Principle #45: Why Not Change?

If you are currently dissatisfied, what’s the downside to making changes?

There are a lot of reasons why we don’t change.  Mostly they have to do with fear.

We fear losing standing or losing face if we admit weakness, and change is seen as admitting weakness, a fact that makes no sense yet consumes us in many areas.  What if we change and lose a game? On the way to improvement we may be seen as “less than”, somehow.

But, if you’re currently not happy with the situation, you are already “less than” a future you may be able to create.

Why not make a change?

Could It Work?

What if you did the work to know what was truly important to you?

What if you saw all of your actions thru a lens of the values you believe deeply in? What if you really knew what those were?

What if you worked hard to really value the impact of your actions based upon higher values that winning and losing?  It might work.

Keep doing, and work harder on being.

Rule of Unwritten Rules

People have to sign things in order to participate.  From elementary school to the NCAA, one can’t participate unless they agree to do or not do certain things.  This we (mostly) easily accept, and regardless, the rules are really clear.

You likely have written rules for your team, no matter what type of team it is.  Perhaps a handbook, employee guide, posters in the lockerroom or a contract to sign.

On the flip side, many of us have more unwritten rules than written ones.  “Work hard”, “show respect”, “be a good teammate”, are all big picture unwritten rules.

Does everyone on your team know exactly what is meant by those unwritten rules? Do you know?

Perhaps you also have some that are similar to these: “freshman do the grunt work”, or “the head coach is always right”.

It’s time well spent to investigate and know what the unwritten rules are on your team–you may not even know that they exist–and to clarify the ones you like.  Even more importantly, shine light on the ones that are not valid or helpful to your team (“we drink a lot on Saturday nights”), and rid your team of these unhelpful rules.

Principle #7 Monsters In the Corner

Did you ever notice that when you shine a flashlight under the bed, or simply turn on the lights, that the boogeyman disappears?

If you have issue in your operation or in any relationship, it works to turn on the lights. Illuminate the concerns, even if you are unsure who is “right” or what the “right” thing to do is.

State the facts, solicit opinions, and see if bringing it out in the open helps to give you ideas as to how to proceed.

“The thing to do” is often super clear after you get a good look at the problem.  Reflect on your values and the lens at which you see the world, and a course of action will show itself.

 

Principle #5: Learn, Intentionally

“Learning from the past” should not be a random thing.  We should have a planning process, make and execute plans and look at them after they are executed.  Ask, “What worked?”, and do more of that and less of what didn’t work.

When someone says they learned their lesson, it’s often simply because a thing didn’t work out, and not often enough because we took the time to review our plans and our actions.

Take time more often to learn–the good and the bad–intentionally.

Principle #102 – It’s How You Make Them Feel

One of the conversations that has stuck with me for over ten years…

“Coach, I figured something out,” she said one April morning. “I’m so used to coaches being the one who yelled at us and made us run, I never thought of them as being on the same team as us.”

She was shocked when she felt support from her college coach.

It’s doubtful that all of her coaches before that were “against” her and her teammates, or that yelling was the top activity.

Yet, she FELT that way…the prevailing FEELING about coaches was of being criticized, “yelled at”, even if voices weren’t raised, and of being on the other side.

Recognize how people feel in your presence. Your words may not be as important as you think.

Principle #78 Orchestrate

Coaching By Numbers

Precept #78: A coach is like the conductor of an orchestra.  They don’t play an instrument, often didn’t write the score and usually doesn’t even face the audience…but they had better know each and every player, part and measure of the performance inside and out, before and during the concert.

They must ensure that the intensity and pace are correct, that each player knows their role and can execute it–preferably to perfection–throughout the piece. The conductor is responsible for knowing their people well, to read body language and facial expression, to have the music coursing through their veins…

Get out the baton.

Unbalance. Is that bad?

What is Work/Life balance?

Anyway, is it “Work/Life”, “Work & Life”, “Work, Life”, “Work-Life”, or maybe “worklife”…what’s the right punctuation?

We’ve grown to use this phrase as a way to talk about the fact that some people work too much, or some people think that others work too much.

Can’t work be a part of life, and vice versa? Is there such a desperate need to separate the two so that we don’t ever think that they can easily co-exist?

Is there really a need to declare any particular hour is to be only for one thing, or another, or that one’s family or friends are “life” and something else is not?  And what about one’s life’s work?!?

Perhaps it’s just me that’s confused, but what if everyone took responsibility for their own view of what to fill their life with? That, to me is life, and work, and balance.

Is College Coaching a Good Job?

It’s tough out there!  50+ positions have turned over in college softball this year. FIFTY! A good amount of coaches–of both genders but more women it seems–are leaving the profession altogether.  #coachingishard

Tongue in cheek I have said that women are leaving more often than men because they are “smarter”, and when it gets tough the recognize that there are other great opportunities.  I don’t really believe that, however. I think that lots of “smart” people are finding coaching at the college level to be too big a challenge because “we” don’t adequately prepare people for the job.

Yes, it’s a job. One that needs training and deserves our best attention. Like teaching in too many places, however, we think about how people do the job and not enough about what the role of a coach should be.  There’s too much at stake to just roll out the balls and hope people get it.

Obviously, sports at the college level is zero sum. Those who win couldn’t do so without another party playing the role of loser. Someone has to win.  So, unless are are globally happy with a 50% loser rate, the scoreboard cannot be the only measure of success.

Let’s train people to define success (by this I mean administrators being honest with themselves and others) and devise a plan to achieve most of the goals. Let’s allow mistakes on the scoreboard and believe in our bones that, indeed, things like good team culture, kids enjoying the process and becoming “better” people will indeed lead to positive results on the scoreboard, but not every time and not simply because we hope that coaches and players alike “get it”.

We are better than this.

Embrace The Suck (not what you think)

You might not be good at ________.

You might even know it.

You might hate to admit it, but you really don’t care about getting better.

Although it’s not what people mean when they say it, you are (at least subliminally) embracing the suck.

It might even be your job that you have no desire to to the work to get better at.  Then what?  In some worlds one can just get by not doing things and still getting okay results…but there is a “fix” for those of us who are not willing to change:  find a good deputy or designee.

DELEGATE.

Become good at simply knowing what needs to be done…you don’t need to be good at doing it. Find an assistant, a #2, a captain, a colleague that can get these things done for you.

Embrace the suck, if you have to.