What About What Might Happen?

Forward momentum is enhanced by testing, guessing, making mistakes and accepting partial credit or incomplete solutions.

We’re told to work intentionally now, but…be ok with thinking about the future, but…not too much.

We pass along this approach to our players, too.

The present is important, yet fleeting.  It’s easy to either be complacent, or consistently dissatisfied.

Do you feel this? Do you pass along this angst to your team?

Working to be our best, currently, is really all we can do.

It takes an inner peace (conscious or not) to be satisfied right now, to not ruminate on the past or solely anticipate the future. When “what about…” comes into play we become less content.

 

Don’t Forget the Hard Stuff

“It’s going to be even better next year,” is dangerous thinking.

Too often we forget how hard we worked. We forget the struggles and disagreements, the fights, even. We forget the pain of workouts or the disappointments of injuries.

Our brains opt to deemphasize the hard parts and glowingly highlight the good times and success (wow, what fun!).

This is results-focused thinking without any real definition of “better”, or a goal to reach for and the process that it will entail.

We want to feel all of the glory, the excitement, the upsides and the wins.  We want this as individuals and as teams. We love the feeling that success will be easy, but we know better.

It was hard the last time, and it will take a similar bit of hard work the next time. Go.

 

The time is now!

So they say. For most, “the time is now”, means that pretty soon we’d better get ready to try to act. Pretty soon, as in: not right now, but sometime soon.

Mindfulness is the word of the moment (get it?), “live in the present” is something we encourage and cajole our future selves to do, and yet things don’t get done.  They get thought about, planned, to-do listed…but done?

It’s time to start doing.  Share it, invite comment, see what others think, see if it works. I’ll go first.

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.

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.

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.