Coach Jim Johnson

How Virginia men’s basketball made history two years in a row

Did you believe in Virginia?

The Virginia Cavaliers are national champs of men’s basketball.  They won the 2019 NCAA Tournament earlier this week and they have come a long way from where they were a year ago.  After losing to UMBC in the first round in 2018, becoming the first ever #1 seed to lose to a #16 seed, they had to deal with a lot of media scrutiny before becoming champions.  In the #CJJblog this week I wanted to give you some of my observations on how they overcame that historical adversity to stand on top of the college basketball world.  Enjoy.

  • Leadership.  The success of the Cavaliers starts with their head coach, Tony Bennett.  After the first-round loss last season, Tony was extraordinarily professional and handled it will tremendous class, taking full responsibility in the post-game press conference.  How are your leadership skills?
  • Challenge.  Your team wants to be challenged after a time of adversity.  Their confidence has been taken away and they need to be challenged to learn from the tough times.  How do you respond to an unexpected failure?
  • Adversity.  When adversity struck Virginia, they bounced back with the ultimate victory the very next season.  How can you get your team to be fueled by adversity?
  • Motivation.  The Virginia players that came back this season had a burning sensation in them that allowed them to become champions.  What motivates you and your team?
  • Become stronger.  Your team needs to come out the other side stronger.  If you let it break the spirits, success will not follow.  Virginia was even down by 14 points in their first-round tournament game this year, but pulled through.
  • Perseverance.  It’s all about your mindset.  UVA was losing in the last minute of each of their final three games on their championship run, but kept that never give up attitude.
  • Get up.  They came back with confidence and made no excuses for their loss.  The drive to be great allowed them to become champs.  Congrats Virginia on a wonderful season and overcoming adversity.

Did You Know?  Are you looking for the link to the leadership webinar from last week?  Sign up for the Coach Jim Johnson newsletter.  We are including the link in the next issue.

Life Tip #100:  Always ask yourself “What can I learn from this?”