A, B, C Players

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?

Booooooring

Coaches, be boring.

Spend the time to know-really know-what you care about, what your language is, what the standards are…what’s this thing all about?

If you have a simple set of terms that work for you on and off the field, a glossary that everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if people have a variety of accents.

Coaches who say the same thing over and over, in a language that people understand are not boring, they are consistent and easy to play for.

And they often win.

Have An Idea

The social media era we live in allows so much great, positive and useful sharing of knowledge.

It also allows us to regurgitate others’ ideas without thought of what WE think, and how this idea might impact OUR work.

I’ve resolving to stop simply “liking” or “sharing” quotes, concepts or articles I see online. It’s too easy and I’m not getting the most out of it, nor are my teams or others who pay attention to the things I post (if there is anyone on that list!?).

So, I will consider and at the very least comment on these things so that I gain insight into what I really care about, become more judicious in my sharing and most importantly, develop my own WHO and WHY more fully.

#whyIshare

Learning to Talk

We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.

Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.

There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.

Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.

Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.

Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*

*the “it” can really be anything.

Coach

The English word COACH is deemed to have been derived from the coach that was pulled by horses decades ago. The town in Hungary that is credited with this invention was called Kocs.

So, the word as we use it in sports and other types of coaching is a metaphor for getting things or people from one place to another. This is the job of a coach.

There are skills involved, mostly really, really human skills like listening, planning, caring, listening (yes, again) and figuring out how to get people to work to make themselves a more highly functioning person, either on their own or in a group/team setting.

Those skills are often overlooked when considered alongside knowledge sets like “knowing the game”, strategy and sport tactics. This second group of things is important, but without the first it’s challenging to really grow people to help make the world a better place.

How will you move people along?

Building Culture is Simple

  1. Pour the foundation.  What are you all about, Coach? ID your drivers, your values, the things that you insist upon, or wish you did.
  2. Frame it.  Determine the language and lens that you’ll use to see the creation of the program and team.  What are the critical pieces?  There is no shame in asking your people here either. Get consensus, have great conversations.
  3. Get the tools in line & get everyone to agree on the floor plan.  Determine what the finished product will look like if it’s great.
  4. Decorate.  What’s this season’s slogan? Do you have a hashtag? A secret handshake? A goal that everyone can get in line with?

Number 1 is mostly driven by the leader. The head coach, the person at the top.  YOU must have an idea of the central principles by which you’ll drive the program and from there you can, and should, include all of the important people.

Start there.  Simple.  Not easy.