Interview with a coach: John Dougherty

Interview with a coach: John Dougherty

Head Varsity Boys basketball Coach at Bishop Shanahan High School

Q: What is your coaching position/experience?


I am currently the Head Varsity boys basketball coach at Bishop Shanahan High School but have been coaching competitive basketball at various levels for the last 26 years.  


Q: How long have you been coaching at the High School level? 


I am entering my 2nd season as Head Varsity boys basketball coach at Bishop Shanahan High School


Q: When it comes to either recruiting athletes, or overviewing athletes, what do you look for that is outside of skill in their sport


I look for different things like the desire to improve each day/season; being a good person and teammate; and the willingness to listen to constructive feedback, and someone that can be a leader with their actions and their voice. 


Q: What do you look for when athletes are coming to the season from a break/Offseason?


I want to see my players return with excitement. I want to see them physically in shape. They might not be in basketball shape per se but need to be healthy. 


Q: What qualities do the best athletes have (outside of skill)?


The qualities that separate certain players from others outside of obvious skill are leadership, perseverance, the ability to overcome obstacles and pivot when things don’t go as planned, which they will, physical and mental toughness. 


Q: As a coach, what is one thing you wish every athlete knew?


There are so many answers to this question. Coaches want to win as badly as the players do but the difference is that we want to win FOR the players and team and so we can be proud of the program. Coaches do not want a player that responds to a coach with excuses all of the time. We are looking for players that produce results. Results are the effects of putting time in on their own and at team practices. Players need to work on their skills when no one else is watching



Q: What would you recommend ALL Athletes do before going into their next season? 


Each sport has different necessary skills. For basketball, I recommend that players work on their ball handling, shooting, physical strength and endurance in the off season.  


Q: What is the most important factor for an athlete that is looking to get noticed by a coach at a higher level? 


I have had many conversations with NCAA coaches and in addition to skill, coaches are also looking at a player’s attitude on and off of the court. It needs to be positive. They want someone who is a good teammate and is willing to learn. How a player conducts themselves is always being watched. Every player is happy when things are going well. When you are not scoring in a particular game, are you still working on playing defense and passing and helping your team win? Are you happy for your teammates when they are doing things well?  


Q: What type of fitness standards/requirements do you hope to have your athletes complete upon returning? 


I don’t have any set physical fitness test but it will be obvious to me if my players are out of shape when we start playing and they are out of shape.