Controlling

In my many years of coaching (and living) I have incorporated a lot of ideas taken from others. I’ve stolen, borrowed, repurposed, tested out, internalized and discarded many strategies. You have to, I’m sure.

We adopt and customize.

The things that have stayed with me for the long haul are the ones I’ve made time to stop and think about, the ones in which the customization is more impactful than the initial adoption; when I’ve front-of-my-mind considered what this idea means to me.

One key nugget like this, that many people talk about is quote control the controllables. This is a concept that’s been talked about and written about for millennia, yet many of us first heard it on a team in college or read it in a book, from a therapist or a friend.

It’s a foundational idea: don’t waste energy, or time on things outside your circle of control. Super simple, obvious even, yet a philosophy violated more than followed.

On the first day of the year, when many of us are moved to think about our lives, our jobs, and our place in the universe, I bring this idea, control the controllables, to the forefront of my mind.

This is a great place to start, a fitting reminder of the most basic of concepts. For me, the customization part means that I have to actively take stock to decide what I actually have control over. To remind myself that it’s my approach, my ethic that matters. Nothing more.

For generations I’ve told players that it’s effort and attitude. That’s all they have control over, how they respond to what happens. I’ve preached it, I’ve practiced it even, but I know that I need the reminder.

Happy New year.

Rule #20

Some do, but most plays don’t require a second throw to get an out.

Good communication, a good understanding of the situation and a strong arm often will get you where you need to go.

However, planning and practicing for all possibilities is the work of a great player and team.

And more importantly, that strong play won’t be perfect every time and you’ll be glad that relay player was at the ready.

Expect the best, plan for the worst. Or something like that.

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.

Make Me!

Today I asked a college coach in her 3rd year as a head coach what she thinks departments should do to help first year HCs?

“What do you wish had happened?”, that first year, I asked her.

I wish that it was not optional to have regularly scheduled coaching sessions.

I needed help that I didn’t even know about.

I needed someone to ask me questions and reflect my answers.

I wish I had a chance to ask about the mechanics of running a program.

I needed some lessons on head coaching.

Where were we for that coach and the athletes that didn’t get our best product?

Not Balance

Having fun at work is great.

Most of us spend a lot of time “on the job” and it’s unfortunate when it’s all drudgery.

But, I don’t think we need to infuse some “fun” into the mix just because.

In what ways do you or could make your work more playful? And not just for yourself, but for your people and players, too.

The fun that’s ping pong and cookie decorating is less impactful that the fun that comes from achieving goals or seeing improvement.

Make “game goals” out of your hour-to-hour work.

Get things done and see how you feel.