Thoughts On Championship Game Interviews

Everyone here at UCC has become big fans of the University of Louisville ever since coaches Jeff Walz and Stephanie Norman flew out to watch us practice a little over a month ago and it was really fun watching them make their run all the way to the National Championship game.
For me it was very interesting watching the post game interviews with both Louisville's Jeff Walz and UCONN's Geno Auriemma. Both coaches talked about how extremely important and absolutely necessary it is for players to work at getting better over the spring and summer if they want to be championship caliber players and teams. They both said that it is the work when no one else is watching that separates the good ones from the great ones. Geno talked about Rene Montgomery starting to work right after the season ended last year and Jeff Walz even mentioned Maryland greats Marissa Coleman and Kristi Tolliver and guaranteed that those two didn't spend any time at the beach last summer.

Their comments made me think of our own players. The vast majority work very hard in the spring when their workouts are organized and observed but the GREAT ones continue those workouts throughout the summer and into early Fall before school starts. There are no guarantees that being that focused and dedicated in their workouts will make a player great, but it is pretty much guaranteed that a player can't become great without that kind of personality and work ethic. Unfortunately, good is the enemy of best - way too many players, as well as people in all walks of life, are satisfied with just being good at what they do, when with some extra work they could become great.

I also realized that on those few occasions when we have "lost" players, it's almost always happened in the Spring right about the time spring workouts start. It might be just a coincidence but we all know it's easier to work when the weather's bad and there's a game right around the corner than it is when the sun is out and next game is over seven months away. Working hard isn't necessarily fun but the motivated players don't mind because they are willing to sacrifice to get better. They know that it's not always what they get by working hard that is important - what's important is what they become!

1 comment:

Hoopalonious, aka Sue said...

I was in the locker room last night and interviewed McCoughtry, Bingham and Byrd. I asked McCoughtry and Byrd the same question: what is the biggest thing you've learned from Walz? Each said the same thing, in reverse order. McCoughtry said to be honest, and then she said to work hard and give it all you got. Byrd said work your butt off and then honesty, and elaborated that he doesn't say things to hurt you but to make you better. This was after Walz told us in Sunday's press conference that he'd told McCoughtry at halftime that she was an embarassment in the first half.

"Because that's the way we do things in our program - we're honest," he said.

It's like the way you do things.

I really really hope Kristi gets to go there. That is a program on the rise, believe it.