We’ve all seen the movies…. “Remember The Titans”, “Coach Carter”. The motivational sports movie’s that always portray a struggling team prevailing through a Championship game with the touch of a motivational speech from the coach. I couldn’t have picked a more suiting topic this week. Because upon my arrival to the Men’s practice today I learned that the NCAC Basketball Preseason Coaches poll had been revealed today. Allegheny Women’s Basketball team placed fourth out of ten teams. And the Men’s team, placed in tenth place out of ten. Whether they were aware of this or not, it is discouraging news to start the season off. If only it took a motivational speech from  Samuel L. Jackson to push the team through the Season, or maybe even “Michael Jordan’s Special Stuff”, but here, in the real world where the sweat, hard work and dedication lives it takes a little more. It takes motivation.

Prior to learning this news I walked onto the courts to find a wide range of music blasting. It began with “Sister Christian” by Lone Ranger to “Murder She Wrote” by Chaka Demus & Pliers. Is this where it begins? Setting the atmosphere, getting the hopes up, raising the mood.

There are a set of mannerisms that live on each hardwood floor across the nation, but what each player takes away from that is different.

The huddle is an interesting place on the court, its where everyone can throw their two cents in, what they need to do differently, what strategies they need to take on, all while the humidity from each other’s body sits on the next person’s shoulder.

Communication is key also, and is another thing practiced consistently. Not only for calling the person you will defend, or calling the shot you will take but for affirmations. In the game credit is always given. It is a way to keep the wheels turning and the motivation high.

The music, the huddle, affirmations. All of these are such small details in the grander scheme but serve as the oil to the machine.

Theres no stopping this team , maybe work needs to be done, tweaks will be made. However this is still the same team I observed last week and the week before, the ones that reeked of passion. The same Coach that coaches with a loud voice and enthusiasm  And that is enough motivation to go around.