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Issue 655 - "Keep The Team Moving Forward" (Gregg Popovich and John Wooden)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 13 Issue 655
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login


San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich (5 NBA Titles) and John Wooden were both great at always making sure their teams are always moving forward.
Coach Wooden was famous for not discussing previous games and not reminding players of their past mistakes. Coach said: "Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today."
In 2018, Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs suffered the most devastating loss in their franchise history giving up a 94–89 lead with 28.2 seconds left on the clock to lose 103–100 in overtime to Miami in game six of the NBA finals. The loss prevented the Spurs from winning their fifth NBA championship.
After the game, players and coaches naturally assumed the team would cancel their planned post-game celebration dinner at the restaurant Il Gabbiano and go back to their hotel to regroup.
Assistant Coach Brett Brown said Popovich had other plans: "Pop’s response was, "Family! Everybody to the restaurant, straight there."
In his book "The Culture Code", Daniel Coyle described what happened next:
"Popovich left before the team, taking a car. When he reached the empty restaurant, Popovich started working, preparing the space. He had the tables moved—he wanted the team together in the center, with coaches close by.
He started ordering appetizers, picking dishes that he knew his players would like. When the bus pulled up, Popovich stood and greeted every player as they came through the door. Some got a hug, some got a smile, some got a joke or a light touch on the arm. They sat and ate together. Popovich moved around the room, connecting with each player in turn. People later said he behaved like the father of a bride at a wedding, taking time with everyone, thanking them, appreciating them.
There were no speeches, just a series of intimate conversations. In a moment that could have been filled with frustration, recrimination, and anger, he filled their cups. They began to come out of their private silences, to get past the loss and to connect. They even laughed. General Manager R. C. Buford said. "By the end of the night, things felt almost normal. We were a team again. It’s the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen in sports, bar none."
The following season the Spurs beat the same Miami team to win their fifth NBA championship.
Are you moving forward?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



What Home’s Intended For

When the young folks gather 'round in the good old-fashioned way,
Singin' all the latest songs gathered from the newest play,
Or they start the phonograph an' shove the chairs back to the wall
An' hold a little party dance, I'm happiest of all.
Then I sorter settle back, plumb contented to the core,
An' I tell myself most proudly, that's what home's intended for.

When the laughter's gaily ringin' an' the room is filled with song,
I like, to sit an' watch 'em, all that glad an' merry throng,
For the ragtime they are playin' on the old piano there
Beats any high-toned music where the bright lights shine an' glare,
An' the racket they are makin' stirs my pulses more and more,
So I whisper in my gladness: that's what home's intended for.

Then I smile an' say to Mother, let 'em move the chairs about,
Let 'em frolic in the parlor, let 'em shove the tables out,
Jus' so long as they are near us, jus' so long as they will stay
By the fireplace we are keepin', harm will never come their way,
An' you'll never hear me grumble at the bills that keep me poor,
It's the finest part o' livin'- that's what home's intended for.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)






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