Quotes From the Coach

By Paul Gullifor and Mary Hamann | Summer 2010

Printer Friendly

On Respect

"It is much more important to be respected than to be liked. This is a fundamental issue with female athletes especially. Women want to be liked. I want players to believe me and have confidence in what I’m saying. It really doesn’t matter if they like me. Of course, ideally we want to be respected and liked. But if it’s one or the other, I’ll take respect any day."

On Leadership

"The biggest attribute of a leader is the willingness to do what’s right, even if the rest of the team doesn’t see it that way. You have to be willing to take a stand. You have to be willing to tell your teammate, one of your friends, that she isn’t working hard."

On Accepting Roles

"Not everyone can be the star, which is probably the hardest lesson for most of my players to learn. That high school star may not even get a lot of playing time in college. She might now become the person who comes off the bench. But her attitude, and how she accepts that role, will determine the team’s success. That’s true in basketball, and it’s true in life."

On Diagramming Plays

"I’ll be in a restaurant; I’ll think of a play and have to draw it on a napkin. I love to put something in, or call something from a sideline, and see it work, even though it may only happen once or twice in the game. Then, of course, there are times when something doesn’t work and I’ll wonder why, since it looked so good on the napkin!"

On Self-Discipline

"We can’t monitor their summer workouts. We tell them what to work on. But they pretty much do it, or they don’t, on their own. We’ll push them to be the best, but if they don’t have that desire, it won’t matter how we feel. One of my favorite quotes is, 'there will come a time when winter will ask, what did you do all summer?'"

On Understanding

"It’s a big step in a coach’s evolution to not take player performance personally. If a team is performing poorly, the players are not doing this to the coach. If you think this way as a coach, it will create a division between the coaches and the players. It makes everyone think me versus you, rather than us."