Success vs. Failure

I seem to fall into a very small group of coaches.  While I understand the ultimate goal of basketball is to win, I don’t really care.  Yes, it is nice to win and it’s not so nice to lose, but I there’s more to it and I’m trying to pass this on to my girls.

Last night, my girls played horrendously.  Yes, we lost (37-2) but it wasn’t the points that mattered to me.  By the end of the first quarter, I had moved beyond angry into some surreal realm where I could barely function.  Generally, when I’m coaching, I am in constant motion.  I stand and pace, yelling encouragement and direction.  Last night, however, I sat.  And I didn’t speak.  At halftime, I followed the girls into the locker room and told them to figure it out on their own because they obviously didn’t remember or care what I had taught them.  Then I left the locker room and sat on the bench.  Several parents were concerned, but I just sat there.

What was the problem?  They argued with each other – even on the court while they were supposed to be playing.  They blamed each other – again, on the court and off.  They refused to play as a team.  I felt humiliated.  Not by the score but by my team.

My coaching philosophy is simple.  We succeed as a team, we fail as a team.  Winning is not success and losing is not failure.  Throughout today I have begun to realize that I am mad because I feel like I failed them, like I’m not a good enough coach.

We have two more games in this tournament.  I hope we can succeed.

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