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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

COACH AURIEMMA ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICE

Following in an excerpt from an article on Geno Auriemma and his love for practice.  Have you have known a successful coach that has not loved practice?  I've never seen a Geno run practice but after playing against him about a half of dozen times and watching tons of scouting video I can imagine it is a thing of beauty -- part-method and whole-method with great attention to detail.

His thoughts below on practice are outstanding but you can read the entire article written by John Altavilla here:

When you win as often as Geno Auriemma has in his first 29 seasons at UConn – and let’s face it, a winning percentage of 86.9 percent constitutes a trend - you would think game day might be the favorite time of his day.

That would be incorrect. Auriemma loves practice. He loves to plan them and run. He loves his whistle. And he especially loves to extend practice when he doesn’t see what he expects.

And this year, his 30th at UConn, has not witnessed any diminishment in that enjoyment. But it has been different.

“Every day at practice [last season] was easy because the players on last year’s team never had a bad day,” Auriemma said. “But hey, as has been the case for 30 years, every year there’s a new team and something new to deal with.”

“Anyone who accomplishes great things does it because they want to,” he says. “Anyone who doesn’t, doesn’t because they also want to.

“There are kids who say, ‘Well, when you need me I will be there and if you don’t need me, I don’t need to be there [be ready].’ That’s selling yourself short a little. You should strive to prove that you should start ahead of someone else or play more minutes than someone else. It’s about coming out every day and sustaining [performance].

“If you go to practice for a week and you have two really good ones and five mediocre ones you are probably a mediocre player. If have five really good days and two bad ones, you are probably a really good player.

“Kids need to understand that it’s here [practice] where you learn to be a good player. I don’t want to hear anymore of this crap about how some guys are game players, not good practice players.

“I’ve never met anyone that was a great game player who didn’t have tremendous work ethic and practice habits. The challenge for everyone, at least those who come here, is learning how to practice with such consistency that you know you are going to perform consistently when you go into a game.”