Culture?

Coach, what is your team culture all about?

Not, “what is the culture of your team?”, but, “what does ‘culture’ mean in your program?”

Is it a set of values or a way of being?
Is it up to the coach or this year’s team? Or, a bit of both?
Do players value the program culture? Should they?
What about recruits?

Does it involve everyone close to your program? Just players? Players and coaches? What about fans, trainers & strength coaches?

Or, perhaps it’s more of a je ne sais quoi spirit, something that you know when you see it or are around it, that the team exudes when the members are together.

If it’s that, how do you define it to outsiders if they ask?

Regardless of what you want your culture to be, you should work to know what it is.

Leave your comments here or shoot me an email at gt3coaching@gmail.com.

Disruption

What might you do differently? What should you do differently? Have you thought about “making a change” in any area?

It’s worth thinking about as a part of your #10minsaday of working ON your job in addition to the hours you spend working IN your job.

Anyone can change when they have to. It’s harder to change before you have to, to disrupt your “norm” even when it doesn’t seem to be broken.

Disruption need not be life-changing, or program changing, but if you don’t make an effort to think about things that might enhance your success or efficiency, the subtle improvement ideas might not show up on their own.

Experience Required

When we engage in any activity we gain experience. Experience allows us to fine-tune our processes, to learn from previous reps.

Anyone will get better at an activity, to a degree, with experience, even a “negative” experience.  The baby learning to walk doesn’t “get it” simply because she is growing stronger and bigger, nor do her failures keep her from working at walking.

However, enjoying an activity usually means we will do more of it, be more interested in doing it better, and thus gain more experience. It’s a cycle. One that works.

Logic says we should enjoy–at least to an extent–the activities at which we wish to get better. So making experiences fun or enjoyable would make sense.

How can you make that a part of your coaching?

 

 

 

Intra-team competition

Coach, do you value competitive kids? Of course. Do you want your teams to know how to compete? Sure. Will you work hard to cultivate competitiveness in players who have been working on only their own game for too long? Yes.

It’s important to value competitiveness as a team, and not in a negative way between teammates.  Pushing others to “win” in a practice setting, to beat teammates is not good unless it comes from a place of love.

The sentiment of, “i’m here to make you better, teammate,” is a great way to push you team to compete, but think twice before you encourage kids to “win” at the expense of other kids, in practice.

 

Hey, Opponent…What’s Your Secret?

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.

There’s No Scoring On Defense

in some sports “the defense” scores points, although their main role is to stop the other guy from scoring points.  In some, like softball and baseball, there is no way to post on the scoreboard when your team is in the field.

You can only win when you attack. On offense. Find a way to have a strategy on offense that you love, that everyone is bought in to, that speaks “we’re in control”.

Defense is a tone setter, but not scorer. Even if you’re great on D, you can only be totally in control if you have a strategy that allows you to control on attack.

Get to work.

 

Fake It ’til You Make It

Then what?

If you make it, then you’re a fake?

Making it ain’t all that.  Faking it’s just what we do. It’s all a fake operation until we test it, believe in it and make it a must-do for our personal system. Even then you might not be fully bought in.

So, yes, “fake it”, but don’t call it that. Be, then do, then you have what you have.

Rinse and repeat and love the mess!

What About What Might Happen?

Forward momentum is enhanced by testing, guessing, making mistakes and accepting partial credit or incomplete solutions.

We’re told to work intentionally now, but…be ok with thinking about the future, but…not too much.

We pass along this approach to our players, too.

The present is important, yet fleeting.  It’s easy to either be complacent, or consistently dissatisfied.

Do you feel this? Do you pass along this angst to your team?

Working to be our best, currently, is really all we can do.

It takes an inner peace (conscious or not) to be satisfied right now, to not ruminate on the past or solely anticipate the future. When “what about…” comes into play we become less content.

 

Don’t Forget the Hard Stuff

“It’s going to be even better next year,” is dangerous thinking.

Too often we forget how hard we worked. We forget the struggles and disagreements, the fights, even. We forget the pain of workouts or the disappointments of injuries.

Our brains opt to deemphasize the hard parts and glowingly highlight the good times and success (wow, what fun!).

This is results-focused thinking without any real definition of “better”, or a goal to reach for and the process that it will entail.

We want to feel all of the glory, the excitement, the upsides and the wins.  We want this as individuals and as teams. We love the feeling that success will be easy, but we know better.

It was hard the last time, and it will take a similar bit of hard work the next time. Go.

 

Who’s The Wizard Behind Common Wisdom?

Is “Common Wisdom” simply a self-fulfilling prophecy? Can we simply make something–especially something bad–happen just by expecting it?

Or, perhaps, there IS a wizard behind the curtain who makes sure that things come to fruition when we say that they will!

Many of us fall prey to the “that’s just the way it is” mentality when we allow ourselves to underperform. The idea that we simply don’t have the time, money or other resources to do what we’d like to do…that’s too easy in my book.

Coach, you choose what to pay attention to. You can make different choices.

Things are generally not predetermined.

Find a way to be your own Wizard.