The PCA Blog

Jay Wright Charts Attitude, Not Just Stats


On the heels of his second National Championship at Villanova in three years, Jay Wright's emphasis on attitude has made all the difference. After their first National Championship in 2016, Wright explained:

Villanova Basketball is mostly the little things that aren't in the stat sheet that make a difference.

Jay Wright to Sports Illustrated, 2016

But, what are those 'little things' on the stat sheet, and how does Jay Wright quantify them? Villanova Basketball, according to Wright, is defined as the sum total of 12 categories that go into their charting of ATTITUDE. Surely, this is measured off the court, but this is how Villanova charts attitude throughout a game:

On Offense: extra passes, assists, screen assists, offensive rebounds, tap backs, paint passes, paint catches, and quick outlets.

On Defense: defensive boards, contested shots, blocked shots, charges, dives, steals, and deflections.

Clearly, Wright is evaluating more than points scored, and this is important because it means Wright is evaluating process, not just results. It is clear from the above that Wright focuses on effort goals, not just outcome goals.

Perhaps, that process orientation can explain Wright's two championships in the past three years. But, even if Wright's team fall's short of a title, that is not how he measures the success of a season (again- he measures his season by effort goals, not outcome goals). According to Wright, when they sit down and judge their season at the end, they evaluate the following:

  • How did we play from start to finish– did we get better?
  • How hard did our guys play night in and night out?
  • How hard did we practice?
  • How close did we get our players to their potential? 

Jay Wright's coaching philosophy at Villanova – evaluating the season based on effort and mastery, as opposed to results alone, may be something that all youth and high school coaches can learn from to improve their coaching.

Learn More About Positive Charting

How To Chart Attitude