Half Time Speeches

January 8, 2014
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Most people have heard of those flowery half time speeches that some famous coaches supposedly have given.  I guess there is some value in stirring up athletes before you send them back into the field of play.  Most of these speeches will work only once at best.  The real work at half time occurs in the changes that people make in their plans of attack.  Some times it may be as simple as switching one or two players, guarding someone different on the basketball court, or changing to zone coverage from man-to-man coverage in football.  The coaches who succeed the longest and win the most games are those that can make these seemingly simple changes, but in the long run, turn out to be the difference between winning and losing.  Of course, these changes don’t make for good bar room conversation like the coaches who tear mirrors off the wall or kick in locker doors.  Everyone is familiar with some of the tirades of Bobby Knight or Woody Hayes, but I’m sure it was the more quiet decisions on strategy or personnel changes that really made the difference.  I once threw chalk at a blackboard and the pieces went flying all over the room.  The team looked so shocked when I did this that all I said after that was “let’s go out and play Batesville basketball”.  It worked, but if I would have done it again, it would  have lost all of its effective as the shock value was gone.

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