Daily mentoring
by Kayo (2019-02-09 13:48:43)
Edited on 2019-02-09 14:59:09

In reply to: What part did Brey have in helping DJ get there?  posted by 2ndstreeter


It's part of the program's culture. They know they are expected to become leaders, to be ready when the time comes.

Even with that ingrained in the culture, excellent leaders don't always emerge. VJ Beachem's and Steve Vasturia's senior season is an example. They were (and I'm sure they still are) outstanding young men, but that team was a lot like this season's WBB team in terms of leadership. There wasn't that one voice that pushed the others.

Ben Hansbrough was a leader in many ways, but he was hard on people especially the underclassmen. Brey once said Ben can light up a room or he can burn it down, and he worked on his captain to tone it down. The underclassmen didn't realize how much they needed to be pushed in addition to needing encouragement, so they let up the year after Hansbrough left. It showed.

I've had several conversations with Rex Pfleuger about leadership over the years. He was in line to be an excellent leader this season; and even though he is around and working with the young guys, it hurts that he isn't on the floor because what a leader does is as important as what a leader says.

I don't doubt for a minute that Muffet McGraw works with her players on leadership. She takes her role developing them as young women seriously. Kathryn Westbeld's and Natalie Achonwa's substantial growth as leaders over four seasons did not happen without their head coach's involvement. However, a mentoring relationship requires both sides' commitment; and sometimes the two who are working on personal development aren't the right pairing.

I have a hypothesis, but I can't speak definitively about why a leader hasn't emerged on this year's team. I wonder if these players have been equals so long that one of them stepping out to be the leader would change relationships in potentially uncomfortable ways. Along those lines, don't be surprised to see Jackie Young step into the leader role more easily next season because she will be the only scholarship senior and the only returning starter. That doesn't guarantee great leadership, but it does eliminate any question about who's an elder and who's a peer.


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