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Digging Out Of A Slump

28 January 2016 Views From The Booth

Vince-Lombardi-Winning-quoteGreetings from the booth!

I have finally managed to put down the snow shovel and prepare this week’s “Views From The Booth”, as we all recover from winter storm Jonas. (Hopefully, winter storm Miley isn’t anywhere in sight!)

It’s been a tough year for Shenandoah University men’s basketball. As of this writing, the Hornet’s are still looking for their first ODAC win of the season, and have lost 13 games in a row. Last night’s game against rival Bridgewater was especially tough to take, as SU was beaten 58-55 on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The late, great Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi once said “winning is a habit.” In other words, winning breeds winning. Unfortunately, losing is also a habit. Once the losses start to pile up, players wait for the shoe to drop, wondering how the next defeat will happen. There is no confidence.

In basketball, the good teams understand that every possession is crucial down the stretch. They take care of the ball, take good shots, and make free throws. In the Bridgewater game, the Hornets had a lead heading into the final 5 minutes of the contest, only to see the Eagles win with no time remaining. Shenandoah failed to take control of the game in it’s most crucial stage, something that winning teams know how to do. There was a tangible feeling in Shingleton Gym that something bad would happen to SU, and it did.

When you apply the “eye test” to the Hornets, you see a team that has some talented players. There’s even a little height to the team this year. Malcolm Clark is one of the best players in the ODAC. Collectively, they just haven’t learned how to win. 

Sometimes it’s a small thing that breaks a losing streak. A quirky bounce of the ball, a desperation shot that goes in, an official’s call that goes your way. The victories start to come easier, and winning becomes habitual.

Right now, I’m not sure which is more difficult: digging out of a 13-game losing streak, or digging out of a 30-inch snowstorm.

That’s this week’s “Views From The Booth.” GO HORNETS!

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