Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hard work makes up for a lot of things

The turning point in the season came early for Weber State.

As this article describes, it was in Game 6, a home contest against BYU. Coach Randy Rahe's team, which had dropped three of its first five games of the year, lost by 30.

Against BYU, the Wildcats were outrebounded, 31-20; had 13 fewer assists (20-7); turned the ball over 15 times (compared to BYU's 6); and trailed 18-4 four minutes into the game.

Says Coach Rahe, "We gave in to adversity. We can never do that. We had to figure out if we're going to improve and go north or do nothing and go south."

According to the article, "one of Rahe's strengths as a coach, though, is that he knows when to nurture and he knows when to torture." After the BYU meltdown, he "knew he had to push."

To ensure his team headed north, he put them through two-a-days, including 6 a.m. workouts.

The loss sparked a turnaround. "Six weeks later, the answer is clear. The Wildcats have won 15 of 19 games since that Dec. 3 loss to the Cougars and surged to the top of the Big Sky Conference standings with an 11-1 league record."

The author contends that:

"In a balanced conference where just about any team can pull out a win on any given night, the Wildcats have to play with maximum efficiency. They aren't the fastest, tallest or even the most talented team. What has separated them from the pack is their thorough understanding of the team concept."

Says Coach Rahe: "We have to do things a certain way. We have a very small margin of error," Rahe said. "We're not the most talented team. We're just not. But I do know hard work makes up for a lot of things."

Rahe's success as a coach -- in his third season at Weber State, his overall record is 53-34 -- stems from the trust his players have in him. He gains it, he says, by being honest. He's never unrealistic about the team's goal, but he also believes this team can go far and he lets his players know it.