Coaches balance basketball and family life

Family and a basketball team, two of the most difficult groups of people we may ever come across. Neither can work without good chemistry and teamwork. What would happen if these two groups collided? Would it be an advantage having such strong chemistry before you even hit the court?

Here at Clackamas Community College we happen to have multiple cases of family basketball. For instance on the men’s basketball team, freshman guard Matt Fiskum and his father, assistant coach Paul Fiskum. On the women’s side co-head coach Jim Martineau and his wife, assistant coach PJ Martineau.

Having someone you have known for a long time out on the court with you has to give an advantage. Basketball is such a tight knit game that the development of chemistry could be the difference between a 20 point win and a 20 point loss. Players only have one to two years to develop this chemistry, it’s crucial to establish quickly. In the case of CCC basketball, the chemistry has been developing over the course of many years.

“I’ve coached him (Matt Fiskum) pretty much since he was a kid.” said coach Fiskum. “It’s not unusual to be on the floor with Matt, at all.”

Paul was Matt’s coach from fourth to eighth grade. He doesn’t see it as an advantage, but more along the lines of insight. With coaching and watching his son progress he knows the ins and outs of Matt’s game. Pau treats Matt as just another player, but the family dynamic is there regardless. For a coach or athlete to have that insight and that family dynamic must be incredibly supportive, but also possibly difficult. What trials might come up if the two worlds were to ever collide on the court?

“There are no trials as long as I remember the number one rule, I may think I am in charge during the game, but I definitely know that PJ is in charge the rest of the time,” said Jim Martineau.

Jim and PJ Martineau have been coaching together at CCC for 16 seasons, making the NWAC tournament each season as well as taking home one NWAC championship since Jim was made the head coach. They seem to have no trouble balancing basketball and family. It may even seem like they have found a way to benefit from it.

“We don’t miss out on family time as much as some other coaches do,” said PJ Martineau.

Family time does seem to be something that can fall behind while coaching or playing basketball, it is a time demanding activity. The Martineaus have no issue with it.

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Jack Spencer