Coaching By Numbers
Precept #78: A coach is like the conductor of an orchestra. They don’t play an instrument, often didn’t write the score and usually doesn’t even face the audience…but they had better know each and every player, part and measure of the performance inside and out, before and during the concert.
They must ensure that the intensity and pace are correct, that each player knows their role and can execute it–preferably to perfection–throughout the piece. The conductor is responsible for knowing their people well, to read body language and facial expression, to have the music coursing through their veins…
Get out the baton.
What is Work/Life balance?
Anyway, is it “Work/Life”, “Work & Life”, “Work, Life”, “Work-Life”, or maybe “worklife”…what’s the right punctuation?
We’ve grown to use this phrase as a way to talk about the fact that some people work too much, or some people think that others work too much.
Can’t work be a part of life, and vice versa? Is there such a desperate need to separate the two so that we don’t ever think that they can easily co-exist?
Is there really a need to declare any particular hour is to be only for one thing, or another, or that one’s family or friends are “life” and something else is not? And what about one’s life’s work?!?
Perhaps it’s just me that’s confused, but what if everyone took responsibility for their own view of what to fill their life with? That, to me is life, and work, and balance.
It’s tough out there! 50+ positions have turned over in college softball this year. FIFTY! A good amount of coaches–of both genders but more women it seems–are leaving the profession altogether. #coachingishard
Tongue in cheek I have said that women are leaving more often than men because they are “smarter”, and when it gets tough the recognize that there are other great opportunities. I don’t really believe that, however. I think that lots of “smart” people are finding coaching at the college level to be too big a challenge because “we” don’t adequately prepare people for the job.
Yes, it’s a job. One that needs training and deserves our best attention. Like teaching in too many places, however, we think about how people do the job and not enough about what the role of a coach should be. There’s too much at stake to just roll out the balls and hope people get it.
Obviously, sports at the college level is zero sum. Those who win couldn’t do so without another party playing the role of loser. Someone has to win. So, unless are are globally happy with a 50% loser rate, the scoreboard cannot be the only measure of success.
Let’s train people to define success (by this I mean administrators being honest with themselves and others) and devise a plan to achieve most of the goals. Let’s allow mistakes on the scoreboard and believe in our bones that, indeed, things like good team culture, kids enjoying the process and becoming “better” people will indeed lead to positive results on the scoreboard, but not every time and not simply because we hope that coaches and players alike “get it”.
We are better than this.
You might not be good at ________.
You might even know it.
You might hate to admit it, but you really don’t care about getting better.
Although it’s not what people mean when they say it, you are (at least subliminally) embracing the suck.
It might even be your job that you have no desire to to the work to get better at. Then what? In some worlds one can just get by not doing things and still getting okay results…but there is a “fix” for those of us who are not willing to change: find a good deputy or designee.
Become good at simply knowing what needs to be done…you don’t need to be good at doing it. Find an assistant, a #2, a captain, a colleague that can get these things done for you.
Embrace the suck, if you have to.
What happens when a team just loses it’s mojo?
Is this simply a “that’s what happens sometimes”, situation or can it be fixed?
Finding the cause, or lighting a spark…is one more important than the other?
Go back. Go deep. Go internal. Ask good questions about why this team plays or works on the things it does. What are the values at the core of the project or program? What’s its collective WHY?
If you can find the seed of its existence and agree that it’s one worth working for, then you can determine the actions that the group must take to move forward, to achieve and take steps in the name of the WHY.
Identify the WHAT, too. What will you do? What things will you not do? Keep track regularly and enlist a tracking system to hold the whole group to.
These small things are the only things…one piece at a time a team can bring itself back to creating a great future.
Most people have at least two voices, often competing ones. We have internal debate. We have the “little voice in my head,” and we have “me”.
The “me” is the Big Me. The one that others see, the one that takes action, makes speeches, plans practices and leads the team.
Little Me is the internal Me, the one that has doubts, or, sometimes, confidence; the one who wonders if that is a good idea, who tells us we might not be good enough.
For many of us, the Little Me is too often a negative voice, the one that says, “this might not work”.
This JV me often holds us back. Don’t let the little me have too much control. Be honest with yourself.
it gets done
you won’t forget
or remember at an inappropriate time
you won’t have to ask others to do it
more gets done. you gain time.
sounds easy, right? future me so often gets in the way…wow, is she productive! so much, so that do-it-now me can easily step aside. but, the upside is a winner. keep fighting the fight and resisting the resistance.