Hitting the court running | PostIndependent.com

Hitting the court running

Post Independent Photo/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. “Stance!”When Bryan Derby shouted the word, his players hit the floor.In unison, 27 players fell all the way to the court and popped back up to the triple threat position before “Stance” had finished echoing through Spencer-Chavez Gymnasium.

Even on the first day of practice, it was already apparent the first-year coach of the Glenwood Springs girls basketball team commands – and has – the girls’ respect.Derby, who was an assistant coach for the squad last year under Deb Henderson, is looking forward to his first year as head coach and he brings a unique aspect to coaching – he conditions with the players. Along with his assistant coaches Chris Ray and Mindy Hermon, Derby participated in a conditioning rotation at the end of Monday’s practice that included wall sits, lunges with medicine balls, stair jumps and laps around the school that included stairs. And his participation is not just a one-time occurrence, it’s going to continue all season.

“I’m trying to get their respect and show them that I’ll work just as hard as they will,” Derby said. “I told them I’d push them as hard as I can be pushed and I wouldn’t push them any harder. If they see me collapse, they know they’re done.”Derby and his players will be focusing on conditioning and fundamentals until the Demons play their first game Dec. 8 in the Demon Invite.When the girls’ practice wrapped up Monday night, another new coach brought his team in for its first day of practice. Former assistant Greg Hire, who coached under Kevin Flohr for two seasons, conducted his first session at the helm of the boys team.

Hire’s practice mirrored Derby’s as it revolved around conditioning. While they may be in their first seasons as head coaches, both understand the value of having fit players.”We are getting them in shape so they can get up and down the court in the fourth quarter,” said Hire, who will be accompanied by assistant coaches Gary Hansen and John Doose this season.As the Demons work to prepare for their first game against Summit on Dec. 2, Hire believes that already knowing the players will help the team move forward this season – an assertion Derby can agree with as well.”It makes it a little easier,” Hire said. “They are comfortable with me, and I am comfortable with them.”Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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