When Selfish Is Good

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.

The Human Condition

We are naturally selfish beings; it’s important and often valuable to have self-preservation as an inherent trait.

People do things that positively impact them in some way.  We tend to do what’s best, or seems best, for us, and hope for good things to happen.  We put ourselves first.

Seeing oneself as #2 in your own world is really, really challenging.  It’s also a key to being a great team member.  Find ways and times to force kids to put themselves second to something, anything, anyone.  It’s great practice for team membership.

Go.

Moments That Matter

There are moments that matter more. Oftentimes we can feel them, even see them coming, but sometimes they sneak up on us, or even remain invisible until they’ve passed.

Recognizing the moments that matter requires a broader vision, a sense of the bigger picture. It requires a level of self-awareness to enable us to see others around us and understand the impact of external factors.

Self-awareness is one of the toughest traits to instill as a coach.  We want our players to understand that TEAM is much more than a collection of individuals and that TEAM has it’s own set of moments that each member must be a part of. This vision can be practiced.

Create and make note of “the moments” and help your players respond without being overwhelmed by the importance.

Fluency

We admire the people who have “made it,” been “successful”: make the most money, have the most happiness, win the most games…

We point to those people as role models, teach their tactics, employ their strategies, read their books.  Usually we’re fired up and maybe it even works for a time.  However, we seldom can bring their stuff into our stuff at a level that really makes a difference for us because we have to think about using someone else’s language.  The time it takes to translate makes it stilted and removes the flow and often the efficacy.

Create your own dictionary and teach the language to your people.  Once everyone in your organization speaks the same language without exception and looks at the world through the same lens you’ll be able to take big steps.

Go.

Midseason Form

What’s that?  Is that a good thing–hitting on all cylinders–or is that a stopover to great?  If so, how long will you stay?

Hitting your stride, finding the next gear…if you could quantify (and you should) these things, what would they look like?  How will you know?

Create a measurement systems and practice regular assessment (ask everyone, not just yourself or your leadership) on the way to continuous improvement.

Add Value

If you’re not giving, you are, in fact, taking away.  There is no neutral in being a part of a team.  “I’m not doing anything wrong,” is not viable reasoning.  There is only moving the team forward or holding it back.

Every team member can find ways to consistently add to the team.  By talking openly about the NO NEUTRAL RULE, coaches can help kids to understand the concept, recognize all sorts of contributions and celebrate!

Focus on growing the team experience by demanding that everyone be aware of what and how they can add.

GO.