In Becoming a Champion, Coaching: Good/Bad/Unfair

Coach Geno Auriemma and his University of Connecticut Huskies have just completed a second straight perfect season with another NCAA Championship! That’s 78 wins in a row! Except for the national championship game, the Huskies blew out opponents by an average of almost 50 points a game! Critics have downplayed Auriemma’s amazing accomplishments, including his 6 National Championships. They’ve claimed that UConn basketball is bad for the women’s game. Personally, I just wish they’d all shut up and stop whining because they don’t have clue #1 about what they’re talking about.

At this level, how can having a consistently successful program be bad for any sport? What are they saying here? That winning too much isn’t fair? That if you win too much you’re somehow breaking all the rules?! Should the Yankees be banned from baseball? Shall we disband the Lakers because they’ve won too many NBA titles? Perhaps we should kick Tiger Woods off the PGA Tour and while we’re at it, let’s get rid of his tennis buddy, Roger Federer because he’s been ranked #1 for too many weeks?!

Auriemma has distinguished himself as a coaching genius and that’s why he wins so much. He’s just flat out good at what he does! He knows how to train women to consistently play with heart and aggressiveness, to compete at the very highest level. Just because he’s coaching women’s basketball doesn’t in the least diminish from what he and his young women have accomplished. People say that if he was coaching men, then he’d never have been able to accomplish this feat because somehow, it’s “easier” to win 78 straight in the women’s game. Are you kidding me?! To me, this is a completely absurd, gender-biased argument! Whether it’s with men or women, what Coach Auriemma has accomplished is totally mind blowing!

I also seem to remember a guy by the name of John Wooden who did even more with his men’s basketball program at UCLA back in the 60’s and early 70’s, winning something like 10 or 11 National Championships in a row. Want to know why that happened? Because Coach Wooden was a coaching genius, a brilliant guy who knew how to motivate young men to pursue excellence within themselves and with their team.

So let’s just take a moment to recognize the pure excellence that is UConn women’s basketball without diminishing it because inane critics may claim that it’s not as demanding or challenging as the men’s game. What these women have accomplished is truly mind-boggling and so is their coach! Way to go Geno!


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