"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." --Babe Ruth
Geno Auriemma is one of the most successful college woman's basketball coaches of all time. In his time at the University of Connecticut, he's amassed eleven national championships and eight Naismith College Coach of the Year awards.
Let's just say that coach Auriemma knows something about winning.
In a recent interview, Coach gave his insightful opinion on what skills trainers and coaches should be teaching their young basketball players.
His advice, "If I was a player, or if I was advising players, I'd tell them to fire every trainer that they've ever hired that doesn't teach them, first and foremost how to win.
Because I have seen so many kids come along who've worked with these personal trainers for a long, long time and they know nothing about winning.
Because when they do their workouts, they focus on their workouts. They're not trying to beat anybody in their workout. They're not even trying to beat a clock or a goal; they're just doing their workouts."
Coach goes on to talk about those trainers who develop skills along with adding the competitive aspect of it, beating the clock, beating other people, beating yourself, and how they need to be involved in every single workout.
This goes for anything you are trying to become better at. Not in just developing a competitive mindset but continually pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
After all, the goal is to win, not just to be good at practice. Coach said, " To me, you want to be a better ball-handler, get somebody out there to guard you and don't let them take it from you. The cone never took the ball from anybody. You want to be a better defensive player? Play against somebody that's really good, and learn how to guard them."
This is an epidemic in the booming world or skills training. Training becomes more about you and your highlight real. Kid's aren't even taught how to interact with their teammates and use those skills to help make their team better.
The great Michael Jordan said, "I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win."
Jordan's greatest talent was his competitiveness. He learned this at an early age. He didn't have a skills coach. He had an older brother that would kick the crap out of him in one on one every day.
Teaching the competitive edge has lost its place in many youth sports skills training and programs. Kids and coaches are more worried about taking videos of what they are doing in practice then how they are performing in the game.
It makes no sense and does nothing to help the kid or his team become better.
Work on your skills, but then compete!!
Find those people and those ways to get your butt kicked. Let it help you develop a fire to overcome, to compete, and help you understand what you need to do to actually to achieve your goals.