Who thing/what thing?

“What offense are you going to run?”

I remember asking this of another coach years back. 

“UConn.,” he responded. 

I asked what the play involved: ballscreens, flare, pindown, what?

His answer?  “I don’t know, I just know every time the head coach called it we scored.”

This guy was in love with the “what” and he didn’t even know what the “what” was.  I think that many times coaches can fall in love with a what when really what makes something work is who. This can also run the other direction. We can think the “who” is the reason for a play’s success when really any number of players in that position would perform largely the same way. If we don’t properly evaluate the real reason something succeeds or fails then we can’t replicate or redirect. Is it a what thing or a who thing?  An important question to keep in mind!

Don’t fall in love with a play when it’s about who does it.

Don’t fall in love with a who when it’s a play thing.


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