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Tough love

It's been a few weeks now and I've taken some time off from writing. I've been crazy busy but I am happy to be back, and have learned a bunch during this brief hiatus - a lot about myself, the game and life. It's amazing how the journey here can be one continuous learning experience if you allow it to be.

I've previously mentioned basketball and its life parallels. I'm not sure where this is going to go, but I also know exactly where this is going... so just bare with me!

I love basketball, I always have and I know a lot who feel the same way. Whether it was/is your outlet, your safe place, your pure enjoyment like it was mine... it's hard not to love. It's smooth, rhythmic and, as Ray Allen once quoted, it's like poetry in motion. It's special when players buy into culture and embody it. It's special when coaches hold their players to a high standard and push them, and players respond. It's special when that ball moves, when the bodies move, when the communication is clear, when you win, the warm embraces, the connectivity, the life long relationships. All of it.

But so are the tough conversations. And as coaches, we're lucky that's a positive in our line of work. and I mean BEING a coach...Like, actually being one. Not just adopting the moniker, but living up to it. Being a true coach of a competitive sport gives you great perspective on life. Just the sheer nature of it - being on the sidelines, outside of the action, watching and analyzing- gives an objective point of view, which allows you to breakdown the totality of the game in front of you into segments; positives and negatives and where to attack weaknesses to improve. Personally, it has given me great perspective in many other areas in life off the court. And one of those is, in fact, having the tough conversations.

I'm an emotional guy. I'm fiery, passionate and when it comes to coaching, I'm obsessive. Sorry, wifey. When I got my first head coaching job, my AD said I need to cool down, to be patient, to not go in hooting and hollering... all before my first day. I agreed with her wholeheartedly, told her I was playing the long game. But then I did it anyways. I told her yes and k