Showing posts with label talent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label talent. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2009

One AD's list of requirements for prospective coaches

Bowling Green's AD Greg Christopher has a list traits he looks for when hiring a coach. It's the same list he used when he hired Louis Orr (pictured here) last year to coach the BGSU hoops team.

Any coach he hires must...

-- Exhibit absolute integrity and high character.
-- Have a solid reputation of success and work ethic.
-- Show a passion to recruit and evaluate talent.
-- Work as a team member in an 18-sport athletic department.
-- Commit to his or her players' academics.

"If they don't have one of those things on that list, they won't be considered for the position," Christopher said.

According to this post of Hoops Coach, what helped Coach Orr "separate from other candidates was his success at Seton Hall."

Said Christopher: "He kept standing out because of his credibility."

Friday, March 13, 2009

It comes down to how hard you want to work

Great quote from Larry Hughes in the NY Daily News.

Hughes, who exploded for 30 points on 13-20 shooting in a win at Milwaukee on Tuesday, then added 22 in NY's win at DET the next night, said that as the postseason approaches, the key variable is effort:

"At this point it comes down to how hard you want to work," he said. "Everyone has talent. It comes down to how hard you want to work."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

You had to be better than you'd ever been

Until I read this article, I didn't realize just how great Hall of Famer Bobby Orr was.

An eight-time first-team NHL All-Star, Orr was voted the league's best defensive player eight times.

In 1969-70, "Orr became the only player to sweep the league's top awards — MVP, defenseman, playoff MVP and scoring title — and capped it off by scoring the Stanley Cup -- winning goal over St. Louis in overtime."

Despite his dominance on the ice, "Orr bristled at the attentions of superstardom." According to this article, during the 1974-75 season, "he scored 46 goals but probably gave away a half dozen more by insisting that teammates had deflected the puck in."

One of Orr's former teammates says that Orr "brought others with him; he wanted them involved."

"That's what made him so different: It felt like a five-player stampede moving toward you—and at his pace. He pushed his teammates, [because] you're playing with the best player in the league and he's giving you the puck and you just can't mess it up. You had to be better than you'd ever been."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ability means one thing; availability means everything

Great quote in the NY Times from Titans assistant Dave McGinnis about 31-year-old veteran LB Keith Bulluck, who this article describes as "the soul of the Titans’ defense."

Bulluck, whose TEN team hosts BAL today in a divisional playoff game, has started 113 consecutive games for the Titans.

Says Coach McGinnis:

“Players who have that type of longevity with this type of success, it doesn’t come by accident. To be able to do it that long, at that level, at that position, it takes something. Something deep inside. Ability means one thing in this league. Availability means everything.”

[By the way, Bulluck's durability is likely due to his upbringing, which the NY Times article goes into detail about. It's worth reading.]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

If you saw the movie "The Usual Suspects," you remember Chazz Palminteri's character.  He plays the detective who questions Kevin Spacey's character.  [Here's a clip.]

Palminteri is currently doing live theatre performances of “A Bronx Tale,” which chronicles his childhood in the NYC borough.  

At the end of each performance, Palminteri passes out a card to the kids in the audience and asks them to sign it.

The card reads:   “The Saddest Thing in Life is Wasted Talent.”

It's something his Dad told him when Palminteri was a teenager.  "His words were an attempt to steer his son from the more glamorous, more exciting life of the New York wise guy (read mob member) and to the more realistic results of hard work."

Says Palminteri: 

"When I ask the kid to sign the card, I tell him or her to pay attention to schoolwork, to develop his or her talent, and do work that is loved."

As John Maxwell puts it, "Too many talented people who start with an advantage over others lose that advantage because they rest on their talent instead of raising it.  They assume talent will keep them out front."

Here are Maxwell's 13 keys to maximizing talent:

1.  Belief lifts my talent.
2.  Passion energizes my talent.
3.  Initiative activates my talent.
4.  Focus directs my talent.
5.  Preparation positions my talent.
6.  Practice sharpens my talent.
7.  Perseverance sustains my talent.
8.  Courage tests my talent.
9.  Teachability expands my talent.
10. Character protects my talent.
11.  Relationships influence my talent.
12.  Responsibility strengthens my talent.
13.  Teamwork multiplies my talent.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's more important, skill or talent?

Interesting column on Bloomberg about what's more important, skill or talent.

The column describes TNT analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley debating who is the best player on the NY Knicks.

Smith said it was Stephon Marbury. Barkley argued that it was Chris Duhon, "saying that just because Marbury has the better skills doesn't necessarily make him the best player."

[Duhon is pictured here.]

Said Barkley: "I won't say Duhon has more skills. But he's a better player.''

As the columnist points out, "It's an important distinction, one that the Knicks -- and other professional sports teams -- are beginning to understand. You see, superstars such as LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers are blessed with superior skills, which can be developed, AND talent, which can't."

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Take Duhon, who as a college kid played for Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who, as luck would have it, picked Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni as one of his assistants on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold in Beijing.

D'Antoni the other day recalled a conversation with Krzyzewski, who said Duhon is a coach's dream because he never gets tired.

That isn't to say Duhon can play 48 minutes a night. Rather, Coach K was saying that Duhon won't get bored, distracted or sulky during the emotionally taxing, 82-game season. Not even in January, the basketball equivalent of the national pastime's dog days.

"I can't tell you how much that means to a coach,'' D'Antoni told me.

It's a matter of skill versus talent. The rebuilding Knicks are tilting toward talent, which encompasses so much more than a player's ability to put the ball in the basket.

"It's a delicate situation,'' D'Antoni said when asked about Marbury's benching after last night's 120-115 win. "I know he's not going to be happy about it.''

That's what Barkley was getting at, and what Smith was missing, in the Duhon-Marbury debate. A player's willingness to admit a mistake, or accept the coach's decision, even one he doesn't agree with, is a talent.

So, too, is a player's willingness to put forth maximum effort and place the collective good above the individual. They're talents you either have or you don't. Too many don't. They get by on skill alone.

"The minimum you can give the fans is something they can be proud of -- playing hard every night,'' D'Antoni said. "If you're playing to the best of your ability the New York fan, who is pretty sophisticated, they'll appreciate it. That's the way basketball should be. If we play well enough, get some excitement going, they'll come to us. You earn your right.''