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!