'It used to be you were taught more than you played. Not anymore'
In the coaching world, basketball and football have more similarities than they do differences. Ask any football coach the top five coaches that he would like to shadow for a week (either on the gridiron or the hardwood) and many will have Duke's Mike Krzyzewski near the top of their list, and for good reason.
ESPN ran a story that recently came to our attention called "Coaching in the 'Diva Generation'". Whether you've coached for three years, or forty, chances are you've had an athlete that, for one reason or another, is a challenge to coach up properly. Some attribute that difficulty to the way that culture has changed in sports, leading to more entitled student athletes who aren't as willing to work as hard as their counterparts of the past.
In the article, Coach K points out one big difference that he's noticed over the years, and while he's talking about basketball in particular, it's a message that rings true to coaches of sports.
"It used to be you were taught more than you actually played. Now they play more than they're taught, so I think you're getting more athletic players but fewer players who understand the team concept. I don't know so much that they're divas as they are a little bit more concerned with their individual outcome than their collective outcome."
With 7 on 7 tournaments becoming more and more like traveling AAU basketball teams, coach K adds that the culture being created in those atmospheres might be playing a role as well.
"A kid can enter school and just be thinking he's in a sort of extended stay hotel instead of unpacking his bags and being part of a culture. That's what they're accustomed to with AAU. Where is my home? Who am I? Who am I playing for? They come to college and where have they played? They've played in Venice Beach or been to the Nike Global Games, but who have they played for? Usually themselves."
Let Coach K's message sink in a bit. In today's evolving world of football where players are involved in traveling 7 on 7 tournaments and leagues it's important to get them to understand who they play for in the fall, and that they need to buy in and work hard to reap the benefits that they (and the team) deserves.
The entire article is very interesting and has some excellent input from Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo and Texas basketball coach Rick Barnes. You can read all of it here.