Never did I want to call the first time-out during a game. Never. It was almost a fetish with me because I stressed conditioning to such a degree. I wanted UCLA to come out and run our opponents so hard that they would be forced to call the first time-out just to catch their breath. I wanted them to have to stop the running before we did.
At that first time-out, the opponent would know, and we would know they knew, who was in better condition.
Been a while since I’ve posted from the John Wooden book I got for Christmas last year. It doesn’t have a lot of basketball-related stuff, but I love this part. It’s under a heading called “Psychological Warfare” and Wooden says this was the only mindgame he ever used during games. For all the (deserved) legend of John Wooden as a teacher, leader, and motivator, it’s also good to remember that he was a helluva competitor and basketball coach.