This quote made me think of the San Antonio Spurs coach, Gregg Popovich.
When the Nike Basketball Clinics would come to Chicago, our team at the University of St. Francis would demonstrate for the coaches who spoke. It was a nice opportunity for our players to meet and work with coaches whom they saw on television and it was a great opportunity for me and my coaching staff to learn.
One year the Nike people decided to have an NBA only clinic. The only speakers were NBA coaches. I had never seen a clinic like this in my forty-four years of coaching basketball.
Demonstrating for ten different coaches covering many different phases of the game is not an easy job. Our players had to be very attentive for long hours and had to quickly adapt to the teaching and terminology of each coach.
Our guys finished their work on Friday night at 10 p.m. We had to be back in the gym Saturday morning for a 7:30 a.m. lecture and work with the coaches until 10 p.m. that night.
The last speaker Saturday night was Gregg Popovich. None of us had ever met him until that evening. During his presentation our center, Arvydas Astrauskas, turned his ankle badly, an unfortunate accident.
A month after the clinic, out of nowhere, I received a call from Coach Popovich. He asked for Arvydas’ telephone number so he could call him to see how he was doing. His call did surprise Arvydas! He then said he would like to provide tickets for us when the Spurs came to play the Bulls. After the game, he came up and shook hands with each of our players.
This was a real-life reflection of the Babcock quote. We could do absolutely nothing for Coach Popovich. Nothing!
Might this be a good lesson for all leaders to consider?