The Need for Competition in Life with Coach Drew Maddux

For Drew Maddux, head basketball coach at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville, the future is always in the background of his coaching efforts. By keeping a vision of what is possible for his team down the road, he’s able to take a human-centered approach to coaching. Through fostering connections and trust with his players, Maddux reinforces their potential as individuals, both on and off the court.

Building a championship culture starts with all the little things that happen behind the scenes, he says. It’s how players tuck in their shirts, walk onto the court, tie their shoelaces, and interact with their teammates. All of those details work in service of a larger vision for them 10 or 15 years in the future, making it possible to groom leaders by reinforcing good practices and habits every day. “We’re going to hold them accountable and we’re going to make sure there’s a clear understanding that accountability is directly correlated with love, not having an agenda, and wanting what’s best for them as a human being,” he says.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. Building Connections Why Coach Drew Maddux focuses on coaching the whole person, rather than just the athlete on the court
  2. Creating Culture How Maddux reinforces a sense of belonging through asking players to think about their callings, potential contributions, and through fostering accountability
  3. A Learning Space How he transforms the locker room into what he calls a “manhood classroom,” or a safe place for young athletes to talk and learn
  4. Thinking of the Future Why he takes an “openhandedness” approach to coaching and invests in players, even though they’ll be leaving in a year or two

What You’ll Learn:

  • Take a human-centered approach to coaching
  • Focus on purpose over goal
  • Have a larger vision of the future
  • Bring accountability into team culture
  • Allow space to make mistakes and take risks


“Culture is what you create and what you allow. I think culture also starts with healthy relationships and it starts with trust. And once those healthy relationships and that trust are laid solidly as a foundation, you can allow the higher ceiling in terms of standards and expectations. We define culture as the place where we all belong; it is what we believe, and it’s how we behave.” -Drew Maddux

“You’ve got to have the vision of openhandedness. What I mean by that is if we’re going to have exponential growth and impact, and ultimately be able to go change the world, I can’t do it all by myself. I’ve got to train the guys that are going to go on and do that.” -Drew Maddux

“I’m very optimistic that every conversation, interaction, or encounter you have every day can change somebody else’s life.” -Drew Maddux


  • You can find out more about Coach Drew Maddux and his work at
  • You can follow him on Twitter @DrewMaddux and on Instagram @DrewMaddux45.
  • Be sure to pick up a copy of the book, Elevated, by Maddux and Virgil Herring, and keep an eye out for his second book, Excavated, coming in June.

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Episode 309