Monday, October 15, 2012

It's All About Heart

Posted by Michelle Manfredi | Monday, October 15, 2012 | Category: , , , , , , |


We want to coach your game not your heart.  As a coach, one of the most frustrating things is having a talented player that just does not have the heart.  It seems to be more of a consistent thing these days, which can be tiring at times. 

As a player growing up, my parents never had to tell me to go work on my game.  I wanted to work on my game.  I would have my parents move the kitchen table so I could dribble in the kitchen, or help me shovel snow so I could get shots up in the winter.  They never had to force me to go to practice.  I wanted to go.  I had it in my head at a young age that I was going to be a D1 player, and that it was on me to make my dreams come true. 

Of course, everyone has his or her tired days but once you step on the court, it is a different world.  A lot of players seem to bring their troubles from the outside world onto the court.  To me, the court is the one place and time where I can forget everything in the outside world and just focus on my game.  For those 90-150 minutes that I am out there, there is nothing else on my mind.  It is just me and the game that I love.

A lot of players today shut down or give you and attitude when you try to get them to go harder.  Most players seem to take the game for granted.  What they don’t realize is that it is a privilege to be able to compete and that opportunity could be gone at any moment.  You never know when your last time stepping on the court is.  I would give just about anything in my life to lace up my shoes and play in one more game for Niagara or one more game in Germany.  I always preached that to the college players I coached in hopes that they would give their all day in and day out.

When people ask me what my biggest strength and weaknesses are I give the answer, “I have no STOP button.”  It is my strength because I always go hard in the things I am committed to.  I will give my all to the very end and then some.  The reason it is my weakness is because I am unable to stop myself even when I should.  For instance, my pro career was cut short because I refused to stop playing when I was told to give it a break.  I pushed for another 4 months on an injury to finish the season, leading to the end of my playing career. 

Coaches want players that come to practice consistently giving their all.  It is tough to coach players that have no energy or enthusiasm.  Players who work hard are my favorite players.  Our job as a coach is to make you a better player, to give you skills to improve your game, to help to get to the next level, and to help you grow as an individual.  It is not fun to coach players who have no drive or excitement for the game.  We should not have to preach daily to you to work hard and have more passion.  It should be something that you want to do.  Practice and basketball should be fun.  Of course sometimes it is hard, but those are the times that help build your character and show what type of player you really are.  Life isn’t always fair, and it isn’t always easy, but hard work really does pay off.  The more heart and passion you have toward something, whether it be basketball or some other aspect of life, the more you will enjoy it and working for it.  A coach/teacher can give you all the skills, drills, and lessons that you need to succeed, but if your heart is not there, you will not succeed.  Once again… We want to coach your GAME, not your HEART.

Michelle Manfredi
Elite Hoops Basketball

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. What about one more game at Serra Catholic?! :)