We played ten times for the national championship while I was coaching at UCLA. Each time we were fortunate enough to win. And each time near the end of the contest when I felt we had the game in hand, I told the team during a time-out, “Now, remember when this game is over to behave in an appropriate manner. Do not make fools of yourselves. Let the alumni and student body do that if they choose. Don’t you do it!”
Your reaction to victory or defeat is an important part of how you play the game. I wanted my players to display style and class in either situation — to lose with grace, to win with humility.
That lesson has been one of the toughest things to teach for me as a parent. Sometimes kids tend to overreact to both successes and failures.
If you don’t know what this post/series is about, see the John Wooden tag and specifically the first quote I posted.