In times of uncertainty, it’s important that we make sure the competitive fire stays hot. If there’s not an opponent right before you make that opponent yourself. You always win if you’re striving to be better. If you don’t have a clear direction to point your competitiveness, create one. There are a lot of directions this can go and still be beneficial for you. The weight room, the treadmill, a friendly competition with a friend. Just don’t let the fire die down because there’s nothing to “burn” in your immediate future. It should stay hot and prepared to be unleashed on whatever you need it for when the opportunity arises. It’s not something you want to try to get burning again when you need it.
I believe that one of the most effective ways a coach can improve is to remove anger from his coaching tool box. Before this statement makes you angry and you click on to something else, hear me out. You’ll often hear players say things like the following:
- If I miss practice, coach will be mad.
- If I take that shot, coach will be mad.
- If I’m late, coach will be mad.
While it is great to have your players want to avoid making you mad, it would be much more beneficial to teach them WHY it makes you “mad”. Why does missing practice, bad shot selection, and being late make you mad? What is the principle that’s being violated mean to the team? If we can clearly articulate our standards and have them be truly value driven, we can increase our ability to teach and instruct and also be more likely for our players to be able to transfer those lessons in to their life after they move on from our teams. You’ll also save yourself a TON of grief when every poor decision has a clear consequence that’s set before hand so they know that “anger” isn’t the thing to worry about. You’re late, you do X after practice. You shoot that shot, you’re likely to sit down. You’re not “mad”, you’re holding them to standards that make sense for the group and have been clearly taught and explained. Reserve anger for when it is truly appropriate and there will undoubtedly be those moments. I’ve tried to keep a running list of things that make me “mad” as a coach and see if I can remove the emotion and just transfer it to a consequence that’s simple and clear. When you feel it coming on you can ask:
- Does this really matter?
- Have I clearly taught what is expected?
- How can I hold the standard and maintain the relationship?
Life’s easier when anger isn’t a built in part of every day you show up to work together. Just some thoughts I hope helps us have a happier and less angry season!!
Every so often in life you hit something you never expected and there is no clear path to the next step. If you’ve run up against such a challenge, here are a few thoughts and phrases that have continued to come to mind. Maybe they’ll be helpful to you when you face something similar.
You often hear of those that have had great successes having at one time experienced great failures. The maxim that you have to go through the bad to experience the good is one we often repeat to our players and to ourselves. While the truth that hard times are to be expected to set up the good is one we should accept and allow to give us patience, it shouldn’t numb us to examining what our part is in the hard times we may be facing. Hard work is a given but hard times may be caused or at least prolonged by things completely within our control. If you got under a weight on the bench you couldn’t get up, laying there under it isn’t going to change that fact. It will take time, discipline, and WORK on our behalf to be able to come back to it and move that obstacle. It’s not just our job to ENDURE the hard stuff, it’s our job to work to get out of it by growing our skills, strength, knowledge, and character. Will we go through hard times? Yes. Will we grow through them? Well, that’s more up to us than we often realize.
Just because you know it’s there doesn’t mean you now where it will be seen next. I tried to time the patterns of those I watched assuming intervals and directions would be fairly consistent. At times this was the case but often times they were nowhere to be found. God’s timetable and our own are often not the same. As frustrating as this is, it makes the time’s we do see His work that much more special.
Expect something big when you least expect it. While most of the time is spent seeing just a fin or occasional tail slap, sometimes, you get a full jump. You have to be looking for it. God can take a prayer you haven’t seen answered for so long you’ve stopped asking and show you it was never off His radar.
It’s easier to see when you’re not by yourself. 9 of 10 times I see them either with a partner or in a group.. Sharing our prayers with others gives us strength.
It was early morning. Nof the kind where you’d expect to find any trouble, but trouble I found. While listening to a podcast on controlling your response to events outside your control the speaker said a great time to test yourself is in traffic. Point taken. Moving on or so I thought. Within a minute of hearing this on my way to a camp down a winding, curvy, double lined road. I pulled up behind a gang of 12 bikers. 10 speed style. No where to safely pass and alternative route would have been longer. Sometimes God knows right what we need and when. Response controlled. Bikers were safe. It was a slow and painful drive but I was thankful for the preparation.