23 Point Coaching

[disclaimer] I am a big Phoenix Suns fan. [end of disclaimer]
Hang with me even if you are not a Suns fan or a spectator of the NBA.
This past Friday night was a great game between the Suns and the Spurs. But just as good as the outcome was for the Suns (winning 110 to 96) it was an incredible performance by their second year, back-up point guard, Goran Dragic. If you are skeptical, check out his stat line and then grab some locally flavored recap by Dan Bickley.

While Goran was en route to putting up 23 points in the fourth quarter, ESPN replayed some ‘wired’ feeds from the Suns huddle. His coach, Alvin Gentry, was captured telling him, “It’s ok. You are going to make mistakes. I need you to stay aggressive. Go out there and stay aggressive.” Unbelievable. Play-off basketball. A must win situation. The Spurs are the most hated opponent of the Suns and Alvin Gentry sends out his back-up point guard into the battle and leaves him in the entire forth quarter as the kid gets unbelievably hot.

Now, you have to ask yourself this question… Did Goran get hot because he was lucky that night to have his best game when it was most needed? Or, did his coach and his team infuse him with the confidence to get hot through their belief in him and his ability? If you read the accounts and heard the audio, you would be inclined to suggest that the coaching, challenge and encouragement of his team lead him to be able to do his best at the most important moment.

File this under teamwork, motivation and encouragement. Practice it in your places of influence.

By the way, the single coolest thing around this story, was barely shown on TV.  Goran’s entire team, lead by the starters, were anxiously standing on the sidelines waiting for the final buzzer. As soon as the game ended, they swarmed and hugged him like high school kids who had just won the state title. It was an impressive picture of a true team.