Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Saturday, February 19, 2011

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up

No doubt that sports provides and emotionally charged atmosphere. Have camera operators become that skilled and crafty they can determine when someone is about to drop the F bomb, or have we become so loose with language that where ever the camera is pointed, we see it. Coaches you can’t expect your players not to conduct themselves in this manner if you don’t follow the same.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Freedom To Fail

Famous football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "If you can accept losing, you can’t win."
This quote must have applied to never giving up in a game. I don’t think the philosophy applies to teaching the game. It is important when coaching and teaching your players that they have your acceptance to make mistakes. They must embrace the freedom to fail, but fail moving forward. They must recognize their mistakes, and treat them with the correct perspective. There are important lessons with failures. Can you learn from them, but more importantly how do you deal with them?

If your players have a fear of failure, it can lead to creative paralysis and inhibited growth. Players need to understand the odds are small that they will perfect a skill absolutely right the first time. Only through persistence and adjustment and the correct attitude can they hope to use the skill in a game.

They need to look at failures as part of the process of learning. It should be thought of as feedback. They don’t need to feel bad and loose focus. I’ve seen players put so much pressure on themselves, that any small mistake, they become frustrated, angry and demeaned the mistake. Their state of mind should be one of being motivated and empowered to learn. They should be looking for a more flexible behavior that allows them to adjust to make a correction and keep the frame of mind that will allow them success on future attempts.

Remember the very best 3 point shooters fail 60% of the time. Do you think they are focused on the misses or the makes?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kicking and Screaming

Coaches who constantly scream do so because they believe it helps make the message clear and will motivate players to improve. They believe it will make their players better. Coaches need to yell simply to be heard over the noises in a gym especially when the crowd can be the sixth man. Under pressure some players loose their focus. Instructions stated firmly in a time out, or while they are on the floor can help them focus on that task, and reduce their pressure.

It’s the content that matters most not the volume. There is a huge difference between calling out an instruction and yelling out insults, or negative comments to players. There is no excuse for berating players and not treating them with dignity. There are always other options.

It is easy to be fooled by the short-term benefits of yelling and screaming at players. But there is a law of diminishing effects with yelling, or berating. The yelling must increase, the insults/threats must become more outrageous and the language must become harsher over time to have the same effect. Ask yourself is this the way you want to conduct yourself?

Don’t tell me you haven’t seen players start to tune this type of coaching out. It has less and less meaning, because, you become a cartoon. I’ll go one further you become a buffoon. Players want to have respect for the position of coach, but become disenchanted with that type of demeaning approach even when it’s not directed at them.

Have you so poorly prepared your teams that you need to draw that type of attention back to you? Do you think your antics of loosening your tie; running up and down the floor, yelling at your bench has anything whatsoever to do with basketball or coaching? Did you not prepare your team for the game?

Think hard about how you want to present information. Don’t leave your feet versus Keep your feet. Do you think the player really doesn’t know he made a mistake when he left his feet? You can reinforce this behaviour with positive messaging and working on it in practice. Coaches find another way!

This weekend I have watched some pretty appalling behaviour from coaches.Conversely, I also witnessed some outstanding coaching and behaviour. Thanks to both groups for teaching me a lesson. Thanks for confirming what I want to continue to strive towards, and what I want to distance myself from.

"The true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”- Martin Luther King Jr