You Cry in Practice and You Laugh in Competition

Paul’s Blog

December 12, 2020


On our first day, we're pretty much talking about the same things we're talking about three months later. It doesn't change. We are constantly reinforcing the things that are important like giving a damn about your teammates and being on time. But to me, the single most important thing is practice. It’s everything. If you want to be a good coach, you've got to find a way to motivate and inspire people in practice. You don't have to do it on game day; on game day, you take the pressure off. I believe in the Japanese philosophy that you cry in practice and you laugh in competition.


People see me on game day and think, ‘want a nice man… I’d love to play for that guy.’ You don't want to be around me at practice because I demand that people come fully committed and fully engaged. In practice, I'm constantly challenging the boys to challenge each other. If someone is not giving it everything they have, don't accept that. All I care about is a full engagement and a full commitment to practice. Game Day takes care of itself.


It's human nature to care about outcome. You’re going to be tight. (Former Tennis player) Jimmy Connors once told me that everyone chokes; the champions learn how to choke less. The way that you learn that is in practice. So I keep all kinds of pressure on kids in practice, and then I spend all of my energy taking it off of them on game day. I want to try to make practice feel like the pressure of the game. You can't do it the other way around because it's going against human nature.

[vcv_sidebar key=""]