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Thursday, October 29, 2009


Here's another great article by Don Yeager who by the way just released a book on Coach Wooden ("A Game Plan for Life") that is a must read -- incredibly well written. In this, another article, Don writes about the goal development stratgey for Coach Pat Summitt.

•Set realistic goals that make your team stretch. If the goal is too big and unattainable, morale
can suffer. Hitting the smaller goals will get you closer to that pie-in-the-sky goal anyway.

• Small goals you set and achieve every day work best. Be personally accountable for those
and help your teammates do the same.

• Instill the idea of rewards for reaching goals,and consequences if you don’t.

• Be sure to involve everyone in goal-setting. This provides a sense of empowerment—
and accountability.

• Realize that others help you achieve your goal; no matter who makes the coaching decisions, nothing will get done without a strong team.

• Commit your goals to writing.

From Don's article with Coach Summitt talking of leading a group of individuals:

Though her control of the Lady Vol program is unquestioned, Summitt’s ability to involve her players in decisionmaking has been a hallmark of her career. Before practice begins for every
season, during a team meeting, Summitt asks her players what style of play they would prefer. Most often, each player wants to run and press—play hard, play fast, play smart. Then, when practice starts and her players are panting and sucking wind, Summitt is careful to remind them that this was the style they chose.

“It is important to hear those you’re leading,” she says. “And it is just as important for them to understand that what sounds good isn’t always as good as it sounds. I enjoy including my
players, the captains of the teams particularly, in setting some direction. If they are involved in setting the goals, establishing the rules and regulations, they’ll always be more cooperative.
If they’re more cooperative, there are fewer violations and discipline is required less often. This is one big cycle, and you have to see the whole of the cycle—and remain consistent
throughout—to enjoy true success.”

Summitt says the best way to motivate individuals to achieve team goals is to bring individual goals in line. She hasn’t achieved her goals by herself. Her players have achieved them,
and she’ll be the first to tell you it was their hard work that led to all of her program’s accomplishments.

“I haven’t hit a shot in any one of those wins you mentioned,” she says. “I haven’t taken a charge or made a steal. The things I’m credited with are the result of a great number of others coming together to achieve goals they set together. That’s the beauty of this discussion. These fundamentals are the same today as they were in the mid-1970s.”

Read Don's entire article at: