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Thursday, September 30, 2010

'PLAY HARD, PLAY SMART, PLAY TOGETHER'

Thanks to Mike Geary for sending me an great article on Dick Bennett.

This is Bennett's best coaching advice to aspiring young players: "It's a team sport. Will you buy in, will you give so that we can be successful because it's about us, not just you? I talk about servanthood a lot with kids because my approach to the game was built on servanthood. We helped on defense, we set screens offensively, we made the extra pass. That's serving your teammates. Are you willing to play in such a way that you will make others better?"

Bennett said he learned as a coach to emphasize only what's important, stick to his convictions and realize he can't please everyone.

"You have to face criticism," he said. "I was criticized because my teams didn't play fast. The most severe criticism that I received as a coach, ironically, was after the Final Four."

Bennett said he took losses hard but learned from them.

"I think losing offers the wisdom for people to grow if they choose to use that wisdom," he said. "There's a choice, you can blame or you can accept. Almost all of my basketball wisdom came when I had my lunch handed to me as a coach."

He can sum up his basketball philosophy in six words: play hard; play smart; play together.

"Every player who played for me knew what was important to me on the court," he said.

Read the entire article: http://bit.ly/9CH7d7

WHATEVER YOU ARE BE A GOOD ONE

Whatever you are be a good one.  Know your role, accept your role, and work hard to perfect it.  If you are called on to be a screener in your team's offense, be the best screener in your conference.  Learn the proper screening angle, get your timing down, take pride in getting a shooter open -- each and every time.

If your coach says you are a defensive specialist then make your "defense special."  Work hard each day in practice to shut down your teammate to make her/him better.  Give diligence to your scouting report and make sure you are prepared to make your opponent's game a nightmare.

If your coach says you'll be coming off the bench, make sure you have your head and heart into the game -- into each timeout -- studying all that is going on -- so that when you get in the game you can make a difference in the game.

If you aren't getting into the game, be the best teammate you can be on the bench.  Show great enthusiasm the entire game -- encourage your teammates -- "coach" your other teammates on the bench up.

Whatever you are be a good one.  The following was written by Steve Goodier with a special thanks to Coach Creighton Burns for forwarding it to me:
Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter and sculptor, once said this about his ability: 'My mother said to me, if you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as Pope. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.' No lack of confidence here!

But he would have agreed with Abraham Lincoln. 'Whatever you are,' said Lincoln, 'be a good one.' He demonstrated the wisdom of that advice with his own life. And in this present age, which often seems to be contented with mediocrity, his words summon a yearning for improvement and growth.

I think it helps to remember that excellence is not a place at which we arrive so much as a way of traveling. To do and be our best is a habit among those who hear and understand Lincoln's admonition.

Viennese-born composer Frederick Loewe, whom we remember from his musical scores that include - My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot, was not always famous. He studied piano with the great masters of Europe and achieved huge success as a musician and composer in his early years. But when he immigrated to the United States, he failed as a piano virtuoso. For a while he tried other types of work including prospecting for gold and boxing. But he never gave up his dream and continued to play piano and write music.

During those lean years, he could not always afford to make payments on his piano. One day, bent over the keyboard, he heard nothing but the music that he played with such rare inspiration. When he finished and looked up, he was startled to find that he had an audience - three moving men who were seated on the floor.

They said nothing and made no movement toward the piano. Instead, they dug into their pockets, pooled together enough money for the payment, placed it on the piano and walked out, empty handed. Moved by the beauty of his music, these men recognized excellence and responded to it.

Whatever you are, be a good one. If what you do is worth doing, if you believe that who you are is of value, then you can't afford to be content with mediocrity. When you choose the path of excellence through this life, you will bring to it your best and receive the best it can offer in return. And you will know what it is to be satisfied.

COACH DON MEYER: THE 5 STAGES OF YOUR CAREER

1. Survival – don’t know what you don’t know

2. Striving for Success – you want folks to recognize you can coach

3. Satisfaction – you relax, better set another goal, be the best & want to get better

4. Significance – Making a difference. Changing lives hopefully for the good. People want to study your program. Very apt to get fired for the wrong reasons. Folks get jealous.

5. Spent – no juice left, can’t do it any more

FOUR HAZARDS OF UNPREDICTABLE TIMES

Failure to execute. You’ve thought through the crisis. You have your strategy. Now the question is, can your teams execute? Will they? Some people in your organization are getting it done. Some aren’t and probably never will. Then there’s the great middle—how much more could they contribute if they performed more like those who are getting it done?

Crisis of trust. Levels of trust drop in uncertain times. Securities markets plunge due to crisis of confidence. People lose confidence in their own organizations. On an uncertain road full of pitfalls, everyone decelerates: it’s not called a “slowdown” for nothing.

Loss of focus. You have fewer resources, fewer people, more confusion. People try to do two or three jobs at once. A person trying to do two jobs has half the focus of a person doing one job, and half the likelihood of doing either job well.

Pervasive fear. Economic recession causes psychological recession. People fear losing jobs, retirement savings, even their homes. It’s “piling on.” And it cost you. Just when you need people to focus and engage, they lose focus and disengage.

From, "Predictable Results in Unpredictable Times" by Stephen R. Covey and Bob Whitman

THE PRIME DIRECTIVE WAS NOT VICTORY (PART I)

From the start, my prime directive, the fundamental goal, was the full and total implementation throughout the organization of the actions and attitudes of the Standard of Performance I described earlier. This was radical in the sense that winning is the usual prime directive in professional football and most businesses.

Consequently, the score wasn’t the crushing issue that overrode everything else; the record didn’t mean as much as the season progressed, because we were immersed in building the inventory of skills, both attitudinal and physical, that would lead to improved execution. That was the key. (The losses hurt, and the wins felt good. But neither was the primary focus of my effort or attention. At least, in the beginning. Unfortunately, that changed for me down the line.)

I directed our focus less to the prize of victory than to the process of improving-obsessing, perhaps, about the quality of our execution and the content of our thinking; that is, our actions and attitude. I knew if I did that, winning would take care of itself, and when it didn’t I would seek ways to raise our Standard of Performance. At least, that was my plan.

From “The Score Takes Care Of Itself” by Bill Walsh

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

YOUR GAME IS ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR PRACTICE

From Ken Blanchard and Don Shula, "Everyone’s a Coach"

1. Coach Don Shula believed in “practice perfection.” He often quoted Paul Brown, the legendary coach of the Cleveland Browns, who said, “Football is a game of errors. The team that makes the fewest errors in a game usually wins.”

2. Companies need to approach the performance of their people with the same kind of attention to quality, but as I travel around looking at organizations, I rarely find this emphasis on “practice perfection.” Far more often, companies hire highly competent people, get them started, and then leave them to struggle on their own.

3. No individual or team can reach “practice perfection” alone. It takes ferocious concentration and unyielding commitment to continuous improvement. That means day-to-day coaching—setting clear goals, letting people perform, observing, and then praising progress or redirecting efforts.

JEFF VAN GUNDY & ALAN STEIN HEADLING COACHING CLINIC

Coaching Clinic this at Kingwood Park High School

October 2nd 2010

7:00 – 8:00  Registration & Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00  Jeff Lieberman, Thorndale (Retired)
9:00 – 10:15  Royce Huseman, Kingwood
10:15 – 10:30  Break – Vendor Tables will be set up
10:30 – 12:00  Alvin Williamson, Texas A&M
12:00 – 12:45  Lunch
12:45 – 2:45  Jeff Van Gundy, NBA
2:45 – 3:00  Break – Vendor Tables will be set up
3:00 – 4:30  Alan Stein, Stronger Team
4:30 – 5:00  Noah Basketball Presentation
(Notebook Computer Give Away AFTER Noah Presentation)

Clinic Pricing:

$40 – Pre-Register Price
$50.00 at the door

For more info, call  281-641-6851 or email Justin.burleson@humble.k12.tx.us

Monday, September 27, 2010

A SALUTE TO ALL THOSE COACHES WHO MAKE OUR JOB ON THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL EASIER

I love this thought from Coach Carril.  As a collegiate coach, it doesn't take me very long in practice to know that I have a freshman that has been taught by a great high school coach.  A junior high school coach Allen Osborne transformed my life. 

"A good high school coach is the salt of the earth.  And when his teams are well coached, a college coach is the direct beneficiary of all his work.  When players who have had good high school coaching walk on the floor in college, there isn't much that coach has to do.  I cannot emphasize enough when it means to start that great coach at the sixth or seventh grade who tries to get kids to things better .  Grade school coaches are the unsung heroes of this country and they're disappearing because it takes a lot of work and constant attention."

From "The Smart Take from the Strong," by Pete Carril

BRIAN TRACY ON THE HABITS OF CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP

Another great post by Brian Tracy on the importance of character as it relates to leadership ability:

The ultimate aim of human life and activity is development of character, according to Aristotle. The most important goal you could hope to accomplish in the course of your life is to become an excellent person, in every respect. Your purpose should be to develop the kind of personality and character that earns you the respect, esteem, and affection of the important people in your world.

Develop Your Own Character
Aristotle, probably the greatest philosopher and thinker of all time, said a simple method can help, if you wish to learn a virtue later in life. Simply practice the virtue in every situation where that virtue is required. In other words, if you wish to develop the quality of courage, act courageously even when you feel afraid.

Aspire to Leadership
It is not easy to rise to a position of leadership in any organization or in any society. The competition for leadership is fierce. Only the people who are the very best equipped to acquire leadership positions and then to hold on to those positions rise to the top in any area.

Whatever It Takes
In a way, leadership is "situational." What is necessary for success in a leadership position is determined by many factors, including the people to be led; the objectives to be accomplished; the competition for resources; the social, cultural, political, and economic environment; and the situation that the leader finds at the moment. Changing any of these factors will change the qualities of leadership necessary for success.

The True Test of a Leader
Peter Drucker says the only event that is inevitable in the like of the leader is the "unexpected crisis." Only when you encounter a setback, an obstacle, a difficulty, or the inevitable crisis, do you demonstrate the kind of person you really are. It is not what you say, wish, hope, or intend that reveals your character. It is only your actions, especially your actions in the face of adversity and possible setbacks or losses.

You Are Responsible
Once you have developed a clear vision for your ideal future and resolve to develop unshakable courage by doing the things you fear, you must develop the habit of accepting complete responsibility for yourself and for every aspect of your life.

Tell the Truth
Perhaps the most important quality of leadership is the habit of integrity. You develop integrity and become a completely honest person by practicing telling the truth to yourself and others in every situation. Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true," meaning that you are what you believe in. You must continually clarify what you stand for and what you will not stand for. Once you have decided that you are going to build your life around certain values, you refuse to compromise those values for anything.

Visit: www.BrianTracy.com

Sunday, September 26, 2010

CENTRAL CONCEPTS TO LSU LADY TIGER DEFENSE

WE WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE PAINT AT ALL TIMES
When the ball gets to the paint it creates easy shot opportunities in the paint
When the ball gets to the paint it creates easy perimeter shots (especially 3’s)
When the ball gets to the paint it creates help and recover situations
When the ball gets to the paint it creates closeout situations
When the ball gets to the paint it creates fouling situations
......taking away the paint starts with transition defense
......stance, head, eyes and footwork are critically important
…...team defense — having the ability to help early — is a necessity

WE WANT A HAND ON THE BALL
When the ball handler has the ball and has not dribbled…
......we want to have a hand on the ball — constantly mirroring the ball!
When the ball handler is dribbling…
......we want the defender to have a hand on the ball as it is dribbled!
When the ball handler is attempting to pass…
......we want a hand on the ball as it is passed with the goal of deflecting it!
When the ball handler is attempting to shoot…
......we want a hand on the ball to block or alter the shot!

WE WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE OPPONENT’S STRENGTH
This will come from scouting and game preparation

WE WANT TO HAVE A COMMUNICATIVE DEFENSE
We want to be constantly talking at all times
This will increase our concentration and execution

WE WANT TO DO ALL THE ABOVE WITHOUT FOULING
Do not give your opponent’s easy scores and free throws are easy scores
Don’t bail out bad shots or bad plays
Make our opponent’s make plays

WE WANT TO FINISH WITH A BLOCKOUT AND A REBOUND
Grabbing the rebound is like picking up your paycheck at the end of the work week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

ESPNU TO TELEVISE INAUGURAL DON MEYER CLASSIC


Rival Belmont will host Northern State in the inaugural Don Meyer Classic, which will honor the former Lipscomb coach, on Tuesday, Nov. 9 on ESPNU, the network announced Thursday.

Lipscomb athletic director Philip Hutcheson said his school was approached by ESPN about the game first, but the Bisons couldn't host the game because of other contract obligations.

Meyer retired as head coach of Northern State following the 2009-10 season as the all-time NCAA wins leader in men’s basketball with 923.

Meyer, who was awarded the Jimmy V Award For Perseverance at the 2009 ESPY Awards for his courage in returning to coaching following a Sept. 2008 car crash that cost him his left leg as well as his example battling through cancer of the liver and intestines, and most recently received the 2010 John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for significant contributions to the sport., is an extremely respected figure in Nashville having directed Lipscomb men’s basketball from 1975-99.

That is where Meyer and Belmont men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd formed a lifelong friendship and mutual respect, taking the ‘Battle of the Boulevard’ rivalry between Belmont and Lipscomb to new heights. Both men led their respective programs to the top of NAIA basketball, with Boulevard games becoming ‘must attend’ events.

Meyer and Byrd coached against each other 37 times, perhaps none more notable than Feb. 17, 1990 when Belmont and Lipscomb packed Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in what remains the largest-attended basketball game in NAIA history.

“I am honored that ESPN has decided to televise the Northern State at Belmont game,” said Meyer. “Not only will this highlight two great basketball programs and academic institutions, it provides an opportunity for Carmen and me to return to Nashville to be with our children and grandchildren, along with many friends we made while working at Lipscomb. It will be fun to visit with Coach Byrd – he is a great coach and a greater friend.”

The game between Belmont and Northern State coincides with the release of a new book on Coach Meyer by ESPN The Magazine senior writer Buster Olney entitled How Lucky You Can Be, The Story of Coach Don Meyer. Olney covered Coach Meyer, as well as Belmont-Lipscomb games, for the Nashville Banner.

“Don is one of the most influential people within the college coaching ranks,” said Olney. “If you talk to Pat Summitt, Bob Knight or Tubby Smith, they will all tell you how important he is to the sport and the people he has touched. Within the collegiate coaching circles, he is considered a legend. I have seen what an incredible impact he has had on the lives of the players he coached and people that worked around him.”

In fact, Belmont men’s basketball assistant coach Brian Ayers played for Coach Meyer at Lipscomb from 1989-93. Moreover, Belmont men’s basketball associate head coach Casey Alexander played against Meyer’s Lipscomb teams as a point guard for Belmont from 1991-95.

“It is a privilege to be the host for the Don Meyer Classic,” Byrd said. “Don has influenced basketball more in the state of Tennessee than any coach I know. Our ‘Battle of the Boulevard’ games were certainly the most intense games I have ever coached in. For Belmont to play a part in honoring Don Meyer for his accomplishments and his courage, as well as hosting a nationally-televised game on ESPNU against Northern State, makes this a big night for our university.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

PRESIDENT FORD ON COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY

“If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and learning to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.”
-President Gerald Ford

WHEN YOU'VE PAID THE PRICE, EXPECT THE GOLD

The following comes from Denis Waitley:

One of the most inspirational moments in my years serving as Chairman of Psychology on The U. S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council was witnessing the first perfect 10 ever scored by an American gymnast in the summer games, by Mary Lou Retton in the Los Angeles Summer Games in 1984.

Mary Lou wasn’t born a classic gymnast. She didn’t have the movements of a ballet dancer. She was just 4 feet 9 inches tall, with a compact, muscular body. She said, “I knew I wouldn’t look graceful in floor exercises, or doing those ballerina moves. But I was a good sprinter and I had a lot of power and explosiveness. So I could do some things some of the other girls couldn’t do.”

By the age of 14 she was West Virginia State Champion, and winning gymnastic meets throughout the world. But as young as she was, she was mature enough to realize she needed to do much more. “I needed someone pushing me,” she said. “I needed some other girls around me who were shooting for the same goal I was.”

So, at a time when most teenagers are thinking about anything but commitment, Mary Lou Retton made an enormous sacrifice. She left the comfort of her home in Fairmont, West Virginia, and moved to Houston, into the home of a family she didn’t know, just for the opportunity to train under one of the world’s greatest, but most demanding, gymnastic coaches, Bela Karolyi.

While other kids were watching TV, going to a movie, hanging out with friends, and going on trips, she was practicing four hours a day, seven days a week. Karolyi changed everything she had been doing for eight years, from the way she tumbled to the way she ate. As the Olympic Games drew nearer, she described her day this way, “An eight o’clock workout, then to school, back to the gym for four more hours of work, then homework, then bed.”

A grind? To be sure. Fun? Not much. Then why? Because winners work at doing things the rest of the population won’t even consider trying. She may not have enjoyed the routine, but she loved the sport, the challenge, and the dream. Then, just a few weeks before the summer games, her right knee suddenly locked. Fragments of torn cartilage had broken loose and had become wedged in the knee joint. Less than 10 days after arthroscopic surgery, she was back in the gym for a full workout. There was no time to lose, only time to get ready to win.

In her final event, the vault, Mary Lou needed a 9.95, a near-perfect performance, to tie the Romanian favorite for the gold medal. One writer described her effort this way: “She raced down the line, sprang off the vault, twisted at high altitude, and landed as still as a dropped bar of lead, yet as soft as a springtime butterfly.”

She scored a perfect 10, the ultimate. But to the surprise and awe of spectators, officials and myself, she went ahead and executed the optional, second vault. Incredibly, the result was the same again: a perfect 10.

The only two individuals not surprised were Mary Lou Retton and her coach, Bela Karolyi. He had told her just before her performance: “You’re my little American gold medal winner!”

In an interview, I heard her remark that her self-talk leading up to those two perfect vaults went something like this: “Relax. Concentrate. Thanks for all the car pools, Mom. This vault’s for you. Speed. Explode. Extend. Nail the landing. This is your moment in history. Need a 10, got a 10. Just like practice. Let’s go!”

DO YOU OUTWORK YOUR TEAM?!

As a coach, if you are not the
hardest worker in the gym everyday,
how can you expect your team to put
forth maximum effort everyday?

HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY HOOP THOUGHTS BLOG

Today is officially an anniversary for our blog Hoop Thoughts. We ran our first first post two years ago today. I thought it would be fitting to repeat the first blog that was email to me by Coach Dale Brown. I would like to personally thank all of the great support that I've received (over 226,000 visitors as of this morning).  I would also like to thank the many that have contributed and the many I've stolen from!  I really believe this is not MY blog but OUR blog. And here was OUR first blog post two years ago:

Well this is my first entry (and first attempt at blogging) so I thought I would go over 16 CONSISTENT CHARACTERISTICS OF GREATNESS. These come from writer Don Yaeger and I received them via email from Dale Brown.

HOW THEY THINK
1. IT’S PERSONAL...they hate to lose more than the love to win.
2. RUBBING ELBOWS...they understand the value of association.
3. BELIEVE...they have faith in a higher power.
4. CONTAGIOUS ENTHUSIASM...they are positive thinkers...they are enthusiastic...and that enthusiasm rubs off.

HOW THEY PERPARE
5. HOPE FOR THE BEST BUT...they prepare for all possibilities before they step off the field.
6. WHAT OFF-SEASON?...they are always working towards the next game...the next season...the goal is what’s ahead and there is always something ahead.
7. VISUALIZE VICTORY...they see victory before the game begins.
8. INNER FIRE...they use adversity as fuel.

HOW THEY WORK
9. ICE IN THEIR VEINS...they are risk-takers and don’t fear making a mistake
10. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS...they know how and when to adjust their game plan.
11. ULTIMATE TEAMMATE...they will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win.
12. NOT JUST ABOUT THE BENJAMINS...they don’t compete just for the money.

HOW THEY LIVE
13. THEY DO UNTO OTHERS...they know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them.
14. WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING...they are comfortable in the mirror...they live their life with integrity.
15. WHEVER EVERYONE IS WATCHING...they embrace the idea of being a role model.
16. RECORDS ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN...they know their legacy isn’t what they did on the field...the are well-rounded.

COACHING TOOLBOX ON BEING A WINNER

Thanks to the great people at http://www.coachingtoolbox.net/ for the following:

What makes one person a winner and other people losers? How they think! Your self image determines your ability and your success. You will be ready mentally if you are thinking success. For instance:

A WINNER is always ready to tackle something new... a loser is prone to believe it can't be done.

A WINNER isn't afraid of competition... losers excuses themselves with the idea that the competition can beat them.

A WINNER makes a mistake and says, "I was wrong"... a loser makes a mistake and says, "It wasn't my fault," and blames someone else.

A WINNER is challenged by a problem and goes through it.. a loser does not want to face it, tries to go around it, but never gets by it.

A WINNER realizes there is no time like the present to get a job done... a loser is prone to procrastinate with the hope that things will get better tomorrow.

A WINNER thinks positively, acts positively, and lives positively... a loser usually has a negative attitude and a negative approach to everything.

A WINNER says "Let's find out..." a loser says, "Nobody knows."

A WINNER makes commitments... a loser makes empty promises.

A WINNER says, "I'm good, but not as good as I should be..."· a loser says, "I'm not as bad as a lot of other people."

A WINNER learns from those who are superior... a loser tries to tear down those who are superior.

A WINNER credits his "good luck" for winning-even though It isn't good luck; a loser blames
"bad luck" for losing-even though it isn't bad luck.

A WINNER knows how and when to say "Yes" and "No"; a loser says, "Yes, but' and "Perhaps
not" at the wrong times, for the wrong reasons.

A WINNER Isn't nearly as afraid of losing as a loser is secretly afraid of winning.

A WINNER works harder than a loser, and has more time; a loser Is always "Too busy" to do what is necessary.

A WINNER shows he's sorry by making up for it, a loser says, "I'm sorry," but does the some thing the next time.

A WINNER knows what to fight for, and what to compromise on; a loser compromises on what he shouldn't and fights for what isn't worthwhile fighting about.

A WINNER listens a loser just waits until it's his turn to talk.

A WINNER, would rather be admired then liked, although he would prefer both; a loser would rather be liked than admired, and Is even willing to pay the price of mild comtompt for It.

A WINNER feels strong enough to be gentle; a loser Is never gentle-he Is either weak or petty tyrannous by turns.

A WINNER feels responsible for more than his Job: a loser says, "I only work here."

A WINNER says, "There ought to be a better way to do It," a loser says, "That's the way It's always been done here."

A WINNER paces himself; a loser has only two speeds: hysterical & lethargic.

A WINNER works hard to achieve his goals, a loser just gets by.

SO IF YOU, WANT TO BE A WINNER, THINK LIKE A WINNER... ACT LIKE A WINNER... AND SOONER THAN YOU THINK, YOU'LL BE A WINNER TOO!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BILL WALSH: STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE AND BEHAVIOR

Setting a standard of performance and play often comes down to an attention to detail. The simplest execution of procedures symbolizes the commitment of the players to the organization and the organization to the players.

The standard relates to the respect and sensitivity shown to others and to an appreciation of the roles that each member of the organization fulfills. Every player is an extension of his teammates. When Jerry Rice catches a ball, he is an extension of several players — those who are blocking the pass rushers, the receivers who are precisely coordinating their cuts with his and the quarterback who is taking a hit after throwing the ball. When Roger Craig broke though with a big run, it embodied the fierce execution of the offensive line, the timing of their blocks and the execution of the down-field blocks by the receivers.

One of the most important steps that you can undertake to make certain that a valid standard of performance exists is to ensure every practices session is conducted in an appropriate manner.

From "Finding the Winning Edge" by Bill Walsh with Brian Billick and James Peterson

LISTENING AS A TEAM

"When you explain a point to player X, the other players should listen so that they know about that point as well.  There's a tendency for players to believe that because the coach is talking to someone else, they don't have to listen.  If they're all listening, the coach won't have to repeat the same thing to the guys who weren't involved, and everyone will know what player X is doing on a particular play, and therefore what his options are.  Each player has to have an idea of what everyone of his teammates is doing.  Not only does it save time when you are teaching something, but it enhances the effectiveness of what you are trying to do."

-Pete Caril

We try to make sure are players are constantly listening with the following measures:

1. Eye-to-eye contact with the speaker.
2. When the coach speaks, the gym is silent.
3. Echo yells (team repeating instructions from coach)
4. Consequences for team when a player repeats a mistake caused by not listening.

BRIAN TRACY'S 7 METHODS OF TIME POWER

More great stuff from the "time management guru" Brian Tracy:

There are seven methods that you can use to help develop the habits of time management. The more you think about and practice these methods, the more rapidly you will program yourself to be efficient and highly productive.

First
Remember that your self-image determines your performance. You always perform on the outside in a matter consistent with the picture you have of yourself on the inside.

Practice visualizing and imagining yourself as you want to be, not as you may have been in the past. You can actually change your self-image permanently by repeatedly visualizing yourself as someone who is highly efficient and effective.

Second
Remember that it takes about twenty-one days of practice and repetition to form a new habit pattern. It has taken you your entire lifetime to become the person you are today, with the time management habits you have at this moment. It takes time and commitment to change, and for your subconscious mind to accept the new habits.

Third
Promise yourself that you are going to become excellent at time management. Promise yourself that you are going to be punctual, and that you are going to concentrate on your most important tasks. Then, promise others that you are going to be more effective and efficient in the future.

Fourth
In developing the habits of time management, start in just one area where poor time management is holding you back. Don't try to change everything at once. Change just one habit or activity where you know that improvement could be very helpful to you.

Fifth
Launch your new time management habit strongly. Never allow an exception once you have decided that you are going to become excellent in a particular behavior. Never let yourself off the hook.

Sixth
Use the “trial and success” method rather than the “trial and error” method. The trial and success method requires that you learn how to succeed by failing, and then by learning from your mistakes. Analyze your reasons for poor time management. Ask yourself, “What are the obstacles to my operating more efficiently in this area?” Take some time to reflect on recent behaviors.

Seventh
You must absolutely believe that you can and will become excellent at time management. The Law of Belief says that “Your beliefs become your realities.” The more intensely you believe that you can and will become excellent at time management, the more rapidly this belief becomes your reality. If you hold to your belief long enough and hard enough, it will eventually materialize as new behaviors with regard to time.

Action Exercise
Select one area where better time management skills can help you to be more efficient and get more done. Resolve to go to work on yourself in that area immediately.

Check out www.BrianTracy.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

KEEP LEARNING

"Anyone who stops learning is old,
whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is to
keep your mind young."

-Henry Ford

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DREAM IT, BELIEVE IT, DECIDE IT, DO IT!

By Lisa Gschwandtner

Do you believe in the power of the list? Making a list to help you reach your dreams and goals isn’t like making a list to go to the grocer y store, says Bob Beaudine of the executive search firm Eastman & Beaudine. If you really want your list to be useful, you have to put in more effort.

“The great thing about a list is that it really helps you clarify your priorities, your values, and your personal preferences. In short, making a list helps you dream,” he writes in his book, The Power of Who. Here are Beaudine’s list-making instructions:

Dream it
“Dreaming is letting your imagination out into the wind a little bit. Along the way, something will begin to stand out that hold your attention. You’ve just connected with your desire.”
...
Believe it
Have confidence in your vision despite what others may say. (Remember, some believed the world was round when most said it was flat.) You have to have faith in your dreams to follow through.

Decide it.
“One of life’s greatest paradoxes is that by not deciding, you’re making a decision. If you don’t decide who and what you want to be, somebody else will decide for you.”
...
Do it
There’s a time to stop thinking, preparing, and hoping. At some point, you have to get going and take action.

GARY COLSON: THE TWO BEST THINGS I DID IN COACHING

The best thing I ever did as far as players go:

After practice I spent an hour staying in the gym with my players.

If I didn’t leave, they stayed and worked on their game.

The second best thing I did:

I tried to talk to my players everyday.

I took my desk from my office and threw it out. It became a lounge, and at 3pm everyday, I wanted it to become a zoo.

One thing I’d like to do is try to touch my players everyday one way or another. My yoga teacher touches everyone in the room.

Monday, September 20, 2010

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'VE CONNECTED WITH OTHERS

From "Everyone Communicates Few Connect" by John C. Maxwell:

How do I know that I’ve connected with others? I look for the signs. I know I’ve connected when I sense:
...
• Extra Effort—people go the extra mile
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• Unsolicited Appreciation—they say positive things
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• Unguarded Openness—they demonstrate trust
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• Increased Communication—they express themselves more readily
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• Enjoyable Experiences—they feel good about what they’re doing
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• Emotional Bondedness—they display a connection on an emotional level
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• Positive Energy—their emotional “batteries” are charged by being together
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• Growing Synergy—their effectiveness is greater than the sun of the contributions
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• Unconditional Love—they are accepting without reservation

THE TONY LA RUSSA WAY: DISCIPLINE AND COMMUNICATION

The two things Tony La Russa hoped to quickly convey to his players on the White Sox were how much he wanted to win and how much he cared about them and the game. “I’m nor just sitting in the corner of the dugout, idly watching the scoreboard, trying to be a strategical genius in the eighth inning,” La Russa said. “Another manager once told me that the first five or seven innings belong to the teams on the field, and that if the game is still close in the seventh, the last three innings are his; that’s when he really gets into it. I don’t agree with that. I get into it from the first to the ninth.”
...
La Russa did not have as many rules as some managers, but he knew what he wanted out of his players and he knew that discipline would be an important key to his team’s success. “I don’t believe in organizations that builds discipline by telling you how to wear your socks,” La Russa said in the spring of 1980. “The way you can build discipline is by having everyone play like a pro. I won’t say, ‘Geez we’re not running it out to first base, so you have to cut your hair shorter.’ That doesn’t make sense. The public doesn’t like to see rubber-stamp players, and part of our job—besides winning games—is to provide entertainment. I like guys to be individuals.”
....
Another thing his players appreciated was that he made it a point to speak to each of his players at least once every other day. Joe Goddard, covering the team for the Chicago Sun-Times, wondered if that was really true so he made a special point of arriving very early before a game one day just to watch La Russa in action. “He was down sitting on the tarpaulin talking to some guys, then I saw him behind the batting screen in the middle of the field,” Goddard said. “Next he was in the dugout, then behind the batting cage. He really did talk to almost everybody on the team while they were on the field. I was impressed with that.”

From "Tony La Russa: Man On A Mission" by Rob Rains

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BRAIN TRACY: FOUR STEPS TO A SUPER ATTITUDE

A "super" post by Brian Tracy on how to have a "super" attitude:

Decide How to React
It is not what happens to you that counts. It is how you react to what happens to you, especially when you have unexpected problems of any kind.

In this newsletter, you learn powerful strategies you can use to keep yourself thinking and acting positively and creatively.

Here are four things you can do to assure that your attitude is the very best it can be, under all circumstances.

Focus On the Future
First, whatever challenges you face, focus on the future rather than on the past. Instead of worrying about who did what and who is to blame, focus on where you want to be and what you want to do. Get a clear mental image of your ideal successful future, and then take whatever action you can to begin moving in that direction. Get your mind, your thoughts, and your mental images on the future.

Think About the Solution
Second, whenever you're faced with a difficulty, focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Think and talk about the ideal solution to the obstacle or setback, rather than wasting time rehashing and reflecting on the problem. Solutions are inherently positive, whereas problems are inherently negative. The instant that you begin thinking in terms of solutions, you become a positive and constructive human being.

Look For the Good
Third, assume that something good is hidden within each difficulty or challenge. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a major proponent of positive thinking, once said, "Whenever God wants to give us a gift, he wraps it up in a problem." The bigger the gift you have coming, the bigger the problem you will receive. But the wonderful thing is that if you look for the gift, you will always find it.

Seek the Valuable Lesson
Fourth, assume that whatever situation you are facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful. This situation has been sent to you to help you learn something, to help you become better, to help you expand and grow.

Decide to Be Positive
A Positive Mental Attitude is indispensable to your success. You can be as positive as you want to be if you will simply think about the future, focus on the solution and look for the good. If you do what other successful people do, if you use your mind to exert mental control over the situation, you will be positive and cheerful most of the time. And you will reap the benefits enjoyed by all successful people.

Action Exercises
Here are three steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action:

First, become solution-oriented with every difficulty you face. Make a habit of looking for the answers to your questions, the solutions to your problems.

Second, seek for the valuable lesson in every adversity. Make a list of every idea or insight you can gain from every setback or difficulty.

Third, think on paper. Take some time to write out every detail of the problem, and then take the most logical next step to solve it.

Check out: www.BrianTracy.com

JON GORDON ON THE IMPORTANCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF CULTURE

Culture drives behavior, and behavior drives habits.
Culture influences what your leaders and teams think, say, and do each day. A lot of organizations focus on strategy and ignore culture, yet culture trumps strategy every time.

You must nurture your culture.
Too many organizations aren’t willing to invest the time and energy needed to create the culture they desire. They talk about culture, but they don’t invest in it. Too many organizations focus on the fruit of the tree, such as stock price, costs, sales numbers, and revenue targets, yet ignore the root of the tree—their culture—and wonder why the fruit dries up. For great fruit, you must nurture the root. You must focus on creating a culture that will deliver the outcomes and fruit you want. Sure, you have to measure sales, costs, and outcomes, but these are merely a byproduct of your culture, teamwork, productivity, and performance.
....
Great leaders create great cultures.
As a leader, you must work really hard on creating the right culture and consider it your number one priority. Culture affects motivation, and motivation affects productivity and performance. It all starts with culture, and the most important thing a leader can do is to create a culture of greatness.
...
It requires only three principles:
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1. You create a culture of greatness by expecting great things to happen—even during challenging times.
...
2. You create a culture of greatness by expecting your people to be their best. You don’t settle for anything less than excellence.
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3. You create a culture of greatness by coaching, training, and developing your team to be their best.

It would be important to consider the following:

·Culture is something that can’t be delegated to human resources or to a member of the leadership team. It has to be driven by a team leader who is committed to and engaged in the process.

·It requires a lot of work up front, but not as much work as dealing with the crises, problems, and challenges associated with negative, dysfunctional, and subpar cultures.
...
·While most organizations waste a lot of time putting out fires, you can spend your time building a great organization that rises above the competition.

From "Soup" by Jon Gordon

BILL PARCELLS ON WHAT SUCCESSFUL "SYSTEMS" & PHILOSOPHIES CONTAIN

When organizations refer to “systems” or “philosophies,” they’re talking about the same thing. Scratch any thriving organization—it could be an electronics company, a law firm, or a football team—and you’ll find a definite philosophy. These success stories have integrity; they stick to their organizational principles.

What some people fail to realize is that it makes no difference what that philosophy is, as long as it meets these standards:

The philosophy has a sound basic structure.

It reflects the leader’s vision and values.

It is communicated and accepted throughout the organization.

Most important, it remains in place long enough to allow for success.

From "Finding a Way to Win" by Bill Parcells

Friday, September 17, 2010

LIFE LESSONS FROM BUZZ WILLIAMS

How do you go the extra mile with your team to show them you care? What extra are you doing to help them grow? Here is Buzz Williams, head coach at Marquette.

BO ON CRITIQUING ASSISTANT COACHES

"I spent more time critiquing a potential assistant than I did a recruit—and for good reason. That coach is going to be around a lot longer than that player is! That’s why, before I hired someone, I’d go to his house and meets his family, just like I would with a recruit. But in the case of a coach, instead of getting to know his parents, I wanted to meet his spouse, because you can ruin a good person real fast with a bad spouse. But if you have an enthusiastic man with a strong wife who supports him, that’s someone you can count on. I even got to know their kids, and if their mother and father were close by, why not visit with them, too?"

From "Bo’s Lasting Lessons" by Bo Schembechler and John U. Bacon

JIM TRESSEL -- ENJOYING THE PROCESS

"To me, the process is what’s most fun in football, and I’m sure it’s that way for any profession. The process of going full bore into the season and balancing your purpose with your goals and the family you love and all the things you try to accomplish—it’s a daily adventure."

From "The Winner's Mannual" by Jim Tressel

4 QUESTIONS A SMART PLAYER WILL ASK HIM/HERSELF

Via Rick Majerus:

1. Who am I?
2. Who are my teammates?
3. Who is covering me?
4. Who is covering my teammates?

INTEGRITY IN LEADERSHIP

“To be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, you must have their confidence. Hence the supreme quality of a leader is unquestioned integrity. Without it, no real success is possible whether it is in a section gang, on a football field, in an army, or in an office.”

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

BRIAN TRACY ON THE IMPORTANCS OF OPTIMISM

The following are thoughts from Brian Tracy speaking to the importance of our outlook on things. We are constantly speaking about the choice we have to respond to the events of surrounding us and as Tracy points out, mental health is just as important as physical health:

Everyone wants to be physically healthy. You want to be mentally healthy as well. The true measure of "mental fitness" is how optimistic you are about yourself and your life.

In this newsletter, you learn how to control your thinking in very specific ways so that you feel terrific about yourself and your situation, no matter what happens.

Control Your Reactions and Responses
There are three basic differences in the reactions of optimists and pessimists. The first difference is that the optimist sees a setback as temporary, while the pessimist sees it as permanent. The optimist sees an unfortunate event, such as an order that falls through or a sales call that fails, as a temporary event, something that is limited in time and that has no real impact on the future. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative events as permanent, as part of life and destiny.

Isolate the Incident
The second difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the optimist sees difficulties as specific, while the pessimist sees them as pervasive. This means that when things go wrong for the optimist, he looks at the event as an isolated incident largely disconnected from other things that are going on in his life.

See Setbacks as Temporary Events
For example, if something you were counting on failed to materialize and you interpreted it to yourself as being an unfortunate event, but something that happens in the course of life and business, you would be reacting like an optimist. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees disappointments as being pervasive. That is, to him they are indications of a problem or shortcoming that pervades every area of life.

Don't Take Failure Personally
The third difference between optimists and pessimists is that optimists see events as external, while pessimists interpret events as personal. When things go wrong, the optimist will tend to see the setback as resulting from external factors over which one has little control.

If the optimist is cut off in traffic, for example, instead of getting angry or upset, he will simply downgrade the importance of the event by saying something like, "Oh, well, I guess that person is just having a bad day."

The pessimist on the other hand, has a tendency to take everything personally. If the pessimist is cut off in traffic, he will react as though the other driver has deliberately acted to upset and frustrate him.

Remain Calm and Objective
The hallmark of the fully mature, fully functioning, self-actualizing personality is the ability to be objective and unemotional when caught up in the inevitable storms of daily life. The superior person has the ability to continue talking to himself in a positive and optimistic way, keeping his mind calm, clear and completely under control. The mature personality is more relaxed and aware and capable of interpreting events more realistically and less emotionally than is the immature personality. As a result, the mature person exerts a far greater sense of control and influence over his environment, and is far less likely to be angry, upset, or distracted.

Take the Long View
Look upon the inevitable setbacks that you face as being temporary, specific and external. View the negative situation as a single event that is not connected to other potential events and that is caused largely by external factors over which you can have little control. Simply refuse to see the event as being in any way permanent, pervasive or indicative of personal incompetence of inability.

Resolve to think like an optimist, no matter what happens. You may not be able to control events but you can control the way you react to them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

COACH DON MEYER: 3 PROGRAM RULES

By the way, Coach Meyer made sure campers followed these same rules when they attended his summer camps.

1. Everybody takes notes—survey of the 500 richest people and they shared this trait.

2. Everybody picks up trash—leave the locker room clean

3. Everybody says please and thank you—courtesy pays, when you’re not courteous you pay.

BE READY TO PLAY EVERY DAY

In 1982 a few members of the Minnesota Twins, Gary Gaetti, Kent Hrbek, Gary Ward, and Tom Brunansky made a pact to be the best they can be by following these guidelines:

1. Be ready to play and be at my best every day.
If that means telling friends, family, etc., that I can’t stay out after a game, and having them thinking and telling me I have a big head, so be it. I will be the A-home, but I will be rested and prepared when I go to the park.
...
2. Nothing or nobody will get in the way of or distract me from having quality practice and going through my pre-game routines properly.
If that means the fans get mad at me for not coming over to sign autographs, or reporters get pissed at me for not giving them the time and answers they want, that’s okay. I am willing to pay that price. “I’ll be an A-hole.”
...
3. Play hard all the time.
I will run out every ball, be alert, always back up, be ready and get great jumps on every pitch, always anticipate (never assume). Give it everything I have until the wee hours in the morning if that is what it takes. When I go in to break up a DP, I’ll take the, out hard, because the next time I am coming in to break up a DP, I want them to remember it and be aware of my footsteps. No more “Mr. Nice Guy.” I play to whip ass; to win. If they think I’m an A-hole because of the way I play, I’m willing to pay that price.
....
4. I will be the intimidator, no one will intimidate me.
When they knock me down or drill me, I will get up, take my time, get back in, not allowing myself to be upset or distracted (they will not get in my head). Then I will be ready to put my “businessman’s swing” on the next good pitch.
....
5. No matter what happens, I will keep my poise and act professionally.
....
6. I will be a good teammate.
I will encourage, support, and make sure everyone is in the game.
They taped the list in one of their lockers, home and road, hidden behind clothing and uniforms on the hangers, where it could not be seen by visitors in the clubhouse. When any of them needed the inspiration, he would look at the list to remind himself just what he valued. The four would discuss the points among themselves after games, evaluating whether they had succeeded on each point every day. As another reminder, they had T-shirts made up with OFFICIAL A-HOLE emblazoned across the front to remind them that they would accept being considered A-holes if that was what it took.

From "Mental Toughness: Baseball’s Winning Edge" by Karl Kuehl, John Kuehl, and Casey Tefertiller