Win At Home is a series of opinion articles written by author and motivational speaker Willie Spears. Learn more at www.williespears.com.
On June 30, 2021, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt interviewed Phoenix Suns Head Basketball Coach Monty Williams moments after the Suns defeated the L.A. Clippers in the Western Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.
Scott asked, “How have you found the sweet spot of being a mentor, a leader, and a task master when you have to be. How has that balanced been achieved?”
Coach Williams replied, “The essence of my coaching is to serve. As a believer in Christ that is what I’m here for. I tell them all the time, if I get on you, I’m not calling you out, I’m calling you up.” He went on to praise one of his players Devin Booker for his allegiance to his family and how tight knit they were. Coach Williams believes winning at home correlates to winning at work.
Sportscasters makes millions of dollars for their sports expertise. With all their experience, knowledge, and analytics no one picked the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns to be in the NBA Finals. Their retort would come in one word: injuries. These experts knew injuries were a possibility when they made their prediction. Who predicted this? No one. Who predicted a soft spoken, mild mannered, humble leader would lead their team to the final tournament of the year? No one.
In February of 2016 while working as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder Coach Monty Williams’ wife was killed in a car accident.
She was survived by Coach and their five children. No one could have predicted this tragedy. This reminds us how important it is to focus on family and win at home. One way to win at home is to spend time with one another, tell each other how we feel, and do not take each other for granted.
Coach Williams was a great husband and father who maximized the time he had with his wife during their over twenty years of marriage. He said friends and family helped him through the darkest time in his life. They served him the same way he serves his players. That is his style of coaching; to serve.
If I ask you to list the characteristics of a coach would serving be on your list? Would serving be at the top of your list? I do not know where we get our perception of a coach, but the head coach for the Phoenix Suns does not match what we think about traditional coaches.
Through email communication I spoke with a popular coach who stared in the Netflix sports documentary Last Chance U. I asked him if it was necessary to coach out of fear and he told me it was.
Monty Williams proves that is not true. I believe coaches should be who they are because that is what resonates with players. However, there is more than one way to lead, teach, and get results.
Coach Monty Williams is an excellent example of the benefits creating a win at home family atmosphere with his team.
Three ways to win at home:
1. Realize tomorrow is not promised and tell your family how you fell.
2. Call family members up not out.
3. Help one another through dark times.