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Brad Stevens: How To Stay Relaxed In The Heat Of The Moment

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Brad Stevens (@BCCoachStevens), is the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics (@Celtics) and a PCA National Advisory Board Member. Stevens was the Head Coach of the Celtics until 2021. Stevens is most famous for his calm coaching style and demeanor on the sidelines. He is known for getting the most out of his players and led the Celtics to multiple Eastern Conference Finals appearances as the coach. Before joining the Celtics, Stevens rose to prominence as coach of the Butler University basketball team that he led to consecutive NCAA title game appearances.

In this video, Stevens describes an experience he had playing Little League® Baseball. As a pitcher under a lot of pressure, Stevens was incredibly nervous and anxious. His coach, who was also his father, called timeout and walked out to him. Stevens was expecting a few words of technical coaching, but instead his father simply asked “Did you feed the dog today?”

That moment was impactful for Stevens because it reminded him that a joke or quiet word is sometimes all an athlete needs in an intense and heated moment like that. When his dad asked him the question, Stevens went on to succeed in the game because he was more grounded in reality and the outside pressures and expectations of the game fell away.