I had the unique opportunity to chat with the entire athletic department at the University of Connecticut.
One of my favorite interviews was with Coach Auriemma and his staff. When I was hired to speak at UConn I asked my contact if I would be able to meet any of the staff and speak to them. More than anybody I wanted to chat with Coach Geno.
I had always been a basketball fan and when UConn began to dominate women’s basketball even the most casual basketball fan knew about them. When I was in college at North Carolina State University, I worked for the women’s basketball team and unfortunately UConn ended our season in my senior year.
Needless to say I always respected the iconic program and it’s leader.
Early in the morning I gave a presentation in front of the entire athletic department and I observed Coach in way in the back with a small journal writing. I didn’t think he was paying attention at all, but I knew I had a scheduled meeting with him and his staff later so I wasn’t too worried.
Then I met him.
I walked through the shrine that was the UConn Women’s Basketball Center. I saw all of the championship trophies and all the banners. I got to walk on the practice court and saw Huskie legend Sue Bird practicing.
We sat down in his office and he said, “I got some notes down from the talk you gave earlier. Whenever people have good things to say I always try to jot some notes down…So how can I help you?”
I had an entire list of questions that I suddenly forgot because I was a little in awe that I was sitting down and talking to a legendary future hall of fame coach.
So after I composed myself I asked him a bunch of questions about his career presently and in the past. Here’s the biggest takeaway I got.
You have to earn your success every single day.Geno Auriemma
As amazingly successful as he and his teams have been over the years he said they still run practices and treat playing time with all the players the same: You earn your spot.
No matter how highly touted a prospect is, they have to come in and earn their playing time.
Here’s the takeaway. Earn your success every single day by being the best version of you that you can be. Your success is your responsibility.