Erik Spoelstra: “We Do Want Our Team To Be Thinking Of Others”

Erik Spoelstra
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

On Wednesday afternoon, HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra spoke to the media on a conference call about how his team is staying connected, how he’s been spending his time while at home practicing social distancing and more.

Check out some notable quotes below.

On How The Team Is Staying Connected

“We’re all doing well, considering everything. Really, every person I talk to on the coaching staff, our players alike, really our thoughts are about the people out there that are not as fortunate as us and going through a crisis like this. But…we’re making the most of it. To be frank, we’re not looking for a competitive advantage with the workouts and connecting on zoom. We’re doing it, really, just to have a routine and to be able to see each other’s faces, to be able to work in a workout, to be able to get some positive endorphins. All these things, I think, have been helpful. It is unique. I don’t think we’re doing anything necessarily different than anybody else in the league, but we’re just trying to keep our guys engaged [and trying] to help them with a routine while we’re all going through this.”

“The first five, 10 minutes [of the Zoom calls] are guys just catching up with each other and cracking jokes. It’s like they’re in the locker room before practice, just messing around and having fun. And I think we all need a little bit more of that right now.”

On How He’s Been Spending His Time

“Well, we’re doing coaching staff zoom conference meetings every other day. And again, the number one purpose is for the team and to connect. And then secondly, to continue to work and prepare for a possibility that the season will resume. But again, we think that’s been helpful for the staff just to take a handful of hours, a little bit of time each day, to be able to focus on something. And the same thing with the video room…to help those guys stay on a little bit of a routine. We’re certainly not working around the clock right now. I think a lot of the coaching staff, we have young families, so we’re spending an inordinate amount of time trying to be helpful around the household. We’re gone so much during the season, and we travel, that this has been a new reality for a lot of us. I know I can speak for a lot of the guys on the coaching staff, I really am just trying to be helpful around the house and taking a little bit of the load off of my wife.”

“[Staying positive], there have been some incredible blessings for our family, just being around much more often. We’re able to spend our meals together. I’m able to wake my son up every single morning and not be in a rush to do it…I’m barbecuing every single night. I’ve never really been a barbecue guy. I’ve always been an order out, takeout restaurant guy, and now I’m cooking the meals for the family. And I’m finding great peace of mind doing that…I’ve certainly spent more time in our swimming pool with my sons and my wife in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 years, without a doubt. So, that’s probably a wakeup call for me personally, but I also view it as a blessing while we’re all going through this. And we all…[are] getting out of ourselves and thinking of other people, but also in our own worlds, you can see how there can be some blessings out of this to help you look at things in a different perspective and a different lens.”

On How He’s Handling The Mental Side Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

“Because this is such an unusual, unsure time for so many of us,…you really want to focus on controlling what you can control: that’s your positive outlook, that’s spending time with the people that you love, and then also for us, what we’ve talked a lot about, is trying to take care of people that aren’t as fortunate as us. And as you know, Micky and Madeleine and the Arison family started it off by donating to Feeding South Florida, and we’ve encouraged our staff and players to get involved with that as well. To be able to help people that are really getting affected by this in a different way than we are…we do want our team to be thinking of others and to feel the real empathy and giving nature during this time.”

On If He Thinks That People In The Industry Will Appreciate The Game More Than They Did Before Once It Returns

“I’ve received some great phone calls and text messages and emails from my network. And I’ve tried to do the same thing to people. I sense a lot more gratitude out there. I do believe that when we get back to doing what we love to do, that our entire industry will have some more gratitude for this beautiful game that we’re involved in.”

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