Why The 3 C's Matter To You (and Your Athletes)

I was biology major in college. I like to 'geek out' a bit and dive into the science behind human behaviors.  

It turns out...our brains are wired for 3 C's: Certainty, Choice, and Control.


The brain likes certainty. 

Whether we're playing solitaire, Sudoku or completing a crossword puzzle. How great does it feel when you 'win'? Your brain gets an instant reward. YES - that's the answer!

When you can't predict the outcome of a situation your brain feels out of control.

Think of how you feel when you finally get to meet a recruit who you've only talked with on the phone.

You may have had 8 conversations with them. Yet, when you finally get to put a name with their face....your interaction changes.

It's because you have more certainty about them.

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Take the lead in recruiting this season

How would you fill in the blank to this statement? 

My job as a college coach would be great…if it weren’t for __________________.

If I surveyed one hundred college coaches, I'd bet 99 of them would answer ‘recruiting.’

One of the biggest challenges coaches complain about is recruiting.

Here's are three questions I always ask them:

1. What's your mindset?

Most coaches I know hate recruiting. When you take that mindset (and negative energy) into one of the most important things you do as a collegiate coach, it's probably not going to get you the results you want.

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Erica's list of recommended reading

I know there are plenty of books that you pick up and read for your team.  Many of you recommend some awesome books for your athletes to read during the summer. 

This is definitely a great way to get your athletes on the same page and have resources that help you build trust and create a common language together.

And...because you're always thinking about your athletes and looking for things that will benefit THEM, sometimes things that may apply to YOU and your unique challenges as a coach aren't necessarily on your radar.

That's where I come in! 

I'm always reading books and thinking about YOU the coach!

So, I'm giving you a list of six books I'm recommending - specifically for coaches.

I'm also letting you know why I've selected each book - instead of just giving you the list.

My intention is to share why I think I believe each of these different books can be valuable to you - specifically - as a coach.

Also, I'm hoping that by sharing why I'm recommending each book will help you overcome a little resistance and inspire you to actually read (or listen) to any one of these books this summer. 

I've tried to vary these up to cover a range of subjects and are the most common ones that I refer to the coaches I work with during the year.

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5 ways to help your athletes with anxiety

"I have an athlete who struggles with anxiety.  She's plugged into resources on campus...and I'm not allowed to know what's going on.  They can only tell me if she's okay to practice or not."

I hear this same scenario with coaches every season.

It's common for your athletes to have negative thoughts:

"I'm really bad at this."  "Everyone else seems so happy."  "What's wrong with me?"  "I always screw things up."  "No one gets what I'm going through."

However, according to studies of college students in the US, Canada, and the UK...it's getting worse.  Anxiety is going up as students try to perfect, please, and live up to unrealistic standards.


There are plenty of contributing factors...media, social media, expectations of other people...etc. 

For coaches, the WHY is less important than the WHAT. You can't change the why. You can do something about the what.

What you can do - in your role as a coach - to help each athlete with their own self-concept?

How your athletes perceive themselves is a key factor in their emotional well-being equation.

You may not give yourself enough credit as a coach for the impact you can have on an athlete and how they think about themselves.  You can make a huge difference!

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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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