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Stuck In A Rut? Here’s How To Win Like The UConn Huskies | I Want to be an Owner
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Stuck In A Rut? Here’s How To Win Like The UConn Huskies

The University of Connecticut (UConn) women’s basketball team captured its fourth straight national championship with cold-blooded efficiency.

Its seven-time James A. Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year, Geno Auriemma, made history by winning a record 11 championships and passing the legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach, John Wooden.

Much has been talked about, debated, and analyzed surrounding UConn’s dominance and whether it is good or bad for basketball. However, this it is not the first time critics have questioned whether a basketball team is too good for their sport.

160406072024-01-womens-bball-0406-super-169In 1997, a Sports Illustrated cover story asked, “Are the Chicago Bulls so good they’re bad for the NBA?” And more recently, GQ Magazine questioned the Golden State Warriors’ unparalleled record by commenting that they are “so good they’re ruining the NBA.”

Sure, no one enjoys watching lopsided blowout victories; yet, somehow when accomplished female athletes attain perfection it attracts vitriol from women’s basketball outsiders.

Meanwhile, inside of the women’s basketball landscape, there is no denying that the Huskies’ dominance challenges their opponents to become better.

Take Lubbock Christian, the eventual Division II national champions, for example, who played the Huskies in an exhibition game at the start of the season.

“They started the year off by beating us by 56 points,” said head coach Steve Gomez. “I appreciate it so much because it was the best drubbing we have ever taken. It got us off to a good start learning how to compete with the best.”

Syracuse Orange head coach, Quentin Hillsman, commented on UConn’s dynasty before the finals match up, describing the Huskies as a team that has forgotten how to lose.

“I want to be bad for basketball one day,” said Hillsman jokingly. “I want you all to say he is really bad for basketball. Because I tell you right now, if winning every game is bad for basketball, then let me be that.”

Yes, UConn won every single game this season compiling a 37-0 record. Remarkably, the team has not lost a game since 2014.

Led by WBCA National Player of the Year, Breanna Stewart, arguably the greatest player in UConn history, the Huskies are disciplined, technically proficient, and the embodiment of excellence.

While I sat behind UConn’s bench during the national championship game, I was in awe of their talent and attention detail. Their poise and confidence were inspiring, and a true testament to what is possible when athletes are focused on a single goal – to win a championship.

There is no denying that the players are talented millennials, a generation that is often criticized for being spoiled and lazy. Rarely are 20-something voices heard or even praised for that matter, however, after the Huskies cut down the nets and celebrated their victory, I wanted to learn what it takes to win four consecutive national championships.

I caught up with the players in the locker room and asked them one question: “What advice would you give someone who wants to perform at a high level?” Here is what they had to say.

Never apologize for being great.
Kia Nurse – Sophomore, 6-0 Guard

Never apologize for being great at something or wanting to be great at it. There are people who are going to be in your path along the way, who understand you and understand why you fight so hard and compete so hard each and every day. And there are people who will not understand it, hate on you and not appreciate it. But never apologize for being great at something or wanting to be great it.

If it is easy, then you are doing it wrong.
Gabby Williams – Sophomore, 5-11 Guard

If it is easy, then you are doing it wrong. That is something that you have to learn quick, especially at this program. People come in, and they see the outcome, but they do not see what goes into it. At times, we do make it look easy on the court that is because we practice until we cannot get it wrong anymore.

Prepare the right way.
Moriah Jefferson – Senior, 5-7 Guard

You have to prepare the right way. You have to work extremely hard each and every day. This championship did not start at the tournament; it started in the summertime when we were doing workouts with the military. You have to work hard each and every day, so when you are tested and put in tough situations, you are prepared for it.

Win or lose, put it all out there.
Breanna Stewart – Senior, 6-4 Forward

When you feel the most satisfied. You feel like you have done all that you can do. When you are working this hard and performing at that level, there is nothing else that can be asked of you. No matter win or lose, anything like that as long as you are putting it all out there that is what you want.

Get up and go after what you want.
Briana Pulido – Senior, 5-7 Guard

It is hard work, but that is not something that is not every other day or every other week, it is hard work every single day. There is a sense of not giving up. You will be hit by obstacles in life, and you just have to know how to get up and go after what you want.

Dedication is knowing what you want.
Saniya Chong – Junior, 5-8 Guard

It takes dedication; know what you want and what you love. You are obviously going to make mistakes. How are you going to step up and figure it out?

Learn how to handle failure.
Natalie Butler – Junior, 6-5 Center

It takes a strong work ethic. Determination, I think that is the biggest thing. Seeing what you love and just going out there and having the passion for it. If you do not have the passion for what you are doing, you are not going to get what you want out of it. And not to be afraid to fail, because you’re going to fail through the processes.

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