A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times had one of those great stories I like – a good read with a nugget that offers great definition and insight. The article was a well-written profile of the basketball coach of Bellarmine University, a Division II school in Louisville, Kentucky.
The article focused on the team, coached by Scott Davenport, and its consistent ability to be at the top of national shooting percentage rankings. Information about team drills and the coach’s teaching philosophy were outlined. My favorite passage was this:
“Davenport said his basketball philosophy was rooted in a book he first read when he was 13 years old: “The Open Man: The Championship Diary of the N.Y. Knicks,” by Dave DeBusschere. The book chronicled the 1969-70 season and celebrated the team’s selfless style of play. Davenport has a dog-eared copy somewhere at home.”
Inspiration, or a life’s philosophy, can come into focus at any time. We never know when it will strike – and sometimes don’t realize it has hit us until much later. Books can serve as a playbook for life. My professional life changed when I read Jim Collins’ “Good to Great.” Even though the book was about financial companies, I could apply many of the lessons learned to communications and creating successful strategic plans.
I would say it’s a safe assumption that Debusschere didn’t intend for the book to serve as a coaching bible. But, by simply writing the book, he helped to make a number of young men better on the court.
The lesson for me: tell your story. It may serve to inspire others.