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I'll never forget my first tournament as a high school coach. I was coaching the freshman team, and the other team had just taken a time out at a critical juncture.
We'd been handling our opponent easily, so the mood in the huddle was relaxed ... a little too relaxed, I thought. So I put on my "stern coach" face and began my "knuckle down, it ain't over till it's over" speech.
After a few seconds, I began a sentence by saying, "I don't want you guys to hate me, but..."
One of the players instantly interrupted, saying, "But we already hate you, coach!"
The entire team cracked up, went back onto the court and took care of business. I learned at that moment that huddles don't always have to be intense. When the game is flowing in your direction, it's often better just to keep the team loose and the mood of the huddle light.
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