A, B, C Players

Coach, do you rank your players on various metrics? Maybe even as simple as “he’s an A player, but has a B (or C) attitude”. If you use numbers, does a “1” player with a “3” attitude equate to a kid who’s a “2” in both in your estimation?

Putting aside the fact that I’d like to know your qualifying standards (how do you measure??!?), is averaging the way to go? Do you have a number that you’d like your team to be at?

What’s the optimal combination of traits and of players?

Why not define the standards and hold everyone to all of them instead?

Booooooring

Coaches, be boring.

Spend the time to know-really know-what you care about, what your language is, what the standards are…what’s this thing all about?

If you have a simple set of terms that work for you on and off the field, a glossary that everyone knows, it doesn’t matter if people have a variety of accents.

Coaches who say the same thing over and over, in a language that people understand are not boring, they are consistent and easy to play for.

And they often win.

Have An Idea

The social media era we live in allows so much great, positive and useful sharing of knowledge.

It also allows us to regurgitate others’ ideas without thought of what WE think, and how this idea might impact OUR work.

I’ve resolving to stop simply “liking” or “sharing” quotes, concepts or articles I see online. It’s too easy and I’m not getting the most out of it, nor are my teams or others who pay attention to the things I post (if there is anyone on that list!?).

So, I will consider and at the very least comment on these things so that I gain insight into what I really care about, become more judicious in my sharing and most importantly, develop my own WHO and WHY more fully.

#whyIshare

Do Your Who

Goals are important, action plans and affirmations can “work”, for sure.

But, it’s what you actually DO that is who you are.

You can wish for things, plan for future events, dictate your future in a journal, business plan or season itinerary.

But, it’s what you actually DO that matters.

You may say that you care about your players. A lot. You might actually, in your heart, care a lot. But unless you show them that, unless you show up for them in ways that matter to them, you aren’t really that caring coach that you think you are.

Look at your current actions to see what really matters to you, and plan your future actions to prove it.

Learning to Talk

We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.

Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.

There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.

Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.

Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.

Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*

*the “it” can really be anything.

What Time is it There?

I live in the Northeastern part of the US and operate in the Eastern Time Zone, usually. This year I’ve spent a lot of time outside of that zone.

The travel is great fun for the most part and meeting people from diverse backgrounds and with really different life experiences from mine is a great opportunity to learn and be learned from.

As I travel, and when I’m home and talking to someone far away, almost always the first question asked or answered is, “what time is it there?” We have a need to know what the other person is experiencing.

Or, is it something else?

If we look to get an idea of where our friend is in the world, physically, then why does it seem so challenging to get people to see another’s perspective emotionally, or see things through their eyes?

“What time is it there?” is not the same as “How are you?”. But, is it more like: “I want to be sure I have all of the facts before I say anything stupid,” or “I care about you and want to know what your day is like?”

It’s probably both. Think about it the next time you ask.

It’s Personal

When someone says, “it’s personal”, they usually mean that they don’t want to talk about that it.

It’s often used as a replacement for, “none of your business”, or “leave me alone”.

So, let’s say what we mean.

Almost everything we talk about is personal. Most humans talk about their own thoughts & feelings more than anything else.

No more using “it’s personal” as an excuse. Be precise with your language.

Coach

The English word COACH is deemed to have been derived from the coach that was pulled by horses decades ago. The town in Hungary that is credited with this invention was called Kocs.

So, the word as we use it in sports and other types of coaching is a metaphor for getting things or people from one place to another. This is the job of a coach.

There are skills involved, mostly really, really human skills like listening, planning, caring, listening (yes, again) and figuring out how to get people to work to make themselves a more highly functioning person, either on their own or in a group/team setting.

Those skills are often overlooked when considered alongside knowledge sets like “knowing the game”, strategy and sport tactics. This second group of things is important, but without the first it’s challenging to really grow people to help make the world a better place.

How will you move people along?

Hard To Look At

“Warts and all”, is a phrase we use to mean that we accept the failings and the shortcomings of those we love or appreciate, or, perhaps, need.

We don’t typically, however, use this phrase when we talk about ourselves. The “warts” that we know we have (how did warts get such a bad name anyway?) somehow don’t even make it to the front of the stage to get mention when we’re talking our us…or me, or myself.

It’s challenging to look for faults in ourselves. If we knew of them we would have fixed them! Or, would we? Maybe it’s acceptance that takes the place of introspection or deliberation of such faults.

Make time, front of your mind time, to examine the “warts” in your world, to look at the ways you fall short or are lacking.

As we look at our own pains or the holes in our game we may realize that they are either not so bad, or easier to fix than we thought. Either way, it’s liberating in a way to admit to these things, to say, “yes, I could/should/might be better in these ways.”