There’s No Scoring On Defense

in some sports “the defense” scores points, although their main role is to stop the other guy from scoring points.  In some, like softball and baseball, there is no way to post on the scoreboard when your team is in the field.

You can only win when you attack. On offense. Find a way to have a strategy on offense that you love, that everyone is bought in to, that speaks “we’re in control”.

Defense is a tone setter, but not scorer. Even if you’re great on D, you can only be totally in control if you have a strategy that allows you to control on attack.

Get to work.

 

When Selfish Is Good

If everyone prioritizes paying attention, even in “a good way”, to what others are doing, their goals and dreams, a team will not be at it’s best.

The word selfish has gotten a bad rep.  Being selfish in your preparation, doing everything you can to be at your best? That’s a great start to making your team better.

By being prepared and modeling the work you put in in selfish-mode you’ll be helping the team from the inside out.  The foundation of a team is it’s people, so be a great person/player/athlete and you’ll be doing your part.

It takes a great group effort to be a great team.  The existence of standards and norms that make up the basis of a team’s culture and the ethic of working together toward a commonly held goal is crucial to outcome success.  However, relying on a set of “great team players” that are not also at their best individually is not a recipe for success.

All teams must work together in a selfless way, but the individuals within should make it a priority to be selfish in their preparation.

Fear of Not Missing Out

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Who’s missing, and who’s not? There is FOMO, Fear of Missing Out, and there is reverse FOMO…the idea that you’re doing something great, and someone is missing it.

When you wonder why people don’t want to do what you’re doing. When you invite someone and they decline. Do you worry about those people too much and not enjoy yourself as much as you could?

Our obsession with the past and the future, our challenge to enjoy who we are and who we are with at this moment, to be satisfied, period. It’s so easy to get excited about the things our future self is going to do, or to reminisce of times gone by. It’s somehow harder to just enjoy. THIS IS GREAT!, right now, is good enough.

Take time to enjoy those who are there, with you, to make the most of your moment and save your emotional energy for those missing for the next time you see them.

It’s ok for “it” to be less than perfect.

Swaddling Teams

People in cultures from all corners of the world swaddle their infants. They wrap them tightly in material so that the baby is constrained yet comfortable.

Arms tight to their sides, just their face clear for breathing, the child is soothed by the containment. It’s like a long-term hug, the comfort of being right where they are and their brains not having to consider much outside the swaddling material.

Entire teams can be swaddled, comforted by the feeling of being surrounded by known people, expectations and norms. Being accepted by those around you and understanding the clear rules and standards of a team offers the comfort of familiarity even if circumstances or relationships are challenging, or may sometimes feel personally constraining.

Are your team members given wide-open freedom to do what they think they should do or are they guided–gently but surely–by the comfort of clear team standards?

Is your way working?

Horizontal Transparency

The state of recruiting in many collegiate sports means that many players have deep relationships with coaches as recruiters by the time the kids arrive on campus.  Soon, the team culture and friendships becomes an important part of their world as well.

Player to player relationships typically are socially based, leaving the physical, skill and even commitment-to-the-program development up to coaches in meetings, one-on-one sessions and off-season work.

What if teams spent time communicating what each member (players and coaches) was working on and how others could be a part of this improvement?  Is there room in your program for less behind-closed-doors communication?  Opening the “this is how i’m going to get better for the team” communication to all may help to both further understanding of what’s important and model transparency and common goals.

It will also help kids to see outside of themselves and recognize that they are responsible to add to the team, and also can take/get a lot from their teammates in ways that they may not have thought about.  Open, honest and direct communication will help move kids and teams forward.

Go.