My favorite productivity tricks for coaches

One of the things I work with coaches on is their mindset around time management.

It's less about managing your time. It's more about managing yourself.

A question I start with is, "What activity do you begin your day with?"

Most coaches answer, "I check my phone to see what emails or texts came in that I have to get to."

The next question I ask is,  "After you check your phone, what comes next?"

Most coaches verbalize how checking their phone leads them down a rabbit hole. Some coaches say they can easily spend the next hour on email alone. Others jump from email to text or scrolling through social media. Before they know it, it's lunch time and they haven't gotten to a single thing on their to-do list.

Once coaches realize this, the next thing that happens is they get down on themselves. They feel bad because they realize the habit, yet trying to break free is a total paradox.

As a coach, you have to check your phone because there are things you need to respond to. That's your job.

And...instead of getting pulled down the rabbit hole are there a boundaries and limits you can set to keep you in the driver's seat rather than go unconscious?

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Four Keys To Hiring A Great Team

One of the hardest parts of being a leader is the hiring process.  Coaches are not trained to hire, fire, and manage others.

Your hiring process is something you can proactively work on and fine tune throughout the season - not just when a job is open. This approach will save you a ton of time and stress in the moment.

Here are 3 mistakes I see coaches make during the hiring process:

1. Not getting clear on what you need

Too many coaches hire the first person who comes along rather than taking time to get clear on what you need.

You change and grow over time. The person who was on your staff at the beginning of your career may not be who you need now.

Coaches love to hire other coaches who are just like them. Yet, you may need someone who will offer a different perspective and unique skillset.

Take some time to get clear on what qualities you most need right now - in this season of your coaching career.

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Shift Your Perspective of Criticism

How do you respond to criticism - from your athletes, parents, administrators, or other coaches?

Sorry to be such a downer...and I'm letting you know that there will always be people who judge and criticize you for actions you take and decisions you make. 

You can't escape cricitism!

It doesn't matter how hard you work, how perfect you are, or what level of success you reach...there will always be someone there to knock you down.

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How to get Grounded when you're out of your comfort zone

Walking into coaching conventions used to be a really scary and miserable experience for me.  You may find it hard to believe that a head coach of a Pac-12 program can be such an introvert.  The two don't seem to fit together. Yet...there I was.

  • I hated the networking

  • I despised the banter and posturing

  • I was overly critical 

To say I had a bad-attitude was an understatement.

What made the real difference?

I looked around...comparing myself to everyone else (or at least what I thought I knew about them). I never felt good enough to speak up. I would dwell on the fact that my team hadn't done well last season. I would make up stories like - no one wants to hear what I have to say. 

I commiserated with other coaches who felt obligated to be there because that seemed easier than actually facing the fact that I was the one who was uncomfortable.

I really just wanted to hide or go home.  

I finally realized it was my attitude, my cynicism, and my overall mindset that was making me miserable. This event was an opportunity I wasn't fully tapping into because I wasn't open to seeing the all possibilities and potential that were there.

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The Big Truth About Small Success

Last week I got to work with a group of coaches at a Women's Coaching Summit in Bellingham.

The first night, we had a High-Five Happy Hour to celebrate all of their many accomplishments from the past year.

When coaches sat down to write these things down earlier that day, their list may not look like what you'd expect. 

That's because it takes some work to recognize what you're actually doing in your work as a coach. Coaches are hard on their athletes...and even harder on themselves! It takes a little more digging and a deeper awareness to see all the ways you're actually expanding.


The things that matter the most aren't the typical things that coaches high-five or fist-pump about.

Things that make your list of accomplishments may be things you'd hardly ever think to celebrate at all.

That's why I think this kind of work is so important!!!

Real success isn’t as much about the big things that show up in a press release for everyone else to read.

Your success as a coach is about hundreds of moments when you just want to say, “Forget it...” and instead, you give it one more shot.

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Three Ways To Guide Your Team Through Transformation

We're nearing the end of the year when your team is entering a new stage of team development: transformation.

Maybe you've talked to them about the other 4 stages: FORM-STORM-NORM-PERFORM. There's actually a 5th stage that doesn't get talked about much. The TRANSFORM stage is when members of the group move on...for a variety of reasons: people quit or are cut; people graduate or transfer.

The juniors are overwhelmed - with the realization of all that's coming up for them in the year ahead. The sophomores are starting to get comfortable (maybe a little too comfortable...???) and the freshmen have already checked out. They're done...and ready to go home. 

Do you feel this chaos as a coach? You probably do.

Does your team feel it? They definitely do. They may not have the awareness as to why things 'feel off'.

Transformation can be a confusing time for your team. It can be a big deal or a little deal - depending on what happens and how it's handled.  

What can you do?

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