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MIT's Basketball Coach: "Those Nerds Can Only Handle One Play"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2022 3:00 am

MIT's Basketball Coach: "Those Nerds Can Only Handle One Play"

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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November 9, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, we hear about the leadership lessons that Bill Koch took with him the rest of his life!

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To learn more, visit Bose.com. This is Lee Habib, and this is Our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show, from the arts to sports, and from business to history, and everything in between, including your stories. Send them to OurAmericanStories.com. They're some of our favorites. And it's time for our On Leadership series, where we hear from coaches, leaders in the military, leaders in business, and leaders in communities across this great country. And this edition is with Bill Koch, whose company Oxbow Carbon has over 1,200 employees and $4 billion in annual revenue.

Bill has also led America to a victory in the world's premier sailing competition, the America's Cup, and did it on his first try. But today, he brings us some formational leadership stories from his younger days starting at his high school, Culver Academy. At Culver, my first year, I got beat up a lot and rasped a lot. And when I was at Culver, some of the advisors told me that I couldn't get into MIT. And then when I got into MIT, I said, well, you know, you're at the bottom of the class.

You know, I don't think you'll make it. And then I found out that if I wanted to do well, mainly to impress my father, as well as mentally to develop my own skills and my own accomplishments, so I just would work very, very hard. You know, if I had to go to the bathroom, I'd take a book with me. So I worked really hard and then I graduated with top honors and then got my doctor's degree from it. And I've always seemed to be told that I can't do something, you know, being harassed and told I was dumb and an idiot, some other things. So that has become a big challenge for me. I mean, it can have two effects. Either you stay a nerd the rest of your life or an idiot the rest of your life or you take advantage of it.

In fact, you know, I probably have a little OCD. And I looked at it and said, well, that could either kill me or I could use it to an advantage. So I used it to work very hard. And surprisingly, I got more honors than all my brothers put together.

We just made a couple of tests. But I wanted to play basketball. I thought the sport was terrific. But in our freshman year, the varsity won one game. But we as freshmen couldn't play on the varsity in those days. Now they can't.

Then you couldn't. And we were a bunch of nerds. And MIT went out and got this one coach from Methuen High School.

It was a northern mill town that was dying in northern Massachusetts. And he had the longest winning record of any high school in the country. So MIT recruited him. Then when we became sophomores and were playing on the varsity, we also won only one game. And the coach took a while to learn out the MIT system to learn what nerds we are and how clumsy and awkward we were. So I wanted to play more on the varsity. So I went up and went to a summer camp that he had so I could practice all summer. And also that avoided me going out and working on the ranch.

And I could possibly chase girls. Even though it was in Methuen. But anyway, he told me he had a new plan. And he came up with a new play. But he came up with only one play. Because he said we weren't smart enough to learn more than one.

These nerds from MIT. And he was also afraid that if we all had different plays, we'd get too confused. And then he just drilled us over and over and over in that same play. So we could do it in our sleep.

So it was habitual. Then he started giving us variations off the play, which was great. But the most powerful thing he did was that he put people in the right spots to minimize their weakness and maximize their strengths. And he defined jobs. And he said, okay, your job is to bring up the ball and dribble it. And dribble it up and set up a play. And then your job is to get rebounds and block shots and put up pivots. And then he said to another guy, all right, your job is to go after the best shooter on the other side and rough him up a little bit.

But he made it very succinct. Well, anyway, in our junior year, we won over half our games. Our senior year, we had the longest winning streak in the country.

And the least points scored against us. And so I looked at that and said, that's a, you know, and I sat on the damn bench. But it was terrific. I learned it because that was one of the best lessons I made ever learned at MIT. How important teamwork is and focus and well, the guy also told us, is you guys are winners. You know, if you think you're going to lose, you will lose.

You know, if you think you're going to win, at least you have a 50-50 chance of winning. And I said, that's terrific. You know, and he said, you work all work together. I mean, it's remarkable because not one of us could have even joined, got in any other college. In fact, we probably wouldn't even make intermural teams and rely upon your teammates, you know, and not be a star. I think Ren Arbuck said, any of you guys on the pro team, if you want to be a superstar, any one of you can score 30 points a night. But if you do, we're going to lose. And instead, we got to work as a team. And if we win, then we're all heroes.

And that's so true. And Red Arbuck is one of my heroes, one of my dad's heroes. My dad was my coach. I was a point guard on an all-state team. And my goodness, learned a lot of these lessons about knowing your job, being accountable to the job, too. If your job is to rebound and block out that guy, rebound and block out that guy. And your teammates are depending on.

And what lessons learned, Bill Koch's story, his leadership story, and a coach's story and the impact that man had on those boys who turned into men here on Our American Stories. Big news, Paris Hilton fans. Your fave pop culture icon created her very own 3D interactive world.

And she's inviting you to visit. Starting November 11th, transport yourself to Paris Hilton's Sliving Land, a place full of magic, fun, and surprises. Create an avatar, hunt for hidden treasure, unlock adorable digital outfits, even say hi to Paris herself. It's totally free.

Everyone is welcome. Sign up today so you can jump right in when Paris's Sliving Land goes live on Friday, November 11th. Visit Paris.World.co today. Do you want to win two tickets to the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar? Frito-Lay is giving you the chance to make history by joining their Pass the Ball Challenge. Explore the ever-growing community on the Golden World Soccer Ball, then Pass the Ball to fellow fans to score additional entries. Scan the QR code on specially marked bags of Lay's, Cheetos, or Doritos, or visit Frito-LayScore.com. No purchase necessary. Open to legal resonance of 50 USDC 18-plus grand prize entry deadline, 11-10-22. Entries received after 11-10-22 are only eligible for secondary prizes.

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Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-09 08:27:38 / 2022-11-09 08:30:18 / 3

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