«

»

Print this Post

John Calipari: “Body language screams; it never whispers”

By MIKE MARSEE, marsee@amnews.com

Kentucky coach John Calipari took time Monday during his satellite camp at Boyle County High School to talk to the parents and other adults in the audience about body language and what it can say about young players, using his son, Brad, as an example.

“My son’s 16 years old, he’s a good kid, a good student. But we all think they know, and they really don’t until they get in situations,” he said. “With my son, I watch him one day, this is about three weeks ago. He sleeps over with a friend, it’s a 9 o’clock in the morning game, he didn’t sleep, and he’s got, like, an attitude and a body language on the court.

“Now, I don’t say things at (his) games. I don’t speak one way or another. I’ve probably got a camera on me. … I don’t say anything. But on that morning I got up, walked the baseline, his coach was done talking to him, I said, ‘Come here, son. You’re not going to have that kind of attitude on the court. I will take you immediately off the court.’

“Then I talked to his high school coach, who I’ve not spoken to, and said, ‘Coach, if my son has that kind of body language or attitude, if you don’t take him off the court, I’ll embarrass us all and I’ll take him off the court.’ I say that to you, (because) that’s my son and you would think, ‘Boy, he would know better,’ and I’m going to tell you, he’s a good boy, Now, every game he plays, he says, ‘How was my body language?’ He didn’t know what that looked like.

“Body language screams; it never whispers. When a baby is hungry or is frustrated, what does it do? Screams and cries. Well, how about when a 13-year-old is frustrated or anxious? They cop an attitude, the body language goes bad. So then you have to figure out, ‘What is going on here, because you’re a good kid, and you’re acting like … a knucklehead, and you’re not.’ Well, there’s something happening there.

“As you see your son, it’s normal. They cop an attitude or put their head down or pout when they make a mistake … that is a normal thing that we all have to correct as parents.”

Calipari also said players and their parents shouldn’t be concerned with shooting when they’re young.

“My hope is that you took things away from here that you can go back and work on, whether it’s ball-handling stuff that we talked about. Understand now that shooting is the last thing you need to work on as a player. Shooting is the last thing you should work on, because at this age, how do they shoot the ball? They launch it. You have a big ball that seems like a beach ball, shooting at a big rim that seems like it’s 29 feet up in the air to them, and they heave it. That’s nothing to do with how you learn to the shoot the basketball,” he said.

“What you should be spending 90 percent of your time on is getting their feel for the ball, bouncing it with their head up, so that they can go (with) both hands with their head up. Then all of a sudden they’re on their way.”

Calipari said young players who are committed to the game will probably be committed to the other priorities in their lives as they grow older.

“The thing about this great sport is you see improvement really quickly. That helps young people commit to it and fall in love with it, because it’s easy to see improvement. What I’m proud of Brad about, I don’t know how good he’s going to be, I really don’t. But I do know how committed he is to getting better. I live with him, and I know how emotionally attached he is to basketball. I’m happy, because you and I know, if he can take that commitment that he’s showing to this sport into the real world, he’s good,” he said. “If he loves something, he’s committed to it, he understands the ups and downs of this sport or any sport.

“So I would tell you, if your child is into this, it’s a great thing. It’s also a great thing for you to teach them about commitment, every day we’re going to get better, and then when you see him emotionally attached.

“Some of you right now will tell me, ‘My son is emotionally attached to this game right now.’ Well, let’s say he stays emotionally attached to this game for the next 10 or 12 years. The minute he’s going to give that commitment to loving something else, he can do it because he knows what it feels like. … Use basketball; don’t let it use you.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/john-calipari-body-language-screams-it-never-whispers/

8 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. Phillip Barker

    I always felt that the magical game of basketball was so much more than just bouncing it and shooting it through the hoop…it just gave you so much more if you really loved it. The comment,”The minute he’s going to give that commitment to loving something else, he can do it because he knows what it feels like. … Use basketball; don’t let it use you.” strikes at just one of the many hidden benefits of this great game. Your awareness of your gut feelings and strong commitment to whatever you value in life is so critical to who you are…We have the best Coach in America!

  2. Larry T Clemons

    He’s not just a Good Coach, He’s a Great Man…A True Blue Kentucky Gentleman… Coach Calipari is Teaching, The Game Of Life…

  3. Bruce Swenson

    I think Cal ought to be careful what he says as his body language is terrible when he rants and raves up and down the sideline when one of his players does something he doesn’t like. He swears like a drunken sailor too so before he tries to clean up his sons act he best clean up his own. :)

  4. Kokamo Joe

    Larry:

    Just as Calipari must be given credit for his great 8, final 4, and national championship, he must be held responsible for his one very bad year.

    I say this because no man is perfect, not even the coach for which we have ample respect.

    I also remind you that these god like comments were lavished upon Rick Pitino when he was bringing in the recruits, rescuing us from Sutton, and having his teams shine in the SEC and the NCAA tournament. You may or may not have been heaping this type of praise on him THEN, but that was the common BBN attitude THEN. I believe that you don’t share that opinion of Pitino NOW.

    We all have the right to our own opinions. I respect your right to worship whom you choose. My opinion is based on the idea that if I look to a any man as a god I am putting too much pressure on the man since no man is perfect.

  5. Larry T Clemons

    HOG WASH KJ….Coach Cal is respected by me as is Coach Pitino, for my own personal reasons…. YOU, KJ are the only one referring to Coach Cal & Coach Pitino as being revered with, ” as you put it, ” God like comments “…And their you go trying to read minds, again, (KJ, you stated about me), ” I believe you don’t share that opinion of Pitino NOW “. First I never shared a God-like opinion of any man…But, I do personally Love Coach Pitino for what he did for Kentucky Basketball and some of my Family members. Quit trying to tell us what everybody ( Me and Coach Cal) are thinking or implying, by Our statements, because, again, you’ve been proved completely wrong, NOW ! KJ, there has been only one man, I’ve ever Worship praise upon, And, his initials are JC…….No KJ, that’s not John Calipari, you little mind reader ,you.

  6. Kokamo Joe

    First let me humbly apologize for assuming that you had a negative view of Pitino now. My assumption was based on some of your statements about the team that he now coaches. Again, I assumed that you were a part of that large group of UK fans who despise Pitino for taking the UL job. I share your admiration for what Pitino did for us when he rescued us from Sutton’s shame and took us back to the top, which is exactly what Calipari has done. It is not wise to assume.

    I do not think that it is a stretch to think that much of the BBN sees UK’s successful coaches as more than mere mortal men. Blue clad kids and adults lined up at Boyle County to have him autograph a ball, shirt or scrap of paper and to have their picture taken with him. Many had a look in their upturned faces that indicated rapture. It was clear that basketball has high importance and the men who lead it and the kids who play are more than just plain people.

    Would rock star be a better description be better for you. I continue to think basketball god, but it is purely semantics.

  7. Larry T Clemons

    KJ SAYS, ” First let me humbly apologize for assuming that you had a negative view of Pitino now. My assumption was based on some of your statements about the team that he now coaches.” KJ, What Statements ! I grew up in Louisville and Love them, and Coach Crum, since he came from UCLA. Darrel Griffith was my first Basketball Super Hero… Louisville Basketball will always be my Second Favorite Team. And as far as the Current ( National Championship ) Team, It’s one of the BEST, most gracious and kind young men, we’ve ever had at Louisville, (heck even LP, gave them compliments). Now let me go back and read the rest of your creative writing skills ( Fiction).

  8. Larry T Clemons

    KJ says, ” scrap of paper and to have their picture taken with him. Many had a look in their upturned faces that indicated rapture. It was clear that basketball has high importance and the men who lead it and the kids who play are more than just plain people.

    Would rock star be a better description be better for you. I continue to think basketball god, but it is purely semantics. ” WOW, KJ you are WAAAAY over thinking this. I can only relate my story of UK Basketball was one of Love with a Uncle and a Young Boy, who didn’t have a good relationship with his Father, (that young boy would be Me). But every time Kentucky would Play basketball my Uncle would invite Me over to watch…I learn about Louie Dampier, Issell, Tommy Cron (who I worked for one summer, later on) etc…And RUPP, Glad I was blessed to see him Coach. I even followed those Ky Players in the ABA. Rock Stars/Gods, KJ you are so OFF BASE, (check your own thought process) before you Judge All of Us. For me it was about Family and Love from a Man, (my Uncle Rock) who knew a Young Boy needed his attention. And he is still my Rock to this day…Actually he owns a couple of Signed UK Basketballs from his favorite Nephew(me)…

Comments have been disabled.