It was easy for me to decide what to write about – STREAKS! It seems that on every sports broadcast or newspaper article over the past couple of months there has been a reference to some streak. We had the Brett Favre streak, the Penn State women’s volleyball streak and the one we all watched with intense interest — the UConn women’s basketball streak that set the NCAA basketball record.
As the UConn women’s team got closer to setting the NCAA record, just mentioning the streak wasn’t enough. The streak had to be analyzed and compared to other streaks. Was the UConn basketball streak as good as the UCLA men’s? All of this chatter by the media got me thinking about my thoughts on streaks.
Streaks get so much attention because they are extraordinary. I am so impressed with these streaks because in order to have continued excellence an individual or team has to be consistent. This is one of life’s biggest challenges. To be able to “bring it” every day it takes incredible discipline and focus.
As a basketball coach I am in awe and applaud the 90-game UConn win streak. People have asked me if the streak was good for women’s basketball and I say, “Yes.”
Our game was sold out with scalpers. The energy in Maples Pavilion was electric. The crowd was loud and very enthusiastic. Many people were there to watch women’s basketball for the first time. People since have stopped me in the grocery store, walking my dog or in hotels and airports to tell me how much they enjoyed being there or watching on TV that night.
The attention that it brought to the women’s game was great! The television ratings were the highest of any regular season women’s basketball game. Each local news affiliates ran highlights as the lead story, as did ESPN. A women’s basketball score was shown on CNN!
Right after the game I had 67 text messages and over 300 emails. The fun thing for me was hearing from so many former players, friends and basketball fans! One email was from Bob Lewis, a retired coach who coached the boys at Milne HS in Albany, NY. This was where I went to school 7-10th grade. Since there were not teams for girls, I was the boys' team mascot for a short time (I got fired for watching the games instead of leading cheers). In my freshman yearbook Coach Lewis wrote “to the best basketball player in the 9th grade – boy or girl”. I have never forgotten that. I wrote back to Coach Lewis – “look how far women’s basketball has come!”
We are so fortunate to be part of an exciting time in women’s basketball. We each have an opportunity to be part of a streak! The streak I want to keep alive is that each day I go to the gym for practice or games positive, prepared, enthusiastic and appreciative. I want our team and staff to know how special they are and how much I enjoy working with them. Each day I want to keep the streak going and if for some reason the streak is broken I redouble my efforts the next day and start a new one!