Illini Need to Play Loose (And Wiffleball) to Advance On

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ready for the dance illini

What did Yogi Berra once say about half of the game being 90% mental, or something thereabouts? For the Illini Fighting Illini to make a long run in March this college basketball season, it’s all about getting/keeping their head right.

And that means playing free and loose. Which means playing some wiffleball?

“I think the biggest key to tonight’s win was wiffleball last night. We played wiffleball last night instead of doing the scouting report…what the heck, we’ll try anything,” Illini Coach Bruce Weber said following their win over the Iowa Hawkeyes.
“Found out that most of these guys don’t know anything about baseball.
There’s a couple guys who played in high school, but heck, there were a couple of guys who didn’t know what a force out was.”

So does that mean they’ll try more games of this variety before upcoming games?

“I don’t know, if we can think of something we’ll try it. The whole thing is to make them feel good about themselves, and happy and loose, and that’s all you can do right now. We usually meet and have a snack and go over the scouting report…and last night we just played wiffleball,” Weber continued.

Today, they’ll take on the Michigan Wolverines in a game with large NCAA Tournament implications- especially for seeding. Need to be relaxed and focused for that.

I’ve done it before, we’ve gone bowling, or kickball, or whatever, we just kind of felt it would be easy, and they enjoyed it. They had fun.

We always HAVE the scouting report, but we felt like we’d liven it up a little bit and get some guys feeling good about themselves and feeling happy. We’ve got to feel good about ourselves, we’ve got to have enthusiasm and energy. All we did yesterday was clap at practice. I don’t know if we did anything else…but we clapped. Clap for yourself, clap for your teammates, clap for everybody. That’s all we can do.”

Exactly. Spread the good vibes. You got to think positive.

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