Friday, November 27, 2015


Our Netflix and HBO Go accounts are full of movies that we watch when we have a down night, when practice gets cancelled or you just need a few hours away from the world. We use them to escape, we use them to gain knowledge and a lot of times, use them to just kill an empty 2 hours in your week.

So how about giving up one of your movies in the next few weeks to get better at our craft. As we say here often, we shouldn’t expect our athletes to get better if we won’t do the same.

Let’s take the time of a motion picture and work at growing our coaching mind and resources.

First, let’s tackle just being better at our skills with others: our athletes especially but how about parents and fellow coaches as well:

Brene’ Brown on Empathy


How much can we learn from those great coaches who go before us?

John Wooden: the Difference between Winning and Succeeding

Anson Dorrance: Grading Character

How to understand the science in our sport better...

...and realize sometimes we just need to be 'the pat on the back.'

How sometimes we should see size in a heart, not a body.

How through empathetic eyes, we can work through what our parents do.

Why you should always skip your kids baseball games

And even how to do our job better with simple tools.

Making White Boards on a Coach’s Salary

You have probably seen many if not all of these videos, but in the time it would take to watch Adam Sandler's new release or rewatch "The Hunger Games" we can maybe get a little better at what we are passionate about in just a shade under two hours.

Popcorn is of course, optional.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Be a Shark...

Imagine that as a coach, you got this e mail from your 6-1 outside hitter on Thursday afternoon around 4:45 p.m.

“Hey Coach, sorry I can’t make practice today. I have to do this research paper that is due tomorrow. Our stupid teacher assigned it like two months ago but didn’t remind us about it until this week. I know what I’m going to write about so it should be easy. I just need to get a C or better on it to keep my C in the class so I don’t have to spend that much time on it but still, I have to miss tonight.
I will of course be there Saturday to play.
By the way, me and Kayla skipped out on weights Wed. We just shuffled around the bleachers and the weight coach didn’t even know we were missing. We stayed in the snack bar playing ‘Candy Crush’ until Kayla’s mom picked us up. She asked why we weren’t even sweating and Kayla just told her we finished earlier than the other girls. SO funny!
Anyway coach, I know you understand. See you Saturday.”

I doubt any coach would get this e mail and be okay with what this athlete is saying, doing or the behavior she is displaying. As her coach, DO you understand?

The Region got this e mail a few weeks ago. “I am the club director for XXX Volleyball and a long time coach in Arizona. I was just taking the IMPACT course online and they said that the certification was a lifetime certification. I am hoping that it would be possible to petition to have a vote brought about to remove the 3 year renewal requirement from the AZ region. Thank you!”

And still last season, a coach sitting in an IMPACT class, when asked what he hoped to get out of it responded, “I want to do the least I can to be able to coach in the Region.”

Hard to imagine sometimes how our athlete’s get their ideas to do just enough to get by...

The Sport in America survey found that coaches are the leading positive influence on today’s youth.

So what kind of influence are we on our athletes when we tell them, either through our words or actions, that we don’t need to get better at what we are doing. We are fine just where we are?

This blog has talked a lot about growth and fixed mindsets. Coaches will stress it to their athletes and then do the absolute least they can to coach those same athletes. Isn’t it time that double standard dissolves?

How about making small efforts to become better at your craft?

This is a terrific podcast (that you can listen to on your computer or phone) with Karch Kiraly on his upbringing, his philosophy and why he coaches the Women’s National team the way he does. It’s an hour. How much time did you spend scrolling instagram, snapchat and facebook today?

The Kansas City Royals just won the World Series. Have you thought about how good of a manager they must have had to navigate a 162 game regular season, the playoffs and then win the World Series? Thank goodness this New York Times writer did. It’ll take 10 minutes to crack it out. How long were you in the Starbucks drive thru today?

One of the great coaches in the world, one that you probably have never heard of, talks about A B C’s: “You Assume something through analysis. Believe nothing and go out and Confirm it.” He also says he tries to simplify everything for his athletes and even his own coaching which he says simply, “Make sure we get better at what we do.” He is a coach named Steve Hansen and he coaches the world’s best rugby team known as the ‘All-Blacks’ because of their uniforms. Google him and read some of his interviews instead of finding out what Brad and Angelina said on the Today show this morning…

Interested in how the San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich builds and manages his team? Check out his blueprint of success, another 10 minute read which might keep you from your daily TMZ fix for a bit.

On You Tube, check out this impassioned 17 minutes North Carolina Women’s Soccer coach Anson Dorrance conducts about character and how he treats his team who has won 22 of 24 National Championships.

Social media has made learning a click and a scroll. No more books or reading for hours and hours. It's fast, it's visual, it's immediate. You just have to go look for it.

Like a shark, coaches have to move or die. Coaches that spend their lifetimes coaching their teams and athletes the same way they did 10, 15 or 20 years ago will struggle to connect with this generation and ultimately, no matter how deep and impressive the resume’, will lose them.

You expect every athlete you have to give you their best: at practice, in matches and hopefully off the court as well.

Don’t we owe them exactly the same thing?