I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that the internet is crying over Tom Izzo yelling at one of his players because, ya know, the internet is the worst goddamn place in the world. But holy shit give me a break. Are people really that fired up about a coach yelling at a player? A situation which has happened roughly 85 billion times before throughout the history of sports? Did Tom Izzo kill a kid? No. Did Tom Izzo physically strike a kid? No. Did Tom Izzo raise his voice to a volume that is higher than one he would typically talk in while engaging in a civil conversation in order to make his point? Yes.
The thing that doesn’t make one single lick of goddamn sense is when people see this incident and they treat it like it’s just one moment. Think about how much time and effort both the coaches and the players have invested into this season. This is their life. Friends? Family? Fun? Say goodbye to all of that. When you’re in the middle of the season, that team is your family and the fun you get to have is winning games. So these guys have all invested a decent amount of their life into this season and now you’re in the middle of a game where one or two mistakes could potentially put an end to that season. It’s almost as if tensions could be running high in a situation like that.
And in a situation like that, all the athlete needs to do is just focus on what is being said rather than how it’s being said. Which seems to be exactly what Aaron Henry ended up doing here. He didn’t curl up and cry because his big bad coach decided to yell at him. He realized the situation, listened to what was being said to him, didn’t take it personally and responded as best as he could.
If anything, that’s just a life lesson for him to take out of that entire exchange. Sometimes in life you are going to get screamed at, and it’s all about how you respond. Anybody can curl up and cry. That’s what half the internet has been doing for Aaron Henry since the incident. Or you can be grown about the situation, pay attention to what is being said rather than how it’s being said, and just control the way you respond from there.
Could Tom Izzo have gotten the same message across without yelling? Probably. It might not have been as immediate or anything like that but I’m definitely not saying the only way to get a message across to a player is to ream him out either. But again, when you have invested that much time and energy into a season it gets pretty damn easy to lose your cool when that season is just one loss away from being over. But maybe next time he can just bake his players a tray of cookies and they can all discuss their feelings. After all–that’s what is most important, right? No need to develop any character when we can just coddle it out of them.