Via Geno Auriemma
We try to recruit kids that love being coached. We try to recruit kids that want to be held accountable. You have to hope you have the right kind of kids, the right kind of people.
Recruiting enthusiastic kids is harder than it’s ever been because every kid watches TV, and they watch the NBA or they watch Major League Baseball or they watch the NFL, whatever sport they watch, WNBA, it doesn’t matter, and what they see is people just being really cool. So they think that’s how they’re going to act. They haven’t even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot and they’re going to act like they’re really good players.
You see it all the time. You see it at every AAU tournament, you see it at every high school game. So recruiting kids that are really upbeat, loving life, love the game, and have this tremendous appreciation for when their teammates do something well, that’s hard. That’s hard. It’s really hard.
So on our team we — me, my coaching staff — put a huge premium on body language and if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever. I don’t care how good you are,” he said. “If somebody says, ‘You just benched for 35 minutes in the Memphis game a couple years ago.’ Yeah, I did. ‘Oh, that was to motivate her for the South Carolina game the following Monday.’ No, it wasn’t. Stewie was acting like a 12-year-old, so I put her on the bench and said, ‘Sit there.’ It doesn’t matter on our team.
Other coaches might say, ‘Well, you can do that because you’ve got three other all-Americans.’ I get that. I understand that, but I’d rather lose than watch kids play the way some kids play. I’d rather lose. They’re allowed to get away with it and they’re always thinking about themselves. Me, me, me, me, me. ‘I didn’t score, so why should I be happy?’ ‘I’m not getting enough minutes, so why should I be happy?’ That’s the world that we live in today, unfortunately. Kids check the scoreboard sometimes because they’re going to get yelled at by their parents if they don’t score enough points.
Don’t get me started. When I look at my team, they know this. When I watch game film, I’m checking what’s going on on the bench. If somebody’s asleep over there, somebody doesn’t care, somebody’s not engaged in the game, they will never get in the game. Ever. And they know that. They know I’m not kiddin’.