As we were walking off the court at the end of pratice this afternoon, Deanna Tupai came over to Linda and me, put her head down and with an almost embarassed look on her face, and asked what she could do to get a little more playing time. (She is currently playing about 16-20 minutes a games and shooting close to 70% FG.) In some situations this would have been a good time to use that ancient, all purpose, standard coaching answer of "Work harder!" But not this time. Deanna Tupai has been working harder. She knows it. Her teammates know it. And I know it.
I'm not sure exactly when, but some time in the past few weeks, a light bub went on, and Dee realized what the rest of us already knew - that if she would push herself to get in a little better shape, then she could dominate this league. So for some time now, several nights a week, Dee and Miranda Holenstein have done extra conditioning workouts completely on their own and it's starting to pay off. They are both quicker, faster, and lighter on their feet. Their recovery time is now shorter. But what impresses me most right now is WHEN Dee came and talked to me.
Too many people in all walks of life have the attitude of "If you give me a raise, I'll do more work and be more productive." Too often players take the stance of "If you would play me more in the games, then I would work harder in practice." Not Dee. She worked harder FIRST and when she got to the point that she deserved more playing time, she THEN came and talked to me.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "I will get ready, and then perhaps, my chance will come." Deanna Tupai has gotten herself ready and her chance is coming!