Better With Age?

Everyone says that their early stuff was crap and that they get better with practice. It’s a thing to say…”well, when I started out I was pretty terrible…”. I don’t always agree. Just because I’ve changed my mind on things doesn’t mean it was subpar at the beginning.

Regardless, it’s a good idea to consider: what are you doing well now that will get better in the future with good systems of practice and revision?

Get ahold of some strengths and see if you can become truly great!

Changing Your Mind

Do you think about things you thought about last year in the same way you did then? If so then you likely haven’t thought about them since, and perhaps that means that those topics are not so important to you.

Your opinions can and should morph regularly.

Will your ideas automatically get “better”? Perhaps not, but they will evolve in some way, just by the time passing, and the effort you put into them means they’re different. The active consideration matters.

Are you changing your mind, changing the what and the how of what you think, or what you think about? Which is more important?

Boiling It Down

Good coaching, is two things, IMO:

Curiosity

and

Clarification

Find out what’s required for success (define that, too) and what drives people (especially yourself).

Then boil down all of the things that your team will need to achieve the standards you decide upon, be clear about what’s expected along the way, and get going.

Start with a notebook and an open heart.

Problem solving

Most situations are not like arithmetic. Here there are right answers that can fairly easily be deduced. 2 + 3? Easy.

These types of problems are not interesting, and won’t stimulate you or your organization to move toward “better”.

It’s the interesting problems that move us along; it’s the noodling on things is really where the work gets done.

How often have you started to think or talk (usually we’re talking more than thinking) about one topic and come out the other side making moves about something completely different. It’s the process of consideration that makes the difference.

So, by taking problems away from people and offering easy solutions or giving away answers without asking for any work we’re doing a disservice to the world.

Ask hard questions of yourself and those around you and watch how the thinking makes progress.

Exit Row

When you sit in the exit row on a plane you are required to give a verbal commitment.

You commit, by agreeing out loud, to do all you can to help the entire set of passengers get out in case of an emergency.

When you say “yes”, you’re saying, “I’m prepared to be a leader,” and to do what the 143 or 175 or 300 others need you to do, according to the specific instructions.

The others are on your team. You’re sharing an experience and have the same set of guidelines. For the duration of the flight you are a team.

As a leader your get some more leg room. That’s it. It may or may not be worth it. And even if you’re in the middle in the last row, the flight will be better if you are on board with the rules of being on board.

Sometimes You Stink

Plain old stink. It’s painful.

Those who can find the good in the suck are plentiful, and I admire that. And, sometimes there isn’t any silver lining.

And that’s ok, too.

Being able to both feel the pain and get past it (not get over it, just past) is not always easy but, as always, time doesn’t care about your pain.

Keep working. Have a system that doesn’t get derailed by failure. Otherwise you don’t really have a system.

Being vs doing

What do you do?

It’s a question many of us ask and get asked all the time. How do you answer?

Do you say, “I plan practices,” or “I read and sometimes respond to incredible numbers of emails”?

As a coach you likely say some version of “I’m the _____ coach at ______,” or “I coach [insert sport here]”. That sounds like who you are more than what you do. Which is it?

Do you care about the difference?

Saying, “I create the conditions in which people and teams learn to inspire others with action and empathy,” seems a bit much…but that’s a great thing to be. It’s who I am, I am the one who builds such a set of conditions.

There’s a lot to DO, but I’d rather BE.

Is This It?

Are we at the end of history or the beginning of the future? Perhaps neither, we’re just here?

In many ways people think that “today” is the best version of a thing, idea, product, etc. that’s possible. Of course we know that things are changing, that evolution of that thing or idea has occurred, but we often accept the way we do it as the final answer.

What if we were able to view each day simply as an opportunity to make the thing even better tomorrow? If the thing was a relationship with ourself or another, a team or a player…could this be a dose of optimism that might propel us even further?

Short term planning

I’m all for planning. At times I feel a slave to my calendar. A slave because I’m constantly looking to see what’s coming up. Today, this week, next month…I think it makes me feel valuable to see that I’m busy.

I’m working on it.

I also preach planning. But, I’m not a big fan of creating a long-term vision for everything. Some big things need a long-term plan, and having far away goals and interim goals and keeping track of your progress is a good thing.

But, it seems that too often we don’t simply get to work.

Start doing something and see how it goes, what it leads you to next. If you plan to start, when do actually start?

Go. Then see what you learn and go some more.

Bad hops off the field

Resilience is overplayed these days. Everywhere I turn someone is telling me to bounce back, get the next one, look for the ways to rebound…

First, I’m all for making mistakes, and wallowing in them for a while probably isn’t so bad for us.

Why the hurry to get back to perfect, or pretty, or the way the world tells us we should be?

Bad hops are gonna happen. Turn around and chase down the loose ball–if you’re in the game there’s not a fungo hitter ready to hit you another.