How Many Pillars Is Enough?

What are the “rules” of coaching?

Do you need to have a handbook? A playbook?

A set of 4-10 pillars that you stand by/live by/teach by?

Is player buy-in the most important thing?

What about “knowing yourself”?

Are you allowed to change your mind? Do you have to change your mind?

You do know that there are secrets out there that only a few have access to, right?

Some of any of these things is probably a good thing…and the wrong ones only invite you to keep working on being better. Isn’t that what we ask our players to do?

No wrong answer. No right answer. I’m just going to keep asking questions.

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?

Bumpers

Safety nets, guide wires, bumpers, reasons to be fearless without repercussion. 

Is that what’s really good for us?

Do we need to be sure to have a “feel good” practice before a big game? Do you know for sure that’s the best thing for you or your team or do you just think it is? 

What happens if she fails for real? Throws a gutter ball or falls on her face, even literally?  

I think that the toughness comes from getting up and dusting oneself off. 

Allowing failure to occur is not the same as encouraging it. 

Unnatural

It’s not in most of us to first think of others.

Should we actually put others before ourselves?

What if we simply thought of others’ interests in the same way we think of our own…if we valued interests, opinions and perspectives that didn’t mirror ours exactly?

Sounds simple.

This being outside ourselves takes practice. And, a good practice requires willingness to fail, to test limits and clean up edges.

Instead of starting with, “I/we need to be more empathetic,” how about, I’m going to take a deep breath and see if I can consider another’s perspective one time today.

New To You

You see a quote or Google a concept and get some great info…the you realize the resource is from 2 years ago, or five, or twenty five…

Does that make it a bad, old or tired reference?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Good ideas have been around for a long time (and, you probably have some yourself). For sure you can adopt, adapt or customize such concepts others’ ideas to make them work for you.

Consider the content rather than the source. Use your own perspective and situations to decide what might be good for you.

Meanwhile, add to the universe of good ideas and perhaps make someone else’s world better at the same time.

Building Culture is Simple

  1. Pour the foundation.  What are you all about, Coach? ID your drivers, your values, the things that you insist upon, or wish you did.
  2. Frame it.  Determine the language and lens that you’ll use to see the creation of the program and team.  What are the critical pieces?  There is no shame in asking your people here either. Get consensus, have great conversations.
  3. Get the tools in line & get everyone to agree on the floor plan.  Determine what the finished product will look like if it’s great.
  4. Decorate.  What’s this season’s slogan? Do you have a hashtag? A secret handshake? A goal that everyone can get in line with?

Number 1 is mostly driven by the leader. The head coach, the person at the top.  YOU must have an idea of the central principles by which you’ll drive the program and from there you can, and should, include all of the important people.

Start there.  Simple.  Not easy.