What is the right pre-game or post-game mentality?

by on December 22, 2016
in Grassroots Basketball

Much has been written and said lately about this generation not caring about winning or not knowing how to win or getting to eat pizza after a game whether or not the team won. Basically, the entire generation, and maybe life itself, is going to hell, and it’s all because of trophies and post-game meals.

Now, nobody does pregame macho posturing quite like the UFC, but last week, this happened during the weigh-ins:

Does anyone question VanZant’s and Watterson’s desire to win? Does anyone want to question their toughness?

Why are we okay with MMA fighters dancing and hugging before a fight, but somehow smiling or eating or managing to go on with daily activities after a loss is a sign of weakness or a lack of caring?

I’m still waiting for an answer as to the appropriate behavior for a player after a loss to prove that he or she cares about winning or is tough enough or serious enough. Bob Huggins seemed to imply that players should forego meals after a loss. Jeff Walz was less specific.

Grayson Allen has been slammed and suspended for his behaviors, although his actions (lashing out, throwing a tantrum, and crying) seem to align more closely with the sentiments of the coaches than the dance off above and nobody has questioned his toughness or will to win.

So, what are the appropriate behaviors? Does dancing with an opponent undermine one’s credibility as a fighter? Does throwing a tantrum on the bench display Allen’s will to win? How do we want players to behave because every week another coach criticizes the current unspecified behaviors of today’s generation?

By Brian McCormick, PhD
Director of Coaching, Playmakers Basketball Development League
Author, The 21st Century Basketball Practice and Fake Fundamentals

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