If you are unfamiliar with South Carolina men’s basketball, watch this video. Don’t worry about the poor audio quality, just focus on the large man in the suit, who does not look very happy.
That man is South Carolina head coach Frank Martin. And in case you weren’t able to tell, he is takes his job very seriously. If one example isn’t enough to persuade you of this, just type “Frank Martin” into YouTube and you will find many videos displaying his intensity. One is simply called Frank Martin is terrifying.
He screams, he stares, he stomps his feet. He really is terrifying. At first glace, you’d probably think “I bet his players hate playing for him.” But guess what..
His players love him.
Check out this video
That is Frank Martin being showered by his players in the locker room after his team upset second seed Duke in the NCAA Tournament. Not enough proof for you? Check out this picture from USA Today.
There’s Martin again, being hugged by his team. I’d say they look pretty happy to be around him. I don’t know about you, but I have never looked that happy hugging someone I don’t like (if you argue that I have never beat Duke in the NCAA Tournament, well, touché).”
Despite his intensity, his players really do love the guy.
Actually, maybe the reason they love him is because of the screaming, staring and stomping.
The fact that he believes in us, he trusts us. And his intensity — it’s just unmatched,” senior guard Duane Notice told NY Daily News.
When you have a coach like that, from the outside looking in, it looks like he’s crazy. It looks like he’s yelling at us. But no. It’s just he wants us to win so bad — not for him, but for us, because he knows how hard we work in practice and how much we sweat and bleed. Not to be too cliché, but that’s just how he is.”
Yes, Mr. Notice, he does look crazy. But he is also one heck of a coach. I don’t know what he is yelling during the games, but it is working. Martin has his Gamecocks in the Final Four, something no other coach has been able to do at that university.
It is clear that Martin wants to win. It it also clear that he believes in his players. And that belief has taken his team on an incredible ride. Notice would go on to say.
He makes us his priority, and when a guy does that, a man does that, it makes you want to rethink the way you live your life and what you put your time and efforts to. The fact that he committed to us four years ago when stuff wasn’t going right and he still committed to us, it says a lot about the relationship he has with all of our players.”
His players know that Martin is committed to them. They know that he expects effort and focus. He doesn’t just talk about it, he lives it. Which, I suppose, explains why he is so demonstrative. He needs his players to know that he cares.
So he screams. He stares. He stomps. But most importantly, he believes. He believes his players can achieve great things.
And for that, they love him.
Frank Martin is terrifying. His belief doesn’t look like many other people’s believe. But the result of his belief looks pretty familiar.
A team buying into a message and achieving great things.