“To me teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless.” Coach K
Chiney Ogwumike dissectsthe various aspects of floor leadership while writing a blog at ESPNW about her Stanford team’s recent Pac-12 Title.
“Even though I could never admit it out loud, in my head I always wondered if I could ever be that instrumental leader for our team that she was. Our Pac-12 tournament championship game taught me, you do not assume leadership … you attack it! You embrace it! You share it!”
But, not every night is your night as a leader. In this game she needed to learn how to share the ball and the responsibility of winning with her team. Credit to the great coach Tara Vandeveer for guiding her there.
“I took my last shot toward the end of the second half, and immediately after, during a timeout, Coach Tara told me, “Chiney, you cannot do this by yourself.” A big part of leadership is being able to let go, for the right reasons. No offense to the Mamba, but I could have gone all Kobe, forcing things to the point of no return (hey sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t).
But again in all seriousness, I learned in that moment that leadership is shared in moments of adversity. The ball most rightfully deserved to be in Amber’s hands. She was having her best night. We trusted in her playmaking abilities … and she delivered. Amber had a momentous steal and the game-winning layup!”
The whole post is up at ESPNW. You can read it here.