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Did Tom Izzo go too far? - Dr. Bhrett McCabe
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Did Tom Izzo go too far?

I have received a ton of messages about a certain situation that happened over the weekend during the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament. The incident in particular involved Michigan State Head Basketball Coach, Tom Izzo, clearly yelling at one of his players as he was coming off the court during a timeout.

It has been talked about ad nauseam, but I thought I could bring a different perspective on this issue from a coaching and a player perspective.

Building Up vs. Tough Love

When you have situations like Tom Izzo’s, the “in-the-moment” display may not seem like a coach who cares greatly for his player or incites the “feel good,” “build them up” coaching camps. Yet, what is worse? A coach that goes all-in to improve a player or a coach that will not be honest so that they do not hurt a player’s feelings?

When coaching from a perspective of LOVE, it by no means implies that you will feel better right now. That’s the mistake too many players make by thinking positive feelings are always the result. What it does mean, though, is that over time, the impact will be positive & meaningful.

Coaches must toe the line of getting a message across, teaching for the future, and using the current scenario to make a player reach a level of excellence they are capable of. Because of abuses of coaches in the past, the pendulum has swung now to public ridicule too often. It is very important that we look at the bigger picture.

Coaches should never cross the line, however and that is without negotiation. Never forget to always meet with the player when emotion settles down to discuss, teach, and build up. That is paramount!

For players, social media is not your support group. If you have been in a similar situation, you know that those commenting rarely have your best interest at heart and would rather see conflict because of you than growth with you.