Ignore the noise
Set The Tone
Apologize For Nothing
The town literally gets together to vote on his job. Do they keep Coach Dale, or get rid of him. The season isn’t going well according to the community, but it is going just as planned for Coach Dale! He is carrying out his vision, and his plan. So, he gets up and says “I was hired to teach the game of basketball, and I’ve done that to the best of my ability. You might not be pleased with the results, but I am. I’m very proud of these boys. I apologize for nothing.”
The third lesson to learn from Coach Dale: Stick to the plan, and apologize for nothing. You can’t please everybody.
Fundamentals Led To Success
The fourth lesson to learn from Coach Dale: fundamentals and team first were the two foundations of his success! Stick to these things.
Confidence In His Plan
He has faith in what he is doing. He’s a veteran. This isn’t his first rodeo, and he knows how to build a winner! The principal questions him in the locker room at the very first halftime. Coach Dale’s response: “I know what I’m doing!”
Coach sticks to his principles. A kid fouled out right after he had benched another kid for a lack of effort. He absolutely refuses to put that star athlete back in the game. Why? It’s team first and putting that kid back in is not part of his plan and philosophy! His principles are more important than that.
He tells the kids during a timeout in the Semi Final game “Don’t get caught up in winning or losing, focus on the fundamentals we’ve been using all season.”
Sticks Up For His Team
At the first pep rally of the year, the student body starts chanting for the star player: JI-MMY! JI-MMY! JI-MMY! He wasn’t yet playing, and everyone knew that he was being missed from the team. Everyone but the coach that is. He gets on the microphone after putting the boys through a very tough workout in front of the pep rally, and says “That kind of effort demands your respect, THIS is your team.” He then walks away. What do you think that did for those kids on the team? They puffed out their chest a little. The coach just validated them in front of the whole school!
The sixth lesson to learn from Coach Dale: don’t just tell the team that it’s “Team First.” Practice it in your words and deeds!
He Lived What He Preached
There is a scene where a kid’s shoulder stitched came loose during the game. At first, Coach Dale wanted him to stay in the game. Then, he realized he was putting winning first. He was about to sacrifice the health of a student-athlete for a win. He caught himself in the heat of the moment, and decided against that. He then called a timeout to sub the kid.
The seventh lesson to learn from Coach Dale: Winning isn’t everything!
Believed In His Players
In the State Championship game, with just 18 seconds left, and the Hoosiers on the losing end, there was a timeout. Coach Dale called a play. The team didn’t like it. They felt more confidence in something else at that time. Jimmy said “I’ll make it.” So, the coach changed the play. He believed in them enough to make it happen because his plan and philosophy from the start were all coming together. He built a TEAM. They were of one mind!
The eighth lesson to learn from Coach Dale: be humble enough to recognize when you’ve made a wrong call.