I watched a Championship summary the other day of the Kansas Jayhawks and their remarkable journey this past season to become the 2008 National Champions. Watching the final game live and the way Kansas beat Memphis in overtime was of course unbelievable. But hearing Bill Self recount the moments and the pre-game and post-game speeches were really great to watch and listen to.

I put together the pre-game speech by Coach Bill Self, and a couple of clips Self describing his emotions and what he was telling his team during the comeback from 9 points down with 2 minutes to go, and finally the post-game speech. Here it is,

I know in the past, on some coaching staffs I've been on that went on to the Championship game where we've probably added more pressure than was necessary, that actually was a detriment and made the players more nervous. That is why I love the pre-game speech message by Coach Bill Self so much. Instead of filling up the players' heads with all kinds of hype, overly sentimental gestures, and piling on the pressure of winning, he simply thanked them, thanked them for fulfilling a coach's dream. I like how in this critical moment, just before the big game, Coach Self let his players know how much each of them meant to him and reminded them to simply have fun and cherish the moment. There's nothing worth laboring so hard for if you can't enjoy the process. After all, it is just a game.

In the commentaries in between, I completely agree with Coach Self. I believe that in order to win it all, especially in a one and done situation, it requires a measure of luck. When his team was down 9, he simply reminded everyone to relax. When they were within 4, there were no slumped shoulders, just a quiet confidence.

Finally, his post-game speech was terrific. I especially like where Coach Self said how winning isn't even the most important part. But what was important was to remember how tough the journey was that it took to get to the mountaintop. It was especially the case for the Kansas team with all starters being seniors, it wasn't a 1-year sideshow, it was a multi-year journey from freshman to senior. They certainly did it the right way.