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Friday, October 17, 2014

DONOVAN, GATORS USE "INSIDE THE ROPE" TO KEEP TEAM TOGETHER

 
I came across a good website today - www.BetterBasketballTribe.com.  And I came across a great post by Kyle Gilreath -- you can read the entire post here.  What I love about this motivational technique that he describes is that it gives a strong visual with the physical presence of a prop.  We have used various props in the past and it makes a big difference.  Here is what Gilreath was a part of at Florida.

During my time at the University of Florida I was very fortunate to be part of two of the best teams in college basketball history. After winning the 2006 National Championship, three amazing men (and lottery picks) decided to return for their Junior seasons. After running through the regular season with only a few minor bumps in the road we received the overall #1 seed in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. However, at the same exact time the “Distractions” started coming out.

As soon as the morning practice was over before we headed to New Orleans for our First Round match-up vs. a very good Jackson State team, Coach Donovan pulled out this enormous yellow rope. He handed one end of the rope to one of the players and told everyone (players, coaches, & staff) to form a large circle; then he instructed everyone to get on the inside of the rope and take hold of a small area. By this point, the rope was just large enough for everyone to fit inside…then Coach Donovan said, “This is our family inside this rope, don’t let ANYONE else inside our family, don't let ANYONE inside our rope, STAY INSIDE THE ROPE!"

This was one of those goose bump moments I will never forget for the rest of my life. This phrase became the motto for the rest of the season and was preached 24/7. “STAY INSIDE THE ROPE”! This message became such a meaningful part of the team that it was inscribed on the 2007 NCAA Championship ring.

Every team typically has a motto each year and they are printed on the back of their shirts or practice shorts, and more times than not they are “Hard Work”, “Toughness”, “Play Hard”, “Defense Wins”; these are all great and wonderful but if you have to preach to your kids about working hard everyday, that is taking time from your practice. Implant something into their heads like “Stay Inside the Rope”, make it something unique that applies to them and will keep them focused and ignore the distractions.