NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four National Semifinal-UConn Practice

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four National Semifinal-UConn Practice

UConn head coach Geno Auriemma once shared an eye-opening view of the way ambitious parents raise basketball players during an interview on a YouTube channel, “What Drives Winning,” in January 2018. He had hard-hitting advice for parents about correctly assessing their kids’ talents.

When asked what he now knows that he would have told his kid when dropping him off to play, Auriemma said:

“Your kid is probably never as good as you think they are. Like I remember years ago somebody some of my college friends that coach guys would say ‘Yeah, every kid thought they were as good as Michael Jordan.’ now every parent thinks nah, he’s better than that.

“All of our kids are normal kids and they just want to play and if they are really good you never have to say it.”

Auriemma was quick to provide an example of his son:

“Everybody always coming up to you and say, hey you know your son pretty good and that happened when my son was young and it happened in high school,” he added.

“So you never had to go and say my kid can really play. Everybody knew that they will tell you that. You don’t have to say anything.

Auriemma pointed out the utter uselessness of talking too highly about the talent of one’s kid:

“It’s when the kid gets to college or when a kid is not as good as you think they should be you have to feel like going around telling everybody how good your son or your daughter is and that’s when it gets crazy cause you’re trying to convince people what’s evident cause you’re trying to tell people that your kid is not as good.”

Geno Auriemma has served the UConn Huskies as a head coach since 1985. Given his long tenure at one of the top programs in the country, Auriemma’s words are often taken as those of a basketball sage.

He has led UConn to a whopping 11 national titles. He draws a $600,000 annual base salary, excluding the money he gets from media talks and consulting. He renewed his contract in 2021, which will run through 2025, when he will complete 40 years at UConn.

Geno Auriemma critical of attitudes towards basketball from time to time

In a press conference during the NCAA women’s Final Four contest in 2016, Geno Auriemma lashed at the attitudes towards basketball of the younger generation.

The Italian-American coach expressed his difficulty in recruiting enthusiastic kids for basketball. Auriemma shared that many kids were more focused on imitating the top players to look cool than being genuinely interested in the sport. He also noted that many of these kids lacked the necessary level of motivation.

According to Auriemma, kids on the basketball court are often motivated by the fear of disappointing their parents or the “yells” of their parents.

“They haven’t even figured out which foot to use as a pivot foot, and they’re going to act like they’re really good players,” he said. “Forget about playing for the love of the game or to support teammates. Too many players are focused on themselves.”

What’s your view on Geno Auriemma’s assessment of the modern-day basketball scene? Let us know in the comments section.