Get Grounded When You're Out Of Your Comfort Zone

There were several activities that took me out of my comfort zone in my role as a head coach: networking, recruiting, and speaking. You may find it hard to believe that a head coach of a Pac-12 program could be such an introvert. The two don't seem to fit together. Yet...there I was.

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

I made up stories about what people thought of me. I would compare myself to other coaches. I had a stream of negative thoughts swirling around in my head.

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Productivity Hacks for Coaches

I had a coaching call last week with a new head coach. She had just taken over program, had a long list of to-do’s, and was feeling really inadequate.

“Uggghhh…I don’t have enough time to fit everything in!”

I asked her about her priorities and she said, “What do you mean priorities? Everything is a priority right now. I’ve got so many things that have to get done. Everything’s important! Maybe people were right. Maybe I’m NOT ready to be a head coach yet.”

Most coaches get really down on themselves when they have a lot on their plate and are spinning their wheels. Self judgement makes things harder.

If you’ve ever felt this way, it’s not that you’re not good at what you do, ready to be a head coach, or a responsible assistant coach….

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Dealing With Feedback, Criticism, and Complaints

At the end of the season, you’re going to get feedback from your athletes, staff, and administration.

A lot of coaches - consciously or unconsciously - have a lot of stress during this time.

Couple that with the fact you’ve had a long season…and probably not much of a break.

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

Sorry to be the downer...and I'm letting you know 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 judge you.

How do you respond?

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Small Success is BIG

This week I’m working with group of coaches at a Women's Coaching Summit in Bellingham.

Part of what’s so great about the summit is taking the opportunity to celebrate all of the many accomplishments, insights, and ah-ha’s these coaches have had over the past year.

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

That's because it takes some work to recognize the value 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 level of awareness to see all the ways you're actually learning, growing, and expanding.

SMALL SUCCESS

The things that matter the most aren't necessarily the typical things that you might expect people to 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 this kind of work is so important!!!

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Coaching Holds The Key To Your Expansion

I work with coaches to help you get a 360º view of what’s going on with yourself and with your team by looking back, looking at what’s going on now, and then looking ahead. Otherwise, it’s easy for you to be so driven and forward focused that you don’t stop long enough to learn from all of the experiences you’re having.

Coaching is all about experiential education - if you include the reflection piece.

Experience → Reflection → Conclusion → Experiment (Kolb Learning Cycle)

As a leader, there are specific leadership skills you can work on to improve how you’re leading your team. Reflect on how your athletes and staff are responding to your leadership style, and experiment by adapting your behavior for a more successful outcome.

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3 Things You Can Do To Help Your Team Handle 'End Of Season' Transitions

You’ve had a long season.

It’s hard to imagine back to the beginning of the year when everything was new and exciting. There was a sense of wonder. Endless possibilities.

Your athletes are different now.

They’ve changed.

You’ve changed as a coach.

You’ve had experiences together as a team that have helped you learn and grow. You’ve all had your perspectives challenged - more than once.

Your team cycles through the four stages of team development: FORM-STORM-NORM-PERFORM throughout the season.

There’s a 5th stage called transformation. During this stage, some athletes may feel a sense of loss or grief and others may feel a sense of relief - depending on their perspective, experience, and outcome.

The TRANSFORM stage is when members of the group move on...for a variety of reasons.

  • Seniors graduate.

  • Athletes quit or transfer to another team.

  • Coaches may ask an athlete not to return based on behavior and expectations that are no longer aligned with the direction the team is going.

There’s a lot of different stuff going on under the surface for athletes who will be returning to your team.

  • The juniors may be overwhelmed - with the realization of all that's coming up for them in the year ahead.

  • The sophomores may be starting to get comfortable (maybe a little too comfortable...???).

  • The freshmen may have already checked out - just ready to go home. 

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