Okay……It’s been a little more than a month since it ended. I’m not going to play the blame game or try to explain it…..it happened, we mourned, reflected, and now it’s time to move forward. The reality is, there will be 29 disappointed teams come mid June, in addition to the thousands of college and high school teams throughout the country. My friend Mike Dunlap sums it up pretty well….
1. It Sucks…….None of us wants to lose, especially the last game of the season. We started the process Oct. 1, and were with each other pretty much full time for the following 8 months. Our goal was not attained, and we are all disappointed. But the teacher in me sees the value of lessons learned and mistakes to be avoided next time around. But realize that it does hurt, tremendously, and the feeling should remain, deep down inside, as a constant reminder of what needs to be different next year.
2. We Grieve…….For 3-4 weeks, it’s the first thought when you awake, and many times the last thought before you fall asleep. It lingers with you all day. Friends and family want to know, “what happened”? You don’t want to talk about it, except with your colleagues. Coaches meet and dissect every possession, personnel decision and strategic move. We go over it again and again in our minds. We sulk, disagree, question, get angry…….grieve.
3. Reflect……. After the emotional roller coaster of the grieving process must come a time of reflection. What changes to we need to make, if any? Where do we go from here with the roster, etc…..? What could we do different next time? How can I, (we), improve as a coach? Our head coach is the best at getting us back to feeling good about our future.
4. Lessons Learned…..Maybe the most important step in the process. We are going to be in that situation again. What did we learn to ensure a different result next time?
5. “Play It Again Sam”…….The great thing is, we get to do it all again next year, with a really good team. SUCCESS is never final and FAILURE is never fatal. Even better yet, we get to start camp early next year, because of our involvement in the NBA China preseason games…..Can’t Wait!!!!!