous since we finished (the season). These guys are dedicated, (and they) are very, very coachable and they work hard. Every time I have the gym open they’re there.

“They’re well connected and all of them are friends … so I think our team chemistry is one of the main things as far as our growth.”

Ford, a 2012 Danville graduate who led the Admirals to a 6-22 record in his first season, said his transition from interim head coach to head coach has also been good for his growth as well as that of the team.

“It kind of takes the weight off my shoulders (and) gives me another opportunity to prove myself as a coach,” he said. “And the ultimate thing is just another opportunity to build my guys. I love all my players, and I feel like they love me. I have a great relationship with all of them from top to bottom, from (our) seniors all the way down to middle-schoolers.”

He said his promotion also sent a message to the players that in a time of much transition at Danville, he has no plans to go anywhere.

“I think it definitely keeps them grounded,” Ford said. “A lot of kids are moving around because of (changes) in coaching and administration, and I think it gives them a foundation to where they know me and they know my philosophy. They step into the gym every day knowing what I expect and they meet my standards, so I think we’re starting in a good spot again.”