Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Try These Ideas When You Are Forced To Reprimand A Team Member

Here are some things to keep in mind when you need to reprimand a team member:
  • Let the team member know that the behavior is undesirable, not the person.
  • Let the person know that you care about him or her as a person, but that you expect more from them.
  • Do not punish anyone who is unable to perform a task. Take action on those who are able to perform the task but are unwilling or unmotivated to succeed.
  • A team member should be called on the carpet immediately after the undesirable behavior.
  • Do not humiliate a person in front of others.
  • Make sure that the person understands exactly what behavior led to the reprimand or punishment.
  • Do not hold a grudge. When it is over…it is over! Move on!
Reprimanding is never a fun task. However, by following these concepts you will reduce the number of repeat offenders on your team


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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Story About Accepting Your Role

A sea captain and a crusty engineer were talking and they began to argue about whose skill was most needed for the running the ship. They decided to trade jobs for a day. The engineer would be on the bridge, and the captain would go down to the engine room. A few hours into their shift, the captain emerged from below decks. “Chief” he yelled, “you need to get down here. I can’t get her to go.” “Of course you can’t, barked the chief, “She’s aground!”

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Simple Things Are Critical To Building Programs

Dave Serrano, former UC-Irvine’s baseball coach, as well as the 2007 Baseball America’s coach of the year holds his team to the highest standards even when cleaning up after practice. They are required to maintain their concentration even when setting up and clearing the field. UCI turned clearing the field into a competitive game, timing how fast they can take down the batting cage, screens, and tarps. They got so proficient at it, they could do it in 27 seconds. 

Serrano believes that focusing on these simple things was critical in building his successful program at UCI. Serrano is currently the head coach at California State University, Northridge.

—Adapted from Baseball America


A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Study Proves Importance of Communication

In a Florida State University study, winning doubles tennis teams talked strategy twice as much as losing teams did.

The study also found that winning teammates vocally encouraged each other nearly three times as more often than losing teams did.

“Emotional exchanges help teams feel more capable” explains study coauthor Gershon Tenebaum, PhD

In other words the more a team talks to each other with purpose, enthusiasm, and encouragement the greater the chance of success.


A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Team Morale Boosters

  1. Daily learning. Stimulate team members to do what it takes to improve.
  2. Elbow room. As the team improves their competence, let them gradually take on more responsibility.
  3. Support. Show your players that all the team’s work is valuable, even if it’s not glamorous or doesn’t get public attention.
  4. Meaning. When things get tough, give consistent reminders of what the work will lead to.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Few Thoughts On Coaching

  • A single arrow is easily broken, but not ten in a bundle.–Japanese proverb
  • A boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way.–Swahili proverb
  • It’s easy to get good players. Getting them to play together, that’s the hard part.–Casey Stengel
  • A coach is often responsible to an irresponsible public.
  • Accumulate all the knowledge and information about coaching/leading. Then choose that which you intend to use. You cannot use it all.
  • Some coaches are so busy learning the tricks of the trade that they never learn the trade.
  • It’s your job; it’s their game.

A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Motivation is Driven by Emotion

Emotion and motion come from the same Latin root meaning, “to move”.  When you want to move people to take action, connect to their emotions. An act of leadership motivation is an act of emotion. In any strategic leadership endeavor, you must make sure that the people have a strong emotional commitment to realizing the end result.

Recently, a chief officer of a worldwide services company said, “Now I know why we’re not growing! Our senior leaders developed our marketing strategy in a bunker!” The document was some 40 pages long and single-spaced. The points it made were logical, consistent, and comprehensive. It made perfect sense. That was the trouble.

It made perfect intellectual sense to all of the senior leaders. But it did not make experiential sense to the people who had to carry it out. The action folks had about as much input into the strategy as the window washers at corporate headquarters. Therefore, the team members never felt an emotional tie to the action plan. As a result, the document did not serve its intended purpose or support the team’s vision.

Team members are more effectively motivated when they can personally relate to the tasks necessary for carrying out a strategy, especially when it is newly introduced. Only then does the plan have a real chance to succeed.

–Adapted from


A Season In Words by Dan Spainhour