Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Billy Donovan On Perspective

"Your whole entire life, you're chasing this trophy, this crystal ball. At the end of the day, it doesn't bring any value to your life. That's probably the biggest thing I've learned. There's an illusion created by society, whoever it may be, that if you do do this, you will be somebody. You'll be of significance. You'll be of importance."

"A sports psychologist did a study. They took, I think, 100 athletes in the Olympics in 2012 and they asked them, 'If you could take a performance-enhancing drug and be guaranteed to win a gold medal and it would be totally traceless and it could never be detected. You'd win the gold medal and it would never be detected, but five years after the time you take it, you will die.' Fifty percent of the athletes said they would do it. I think that's because our society has created this feeling of what success is about. It's an illusion. It's the biggest thing that destroys people's lives in a way. I'd like to win 15 national championships. It's a great feeling, a great experience. I look at coaches who have not had a chance to get to Final Fours or not had a chance to win national championships, for them to think the true meaning or success is labeled by not accomplishing that, then they're making a huge mistake in their life."

"You never know what life's about until you get something you think is really important, then you get it. I heard Tom Brady, after he won three of five Superbowls, and he was being interviewed, and this was before I won a national champion. In the interview, he said, 'There's got to be more to life than this. There's got to be more.' For a young coach coming in, trying to get guys to understand that the focus has to be making an everlasting impact that is a lot larger than championships. That's nothing wrong with striving for and achieving it, but what you learn in those situations when you do accomplish it, and you do it, and life moves on. The real value and joy is what can be accomplished in a positive way when a group of players totally sacrifices and buys in and does something special that they know they can't do by themselves."

"I see guys, sometimes, that are young coaches that totally go for this sellout mentality, thinking that winning is going to bring them a lot of materialistic, monetary or short-lived things that, at the end of the day, aren't going to have much meaning or value. When you win a national championship, it's significant and important; I'm not diminishing that. But if you coach for 25, 30 years, how often is that going to happen? Once? Twice? If you're really fortunate, three times. So where does the significance come from what you're doing?
At the end of the day when you're hoisting up the trophy, and the next morning and the sun comes up, life moves on. It's the next year, the next season. The process of going through and trying to teach our guys how to sacrifice, how to be unselfish, how to work hard, how to lift someone up, how to be positive--all those things I think bring value to them."

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