Back in July, Duke hired former NBA and Olympic champion Kara Lawson as their new women's basketball coach.
As with any new coach, in any sport, the immediate goal is to either A) change the culture, or B) put your own unique stamp on the team culture. At a place like Duke, where basketball is synonymous with success, Lawson has a one-of-a-kind foundation to build upon.
In a recent talk with players before a workout, Lawson laid out an interesting difference between hard work and competitiveness that is often misunderstood by coaches and players, and made it clear which one will be valued more by her and her staff.
"Hard work is, I give you a task. I give you constraints on said task, and say 'You have to do this in this amount of time, with this much weight, with this much load, whatever it is, I can give you the constraints and I force you to do it. And its hard. It's hard. So I can force you to work hard just by what I ask you to do."
"You can force someone to work hard. You can't force someone to compete. You can't. There is nothing I can do to make you compete. That is such an important distinction in sports."
"Not everyone is wired to compete. So it talk to some of you, and you ask, 'Coach, what do you need from me?' Or 'What's important to you?' I want you to compete. Every day," coach Lawson shares.
"Doesn't mean you're going to be perfect. Doesn't mean you're not going to fail sometimes. But getting yourself in that mindset when you walk out here everyday."
"Be honest with yourself. 'Did I compete today?' The answer may be 'no' sometimes. Make sure it's not two days in a row."
See the full talk below.