Now I understand a little bit more about why Geno Auriemma is so insanely successful as head coach of the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team (110 straight wins, gunning for 5th consecutive national title which would be his record setting 12th national title).
He recently added another title to his growing cadre–King of the Internet–when a year-old tirade he made at a Final Four press conference recently got re-posted by a baseball hitting coach and surged to 24 million views in less than a day.
Auriemma talks about a surprising key cornerstone of his coaching philosophy: body language.
More particularly, body language as a sign of how invested you are in your teammates and the game all around you, versus just yourself.
Auriemma laments the fact that kids growing up in sports put too much emphasis on their own stats. As Auriemma said, “They’re always thinking about themselves. Me, me, me. I didn’t score enough so why should I be happy? I didn’t get enough minutes so why should I be happy?”
So, Auriemma pays keen attention to the body language he sees.
Here’s the amazing part.
Says Auriemma, “When I watch game films I’m checking for what’s going on on the bench. If somebody is asleep over there, if somebody doesn’t care, if somebody is not engaged in the game, they will never get in the game. Ever. And they know that. They know I’m not kidding.”
And he’s not.
Indeed, Auriemma tells of when he benched 4 time national champion and first pick in the 2016 WNBA draft, Breanna Stewart, because he she was “acting like a 12 year old”.
Will somebody buy this guy a beer, pronto?
Auriemma’s core tenant of leadership begs an interesting question. What’s your body language like with your teammates? Are you all-in, or all-into yourself?
I think it makes for a great test–you can’t hide your energy level regarding your interest in the well-being and success of others and the team.
It’s worth repeating.
If you’re invested in the success of others, you can’t hide it. Same for the opposite.
So think of body language as a simple but powerful thing to check for on your own daily “game film.” And hold your teammates accountable to the same.