|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 10||Issue 478|
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login|
"CHANGE STUBBORNNESS TO DETERMINATION." (C. VIVIAN STRINGER PART SIX)
John Wooden Video Clip (99 sec.): Coach Wooden is asked: "What happened if a player was not playing their best?" A great clip: don’t miss this. Coach delivers the most important part of being a great leader?
C. Vivian Stringer is the head coach of the Rutgers University Women's Basketball Team. She is the sixth winningest coach in women's basketball history and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. She is the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different women's programs to the NCAA Final Four Rutgers, University of Iowa, and Cheyney State College in 1982.
Initially, a stubborn Walt Hazzard did not want to accept John Wooden's basketball system. In 1964 a determined Walt Hazzard led Coach Wooden's UCLA team to its first NCAA Championship.
Initially, a stubborn Michael Jordan did not want to accept Phil Jackson's basketball system. In 1991 a determined Michael Jordan led Coach Jackson's Chicago Bulls to its first NBA Championship.
One of Coach Stringer's great coaching qualities is her ability to transform a player's stubbornness into determination. The players that some might think have a bad attitude become competitively great.
Yolanda Laney led Coach Stringer's Cheyney State its first NCAA Women's Championship game in 1982. Laney earned All-American honors for athletic and academic achievement that year. In her fantastic autobiography, Standing Tall, Coach Stringer describes Laney's journey from stubborn to determined:
"Laney and I struggled mightily along the way, believe me. The first week of practice, I couldn't count how many times I told her to get out of my face and get off my floor if she didn't want to work; I even sent her back to Philadelphia a couple of times.
At one early practice when she was just jacking shots up, I snapped on her: "Who gave you the green light to shoot? You don't shoot unless I tell you to shoot." She just stopped and looked at me, and I thought, Oh, no. Now we're in for it. I told her not to shoot? Fine, now she's not going to shoot. Sure enough, in our next game, she's got an easy layup right in front of her and she doesn't take it—and it went on like that for the whole game. Anytime she had a shot, she pretended it wasn't there and passed the ball out to someone else. I had to laugh—it was always a battle with her.
My Assistant Coach Ann Hill said Yolanda Laney was the most stubborn person she'd ever met, except me. But Yolanda turned out to be one of the most powerful forces on that championship team, and although her mom died before she graduated, she went to law school just like she had promised her she would and is now an attorney for the state of New Jersey."
Yolanda's daughter Betnijah Laney was a star player for Coach Stringer at Rutgers and in 2020 was named the WNBA's Most Improved Player.
Determination goes a long way.
Yours in Coaching,
Who once has had a friend has found
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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