Monday, June 26th, 2017

Do you recruit or investigate?

April 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching

As a Villanova alum, I’m sure you can understand why I’ve had a very good week.  If any of you have seen 51MSCZYAKYL._AC_UL320_SR274,320_those YouTube clips of Nova fans going ballistic on the last shot then you now pretty much know how I reacted in my living room.

Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright has had a good reputation for awhile now and I can honestly say, having met him on a couple of occasions, the reputation is well deserved.  What he says and how he acts are one and the same.  Today’s post has to do with something he said on a Philly sports radio show a few days ago.

The host and Jay had the following exchange (paraphrased).

Host: Jay, your defense was just crushing all tournament long.  Everyone was so amazed at how well your team played together as a unit.  When so many teams are out there playing the run and gun style of basketball and so many kids wanting to score more points, how do you convince your players to be selfless, play phenominal defense, and be so team oriented?  Do you teach them or do you recruit kids who already do all that?

Jay:  Today’s generation is very different from how we grew up.  When we played, no matter how good you were, we had parents who told us that whatever the coach tells you to do, you do.  That’s just not how it works today.  There are still some kids like that but it is much more difficult to find them.  That’s why we don’t really recruit.  We investigate.  We talk to their parents.  We want to know who their friends are and who they surround themselves with.  We try to find out if the kid is able to be coached.  When we criticize, will he get better or will he crawl into a shell?  We have a 100% graduation rate so we aren’t looking for the one-year-and-done type of player who needs to score 30 points a night to impress the NBA.  We investigate and try to bring kids in who are winners.

When choosing your baseball teams, do you recruit or do you investigate?  Most coaches will never coach at that level but no matter what level you find yourself on, doing some investigative work is well worth the time.  

Talent will only take you so far.

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