Here’s an excerpt from There’s Only One Way To Win, a book Dick wrote about his dad, the legendary Coach Chuck DeVenzio, better known as “Coach DV.” Dick played for his dad in high school, where their undefeated 1967 Ambridge team has been called the best in Pennsylvania history.
One of the most obvious characteristics of highly successful people is that they know what they want; they know what is needed. They don’t suffer from a lot of ambiguity when it comes to the essence of things.
For Coach DV, the essence of basketball could actually be encapsulated in just one four-letter word: M-O-V-E.
It was a word you could hear him bellow while still out in the parking lot if you arrived late for a game. His booming voice carried the brief message across even large arenas. This loud command jolted all five players at once and made the guys on the bench queasy—and maybe even the opponents! It was an urgent, incredibly forceful order. His players came to learn that precisely where they moved didn’t matter. Coach DV wasn’t that complicated. He didn’t care where. He cared now. He cared fast. He cared quick.
“In basketball, you move,” he would say. “You make it impossible for the other team to stay with you. You’re here, you’re there. You run hard. You stop fast, you start fast. You never stand. You never, never stand.” Sometimes, he said it in a slightly different tone: “Son, this is a basketball game. Never stand in a basketball game. Move. Move! MOOOOOVE!” The word seemed to gather momentum as he strung it out—boomed it out!—and grabbed you with it.
To Coach DV, basketball is ridiculously simple. You move. The best players are the players who move best. Just watch an NBA game. Watch college. Watch high school. “There’s no secret,” he would say in a husky, admiring tone, while watching a good team at work, “they move.”
You gotta move.
From Dick’s book There’s Only One Way To Win