Baby Steps

Adults trying new things are a lot like babies learning to walk…stand up, fall down, reach for something to lean on, fall down again…sometimes your legs just wave in the air because you can’t even roll over to try again.

But, you do. They do. Roll over, stand up, fall down…

Some can essentially do a push up before they stand up. How cool is that?

Eventually, most babies get moving, on their feet.

What’s your method?

Keep Your Eyes on your Own Paper

So. Many. Distractions.

So many good ideas all around us.

So many people have thought of so many things one could do, or say, or even be! How can we possibly keep up?

Start by writing your own stuff. Just think, then write. Then revise, and write some more.

Even if you don’t want to write…start with the thinking. If you did have your own system, your own great ideas, what would they be?

Better With Age?

Everyone says that their early stuff was crap and that they get better with practice. It’s a thing to say…”well, when I started out I was pretty terrible…”. I don’t always agree. Just because I’ve changed my mind on things doesn’t mean it was subpar at the beginning.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to consider: what are you doing well now that will get better in the future with good systems of practice and revision?

Get ahold of some strengths and see if you can become truly great!

Changing Your Mind

Do you think about things you thought about last year in the same way you did then? If so then you likely haven’t thought about them since, and perhaps that means that those topics are not so important to you.

Your opinions can and should morph regularly.

Will your ideas automatically get “better”? Perhaps not, but they will evolve in some way, just by the time passing, and the effort you put into them means they’re different. The active consideration matters.

Are you changing your mind, changing the what and the how of what you think, or what you think about? Which is more important?

Being vs doing

What do you do?

It’s a question many of us ask and get asked all the time. How do you answer?

Do you say, “I plan practices,” or “I read and sometimes respond to incredible numbers of emails”?

As a coach you likely say some version of “I’m the _____ coach at ______,” or “I coach [insert sport here]”. That sounds like who you are more than what you do. Which is it?

Do you care about the difference?

Saying, “I create the conditions in which people and teams learn to inspire others with action and empathy,” seems a bit much…but that’s a great thing to be. It’s who I am, I am the one who builds such a set of conditions.

There’s a lot to DO, but I’d rather BE.

Bad hops off the field

Resilience is overplayed these days. Everywhere I turn someone is telling me to bounce back, get the next one, look for the ways to rebound…

First, I’m all for making mistakes, and wallowing in them for a while probably isn’t so bad for us.

Why the hurry to get back to perfect, or pretty, or the way the world tells us we should be?

Bad hops are gonna happen. Turn around and chase down the loose ball–if you’re in the game there’s not a fungo hitter ready to hit you another.

Frustration

Who’s listening to you? Do you have a place to vent that’s productive for you? What is productive, anyway?

I say go for it. Vent away!

While you’re there, listen for the undercurrents (or ask someone to listen to/for you) of what’s really going on. What does this rant say about what you value, what you really care about.

The clues are in there. Just like the world is asking us to slow down and listen to others, let’s practice intentionally listening to ourselves.

Coaching muscles

Practice.

We ask players to do it out side of formal team sessions, we know that our kids should get time in after piano lessons, people go to the driving range (not me, but some people)…do you practice the skill of coaching?

Do you work on your question-asking skill and train your eye with extra video work? Do you talk to the other coaches in your organization about the things they do that work for them regarding the infrastructure of coaching, not just the problem-of-the-day?

Find ways to get in the coaching gym and improve your skills. This is just as important as you technical knowledge.

Doing this is closely related to learning how to fail, just as we we ask our kids. You’re likely going to ask a yes/no question when you wanted more detail, or design a conversation that falls flat. Great!

Keep practicing being a coach. It’s more than doing coaching.

The Look Doesn’t Lie

Recently I had a chat with a coach whose team was doing okay, but not great.

They talked about how the team was trying, how the kids had worked hard, how the team had some hardships over come in regard to injuries etc.

They talked about some things that had happened in the past and some things that they were doing now. A wide variety of thoughts were tossed out with a variety of levels of clarity.

As a coach of coaches I recognize words like those, and I really recognized the look in the eyes of this coach. They knew they were not telling the whole truth to themselves, nor to me.

They knew something was missing but didn’t really know it was them.  Well, they knew..

The idea of taking the time to truly clarify the things that are centrally important to you is a task that is not actually that challenging. However it’s one that we don’t think to do and we don’t think we can do, and/or that it won’t make that big a difference.

It will.

Start by asking yourself what you believe in, what the central “you” is made of. With just those two questions you’ll start gaining ground.