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Saturday, October 17, 2009


From my Brian Tracy email newsletter comes his five ingredients for Managing and Motivating. I've had some coaching thoughts on how Brian's thoughts would pertain to practice at the end of each ingredient in purple.

Thousands of employees were interviewed about what they considered to be a “great place to work.” The answers they gave were different from what the managers expected.

First Ingredient
The first ingredient of a good job was "challenging, interesting work." This is work that kept the employee busy and involved all day long. I think this is a great concept for practice. Whether you are practicing for 90 minutes or two and half hours (as we did both today). We want our practice to be challenging but we must be careful not to make it monotonous and boring with a lack of variety in our repetition.

Second Ingredient
The second ingredient was a feeling of being “in the know.” A good job was defined as one where the employee felt that he or she was fully informed on what was happening in the company. The employee felt like an insider, like an important part of a larger group. We think it is very important that we not only tell our team "what" and "how" to do things but "why." It is the why that leads to better execution. Video sessions and chalk talks also help to get that feeling of being "in the know."

Third Ingredient
The third ingredient of a great place to work was a “high trust” environment. This was defined as a job where a person could feel free to do his or her best and to make mistakes, without being criticized or fired. When employees felt that they were free to make mistakes with no punishment or hostility, they enjoyed their work much more, became more creative, and worked more effectively with other people. There is not question that when a team trusts a coaching staff that their practice performance will be much better. That trust factor comes from our ability to be extremely prepared. We must meet about practice and talk about the essentials. Before we can demand execution of our team, we must first demand it of ourselves in the way we run our practice.

Fourth Ingredient
The fourth ingredient in a good job was a caring boss and friendly co-workers. Often, the human environment was more important than anything else. People like to work in a place where they get along well with everyone. The happier they felt their work relationships, the better they worked, the lower the level of absenteeism was, and the more productive they were. We've all heard it, "They won't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Your ability to care about your players will make a tremendous difference in how they see and hear what you say.

Fifth Ingredient
The fifth ingredient for a good job turned out to be good pay and opportunities for promotion and advancement. To the surprise of many managers, the issue, of pay was number five among factors that constituted a good job or a great place to work. Psychologists have found that a certain level of pay is essential for people to feel comfortable with their jobs, but above that level, it does not have much motivational impact. It is only when pay is sub-standard or below what would normally be expected for such a job that it becomes a de-motivating influence. I think this equates to starting and practice time but it also means a visible appreciation by our staff for individual and team efforts at practice. Whether we acknowledge a player in front of the team, to our fans or the media, it's important that recognition comes with positive performance. Making sure they have the best gear available. Is your locker room as nice as it can be? Treat you team well and it sends a message.