Dr. Arnie Guin-Director of Player Development
“One must begin to think like one.” That is merely one statement that the new Director of Player Development under Coach Nate Oats at Alabama has used to re-focus this years Crimson Tide roster. At first glance, the statement seems ambiguous at best. Looking back at the path that led Dr. Guin to this role at Alabama gives the statement a new weight and clarity, however. Dr. Guin has spent the majority of 20 plus years using a belief in faith, fellow man and self empowerment to help elite performers strive to be the best while facing unique pressures that high leverage situations may present.
Dr. Guin is another carry over from Coach Oats’ staff at Buffalo. Coach Oats stated that Dr. Guin was a “crucial aspect” of the culture that the staff developed while at Buffalo. Coach Oats credited Dr. Guin’s passion for serving others that drives them to reach their full potentials as one of many attributes that makes Guin an integral part of changing the culture of the basketball program at Alabama. The Tide struggled to close out more than a few games last year in which it had the late advantage. Missed free throws, crucial turnovers and other mental lapses could’ve very well been the difference in a trip to the big dance versus the disappointing first round exit of the NIT. With that being said-it isn’t just the basketball aspects of mental development that Coach Oats is entrusting Dr. Guin with. “Having Arnie on our staff to help our guys grow into high character young men was important to me in the building of our culture “ Oats stated.
Outside of the praise from Coach Oats, Dr. Guin’s credentials speak for themselves. Before heading to New York to join the staff at Buffalo, Dr Guin was a registered psychotherapist in Colorado. His expertise in the field led to opportunities to work with several professional athletes from the NFL, MLB and even a few from the professional fighting ranks. As his name became more renowned he found himself in New York where he became a church minister before joining the Buffalo staff. Dr. Guin continues to use faith as a cornerstone of mental strength development.
As the Tide enters the season, Dr. Guin will carry the same approach to Tuscaloosa from Buffalo. He uses weekly meetings with the team and urges the student athletes to focus on visualizing and pursuing team goals for the week. This practice will lead right up to the pregame before each contest. Although Dr. Guin is currently focused on developing a “team as one” culture, he also makes a point to share time and experience with each individual team member to focus on their own unique skills and visualizing what they must they do to achieve the highest level of both individual and team success.
From the outside looking in-it seems that Dr. Guin is off to a great start. The team seems as focused as ever on becoming a unit...and on “thinking as one.” Each player has challenged themselves throughout the summer in ways that haven’t been seen in the past. Most players are in the best shape of their lives and many have received academic honors. Only time will tell if Dr. Guin’s program will translate to a more productive culture on the court, but it seems that the team and it’s new director of player development are off to a pretty solid start.
Timothy Taylor- Staff Writer
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