With our team playing a nationally televised game today, ESPN's Sue Bird is in town to do the game. To try and put it in perspective, Sue is a consummate champion. She has won two National Championships at Connecticut, two WNBA titles and three Olympic Gold Medals. So we had an Aggie team locked in when Coach Gary Blair asked her to say a few words to our team after practice today.
Here are some great take aways that she shared with our team:
"The difference between good and great are the little things. Little things that I'm still learning about."
Some of the little things she spoke of was nutrition and working out at a high level. She told our team that even though she is on the road a lot covering games for ESPN that she very often asks the coach of the arean she is covering a game in if she can get shot shooting time in while she is in town. She spoke of the amazing amount of video that pro players watch on their own.
"The great ones know how to play in the moment. They are not still thinking about the previous player or possession. They realize that the next possession is everything because its the only one they can control."
Of course this reminds me of Coach Don Meyer who always said you had to be an "NBA" player -- meaning that you concentrated only on the "Next Best Action."
Sue also spoke of personal accountability in terms of being a professional player. You were responsible for so much that in college you hadn't had to worry about because a coaching staff took care of it for you.
She talked about when you move on to the next level that you won't be your pro team's best player. This means you aren't their first option offensively. So her question was "What are going to do to separate yourself from the rest of the squad if you want to make the team?"
Coach Blair asked her where she and her Connecticut team got their confidence from. Without any hesitation she replied, "Practice." She went on to say that their practices were so difficult and demanding that the games were easy and they couldn't wait for the games.
She also told our team that confidence can't come from coaches. It has to come from the work you put in and the level of your effort in practice and workouts.
Nothing like a great message from a great player to start our day!