"...sometime, when the team is up against it -- and the
We all love the poignant, heartfelt, go-get-'em speeches coaches give when the going is tough. How's this one from University of Kansas football coach Charlie Weis, when recruiting players to his less-than-stellar Jayhawks program?
"Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don't think you can play here, where do you think you can play?...You've seen it, right? Unfortunately, so have I."
Not exactly Braveheart leading his men into battle. Would you follow this guy anywhere? A coach should be a leader, a champion of his team. Even a team whose record is 1-11. We are intelligent people. We know it takes a lot of individual effort put together to make a team what it is. The indisputable leader (and ultimately responsible party) is the coach. Under the best of circumstances, it's an easy job. The best players, the best staff, and you have an epic season. But anything can happen. Storm clouds can appear and the picnic is rained out. But the leader cannot be a reflection of the weather. He or she must be a constant, driving force. When it's sunny, he is enjoying the rays. When it rains, she doesn't pack it in, she brings an umbrella.
For Coach Weis to denigrate his team this way, he is effectively separating himself from them, when in actuality, he is the head of this creature. Without him, the body crumbles. Where will the team find its direction? How can Weis expect to receive the respect of his players when he cannot show any?
To me, Coach Weis has done less to show the ineptitude of his team, and more to show his own disloyalty and dysfunction as a leader.
"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."
Personal Best Sports
The sports world is filled with stories of perseverance, failure and success, personal struggles and public triumph. Each story provides insight into the mental side of sport and activity.