What if that was the question we asked?
How can I help other guy?
What does this kid need from me as a coach? What am I going to do to move this situation forward?
We all have a narrative about what’s ok and what’s not, who is “good” and who’s not, but how often do we think about what’s actually best for the other guy? Now.
Of course what’s best for the team might be different. Then the questions change.
Even within a great team, each individual is running their own race.
She might also be a part of a relay, running the team’s race, but for sure she is running her own race.
Our starting lines vary, our pace ebbs and flows until we find a rhythm.
Encouraging each player to run well–to be healthy and efficient–while still being able to cheer the others on–that’s one way coaches can help move the entire entourage down the course.
Usually there are a lot of moving parts–which is better than parts that are frozen in time.
Find ways to cheer for the team and for every racer.
What are the “rules” of coaching?
Do you need to have a handbook? A playbook?
A set of 4-10 pillars that you stand by/live by/teach by?
Is player buy-in the most important thing?
What about “knowing yourself”?
Are you allowed to change your mind? Do you have to change your mind?
You do know that there are secrets out there that only a few have access to, right?
Some of any of these things is probably a good thing…and the wrong ones only invite you to keep working on being better. Isn’t that what we ask our players to do?
No wrong answer. No right answer. I’m just going to keep asking questions.
Or, put another way, only people who believe are likely to be followed.
As a “leader” one must have the values and principles of the program or organization not just committed to memory, but embedded in the fiber of their being. They must get energy from these things, and thus will transmit energy to others in their world.
To believe you must know, and you must work to be sure that ALL of the people important to the organization also know; that they look through the lens of the values and speak the language of the principles and standards.
True belief in an action, even if the outcome it uncertain, is a mark of a real leader.
“Learning from the past” should not be a random thing. We should have a planning process, make and execute plans and look at them after they are executed. Ask, “What worked?”, and do more of that and less of what didn’t work.
When someone says they learned their lesson, it’s often simply because a thing didn’t work out, and not often enough because we took the time to review our plans and our actions.
Take time more often to learn–the good and the bad–intentionally.
One of the conversations that has stuck with me for over ten years…
“Coach, I figured something out,” she said one April morning. “I’m so used to coaches being the one who yelled at us and made us run, I never thought of them as being on the same team as us.”
She was shocked when she felt support from her college coach.
It’s doubtful that all of her coaches before that were “against” her and her teammates, or that yelling was the top activity.
Yet, she FELT that way…the prevailing FEELING about coaches was of being criticized, “yelled at”, even if voices weren’t raised, and of being on the other side.
Recognize how people feel in your presence. Your words may not be as important as you think.
Coaching By Numbers
Precept #78: A coach is like the conductor of an orchestra. They don’t play an instrument, often didn’t write the score and usually doesn’t even face the audience…but they had better know each and every player, part and measure of the performance inside and out, before and during the concert.
They must ensure that the intensity and pace are correct, that each player knows their role and can execute it–preferably to perfection–throughout the piece. The conductor is responsible for knowing their people well, to read body language and facial expression, to have the music coursing through their veins…
Get out the baton.