DO YOU SET THEM? ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
The concepts of goals and expectations have been on my mind lately. The seeds for thought were planted by my buddy Howie Linsdey a couple of days ago on his morning radio show LOUISVILLE FIRST...so these two areas of thought weren't original. As I listened to his and Katie George's discussions and debate on goals and expectations...it got me thinking about them, though...and not only in a personal sense...but in terms of some of the athletic teams I follow and report on. These are some of the things that have been on my mind.
In terms of critical and introspective thinking, they've never really been a fore-runner in my long range plans. I tend to be a "live for today, one-day-at-a time" guy and focus more on daily operational and planning strategy. I suppose my goals and expectations are rather basic and non-complicated, as a rule. I wake up and hope to have a good morning. I want to meet the obligations and events on the day's calendar. I try to be a pleasant person...helpful to my wife and try to look at most things in a positive light. To eat properly and nutritionally. To stay hydrated and try and keep my body in somewhat functional order. You think more about that at 60, I suppose...at least I think I have...than you do at 30. Or 15. Be a good and helpful person. Drive safely.
The basic concepts of day to day existance come without much thought or deliberation. I also try to find a way to include or inject a little humor or levity into my daily life. Humor is important and a good thing. For you and those around you. It takes less effort to smile than frown. Smile and the world smiles with you type of rationale. Some days go better than others. Sometimes, in the words of Stevie Winwood...you may have had to cry today. It happens.
HAD TO CRY TODAY -- WINWOOD, CLAPTON, TRUCKS
On sports, it gets a bit more complicated. Goals and expectations for your team(s) you follow and root for. I would venture that most fans, at the start of a season have a goal or expectation for their team to have a successful season. A national championship. Conference title. Or maybe just a winning season...depending on the skill level and strength of the athletes you cheer for.
I'd like to see, I expect and my goals for the UofL women's basketball squad are to reach the Final Four and avoid landing in UConn's region. If achieved, then I'll come up with a new goal. I can't control the expectations for this, though...since I'm not on the NCAA Selection Committee and have no influence in the seeding and site locations. I'd guess reaching the Final Four and beyond is a goal some of the players have, as well.
Jeff Walz will tell you that his goal is to see his squad win the final six games of the year. That, of course, means that they have won each game in the NCAA Tournament and are the National Champions. A great goal. This goal is probably consistent with most of the college coaches in Division I WBB...the expectations of reaching that goal, of course, vary from program to program. I don't expect Boston College to reach the Final Four. I didn't expect Syracuse to last year, though, and I was incorrect in my expectations. Without purposely or intentionally picking on him or his squad...does the coach (Jim Foster) at Chattanooga expect to be in Dallas coaching the Mocs on March 31st? His goal is to get there, I'm sure...but does anyone expect that? I'm sure Connecticut's Geno Auriemma has the same goal...to be a Final Four team and the expectations of that are pretty common around the women's college basketball world.
Goals and observations get adjusted some times. Once it is clear that you cannot meet your goal, you go through an adjustment time. Pittsburgh WBB and their fans probably realized or observed that their goal of beating Louisville last Sunday wasn't likely to happen when Mariya Moore sank two free throws with 49 second to play to make the score 61-48 Louisville. That goal was still possible, though...and expectations most likely still alive when Brenna Wise sank a three-pointer to make the score 53-46 with 3:30 left in the game.
Jordan McNary, of Louisville softball fame, was quite clear about what her goals and expectations were for her team this season when I spoke with her recently. To get to the NCAA Regional, advance to the Super Regional and then to the College World Series. To win the ACC Regular season and then conference tournament. So many incoming freshmen will tell you that their goals and expectations are to win a National Championship during their time on campus. Monique Reid told me years ago that she expected to play in the Final Four every year. She's the only UofL WBB player that pulled it off twice in her time on campus
As we roll into February, what are your goals and expectations for the Louisville women's basketball team over these next two months? Does the goal(s) you hope for have a high expectation rate among the rest of the college basketball world? Which players have met the goals you expected from them and who has over-achieved or under-achieved so far?
Let us know in the comments section.
SETTING SIGHTS ON SOFTBALL
So you say that you've got an interest in Louisville Softball this year but don't know just how many games you'll actually be able to attend?
No worries! The Cards will be shown on the ACC Network Extra and ESPNU a whopping 31 times this season. We also figure we'll be able to pick up some of the away contest through different schools' websites. Here's the scheduled broadcasts....Play Ball!
|2017 Louisville Softball Television Schedule|
|3/3/17||3:00 PM||Indiana State at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/3/17||5:30 PM||UW-Green Bay at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/4/17||12:30 PM||Bowling Green at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/4/17||3:00 PM||UW-Green Bay at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/5/17||12:30 PM||Bowling Green at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/10/17||1:30 PM||IUPUI at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/10/17||3:00 PM||Ohio at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/11/17||12:30 PM||Wright State at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/11/17||3:00 PM||Northern Iowa at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/12/17||12:30 PM||Northern Iowa at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/17/17||4:00 PM||Pittsburgh at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/18/17||1:00 PM||Pittsburgh at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/19/17||12:00 PM||Pittsburgh at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/22/17||6:00 PM||Wisconsin at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|3/29/17||6:00 PM||Indiana at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/1/17||12:00 PM||Notre Dame at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/2/17||2:00 PM||Notre Dame at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ESPNU|
|4/3/17||7:00 PM||Notre Dame at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ESPNU|
|4/12/17||6:00 PM||Kentucky at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/15/17||12:00 PM||Louisville at Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACC Network Extra|
|4/15/17||2:30 PM||Louisville at Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||ACC Network Extra|
|4/18/17||5:00 PM||Lipscomb at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/19/17||6:00 PM||Western Kentucky at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/22/17||12:00 PM||Florida State at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/23/17||12:00 PM||Florida State at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ESPNU|
|4/24/17||7:00 PM||Florida State at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ESPNU|
|4/28/17||6:00 PM||Virginia at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/29/17||1:00 PM||Virginia at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|4/30/17||12:00 PM||Virginia at Louisville||Ulmer Stadium||ACC Network Extra|
|5/6/17||5:00 PM||Louisville at NC State||Raleigh, N.C.||ACC Network Extra|
|5/7/17||12:00 PM||Louisville at NC State||Raleigh, N.C.||ACC Network Extra|
|5/11-13/17||TBD||ACC Championship||Chapel Hill, N.C.||RSN/ACC Network Extra|