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John Calipari doesn’t want to burden players mentally, “touching” them more in individual workouts

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

It’s not  unusual for Kentucky coach John Calipari to pose questions to media members to help emphasize a point he wants to make. He did it again after Saturday’s win over Florida.

“Now let me ask you. We don’t do long film sessions? Why is that? Attention span. It’s eight minutes. Come on.

Unless they’re watching themselves. They’ll go four straight hours and won’t go to the bathroom,” he joked. “So you can make that as long as you want. But if it’s having to do the other stuff, they can’t.
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Calipari later admitted players never have had long attention spans when it comes to film study during his coaching career.

“I’ve never had long film sessions. I don’t give them scouting reports. Do you know why I don’t give them a scouting report of the other team? I want them to know our stuff. Now I’m going to have them learn their stuff?” Calipari said.

“My managers know all the other team’s stuff. They go through it.

 My team plays their stuff. They don’t have to remember. There is actions they got to remember. And the whole time is, how do I get my guys free mentally. Fresh legs and fresh minds in March. That’s what wins.”

Fresh minds?

“Fresh minds means I’m not overwhelming them with two-hour film sessions or with big long scouting reports and overdoing this.

They got to feel free and fresh going into March,” Calipari said.  “And you know, to be honest — and I probably said this last time — about three weeks ago, four weeks ago, I thought we may have maxed out. I’m like, I don’t know if I can get anything more out of this group. I told the team that.”

Now he obviously thinks there’s more this team can do. Kentucky has gone from being two games out of first place in the SEC race to having a two-game edge over Auburn and LSU with four games left. If UK beats Auburn and Tennessee in Rupp Arena the worst the Cats can do is share the league title with LSU and then UK still gets the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament because of its win over LSU last week.

“Well, one of the things I’m doing, I’m starting to work out with a couple of the players. There are four guys that I’m doing individuals with myself,” Calipari said without naming the players. “And the reason is, I want them to understand I am for them, I am invested in them, I love you, I want you to do well. Let’s got some work. So I’m touching them more.
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3 comments

  1. Well, I thought coaches decided what is important for players to learn and then teach them and train them.

    Silly me.

  2. Just roll the ball out there coach

  3. That is really disappointing to hear from Coach. Coach Payne is talking about correcting selfish play and Coach Cal is saying don’t worry about it. Chances are nothing will change and we miss another shot at a SEC tourney title and a Final 4. Come on Coach. This is what you are being paid the big bucks for. This team is living on the edge more than most will admit and God forbid that we slide off on the wrong side. Now is the time to go over every minute of each game. Identify the issues like too few passes to bigs, having trouble with the press, not blocking out, not taking open shots, missing crip shots, and taking care of the ball. You know who the 4 are that are getting all of Coach’s individual attention…our 4 guards. Why bet the farm on our guard play when Nick is here. EJ is playing better. Nate and Keion are available too. One cold shooting night from our guards and this season is over. Why take that chance?

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