The following is an excerpt by Mike Robinson for Swish Appeal. You can read the entire article here. There are two sides to this story that I liked. First was the "process-oriented" approach from Coach Muffet McGraw who doesn't worry about the result of a possession but all the details involved in said possession. Second, was the fact that Kayla McBride trusted her coach to accept the teaching part of the game. It's made for a great combination for Notre Dame. Here is part of the story:
While her physical talents are immense and obvious, it’s her mindset that sets her apart -- it has made her the special player that she has become. In today’s culture of "Me, Myself and I", McBride is the polar opposite; she’s always willing to listen even if it’s a tough critique from Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw -- a woman that McBride laughingly calls "intimidating." A prime example of that came after their upset of UConn, which reverberated around the women’s basketball world; McGraw made it a point to say something to her star junior after the game.
"Front row on the plane and coach - I just scored 21 points and had my career-high - and coach was like, ‘K-Mac, have you watched the film?’," said McBride. "And I was like, ‘No, coach why?’ She’s like, ‘You need to box out.’ It’s not even about what I did on the offensive end; it’s about the little things. It’s about that competitive (edge); she doesn’t want anybody to get more rebounds than us.
"She doesn’t care what the score was and that’s why she’s very intimidating: she isn’t looking at the made baskets, she’s looking at me missing box outs."
Many players might have brushed off such an assessment, figuring the coach was being too "picky". However, instead of doing that and basking in the moment of her performance, she actually appreciated that observation by her coach. That willingness to listen, to be a student of the game on a consistent basis, has helped mold McBride into the player she is today.
"She just pulls everything out of you, even when you don’t want to do it; she’s going to pull it out of you," McBride said. "That’s something I admire about Coach McGraw so much. Because she makes me get better -- and I respect that, she sees my potential. It’s just that fire and competitive nature (that she has)."
One consistent theme is that McBride, who by nature has myriad wonderful traits - fun-loving, charismatic and humble - also has a couple attributes that she has and admires in others: competitive nature and paying attention to the little things.