Discipline, teamwork, and excellence: Inside Coach John Berry’s vision for Seaforth basketball

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – Seaforth High School’s boys’ basketball program is entering a transformative phase under the leadership of newly appointed head coach John Berry. With a strong emphasis on discipline, teamwork, and academic excellence, Berry aims to rejuvenate the team and foster a winning culture. The recent “Meet & Greet” information session provided insights into his vision and strategic plans, setting the stage for a promising season ahead.

Introduction to Coach John Berry
Seaforth High School recently appointed John Berry as the head coach for the boys’ basketball team, a decision that has generated considerable excitement and anticipation within the community. Known for his extensive experience and successful track record in basketball coaching, Berry brings a wealth of knowledge and a fresh perspective to the program.

“Ever since the last game of the season, there hadn’t really been a lot of activity going on with the program,” Berry remarked during the information session. “As soon as I was named the head coach, I knew I needed to get started right away.”

The Vision and Philosophy
Berry’s approach to coaching is centered on creating a disciplined and cohesive team environment. His philosophy is built on three pillars: character, academic excellence, and basketball skills. These principles will guide his coaching methods and team management, ensuring that players develop holistically.

“I believe in the importance of building a positive culture where players are excited to come to practice and put in the hard work,” Berry stated. “Our goal is to be smart, tough, fast, physical, and defensively minded.”

Team Structure and Practices
One of Berry’s first actions as head coach was to establish a clear and structured practice schedule. Practices will be held at 6 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with an additional session on Friday morning.

“We had our first 6 am practice last Friday, and about 20 kids showed up,” Berry shared. “It was an awesome start, and I’m a big believer in morning practices because they set the tone for the day.”

Berry emphasized that the varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams will have separate practices, allowing for focused and effective training sessions. However, both teams will follow the same sets and practice structures to ensure seamless transitions between the two levels.

The Coaching Team
Joining Berry is his long-time coaching partner, Andre Nabors, who will serve as the lead assistant coach for the varsity team. Their decade-long collaboration in coaching and running basketball camps has created a strong and effective partnership.

“Andre is my right-hand man,” Berry said. “There’s no daylight between us when it comes to our coaching philosophy and goals.”

The process of appointing additional varsity and JV coaches is underway, with Berry and the school administration currently reviewing resumes and conducting interviews.

Administrative Support
Berry’s appointment has been strongly supported by Seaforth’s administration, including Dr. St Clair and athletic directors coach Jason Amy and coach Jared Worley. The administrative team’s commitment to the basketball program has been instrumental in facilitating a smooth transition and ensuring that all necessary resources are available.

“Dr. St Clair and I hit it off immediately,” Berry recalled. “He made it clear that we had to do things the right way, and I appreciated that. At the end of the day, it’s about the kids and their development.”

Focus on Academics and Character
Academic performance and character development are integral to Berry’s coaching philosophy. He stressed the importance of players maintaining good grades and behaving responsibly both on and off the court.

“Do your work, do your homework, go to class, and don’t goof off,” Berry advised. “We need players who are serious about their academics and can handle the responsibilities that come with being a student-athlete.”

Building Team Cohesion
Berry is keen on fostering a strong sense of unity and camaraderie among the players. He believes that a cohesive team is crucial for success on the court and is committed to creating an environment where players support and motivate each other.

“Bringing people together and creating a positive culture is essential,” Berry explained. “When players look forward to coming to practice and working hard, it translates into their performance during games.”

Community Engagement and Communication
Effective communication is a cornerstone of Berry’s strategy. He has set up a dedicated website, SeaforthBasketball.com, where players and parents can access important information, schedules, and updates.

“There should never be a time where anyone is confused about what’s going on with the program,” Berry emphasized. “Our website will have everything you need to stay informed and engaged.”

A Promising Future
As Seaforth High School’s boys’ basketball team gears up for the new season, folks appear to be optimistic about the changes and the direction in which coach John Berry is steering the program. With a focus on discipline, academic excellence, and team cohesion, Berry’s leadership promises to bring a new era of success and growth for Seaforth basketball.

Berry concluded the session with a motivational message: “I can’t promise we’ll win every game, but I can promise that we’ll work hard, practice diligently, and give our best in every match. Together, we’ll build a team that Seaforth can be proud of.”


Watch on YouTube – Seaforth basketball coach John Berry holds a Meet & Greet event – 5.20.24

00:16 Coach John Berry organizes a Meet & Greet event to kickstart basketball program activities.

  • Coach Berry spent two weeks preparing and setting his goals for the program.
  • Practices will now be held on Fridays to allow players to enjoy their weekends after school.

02:13 Coach John Berry introduces himself and his team members and discusses the plans for the basketball program.

  • Coach Berry has been running basketball camps in the area for 15 years with 15,000 to 20,000 kids.
  • He introduces his main assistant coach and discusses the process of selecting other coaches for the program.

04:24 Separate practices for JV and JB teams

  • Each team will have their own practice sessions with a focus on individual attention and management.
  • Coach John Berry was selected through a fair and unbiased process by Dr. St Clair and a panel of evaluators.

06:43 Emphasis on character and professionalism in coaching

  • Coach John Berry prioritizes character and professionalism in coaching young athletes.
  • Focus on creating a team of serious, professional-minded players for success on the court.

08:58 Building successful basketball teams through character and academics

  • Emphasizing the importance of character in players, stating it as the first crucial factor
  • Highlighting the significance of academic excellence and discipline in player behavior

11:17 Emphasis on top 12 players selection

  • Coach is serious about selecting top 12 players, non-negotiable
  • Focus on establishing consistency in training and communication for players

13:27 Establishing a culture of professionalism and unity in Seaforth basketball program.

  • Emphasizing structured and professional approach in all activities.
  • Focus on building a positive team culture and dedication towards improvement and success.

15:46 Coach Berry emphasizes smart, tough, fast, physical and defensive play.

  • Coach Berry’s successful coaching approach since 1993 focuses on strong defense and limiting opponents to 30-40 points per game.
  • He stresses the importance of defense and breaking opponent presses for success on the court.

18:17 Importance of defense, possession, and avoiding turnovers in basketball strategy

  • Emphasis on stopping opponents defensively to prevent easy scoring opportunities
  • Strategy to break the press and minimize turnovers to control the game pace

20:29 Open gyms and practices structure

  • Emphasis on individual improvement and team development
  • Structured sessions including dynamic stretching, skill development, team sets, conditioning, and weight training

22:44 Information on staying updated and connected with Seaforth basketball activities

  • Visit C4basketball.com to access event calendars and to sign up for text notifications.
  • Explore the repository link for additional resources like handbooks and documents.

24:40 Emphasizing the importance of hard work and dedication

  • Discussed the need to take action and make things happen instead of just talking about it
  • Highlighted the significance of putting in the effort to accomplish tasks and achieve success