Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Coaches Never Lose

A team can lose. Any team can lose. But in a sense, a very real sense a coach never loses.

For the job of a coach is over and finished once the starting whistle blows. They know they've won or lost before play starts.

For a coach has two tasks. The minor one is to teach skills: to teach a child how to run faster, hit harder, block better, kick farther, jump higher.

The second task: the major task is to make grown-ups out of children.

It’s to teach an attitude of mind. It’s to implant character and not simply impart skills.

It’s to teach children to play fair. This goes without saying. It's to teach them to be humble in victory and proud in defeat. This goes without saying.

But more importantly, it’s to teach them to live up to their potential no matter what their potential is.

It’s to teach them to do their best and never be satisfied with what they are. But to strive to be as good as they can be if they tried harder.

A coach can never make a great player out of a child who isn’t potentially great. But they can make a great competitor out of anyone.  And miraculously they can make a grown-up out of a child.

For a coach, the final score doesn’t read so many points for my team so many points for theirs. Instead, it reads so many grown-ups out of so many children.

And this is the score that is never published. And this is the score that they read to themselves and in which they find their real joy when the last game is over.

6 x 9; 124 pages

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Power Thoughts

  • I was sustained by one piece of inestimable good fortune. I had for a friend a man of immense and patient wisdom and a gentle but unyielding fortitude. I think that if I was not destroyed at this time by the sense of hopelessness which these gigantic labors has awakened in me, it was largely because of the courage and patience of this man. I did not give in because he would not let me give in.
    --Thomas Wolfe 

  • I had always said to myself that forty was the cut off point of my apprenticeship which may for some people, sound like a very long one, but the novel as art is a middle-aged art. I was very frightened when I turned forty. I suddenly thought I ought to wake up and be speaking with the voice of God. I said that to my mother and she said, "you've been speaking with the voice of God since you could talk! Don't worry about it!"
    --Jane Rule

  • The concern that some women show at the absence of their husbands, does not arise from their not seeing them and being with them, but from their apprehension that their husbands are enjoying pleasures in which they do not participate, and which, from their being at a distance, they have not the power of interrupting.
     --Michel de Montaigne

  • Enduring habits I hate.... Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect, because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits.
    --Friedrich Nietzsche
  • That was rough.... Thing to do now is try and forget it.... I guess I don't quite mean that.  It's not a thing you can forget.  Maybe not even a thing you want to forget.... Life's like that sometimes... Now and then for no good reason a man can figure out, life will just haul off and knock him flat, slam him agin' the ground so hard it seems like all his insides is busted.  But it's not all like that.  A lot of it's mighty fine, and you can't afford to waste the good part frettin' about the bad.  That makes it all bad.... Sure, I know - sayin' it's one thing and feelin' it's another.  But I'll tell you a trick that's sometimes a big help.  When you start lookin' around for something good to take the place of the bad, as a general rule you can find it.
    --From the movie Old Yeller

  • The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
    --Thomas Paine

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

What We Should Look For In Team Leaders

Captains are important and serve a unique function on our teams, so I enjoyed this article from Leadership Freak, The Three Power-People You Need On Your Team.  I don’t want to get into whether you choose captains or you let the team, or whether or not your captains are always seniors, or whether you don’t have captains at all.  I want to focus on what qualities we should look for, and what we should coach the team to look for, in our team leaders.

What we should look for in team leaders:
  • Hard working. I don’t know about you, but my best captains have been the hardest workers.  When they asked the team to run through a wall, their teammates knew the captain would be right there with them…leading the way.
  • Strong opinions and emotions. They should be passionate about the sport, about the team, and about their teammates.  Ideally they’re able to harness that emotion into motivating their teammates.
  • Unflinching alignment with organizational values.  What is it you value as a coach?  Does your team know?  Do your team leaders/captains?  Is it being on time?  Is it extra film study?  Is it supporting teammates who play a second sport?  Whatever it is, make sure you make it known.
  • Comfort saying no. Good manners are nice but not essential.  I had a young lady who was a natural born leader.  She was strong and she spoke her mind.  One preseason, she came in and it was like a quiet, mousy alien had abducted her.  She was worried that she was too strong and was scaring the team.  I did my best to tell her the qualities she was trying to hide were her best qualities.  And not only that, they were assets our team was in dire need of.
  • Dedication to serve the organization before serving themselves.  There’s that servant leader concept.  Team before self.  The teams I’ve had who have suffered through lack of success were always lacking that team-first leader.
  • Strength to confront brutal facts.  What if your star player is out all night long making a fool of herself (however you deem it) before a big game?  Will your team leaders address it?  My best leaders squash problems before I even realize it’s going on.
  • Openness to change.  Let’s say you’ve got a team captain.  She’s pretty good, but you see with a couple of tweaks in her personality or how she communicates with the team, she could be amazing.  Hopefully, she’s open to getting better…not just on the court, but off of it as well.

    Loyalty.  To the program, of course, but more importantly, to their best selves.  That may come across as kind of cheesy, but sometimes our team leaders are put in tough positions where they’ve got to make a decision that may be unpopular.  I’d hope they believe in the type of leader they are and can stand by it.

Once we’ve found these folks and they’ve been identified as team leaders, it’s our job to train them to lead.  So often we assume our players know how to lead, but they only know what they’ve been exposed to.  What if you showed them leadership videos on Ted or youtube?  What if you read them great leadership quotes and asked them what they meant to each one of them?  What if you picked a leadership book and read it with them? Training our leaders may be just as important as training our sport skills.



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Youth Is Not An Excuse

Did you know...
    • That as a teenager Cleopatra became Queen of Egypt?
    • Tommy Hilfiger opened his first clothing store.
    • Barbra Streisand opened to rave reviews in her first Broadway play.
    • Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft
It is never too early to expect great things from someone!

Print Edition $24.99

Instant Download &19.99

Print & Download $31.99

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Four C's Of Team Building

1. Contagious energy 
2. Communication 
3. Connection 
4. Commitment
5. Caring

by Jon Gordon