There are few coaches more entertaining to watch stalking the sidelines than Stan Van Gundy. His arms are flailing, his expressions betraying every emotion coursing through his mind.
Or at least he used to be. Now we have the more understanding, love-filled, softer Van Gundy. Okay, maybe not, but he isn’t being as negative as he once was during games, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Rather than very public frustration and disappointment with mistakes and miscues, Van Gundy turns away and tries to be more private. When things go right he tries to be positive.
General manager Otis Smith gave him the idea, Van Gundy said.
“(Smith) made a great comment: ‘It’s way too early in the year to be this frustrated.’ And he’s absolutely right. Coach for the long term. Just go out and coach ’em and show some encouragement.”…
“I still get on ’em very, very hard,” Van Gundy said. “But I’m trying to confine it in games to timeouts so it’s less public. The guys still don’t like it, but if you’re sitting there in a timeout, it’s not the same as when they’re yelling at you on the court. So, I’ve tried to do that and I’ve tried not to show as much frustration during a game and sit there and grab my head and the whole thing. I’ve tried.”
Van Gundy is not exactly ready for a hippie love in. But there is something to be said for the approach, that players will tune out a constant flow of negativity. And with the Magic at 12-4, it’s hard to argue with the results.