Living in Greenville you just had to get caught up in NCAA action this past weekend. One team in particular, the Arkansas Razorbacks, and Head Coach, Mike Anderson's leadership style really caught my attention.
Near the end of the game when the Razorbacks were down by only a few points, Coach Anderson could be seen on the sidelines calling out to the players while tapping his fingers on his chest. The message was clear: stay calm you know what to do, play from the heart now if you want to pull off this win.
In their game against the North Carolina Tarheels on Sunday, the Razorbacks did play their hearts out. Unfortunately, they lost because of one component of high-performing teams they were missing.
The 4 components they had in spades:
Talent: no need to belabor this one; these young men are definitely high in talent
Skills: same here, it was obvious they had practiced countless hours and were able to make shots, passes, evade, etc.
Knowledge: Again, they proved they knew way more than just the fundamentals of the game of basketball, including how to read the field of play to know the best offensive and defensive moves to make
Effort: not once did these guys slow down, belly ache or lose focus; they put everything they had on the line and brought it to that court. They had the will to play and that always trumps the ability to play.
What they didn't have and really needed was the experience to close in on the win in a high stakes, high-pressure situation. Playing in the ACC, the Tarheels get those opportunities weekly and that has made them excellent closers.
In the end, this is always the case. The way to ensure your win is to expose your talent to experiences that allow them to hone their skills, deepen their knowledge and prove their commitment through the effort they expend during every stage of the game.