Want more effort from your players? If so, then make sure you reward it. What kinds of awards do you give out as a coach? Are your rewards and awards just for the standard “outcome” goals of your sport – points scored, shooting percentage, runs etc? Not a problem.
Yet, how about rewarding the stuff that leads up to the outcomes? Hustle, defense, assists, picks, floor burns? If you want more of these behaviors from your team, then reward it. I’m not talking about expensive trophies or gifts. Watch today\’s video and discover a simple, inexpensive yet powerful way to get more of what you want out of your players.
Coaches wear many hats – teacher, counselor, administrator, fundraiser etc. A daunting coaching challenge is to balance one’s focus on the big picture of the program with implementing the important daily details. Yet striving for “stress free productivity” is critical for long-term success on and off the playing field.
David Allen’s Getting Things Done is a brilliant system. It works yet it takes some time to get comfortable with implementing it. Here are the 5 phases of Allen’s system.
1. Collect. Capture all the stuff that has your attention. Carry a simple, portable, easy-to-use tool for capture — a small notebook, PDA or small stack of index cards. Keep it simple and make it something you will use. Write down any tasks, ideas, projects, or other information that pop into your head. Get it out of your head and onto paper, so you don’t forget it. At the end of the day put these notes into your desktop inbox for processing.
2. Process. Make quick decisions on the stuff you’ve collected. Process your capture tool (from #1) and all other “inboxes” (email, voicemail, desktop inbox) at least once a day. Look at each item (once) and do it (if it takes 2 minutes or less), trash it, delegate it, file it, or put it on your to-do list or calendar to do later.
3. Organize. Once you’ve processed it – find a place for everything. Put things where they belong, right away, instead of piling them up to sort later. This keeps your desk clear so you can focus on your work.
From your inbox, stuff goes onto a list, into an action folder, or in a file in your filing system, in your outbox if you’re going to delegate it, or in the trash.
Keep this part simple. Create a simple trusted organizing system. Keep simple lists and add sub-categories by action if it helps you: in the office, calls to make, on computer, errands etc.
4. Review. Look at your lists and your calendar each day. Create a customized weekly review to clean up, update, maintain and improve your systems.
Regularly review the bigger picture. Allen provides the following framework and timeframe for reviewing your various priorities:
- Runway Level – current actions (daily)
- 10,000’ Level – current projects (weekly)
- 20,000’ Level – current responsibilities (monthly)
- 30,000’ Level – 1 to 2 year goals (quarterly)
- 40,000’ Level – 3 to 5 year goals (annually)
- 50,000’ Level – career, purpose, lifestyle (annually+)
5. Do. Make choices about what to do in the moment based upon where you are (office, commute, road), how much time you have, how much energy you have and your priorities. Once you decide, focus on the task at hand.
For more on David Allen and Getting Things Done go to www.davidco.com. To download a free copy of his workflow diagram, go to “products”, then to “free articles” and finally to “workflow diagram.
I just had an awesome 7-Minute Clinic interview with Kevin Grimes, coach of the Cal Men’s Soccer team. The first words out of Kevin’s mouth were, “Every team leaves a clue”. I’d never heard this line before. I was instantly intrigued.
I caught Kevin coming off a very UP and then a very DOWN season. He and his staff are right in the middle of completing their post-season evaluation. This is not some chit chat over a beer. The coaching staff conducts a top to bottom review of the previous season – what worked, what didn’t and what was missing.
Kevin’s theory is that every team leaves a clue behind during the season and a thoughtful post-season assessment can uncover such clues.
Coach Grimes’ enthusiasm for the meticulous hunt of the tiniest clue is remarkable given the recent roller coaster season. The Bears started out on fire – taking Maryland, the defending national champs down to the wire and winning seven out of their first nine matches. Kevin was pumped. He had his best team ever off to their best start ever.
Then the injury bug hit. The Bears lost player after player to injury. They won only two of their last nine games.
At a time when many coaches would be feeling sorry for themselves, Coach Grimes is sifting through the ashes. He’s in search of that one gem that will make his program stronger and more resilient next season.
National Signing Day for football is right around the corner. The airwaves are a buzz with top recruiting class lists and school rankings.
Talent is a given in the recruiting equation. It’s the easiest factor to assess – so most recruiting methods focus on it. But don’t stop there. Your recruiting plan needs to go beyond talent assessment.
Some things to consider:
- Remember that your coaching relationship begins with your first interaction.Clearly articulate your story as a coach and the story of your program.
- Highlight what you have to offer that differentiates you from other programs.
- Be ruthless in finding out what the athlete really wants. Listen carefully – everything they say has value.Let the recruit know up front what it takes to succeed in your program.
- Treat each prospect as an individual and create your own unique relationship with them.
- Recruit the whole family not just the individual athlete. Remember, the apple doesn’t often fall far from the tree.
- Be prepared to answer all the recruit’s questions. For sample questions, check out my earlier post Recruiting – A Sweet Dream or Your biggest Nightmare? Part 2 (JULY 28, 2009)
I am working on a detailed report for coaches to take their recruiting to the next level. Stay tuned! (Pun intended).
I’d never given much thought to the skinny, bespectacled coach before that night. Yet Lou Holtz, the only coach in the history of college football to lead six different teams to bowl games, made a lasting impression on me that night.
Here are some of the insights that will stay with me:
- “Coaching is coaching. You get to help other people be successful. That lasts a lifetime.”
- “Being a coach is a chance to be significant in life.”
- The title “coach” comes from above (the administration); the title “leader” comes from below (your players).
- A coach (in any sport) needs four things to be successful:
- A vision for the program.
- A plan to achieve the vision.
- To lead by example everyday.
- To hold people accountable.
- When his son Skip asked his dad about what to say to a new team for the first time, Coach responded, “You tell them that you come here to become us. We are not here to become you. And that’s based on five assumptions I make about every player I’ve ever coached:
- You want to graduate;
- You want to be a champion;
- You want to be a great performer;
- You want to have respect for your teammates;
- And you want to contribute positively as a member of our society.”
- He told an incredible story about the importance of trust on a team. On his South Carolina team that went 0-11 in his first year, he quipped, “Records can be deceiving. We weren’t as good as our record indicated.” It was a difficult year, he admitted, one in which his wife had major cancer surgery for the second time, his son fell into a coma and his mother died.
The next year, Coach learned that two former players from that 0-11 team were arrested for selling drugs.
“I was so mad because I wanted to know why those players didn’t trust me,” Holtz said. “Nobody said anything. And then Jonathan Martin stood up and said, ‘Coach, I trust you. A lot of my teammates trust you. But I look around and see some people I don’t trust.’ And then Andre Dixon said, ‘I’ve got to lock my locker when I take a shower.’
He told them to go home, make three columns on a piece of paper and write down the following:
1. Things I don’t like about myself that I can’t change,
2. Things I don’t like about myself that I can change and
3. Everything I did last year I regret.
Coach ordered a tombstone and met with the team the next day. The entire team buried those papers. “We made the commitment that we would trust our teammates, on the field and off the field”, Holtz recalled.
That South Carolina team would go on to post the third-best single-season turnaround in college football history, going 8-4 in Holtz’s second season and defeating vaunted Ohio State in the Outback Bowl.
Yes, looks can be deceiving. I never thought I’d glean so much from a short, skinny man in glasses!