The following are thoughts on coach/player relationships by Coach Roy Williams in his book, "Hard Work: A Life On and Off the Court."
Coach Smith taught me that your players are always your top priority. If I have a player in my office and the phone rings, I will not answer the phone. I have a Plexiglas paperweight that reads, “Statistics are important, but relationships last a lifetime.”
When it comes to mentoring my players, I look at myself like a teammate. I am playing as hard as I can every day to get them to believe in what I believe in: that there’s a right way to conduct yourself, there’s a right way to answer people, there’s a right way to dress when you go into a restaurant or get on a plane, and there’s a right way to play basketball.
See the rocks in your path not as obstacles, but as opportunities to climb higher or If you want to leave footprints in the sands of time—you better wear work shoes. On the first day of preseason practice, the Thought for the Day is always the same: It’s amazing how much can be accomplished when nobody cares who gets the credit.
I try to never blow smoke with my players. I tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I tell them the truth.
The simplest way to get me mad is with selfishness, lack of concentration, or lack of hustle.