Nov 17, 2011, 1:30 am
I have had the pleasure and privilege of listening to Coach K (Duke Basketball Coach and winningest College Basket ball coach in NCAA history), in person, 2 times in the last few years. Coach K is a great storyteller and speaker. He provides inspiration and motivation like none other. It is no mistake, he is the best ever in College Basketball Coaching ranks. Within minutes of taking the platform, he had me laughing, crying, and fired up. I wrote notes down furiously as he spoke about his coaching methods and techniques. I refer to those notes and methods frequently as I continue on the coaching journey in Ice Hockey.
Just the other night, Coach K and Bobby Knight, were being interviewed about the impending breaking of the college coaching winning record by Coach K. As I’m sure you know, Bobby Knight previously held the record. What you may not know is that Bobby Knight was Coach K’s college basketball coach at USMA West Point. How wild is that? Is it a coincidence the now winningest coach played under the previous winningest coach? The 2 winningest coaches in college basketball history were together as player and coach and now share the ultimate coaching stage together as the 2 best ever? Is it a mistake? Just a coincidence?
I don’t think so or believe so. These 2 guys use “systems for success” like no other coaches. The interviewer asked Coach K what he learned from Bobby Knight that he carried with him and that contributed to his coaching success. Coach K responded with 2 statements: Intense Preparation and a Passion to Win. Within these 2 statements lie the principles and the core values necessary for extra-ordinary success.
Intense Preparation encompasses a hard work ethic, dedication, commitment, perseverance, intelligence, time, and discipline. Passion to Win encompasses heart, willingness to compete, sacrifice, refusal to lose, and finding a way to get it done. These character traits and principles are universal traits that apply to all sports and professions not just basketball.
Yesterday, I addressed the team for the first time this season from an analytical and forward thinking point of view while capturing last years State Championship Team’s character and accomplishment. We have 3 quotes on the wall within the individual player locker confines that perfectly describe the character and experience of the 1st State Championship TEAM in the 13 year history of the Novi Varsity Hockey program: “Good is the Enemy of Great. “ “Hunger Not for Success, but Excellence.” “The Success and Glory of One, witnessed by all, is achieved through the Hard Work, Discipline, and Sweat seen by very few.”
The State Championship TEAM did not accept being Good. They prepared intently and intensely throughout the season with the highest goal for a high school hockey team in mind: Greatness. The State Championship team understood the pursuit of excellence not success would allow attention to detail, improvement, and the necessary process for the desired results. The State Championship TEAM worked, and sweat, and maintained a physical, mental, and emotional discipline seen by very few but witnessed by all through the Success and Glory of the TEAM. Furthermore, all of these quotes and concepts were represented through a national Chrysler commercial ad, starring a player and his dad from our State Championship TEAM, viewed by all those in the hockey world during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Like it or not, every team before is full of coulda, shoulda, woulda’s, and every team after will have a choice to embrace a “system of success” through Intense Preparation and a Passion to Win.
Our 2011-2012 Novi Varsity Hockey TEAM has choices to make. These choices all center on our 4 TEAM Core Values: TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More), Hard Work, Sportsmanship (Class & Discipline), and Results. Intense Preparation will be forced upon the TEAM by the coaches. Passion for winning is implicit through the Intense Preparation. One does not intensely prepare to lose. However, will the TEAM and each individual work hard, compete, and play together as a TEAM? If they do, the Results will follow.
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both.....I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken