The Anatomy of a State Champion

Class 2A State Champion - Coach Tim Malone

   Braham Bombers' defense crucial in shot at title repeat



“If they are not talking about the kind of defense you play in the end, then you probably aren't playing.”

Speaking about the 2011 Minnesota State 2A Championship, Braham Head Coach Tim Malone says “It takes a certain mentality to get it done”. Coach Malone admits a repeat in March will take a lot of work.But, the head Bomber maintains he’ll approach this season the same as last, knowing there are so many things out of his control. Coach Malone explains… including naming the single most important skill Braham’s needs to win another state championship title .

gprep picture braham tim malone class 2 a state champion
Coach Tim Malone

gPrep: What’s the hardest part about being a defending state champion?

Coach Malone: "I think the hardest part is making sure that your team understands that enjoying the previous years' success is ok, but understand that this is a new year. The competition will be tougher now because other teams will bring their "A" game, trying to measure themselves against you, because they want to achieve what you achieved last season. As a coach, you have to know how to keep your team hungry and not content. Trying to reinvent the team's previous success, because the expectations are raised automatically by what you have accomplished, the pressure from your community, peers and outsiders to win year after year."

gPrep: What’s the hardest part about being a defending state champion?

Coach Malone: "There are many, and probably this is the reason it doesn't happen real often at any level. There are so many things you can't control like injuries and illnesses. The target on your back grows bigger with success. Many teams will take their best shot against us, and we will have to be aware and respond to it.

gPrep: What will it take to repeat in March?

Coach Malone: : "A repeat in March will take a lot of work, just like the first one. We will approach this season the same as last, play it one game at a time. Enjoy them all, and hope like heck, we can win the first one...then the second, etc. It takes a lot of discipline. We have all seen good teams fall apart. It will take some luck, and like I said earlier, injuries and illnesses are something that can be hard to overcome."

gPrep: Talk about the components of a championship team.

Coach Malone: : "...A common group of kids understanding their role, working toward a common goal. If there are issues between teammates, it is important that those are left behind once you step on the court."


gprep braham bombers girls basketball state champ
2011 Class 2A Champion, Braham Bombers


gPrep: Talk a little about Becca Dahlman and what she brings to the table.

Coach Malone: "She brings that fire that her teammates feed off. She has an unyielding desire to win. She can score in so many different ways. She has a motor that wont quit. I wish everybody had 5 minutes to get to know her off the court. It is 5 minutes that you would remember for a long time. She is very down to earth, easy to talk to and a very bright, mature young lady. What we all see on the court is just a very competitive young adult."

gPrep: What’s the single most important skill a team needs to get to the Target Center and win in March?

Coach Malone: : "If they are not talking about the kind of defense you play in the end, then you probably aren't playing. It takes a certain mentality to get it done. As much as coaches would like to think we can control this, it has to come from the kids. We can suggest it, whatever, they have got to wanna do the dirty work on defense."

gPrep: Describe the “perfect” team.

Coach Malone: "I am not sure there is one. That is the science of coaching. To exploit your strengths, hide your weaknesses and make the whole thing work the best you can. One common thread with great teams might be that every single player buys into what you are trying to do. A perfect team can't be sent or sending mixed messages."

gPrep: Describe the “total” player.

Coach Malone: "Here again, I am not so sure there is a total player. They all have weaknesses and strengths. It is up to the coach to do their best to put each in a position to be successful. You can't ask all of them to do the same thing."

gPrep: How many have you coached?

Coach Malone: : "In 14 years, I have been blessed to coach many great players both in boys and now girls programs. In the end, it's more important to me that they are "total" people. I love each and every one of them both their individual strengths and weaknesses. This is the best and most pure part of high school athletics. They all have not come walking through the door expecting to be D1. Most are willing to contribute and be a part of something special."

gPrep: Is there pressure on you to win again?

Coach Malone: "Of course, there is pressure. When you have had success,it is very hard to let it slip away. I think for most coaches; the greatest pressures come from within."

gPrep: What’s the best basketball advice you’ve ever received?

Coach Malone: "The most important game of the year is the next game you play! Don't take any of them for granted and have fun with each of them."

gPrep: Who’s your mentor?

Coach Malone: "I think I have about 3 or 4 people that are very influential on who I have become as a coach. My parents are a very important part. Growing up on a dairy farm with them taught me a lot of discipline. MR. Dave Kahl was my first basketball coach in 4th grade. Mr. Brian Lamppa was my first assistant coach, and most recently Mr. Bob Vaugahn and Mr. Nate Dahlman are very close to my "basketball heart."







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