During the Virginia – Wisconsin Men’s game in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge last night ESPN’s Doris Burke (@heydb) quoted Bo Ryan…  Doris who was discussing UW freshman Sam Dekker with play-by-play commentator Dave O’Brien (@DaveOB_ESPN) and the statement Dekker made on his role with the Badgers this season.  Earlier, Doris asked Coach Ryan about a player’s ability to “check their ego at the door.”

Bo Ryan phrased it like this…

Bo Ryan
Photo credit: UWBadgers.com

“The reality is if you’re a player you have an ego.  It’s the question of whether you want the ego to contribute to the WHOLE, is the ego about making US better.”


Tremendous!  A humble ego allows for confidence.  The selfless player with ego is a great team mate, a teachable and coachable team mate and a person who will contribute to the whole being successful.

Players who possess a selfish ego, one’s worried about starting or their minutes aren’t aren’t contributing to the success of the whole.  Those type of team mates struggle to improve, to embrace their role and development and alienate their team mates and coaches while bringing the entire team down with the negative energy expended on them.

This is refreshing in today’s Twitter, Facebook, social media world of me, me, me in sports.

Read Sam Dekker’s quote on his role..

Sam Dekker
Phot Credit: UWBadgers.com

“I am going to accept my role and will do whatever it takes.  I’m embracing the opportunity to play with Wisconsin on my jersey.  I just don’t want to get into the whole drama aspect of people thinking I’m not happy.  This (playing basketball in college) is something that 1% of people get to do.  So if I would ever be down about something on the basketball court or unhappy with something, I’d really need a reality check.”

One of the great challenges of coaching… the buy in.  Molding the ego’s of 12-15 players, to get them to “buy in” to the betterment of the whole.

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