Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Try To Avoid Saying "If I Were You"

When a player or colleague comes to you with a problem, don’t preface your advice with “if I were you”. That locks the person into tackling the problem one way. It also can restrict the development of problem-solving skills because the person is relying on you to fix the problem.

A better way is to phrase your advice in terms that allow others to learn from your experience, not simply repeat it. They receive your advice then they go about solving the problem themselves.

Example: “I remember having a similar problem once before. Would you like to know how I solved it?” or "Here are some things that I think will help you solve the problem you have."

--Adapted from Real World Lessons in Leadership
A Season In THEIR Words

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Convert Failure Into Success

How you cope with failure tells people a lot about your leadership ability. When things go wrong, experts recommend these 3 tactics:
  1. Keep a broad perspective. Most failures, while inconvenient, don’t spell disaster. Stay focused on the big picture.

  2. Try something different. Don’t keep repeating what doesn’t work.

  3. Seek insight. Find something valuable to learn from the mistake. Learning from mistakes can eliminate a lot of future ones.
Good leaders know that failure is not final. When leaders approach failure from the proper perspective and take the correct action it can actually become a foundation for future success.

—Adapted from Don’t Stay Mad by Robyn Clarke


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Monday, October 28, 2019

Bobby Bowden On What Makes A Winner

Let me tell you what it takes to make a winning player—I got to have discipline, I got to have obedience, I got to have boys who love each other and will fight for each other. I got to have boys that are loyal, I got to have boys that are enthusiastic. I got to have boys who will train their bodies. I got to have boys who will sacrifice. I got to have boys who have courage, I got to have boys who have resolution.

It used to be years ago, when I first started playing football, you didn’t talk about love and football in the same sentence. How could you play football and love? I’ll tell you how—We talk about teams having chemistry... “Man, this ball club has good chemistry.” I think what that means, is that you got a bunch of boys that love each other, you see when somebody loves somebody, they’ll fight for them, when somebody loves somebody they’ll defend them, when somebody loves somebody, they’re not gonna let somebody hurt that person, and that’s a big thing in making a team.

—Excerpt from The Book of Bowden


Monday, October 21, 2019

5 Factors For Keeping Your Team Motivated

Five factors that are critical in determining if a team is more likely to maintain motivation over the long haul:

1.   Its team members are aligned with the team’s goals and true purpose;

2.   The team members feel challenged in their tasks;

3.   Members of the team have a strong sense of camaraderie;

4.   All team members feel some responsibility for the outcome;

5.   Team members experience growth in both their personal and team environments.

—Adapted From Team Motivation by Peter Grazier

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Insights About Putting Together A Staff

  • Over the years I’ve learned a lot about coaching staffs and one piece of advice I would pass along to a young head coach—or a corporate executive, or even a bank president—is this: Don’t make them in your image. Don’t even try. My assistants don’t look alike, think alike, or have the same personalities. And I sure don’t want them thinking like I do. You don’t strive for sameness, you strive for balance.
-Bear Bryant
  • I don't hire good coaches, I hire good people. If they turn out to be good coaches, too, that's a plus.
-Geno Auriemma
  • If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it—you almost don't have to manage them.
-Jack Welch
  • You can’t teach employees to smile. They have to smile before you hire them.
– Arte Nathan
  • Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.
– Malcolm Forbes, 
  • Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for the love of it.
– Henry David Thoreau
  • Find ballplayers, not those who look good in baseball caps.
 Tom Monahan

  • People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
 Jim Collins
  • I would rather hire a man with enthusiasm than a man who knows everything.
 John Rockefeller
  • If you’re friends with someone, you should automatically assume that your evaluation of their skills, potential or work ethic is completely biased. I know you think you’re not like anyone else and your friend is the exception to the rule, but you’re not and he or she is not. Once you’ve come to terms with this, you can put yourself in a position to more accurately evaluate their performance and attempt to manage them.
 Jared Mendelewicz
  • Don't confuse loyalty with stupidity!
  • If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.

A follow-up to the best seller A Season In Words, Dan Spainhour has followed the same format except this time all of the quotes are from coaches! A terrific motivational tool for any coach at any level!

Monday, October 7, 2019

Four Components Effective Leaders Use To Counsel Team Members

Creating an atmosphere where team members feel comfortable enough to come to you with problems can be the cornerstone of individual and team development. When counseling team members it is important to think about four ingredients of effective communication so your message has a better chance of being received.

  1. Respect for team members. This includes an awareness of a person's individuality and an understanding that different people are motivated by different things. It also includes an understanding that what is discussed individually will remain private and not discussed with other team members.
  2. Self-Awareness. This quality is an understanding of you as a leader. The more you are aware of your own values, needs, and biases, the more you can relate to your team members. A player may come to you with a problem and you could instinctively react in a negative way because of some bias you may have. This in turn could immediately affect the communication process.
  3. Credibility. Effective communication is achieved through both honesty and consistency between both the leader's statements and actions. There has to be a level of believability before anyone will really listen to what you are saying. Credible leaders are straightforward with their team members and behave in such a manner that earns their respect and trust.
  4. Empathy. Compassion entails understanding a person’s situation. Empathetic leaders will be better able to help identify the situation and then develop a plan to improve it. When a level of trust exists between the leader and all team members the more of a chance a team has to reach its potential.


A follow-up to the best seller A Season In Words, Dan Spainhour has followed the same format except this time all of the quotes are from coaches!
A terrific motivational tool for any coach at any level!

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Late, Great Dean Smith's Thoughts On Working With New Recruits

It’s not unusual for All-America High School Athletes to be spoiled by their early success. They are often told how good they are, and in many instances are given preferential treatment. It’s hard for them to believe they have things to learn, but the fact is that when new recruits start out, their knowledge is often limited. They often have great ability and even some knowledge but they often lack wisdom. They usually are deficient in so many areas—especially the mental approach to the game. There’s a large gap between where they are and where they need to be but they can’t see it.

The leader must find a way to get these young players to see this gap, make them understand it and believe it exists, before they can break through their know-it-all habits.  We always keep in mind these two important characteristics regarding behavior:
  • People won’t change their behavior until they change their beliefs and,
  • They’ll change their beliefs only when they see for themselves that they’ll come out better by changing. Effective coaches must have the ability to get people to change their beliefs, then their bad habits, for their own good as well as for the good of the team.
  • If you have a young player who needs a little persuading to change annoying or ineffective habits then try taking these four steps:
    1. Ask him or her to list four of the most effective/successful people they have ever met and then to describe five things each of these individuals do well.  Then ask them to compare themselves with these attributes.
    2. Ask them to choose someone in your program that they think is a top player and leader on their team. Then repeat the process of step one by describing five things they do well and then compare themselves with these attributes.
    3. Ask them to rate themselves on some important fundamentals/skills that are important to your team’s development.  Then ask them to give examples of their behavior that demonstrate their conclusions.
    4. Finally they should list five reasons why they believe they do not have much to improve upon.
  • The leader should then sit down with the player and coach him or her to success. Your goal as a leader is to create experiences that give your people feedback about the results of their behavior. Help them see the difference between where they are and where they think they are. Assist them in seeing the attributes that make an athlete successful. Show them the characteristics that you desire and makes a person a success in your program.  Hopefully, then they will be motivated to learn how to change their actions for the benefit of themselves and the team.