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HomeSports ScopeCoach McPhee-McCuin remains grounded despite challenging 1st season at Ole Miss

Coach McPhee-McCuin remains grounded despite challenging 1st season at Ole Miss

Admittedly, in terms of statistics, it’s been a season of disappointments, pertaining directly to games won and lost; and also encouragement, when some significant other items are factored in.

The aforementioned, collectively, is what Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin will no doubt be giving a lot of reflection time to as she winds down her first season at the University of Mississippi, as Head Coach of Women’s Basketball.

Her University of Mississippi Women’s Rebels are scheduled to close out the regular season this Sunday in a game against the University of Tennessee. On the downside, a win at home on Sunday would put Ole Miss in double figures at 10 against 20 defeats, still short of the 12-19 record of the previous season before Coach Yo came on board.

On the upside, even if the Rebels are defeated by Tennessee, the three victories in the Southeastern Conference (the powerful SEC) have established the Rebels at an appreciable point of progress. That’s why the 46-43 loss to the University of Alabama on the road Thursday was so tough to take. The Ole Miss Sports News heralded the general feeling: “Rebels drop late heartbreaker at Alabama, 46-43.”

A victory would have tied Alabama at 4-10 in the SEC and sent a further message about the Ole Miss Women Rebels on the rise. However, it wasn’t to be and Coach Yo continues to reach out otherwise to continue the resurgence at Ole Miss.

Along the way she makes sure to avoid the “Disease of Me.” Her far-reaching approach to coaching entails being a bit of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Accordingly, she tweeted recently a warning regarding the “Disease of Me.”

She advised that the mindset ought not be ‘all I’m thinking about is myself’ and pointed out that accepting that everything does not revolve around the “me” is the best way to fight of the disease. Coach Yo referenced a perspective she took, for emphasis.

“I remember after we lost really badly, I spoke to my players and told them that the defeat was on me and I pledged not to let that happen again. You see, some of us can fight off the disease and others do not.

“There are so many ways, situations, whereby we get the disease. For instance, you work hard on a scouting trip and the head coach paid no attention; you had an idea and the coach didn’t listen; the coach gave shout-outs to others but not you; as for players, they are not getting enough time on the court and when they get the call, they are not ready.

“Everybody wants to be complimented, to be touched positively, to get a shout-out. Don’t allow the disease to get you. Don’t get caught up in it. You don’t have to promote yourself. Just do your job and you will persevere and benefit,” said Coach Yo.

This entire first season has been used as a preparatory phase for the second season at Ole Miss, and, the others to come during the rest of the five-year contract, and perhaps beyond..

Her coaching method is of the total variety, a great mix of physical skills teaching and also preparing the minds properly for the tasks ahead. Ultimately the goal is for her players to benefit to the maximum of their abilities and environment, the result being that Coach Yo and the entire Ole Miss family will be the overall beneficiaries.

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.

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