If you spend any time on the internet, you’ve seen the video by now. Arkansas-Pine Bluff men’s basketball coach Solomon Bozeman called a timeout during his team’s game against Iowa State to make them run sprints.
I’ve never seen this before. Arkansas Pine Bluff’s head coach called a timeout last night just for his players to run baseline to baseline. You might see that in AAU, but not college basketball.pic.twitter.com/B3sy2lhtio
— Michael Swain (@MSwain247) December 2, 2021
Bozeman was apparently frustrated with his team’s effort. They were down 44-24 to the 18th-ranked team in the country when he decided to call timeout and presumably discipline his team.
Various people on social media had their fun once the video went viral. Bleacher Report captioned their post with a crying laughing emoji.
The video also sparked a debate about coaching and toughness.
Coach @UAPBMBB is building a culture and it has to have discipline. Regardless young men love a leader that loves them back. It leads to them going all out. 💯💯 https://t.co/PKQfLi7O7B
— Kevin Kindall (@Coach_Kevin501) December 2, 2021
In 2021 haven’t we moved past these archaic methods of instilling “discipline” and “toughness” in athletes?
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Bozeman’s team was getting boat-raced, and because the effort wasn’t there he thought embarrassment was a good tactic? Your team is 1-8, and if they didn’t come out the gate with the requisite effort, etc., a good coach would look inward at why that might be the case.
Making his athletes run laps is a “look at me” moment. He’s pushing the blame onto his athletes when, again, the first place any good coach looks at is himself or herself. If after that examination you believe it is in fact the athletes, there are ways you address it that don’t involve the farce of calling a timeout during a game to make your team sprint.
This that dictator-like behavior college coaches get away with. Why try and embarrass them? You think a recruit gonna see this and say, yup all in, I’m going there. Guarantee the players ain’t the only ones making mistakes.
— Raphael’s Sais (@jatoyebi) December 3, 2021
At the end of the day this is sports and not world peace we’re discussing, but this type of mentality has been dominant in sports for way too long. There are countless examples of teams across all sports at every level that are disciplined and tough, and none of the respective coaches do things like this.
Why do we laud authoritarian, dictator-type coaching? Why do “old school” sports fans believe this is the most effective way to get the desired result from a team?
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Believe it or not, this type of behavior is not uncommon. There are adult coaches all over the country at various levels who do things just like this or more egregious. To what end?
Running is a part of the game and should be embraced. Using it as punishment seems counterintuitive.
But in America sports fans and certain media members eat this stuff up. They get off on seeing things like this.
Bozeman has yet to address the timeout and sprint. It will be interesting to hear his rationale and motivation for doing this. What did he hope to achieve? Has he seen any carryover in the desired behavior in practice, etc?
It would also be interesting to get the perspective of the athletes. How did you feel when you were instructed to run? What immediate value did you gain? How about going forward?
Let’s open it up, what do the school’s athletics director and president think about it all?
It’s 2021. We’ve evolved as a species and understand human psychology, motivation and leadership much better than we did 50 years ago. But somehow sports is still stuck in the mud.
First and foremost, Bozeman is a human being leader of young men. Is this the best way to lead?
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