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Calipari on conditioning, motivation and potential

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach John Calipari talked about conditioning, motivating players and determining if a player has reached his potential during his press conference Friday leading to today’s game against Portland.

On how conditioning is going …
Calipari: “Good, it’s really more of a mindset. It’s not going for an hour in the morning. A lot of it is the mental part of training in the morning. Mentally tougher, mentally stronger, not letting go of the rope, stuff like that. We practiced good yesterday. It’s what we need right now.”

On how he decides how to motivate guys …
Calipari: “You coach them all different but yet there is a bar that they all have to understand, they all get treated to a certain level. How you deal with some guys and how you deal with others, some you’re going at guys to see if they are really tough enough to make this. Other guys you’re trying to drag them to see if they have more in them. There comes a point when you look and say he is what he is and when you do that, you’re basically now just saying let’s get this guy to be the best he can be, this is about where he is. I hate to ever get there with players. I want to make sure that we are challenging them and pushing them. Kids are different, they respond to different things. Yet in the same sense, how you get a guy to play like he’s supposed to play they’re different.”

On backing off if he thinks a guy has reached his potential …
Calipari: “It isn’t about breaking, it’s about, that’s as good as you can get, that’s as good as you want to get. If I want it more than you want it for yourself this is where you’re going to be. The thing is, what happens to that player in most cases is that you live with the regret. ‘Man I could have, if I had just…’ and that’s what you never want to live with and you sit down and tell them. I’ve never had a guy break, my guys all get better and come in with an attitude that they want to get better and that’s what they do. I’ve seen guys really get on guys, but there is a big difference when you have a good relationship with kids and they understand.”

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