Stress, fear, that uncomfortable feeling when _________.
So many things can fill in that blank. We all have fear and are worried about our future.
“What’s going to happen next?”
I find that the fear response comes when my mind doesn’t know what to do. When I’m not properly prepared.
I don’t need to have the right answer at the right time, every time, I simply need to have a plan.
Preparation is productive if only to be ready when the time comes, even if it turns out I’m wrong.
Avoiding the prep because I might be wrong never works.
So, there is probably a really good way to do the thing that you need to do. Others have done it before, I’m sure, and you can get a lot from their experience.
You can research the best way to do this thing, you can rely on your own experience or you can ask a friend.
In my experience, I find that relying on my own best practices, for that thing or other similar things I’ve done before, is the best way to get a satisfactory result.
If I think about the way I like to do things, the way the best things have worked out for me, I find that there aren’t really an unlimited way to do things…
So, do something, see how it feels when it’s done, redo it, and go from there.
The best way to practice, is to practice.
What if that was the question we asked?
How can I help other guy?
What does this kid need from me as a coach? What am I going to do to move this situation forward?
We all have a narrative about what’s ok and what’s not, who is “good” and who’s not, but how often do we think about what’s actually best for the other guy? Now.
Of course what’s best for the team might be different. Then the questions change.
Nothing is automatic.
Learning doesn’t happen for students because a teacher works hard or does their best.
Learning doesn’t need permission either. It’s going to happen if the conditions are right.
The teacher (formal or otherwise) can do the condition-creating and push the odds higher, and a motivated student surely helps.
The fun part is that we often learn something completely unexpected.
Keep looking for the learning.
Have you heard someone talk about a tactic, a coaching idea of some sort, and implemented it in your program to no avail? It didn’t work.
You’ve worked something in to a practice, or with a team and loved it. Then, you try it again and are not satisfied?
There’s no simple one-size-fits-all response to these situations. Try it again? Do it differently? Changing a variable might change results, it might not. The most value is in your inspection of the situation. Your testing is important, and your consideration of the “why” and the “how” is just as important as the result.
Make a plan, execute, look back and assess. Then, plan again. “Try something new” is only one possible option.
When something goes wrong we often ask a version of this question: “why did they do that?”
This speaks to intention, that the person planned to screw it up, the “why?” implying that they wanted to make a bad decision. Of course, sabotage might be in play, but usually it’s a given that the person was not motivated to do things poorly.
Errors of all kinds come from a lot of angles. Typically, lack of focus or attention to detail, lack of skill, or poor preparation.
Coaches should understand this and teach focus in addition to skill and strategy, and look to ourselves to ask how we can better prepare our people.
In a world full of throwaway lines, one that gets me is, “don’t ever change!”.
Why would that be a thing you’d like to do? Why would person A not want person B to work to improve, to test new and better things, or at least to prove that the things they do currently really are the way to go?
We should always be growing, learning, indeed, changing. And, while we’re at it we should be mentoring, teaching and growing others.
Changing equals growing. So, “change!” need not mean to become something totally different or to get rid of the skills and habits that make you great, but to grow them and grow others along the way.
How could you grow yourself ?
Are you one of the millions who pays attention through blogs, Tweets or books to the ways that those who have “made it” structure their lives?
Do you follow people, learn their habits and work to implement some of those things into your life? Me, too.
Do they work? Do you stick to them? Do you really know what works for you? Because if you don’t know then you’re not testing them well enough.
To me it’s not the ‘working’, it’s the ‘knowing’. If someone else’s routine or plan for a situation is a good one for you then for sure you should steal it! If not, then you should pitch it and find another way.
Development of an assessment system that you can use for everything from morning routines to practice planning to developing players and assistants is a key to moving forward.
Test it. Ready, set, go.
Coaches, we hear, “know thyself” all the time. Starting by doing the work to know what we value, our team’s strengths and holes in our game can certainly help you in preparing your team for a competition.
Also, know your opponent. On the face of it, a good scouting report on their players can be helpful on game day.
Dig deeper, however, watch your competition with a holistic eye. Pay attention to the undercurrent, feel the ebbs and flows of their style and energy. Aim to see holes where they don’t even know they have them.
Find the “secret” to their game, the go-to or the “hope not”, the points in a game where they are most vulnerable or lose their positive energy…see those and attack them there and then.
If everyone prioritizes paying attention, even in “a good way”, to what others are doing, their goals and dreams, a team will not be at it’s best.
The word selfish has gotten a bad rep. Being selfish in your preparation, doing everything you can to be at your best? That’s a great start to making your team better.
By being prepared and modeling the work you put in in selfish-mode you’ll be helping the team from the inside out. The foundation of a team is it’s people, so be a great person/player/athlete and you’ll be doing your part.
It takes a great group effort to be a great team. The existence of standards and norms that make up the basis of a team’s culture and the ethic of working together toward a commonly held goal is crucial to outcome success. However, relying on a set of “great team players” that are not also at their best individually is not a recipe for success.
All teams must work together in a selfless way, but the individuals within should make it a priority to be selfish in their preparation.