As he took his team to the Final Four this year, Thompson joined an impressive group of veteran coaches. They’re all self-assured, good teachers, but none is calmer under pressure than Thompson. Everybody, from his players to the Big East commissioner, points to his ultra-cool demeanor.
“He’s so calm,” player Roy Hibbert said in describing Thompson’s behavior during a hairy patch in the East Region final. “He was smiling and saying, ‘We’re going to get through this.’ Him being calm helped us out. If he was frantic, that might have rattled us. His calmness really helped us out.”
Thompson’s high school coach say s it was the same back then, when the player “rarely got emotional on the floor … He really was, not stoic, but absolutely under control. I used to tell players that next to the word ‘love,’ the second best is ‘control.’”
Lesson: Next time you’re tempted to blow up, think of how much more powerful an impact you’d make if, instead of shooting sky high, you kept your cool.
—Adapted from “The Calm in the Hoyas’ Storm,” Camille Powell, The Washington Post.