The Harrison twins of Kentucky were getting ripped for body language after a game one night. Their father, Aaron Sr., can’t remember which game it was, but he knows his sons thought it was crap. They sent him photos of Chris Paul, LeBron James and a handful of other famous players making the same expressions and gestures they had, the point being they felt unfairly singled out.
And Dad’s point was, fair or not, this is something you have to deal with.
“It’s all perception,” Aaron Sr. said. “Be conscious of it. Every day, you try to become a better man. You have to be more disciplined in the things you do, and that’s a part of it.”
The Harrison twins of Kentucky have a communication problem. It’s not what they say, though, because what they say is conventional athlete stuff: being aggressive, wanting to win, having something to prove. All the standard tunes.
It’s with the nonverbal communication where Andrew and Aaron Harrison seem to lose the groove of it all sometimes. People like to talk about their body language, specifically how terrible it is and how it indicates they are uncoachable or selfish or some other phrase that, within the context of team sports, qualifies as a slur. Whether or not this perception constitutes reality is a question that quickly will lead you down a bottomless wormhole of philosophy and the definition of ambiguous terms like “coachable” but on matters of coachability it seems like good policy to consult the coach.
So here’s Kentucky coach John Calipari:
“I’m telling you, two of the nicest, most well-mannered kids,” he said Friday from the guts of AT&T Stadium. “They had to deal with that body language at the start of the year. They didn’t even know what it was doing to them. Made them look like, ‘Oh, they’re not good kids.’ They’re great kids.”
SOURCE: Tully Corcoran