Team Spotlight – Orchard Farm HS Girl’s Basketball

Coach Background: IMG_8181

  • Kyle Elmendorf, Varsity Girl’s Head Basketball Coach for the Eagles
  • Previously coached boys team for 6 years
  • Has taught and coached at Orchard Farm for 11 years

What is your favorite quote?
“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden

What is your favorite coaching memory?
Two special seasons were a 23-1 and a 22-1 season with JV Boys and watching those kids win two conference and district titles as a varsity assistant.

Each season brings special moments with special people. It’s hard to single one out as my favorite. I’m blessed to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job. I’m blessed to be able to work with great people on a daily basis to positively impact lives on and off the court.
The best moment as a coach is when the player gets it. When the light clicks on and they become the best version of themselves.
You also can’t beat the feeling of being a part of team with great chemistry and culture where everyone is bought in.

What is the best piece of advice you’d give other coaches?
The best piece of advice I would give is to be yourself. Don’t try to copy exactly what others do, but continually learn and adapt things to your style. I would also say to be a life-long learner, try to get better each year.

Who is the best leader you coached in your years of coaching and what made him the best?
I’ve been fortunate to several, both male and female. The one trait that is common amongst them all was their work ethic and enthusiasm. When players have great work ethic combined with incredible enthusiasm their peers will follow. Leadership is influence and these kids had great influence because of their work ethic and enthusiasm.

Thoughts on the Lead ‘Em Up program:

Why did you initially get the program for your team?
I have previously developed my own character education program for the football and basketball teams I had coached. I am a big believer in teaching more than the game, and that character counts. I have been a regular listener to the Hardwood Hustle and began to develop a friendship with Adam through social media. Once I heard about this program Adam had created, I knew it was going to be awesome. And it was!

What was the biggest change you saw in your team as you went through the  program?
We had a very young team this past season and unfortunately lost three upperclassmen during the course of the season, two to season ending knee injuries. When we had our weekly sessions, we would include the entire program. I felt as though Lead ‘Em Up helped our program grow and mature mentally throughout the season. We had a few players who made tremendous progress with playing present,  maintaining focus, and having a positive attitude. One sophomore in particular had a tremendous amount of growth, and Lead ‘Em Up played a big part in that. Our players all loved the program and can’t wait to do it again next year.
Did the program fall short, meet or exceeded your expectations?
The program exceeded my expectations. I knew it’d be great, but I loved how interactive the program was. As a coach, it was perfect because Lead ‘Em Up does a phenomenal job of breaking down the lessons and providing the lesson outline and coaching points. It was very easy to implement each week.

What was your favorite lesson and why?
Personally, my favorite lesson was the week on enthusiasm. The players and I all loved the “Bippity, Bippity, Bop” game. I really believe the topic of enthusiasm is vital for personal and team success. This lesson did a fabulous job of teaching this to our kids. You can never have enough enthusiasm, and Lead ‘Em Up as a whole did a great job of providing this through the awesome games each week.

What were your students saying about the program?  Did they enjoy it?
Our athletes loved it. They were excited for each week’s session. All of our athletes gave very positive feedback on the program and want to continue using it next year.

What would you say to a coach who is considering getting the Lead ‘Em Up program?
I’ve had a couple of coaches ask about it who knew we were doing it, and I told them to absolutely do it. I would highly, highly recommend this program to any sports program. If you don’t use it, you’re missing out an opportunity to further impact our athletes’ lives on and off the court.
Lead ‘Em Up is phenomenal and every coach should implement it for their program. Coaching is about helping others to become the best versions of themselves possible. There is absolutely no doubt, Lead ‘Em Up will help you accomplish that!


To learn more about our program, please visit! Thanks for reading!