Here, Terry Murray talks about the balance between pushing his young players to win without breaking their spirits. He outlines how he intends to deal with young players on a day-to-day basis and how he thinks he can best help them improve…
Question: What are your expectations for this season? I’m sure you want to go 82-0 but you also don’t want the young guys to get discouraged if things don’t go well. How fine is that line?
MURRAY: It’s a very fine line. When you’re looking at a team, a young group of guys in general, the development process is a fine line that you walk every day. You want to give positive feedback and it’s important, as a coach, how you respond after every game. You can tear down a lot of stuff very quickly, that you worked for a month to build, if you don’t deal with situations the right way. I believe that if you walk into a locker room after a game, and it’s been a difficult night, you need to be careful what you say there. If you’re not saying something that’s going to help the players and help the team, then you’re better off just saying, `OK guys, we’ll meet tomorrow. Practice is at whatever time,’ rather than doing anything else.
The feedback and the review of games is going to be consistent, and that feedback that I’ve been talking about is going to be there daily. If we don’t have a meeting with the team on a review every day, it certainly will be there the day after. To me, that’s the process you need to go through and you need to be careful of. You watch the game, and as a coach you can watch a game three or four times and you can pick out all the negative stuff and talk to the team about it, or you can go the other way and say, `Guys, we’re doing this a lot better than what we did two weeks ago, and this is what we will continue to build on.’ So that’s the approach that I’m taking, and that’s the approach that I’ve been through in the past with other teams, and it works. We’ll reinforce all the good stuff and, mind you, still hold players accountable whenever things are not right.