Langara Falcons head coaching dream leads to two straight nationals appearances

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Falcons head coach Paul Eberhardt looks on in practice. - Photo by Ali Crane
Falcons head coach Paul Eberhardt looks on in practice. – Photo by Ali Crane

Langara Falcons basketball coach Paul Eberhardt describes himself as passionate, demanding and fat.

It all started in high school

Eberhardt came from a family of basketball fanatics. In his senior year of high school he broke his foot in his first game of the year and was then asked by the school’s vice-principal to coach the Grade 8 basketball team.

“I knew right away after coaching them that it was what I wanted to do,” said Eberhardt. “I’ve been coaching ever since I was 17.”

In the two years Eberhardt has coached the Langara Falcons, they have made it to nationals twice, and are determined to win gold in this years national championships held in Squamish from March 12 to 15.

Matt Madewan, a guard on the team, has been training with Coach Ebe since high school.

“He’s so passionate about the game, and he’s always trying to find ways to get better,” Madewan said.

Eberhardt demands the best from his players

As the leader of the team, Coach Eberhardt is also really tough on his players.

“Basketball-wise he’s all about fundamentals, he demands perfection. If you mess up, he’ll beat it into your brain until you never mess up again,” said Madewan.

The guard also said his coach is very detail-oriented, organized, and one of the best motivators he has ever met.

“He really was the right man for the job and he’s really brought our whole team together,” said Madewan.

The Falcons are currently the highest-scoring team in Canada.

Though Eberhardt is very critical of his team, he thinks fixing errors are key to his team’s improvement.

Falcons head coach Paul Eberhardt discusses tactics with his team as the Falcons prepare for the nationals. - Photo by Ali Crane
Falcons head coach Paul Eberhardt discusses tactics with his team as the Falcons prepare for the nationals. – Photo by Ali Crane

“While it’s important that players get good feedback, I think learning opportunities come better with failure,” Eberhardt said. “A lot of the times we are afraid to fail, but I don’t have a problem with that. It’s okay to make mistakes and screw up as long as you understand how to learn from them.”

Eberhardt is known to write a different quote every week in the team’s practice plans, and the one Madewan will always remember: “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

 

Reported by Ali Crane

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