As coaches, we all preach a lot of the same things. Play tough defense, share the ball, hustle, bring energy, and attend class and pass all your subjects.
Some folks in sports have bigger platforms than others to preach about the game (some preach and don’t really have a clue) Thanks to a good friend who is a high school basketball coach for sending me the following article.
Jay Bilas, an analyst for ESPN has written a good piece for ESPN.com called, ‘Defining Toughness in College Basketball’.
Toughness is something I had to learn the hard way, and something I had no real idea of until I played college basketball. When I played my first game in college, I thought that toughness was physical and based on how much punishment I could dish out and how much I could take. I thought I was tough.
I found out pretty quickly that I wasn’t, but I toughened up over time, and I got a pretty good understanding of toughness through playing in the ACC, for USA Basketball, in NBA training camps, and as a professional basketball player in Europe. I left my playing career a heck of a lot tougher than I started it, and my only regret is that I didn’t truly “get it” much earlier in my playing career.
I wish more people like Bilas would talk more about playing the right way when they step behind the microphone to televise games. Instead, most talk about the dunks, the coaches they always talk to, the time spent hanging out with so and so, the restaurants they visit while in the college town, etc. Just once, I’d like to hear a sideline reporter going into half time ask a college coach, “Hey coach, how did so and so do on that Math exam last night”?
The piece written by Bilas should be required reading by; coaches, players and parents.