Are you a teacher? How about a learner?
Are you looking for ways to do things better, or looking to be sure people do things your way?
Coaching is a noble profession, and many of us take pride in being teachers! We teach our sport and we teach “life lessons” through our programs.
What lessons are we learning?
Deep into my coaching career I looked up and realized that I’d been teaching for years and not learning much at all. Yes, experience served as a great teacher but I was not doing any intentional learning. And, certainly I had not asked my people to teach me.
Learning to be a learner has been the most important factor in turning a career into ongoing passion.
What about you?
Coach, your open door policy only means people can see in as they walk by.
Kids aren’t going to simply stop by to talk about all of the important things.
No matter how young you are, this “they know where to find me” mentality is abdicating your responsibilities as a leader. You’re saying that it’s on them, the junior partner in this relationship, to seek you out, to even know when they need something from you.
It’s on you to be sure that they are doing ok, that they know what you and team membership requires of them, to know where they stand relative to the team standards (those are really clear, right?)…
Leadership is an activity.
The ones who matter.
In pro sports, players often talk about thankfulness for the team owners who gave them a chance, and the fans who show up for them. They work “for” them.
The owners are up the ladder. They have control and steer the ship on the highest level. They set compensation and get to decide direction.
The fans are more fickle and demand the best each day (especially when they are in the stands), they lift players up and criticize freely.
In what ways are your players owners and fans in your world?
Having fun at work is great.
Most of us spend a lot of time “on the job” and it’s unfortunate when it’s all drudgery.
But, I don’t think we need to infuse some “fun” into the mix just because.
In what ways do you or could make your work more playful? And not just for yourself, but for your people and players, too.
The fun that’s ping pong and cookie decorating is less impactful that the fun that comes from achieving goals or seeing improvement.
Make “game goals” out of your hour-to-hour work.
Get things done and see how you feel.
Look at the littlest things when things are not going well.
What small components need a tweak?
Start with the little things. It’s easier and more effective than dismantling the big things only to find that it’s the little things that needed the work in the first place.
Did you read this as, things are tough and getting the best of me? Or, my people are getting my best, all the time?
Be sure that you’re clear with your language, and work to give your best to the world each day.
Who works for whom?
Taking care of business, getting things done is of course important. And, what about growing your people?
Ask, if this person were better at their job, what would that look like? And would that thing make your organization better.
If yes, start to prep them for that success.
Each time you state what you’re all about, what you stand for, you set yourself up to fight for that moment to moment.
If you are “all about” discipline, for example, you then need to be ready not only to be disciplined in your actions but to fight for the belief that discipline is important.
It has to work.
Coaching is hard.
It’s actually not that hard to just coach, but to be a Coach. That’s hard.
Recently I had a conversation with a coach in which they noted that coaching seemed to be getting harder! More tough conversations, more hard decisions…
As she looked closer it was the simple yet challenging act of communicating and holding everyone to program standards that made it hard.
All change is hard, yet having standards as standard operating procedure makes everything easier. Clarity is queen.
Coach, do you rank your players on various metrics? Maybe even as simple as “he’s an A player, but has a B (or C) attitude”. If you use numbers, does a “1” player with a “3” attitude equate to a kid who’s a “2” in both in your estimation?
Putting aside the fact that I’d like to know your qualifying standards (how do you measure??!?), is averaging the way to go? Do you have a number that you’d like your team to be at?
What’s the optimal combination of traits and of players?
Why not define the standards and hold everyone to all of them instead?