The idea of “not arriving”, that there is no such thing, provides me so much calmness.
We are so often chasing something, without realizing that it’s the chase that is the important part.
Churchill is quoted as saying, “To improve is to change, to perfect is to change often,”.
How often can you assess and tweak and change often?
Where to start?!
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 can I get you?
How can I help?
What do you need?
Asking (and answering) these questions is not always easy and not always at the front of our mind. As people we typically think of our own needs and wants first, and as coaches are wired to see the answers for others. So, asking for input and demanding that others consider what they want and need–and hold them to it–is a novel idea.
The idea of serving your people isn’t simply bringing them ideas and gifts. It’s allowing exploration and demanding that they show up for themselves.
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?
Coaching Is Hard. Fact.
Wanting both to control “all of the situations” and have teams in which people were making suggestions and giving input…these two things struggle to coexist.
Are you really giving your people room to own things on your team? Do they have actual ability to impact change? Do you have a history of soliciting input, asking for ideas?
If not, can you really expect them to own this thing that they don’t really have a piece of?
Who gets to help shape your program?
Who doesn’t get to? Who is supposed to show up and shut up?
Who MUST contribute?
Think about how you want your program to be, to become, to feel to those who come near it.
Think about it, write it down, and share it.
You’ll probably think today’s version is lacking, or even terrible, at some future date. That’s ok. Think about it, write it down, share it and see what happens.
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.
Why are you not making the team better, intentionally, at every turn?
You’re probably not intending to make it worse, you’re likely not making it worse…but why not mean to make it better?
All the time.
What’s the challenge for you? What is in the way?
These are such great questions to ask yourself and your people.
What if that was your driving message to your players?
This and only this.
I’m here for you to grow into who you’re going to be. Not “supposed to” be, because really, how can one know that?
It’s the “stand for” part that matters.
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.