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Saturday, March 1, 2014

IT'S ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS

If you want to impact the life of your players, you have to care about much more than their jump shot.  In fact, caring about them off the court -- in the classroom and with their personal lives will allow you to teach them better on the court.  During my coaching career, I had no better example of coaches that care beyond the court than Dale Brown.  The following gives you just a small look at how Coach Brown cares about his student-athletes with a story about his relationship with Shaquille O'Neal:

"His thing was - go to class, get your education," Shaq said as he introduced Brown as the recipient of the Colangelo Award. "I wanted to test his theory out, so one day I didn't go to class.  About 4:30 the next morning I felt the hand of God on my chest. I looked up, and it was Dale Brown. I still don't know how he got in my room, but he did. Then he ran me from about 4:30 to 7:30 - and then I had to go to class. I said, 'You know what -€“ I'll never miss class again.'"

That tough love eventually helped Shaq believe in himself and conquer many demons, including forcing the now popular commercial spokesman for several national brands to attend speech class.

"I brought him in and showed him his schedule," Brown laughed.  "He said, '€˜Speech class - c-c-c-coach - I don't want to be in speech class.' I said 'Well, you're going to be.' To show you how conscientious he is - the first time he had to give a speech, he came to my office and asked 'Can you shut the door and turn off the phones? Will you critique the speech for me?' So I did. Next, he wanted me to go to class. He had the highest GPA on our team, which most people don't know."

"The heart of a coach - at least my heart - is the relationship you have with players," said Brown.

The above is are excerpts from an article at Fox Sports and was written by Jennifer Hale.  You can read the entire article here.