1. It will not go the way you think.
  2. We are all on the same team

– Richard Pitino writes this on the board for his team’s first meeting of the season.

Things I’ve learned about the first team meeting of the year:

  • You aren’t getting all of the messages you want across.
  • It’s better to talk less and listen more.
  • Ask questions and hear your team.
    • Who do you guys want to be?
    • What’s important to you?
    • How good can we be?
    • How are we going to get there?
  • Start the process of ownership of your culture for them.
  • Let them know how hard it’s going to be.
  • It’s too early to name captains.
  • Don’t set numerical goals – set goals for how you are going to compete every day.
  • Take everything you want to say and throw 75% of it out – it’s too much.
  • People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
  • Let them know who you are.
  • Ask them about the pre-season.
  • The less absolutes you declare the better.
  • Be absolute when it comes to academics, punctuality and respect.
  • Don’t paint yourself into a corner with penalties – you don’t know what’s coming.
  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  • The path to success is not linear.
  • Your culture takes shape gradually, over time. You can’t force it.