Because That’s What You Do.

How many things are on your list, agenda or practice plan that are simply carryovers from yesterday, last week or your first year in this job?

What are the things that you do without question?

Why would you do anything without the simple question: “is this going to make me/us/the situation better?”

The absence of testing, or even just thinking about the purpose of some drills, exercises, ideas or plans, is prevalent. We tend to go with what we think we should do rather than those things that we know add value.

Too often it’s that fear of being different that keeps us from being, well, different.

No Expiration Date

Have you ever read an article or looked at some notes from long ago and thought “wow, this is really pertinent to me today,”?   Are you surprised when that happens? Don’t be. People have been having good ideas (even you!) for a long time…and good ideas generally don’t expire. If they were good then they likely can work now.

We spend so much time thinking of new and improved ways to do things when perhaps we should consider tweaking things we’ve done or thought to do before.

Innovate, yes, but also look back, steal and modify the great ways of getting things done that you’ve learned about and practiced already.

One In A Row

Consistency is tough to achieve.  Doing things the right way over and over, getting up and getting to work, assessing and revising, challenging yourself and your team regularly…are not easy to achieve.

Systems of performance make these things easier. Knowing what you’re going to do (and having your subordinates always knowing what’s next) to move yourself and your program forward today is a great step toward both productivity and effectiveness.  Plan your work…

On the other hand, when you fail at consistency there’s always a chance to restart–either execute more effectively or devise a new system–and one in a row is an ok place to be.

GO.

Awareness

Who are you building? Why?  “Using sports to teach life lessons” is a common coaching comment.  Is this activity or byproduct?  Is one more important than the other, and can you even keep them straight?

There are many questions you may ask yourself and others surely are asking them…have you decided which questions to answer?

Know what’s important to you and how to take steps toward achievement.  That’s it.  Work on the why and the how, and the what will show up.

At Least You Have Your Health…

Things are not getting done well, games are being lost or played poorly, your business or team culture is not moving you forward…but at least you have your health.

This phrase is also commonly expressed as, “it’s not like it’s life or death…”.

These are excuses of the highest order.  What do those statements actually mean in this context?  What does death have to do with it?  Mostly it’s a way of finding something–anything–positive in a crappy situation.

The reality is that saying these things does not make you feel better, but you can pretend it does.  It’s a way of taking something totally irrelevant and giving it importance so that the failures are minimized.

It’s a coverup.

Of course your life and your health–and that of those around you–is important.  The sentiment is real, but not in the context of a coaching or team failure.  It’s the failure itself that you should be examining and celebrating as a catalyst.

Do the challenging work of planning, working the plan and then assessing the result, and get to work on making a better plan, or improving the execution. The PEAR process is a crucial, underutilized tool for improvement.  Stay away from the coverup.

Go.

Experience Holding You Back?

Experience can be a great teacher. Brains and bodies work more smoothly together after thousands of reps, we learn how we work and decide what works for us.

On the other hand we often do things simply because we’ve always done them that way. “This is the way I am,” “that works for me,” “I know the best way to do that, ” are things we tell ourselves.  Do we actually consider if these things are true? Perhaps we are just fearful of change. For sure we are fearful of change!

Experience also may cause us to miss out on new and positive tools and information.  “Keeping an open mind” is one thing, actively seeking the best way to do things is quite another, and doesn’t need to be a sea change.

Take time to look at your team closely. The drills, practice design, rules, methods of teaching; review and assess everything and see if you are still in love with your systems. You may find that it ain’t broke but still needs work.

PEAR it

Plan
Execute
Assess
Repeat

I found that for years I would make plans, make more, put a few in place and end up loving or scrapping them based on any one of a number of factors.   However,  it was not until recently that I realized I was not getting the most of my ideas,  or more truthfully I didn’t really know how I was doing.

I needed an assessment scale to know. It needed to be consistent and ask the right questions. For me it’s a simple green/yellow/red scale. The measure is well-defined everybody understands the language and we know where we stand.

Now that we always know how we feel about the plan and the outcome we can decide if we need to improve the plan, improve how we execute the plan, both or neither.

That knowledge is really powerful. Through regular implementation we can constantly improve our processes.

When making plans,  ask “how will we know?”, and measure at the end of the work. Good questions will lead you to better plans next time.

Rinse, repeat.