Big Moments for UCONN Women - 04/09/14
The UCONN women claimed the NCAA championship last night. It's the ninth championship for the women's program and its coach, Geno Auriemma.
He said something during an interview after the game that really caught my attention. He said that when his players join the program, he tells them that playing at Connecticut is about "big moments." He said that he tries to prepare them for big moments because that will usually determine whether you win or lose a game or a championship.
As a former athlete I was struck by that. As much as hard work and preparation play into athletic success, there is usually a moment or two during each game that leads you to victory or loss. Most coaches don't talk about it because they're too busy convincing players how important the hard work is. But when the pressure packed situations arrive during the game, it requires a different mind set to perform at the highest level. And there's a difference between making ten free throws in a row during practice and making two when you're behind by one with just seconds left in the game. And it takes a particular mind set to want the ball when your shot will decide the outcome of the game. You might not make the shot, but you want to take it.
If you can handle those moments well, you're going to win your share. And if you win enough of them, you might even win a championship. Or nine.