|No doubt in my mind that|
Bonny's work habits set the
foundation for our later success.
She had a special routine she did every single day after practice. She didn't do this "sometimes" or "often", she did her workout every single day. If our practice got done at 8:00pm, my wife knew when Bonny was playing that I would not be home until probably 9:00pm.
It is no accident that her senior year was the first time Galesburg made it to the Sweet Sixteen. And it is no surprise that we started a run of going to State every year after that. I am convinced that although Bonny had graduated, she remained an influence in our program for 5-6 years after that. Players like Sara Wood and Molly Watson had seen Bonny's commitment and work ethic, and they picked up right where she left off. Her work ethic was contagious!
Bonny also had fun, maybe that is part of her secret. She won my wife's heart over. One summer she found out our wedding anniversary and realized it was on a summer league night. So she surprised us with plates from home, table cloth, candles, and a meal she fixed. She set it up in the lockeroom so we had our anniversary dinner.
Bonny is one of those special players coaches have. I am not sure where it got started but where most players when they get close to a coach, refer to them as "Coach." When Bonny got comfortable it just became "Massey." In her answers you will see I am still "Massey."
So the question- what got Bonny so fired up?
I remember being a sophomore and players that weren't better than me, started getting better than me. I have always wanted to be the best I could be, but I didn't put in the extra time to develop skills on my own. A varsity player would sometimes take me home after practice and she (Christy Hickey) always stayed to work on her shooting. I would also stay after because I had no other choice. My routine was not organized until Massey showed us a shooting routine (I think it was Steve Alford). I adopted that and then continued to stay after practice for an hour regardless of my ride.
Not only what I mentioned above helped my motivation, but I didn't want to be the one that let my team down. I didn't want to be the one that you could point to and say, "She had potential and it was never developed." I realized that there is only so much that I could do to increase my skills in practice. If I truly wanted to be good, it was my responsibility to get better...not my coaches. Massey and Peachey didn't have to tell me to stay after, but they were always there for me to ask questions and for encouragement. For all of the sacrifices that my coaches and teammates made for our team, I was not going to be the selfish one and not do the same.
Besides the open gyms and weights that the rest of the team did, I would also run a mile every day. I would also do my shooting routine at least 4-5 days a week. (I would start under the basket and toss the ball to the short corner. I would run after it and catch, pivot, and shoot. I would get my rebound and toss it to the other short corner and do the same. I would shoot about 10 shots and then go to the free throw line and shoot 10 free throws. Then I would do the same, but toss it to the wing. Then free throws. I would continue the pattern but going to the elbow, do post moves, and within the key. I would do this at game speed, so when I was at the free throw line I was tired.) I would also go to the YMCA and play pick up ball with some of my teammates and others there.
I think this depends on what position they are. If they are a post, I would tell the to develop their shot and post moves because it makes them more of a threat. Guards also need to develop their shot, but also their ball handling skills. I would also tell them that they have to play as much as possible. Game situations help you know where you are weak and those are areas that you need to address. I would recommend them to talk to their coach about 2 areas that they can improve in and do everything to be the best in those areas.
It is a sacrifice that you need to decide if you are willing to take. I sacrificed time with my friends, vacations with my family, and time to veg. If you can find other teammates that are willing to put the team first and make those sacrifices to become better, it will be a team that you will never forget.