While Kentucky fights on the court cannot be attributed to a particular person or subject, coach John Calipari knows that at least part of the team’s problems can be attributed to the lack of team-building opportunities that they could participate in leading until the season due to COVID-19.
As a result, the program is returning to square one in hopes of making up for lost time, starting with Christmas.
Like many families around the world, Calipari’s typical Christmas plans were thrown out the window, with the UK coach noting that he will not be with the whole family on vacation. Instead, Calipari is inviting his players to his home to spend Christmas with him and his wife, Ellen.
“Let me tell you all, happy holidays. Probably many of you are in the same boat as us, this is the first time that my family – my daughter reminded me – this is the first Christmas that we, as a family, have not been together ”, said Calipari. “I’m going to tell the players to come home and they don’t even know yet, I think I’m going to tell them to stay. They have no family in the city. Not for them, but for my wife and me. They don’t even know it yet.
“Now, I’m just telling you, I’m sorry for you if you’re going to be alone and you can’t be with the family. But it is what it is. It is so uncertain what we all have to continue to protect each other. “
Outside the Christmas festivities, Calipari is going out of his way to incorporate more team building activities in the hope of creating a sense of togetherness and general chemistry within the program.
Some of your ideas may be crazy and “hysterical”, but if that means that players can come together as a team, so be it.
“With this team, let me just say the thing that was difficult and I’m sorry I couldn’t do the team building stuff. But I’m doing it now, ”said Calipari. “We are doing all kinds of teamwork. Anything I can do to bring them together and be a team. Some of the things are funny. I can even ask Eric (Lindsey) to release a little bit. If you watched, I would say, ‘This is hysterical’. Team consolidation.”
A heartbeat. One step at a time pic.twitter.com/4aIi2ri0Ry
– Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 24, 2020
“They have to do something together and we have to do it in unison. The other part of joining them, that part, when you are on the court just two or three hours a day with someone and the rest of the time is not creating relationships, this is extremely difficult with new teams. So, I’m trying to do that. ”