Coaching & Leadership Blog

Are You Ready for the New Reality of Coaching Kids from a Distance?

Check out that title again. I don't believe I just wrote that. I don't want to believe it. I hope it's not true. And yet, I fear that it may be our reality for some time as we move forward.

Now for those of you who know me personally, you know I am not a "gloom & doom" guy. I am upbeat, energized, enthusiastic, and excited for life. I am a "glass is half-full" person through and through.

So for me to write that title took some effort. 

But here's the deal. I really believe that this new reality that we are going through right now is with us for more than just a few weeks. As I sit here typing this, my wife is sitting 10 feet away from me online posting lessons and grading assignments from her high school Spanish students - on a Sunday afternoon. Many of you taught your classes this past week through your computers for the first time ever.  This is not what you had in mind when you decided you wanted to teach. 

This is CERTAINLY not what you had in mind...

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Are You Like I Was? This is for You

See if this isn't something similar to how things went for you in the early stages of your coaching career or if this isn't similar to where you are now on your coaching journey.

In my first teaching and coaching job, I was 21 years old. I was teaching high school English at an all-boys Catholic school in the suburbs of Chicago. I had 3 classes of seniors. They were 3 & 4 years younger than me.

I had to IMMEDIATELY create a positive, loving relationship with them while at the same time create distance between us, so they saw me as an adult who commanded their respect.

"YIKES!" I thought. "How the hell am I going to do that?! I'm only 21 frickin' years old!" 3 months before that I was a college senior doing what college seniors do. I was more like a big brother to them age-wise. There were no courses in college labeled "Create Distance from Your Kids When You're 3 or 4 Years Older than Them." 

While I was an athletic, fit man and a fairly big...

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Leap Before You Look


"Hey, Scott, I think you have that title backwards. I think you mean 'Look before you leap.' Because, you know, that's just good advice to always look before you jump into something.”

No, I didn't make a mistake. And yes, the phrase, "Look before you leap" is certainly good advice when thinking of someone literally leaping off of some type of ledge or platform onto a landing site of some sort. You definitely want to know what you are about to leap into in terms of the environment, surroundings, and dangers associated with them.

However, there is a problem with the statement, “Look before you leap.” The problem is too many of us (myself included all too often) take this line to an extreme and use it in far more situations than just literally jumping off of one spot onto another one. Too many of us apply this as a metaphor for all aspects of life. I have come to realize that sometimes it is better to do a version of the opposite – ...

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New Things to Love in 2020

Uncategorized Feb 14, 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day! I was all set to give today’s post a different title when I realized that it will actually go out to you on February 14th. So I wanted to find a way to work Valentine’s Day into the mix. And actually, it works really well because what I was intending to write about was how much I LOVE the direction I am starting to take things this year with Great Resources for Coaches. Okay, I’ll admit there is nothing all that romantic about the kind of love that I am talking about. But I have a whole lot of passion for the things you will hear about, so I guess in some strange way it is a fitting message for today.

If you didn’t watch my video on Wednesday, let me update you today on what is happening. In that video I said that I am going to be making some changes to my schedule with regards to these posts on Fridays and those videos on Wednesdays. Basically, I am just not going to be on such a tight schedule with them anymore.

There are a...

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We Need Coaches (and Athletes) in Government

No matter which side of the political aisle you sit on, I think you might agree with me on what I am about to propose. And if it’s not exactly a proposal, it certainly is an observation and a wish.

Now, I’m not trying to persuade you one way or the other. For my entire teaching and coaching career, I have always maintained a middle-of-the-road philosophy as much as possible. While I certainly lean one way politically, I have always tried to keep that out of my discussions with my students and athletes and their parents. I have always felt that it is not my place to espouse my political leanings too much.

Oh, I’m sure through the years I have let out a comment about how I thought something was and how it should be, or I have touched on an issue from my perspective. But for the most part I have tried to stay away from doing that. My main reason was that I didn’t want to alienate any of my kids. I didn’t want them to like me or not like me based on my...

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Consistently Focused

Uncategorized Jan 31, 2020

Allow me to apologize for what has turned into three posts in a row now in which I talk about my No-Sugar Challenge and my goal for weight loss. Please believe me when I tell you I never intended for this to happen when I sat down and wrote the first post, “I Want It Now” two weeks ago. I thought I was just telling you about how difficult it is to stay focused on achieving our goals while living in such an impatient, instant-gratification world.

But then last week, I had a major setback on Wednesday and Thursday with regards to my weight loss. I was so bummed out when I saw the scale showed I had gained 3 pounds in a few days instead of losing them. I immediately thought how much I needed someone, like a coach, to be there helping to encourage me and support me at that moment, while at the same time holding me accountable to stay the course. It got me thinking about how important it is that we coaches do the same for our kids as they struggle to achieve their goals. So...

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Help Them Persevere

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2020

Last week my post was called, “I Want It Now.” It was about how we live in such an instant gratification society that we just want everything to happen for us right now, and yet, so much of the world doesn’t work that way. The really big, important things that we want – like the goals we set – take time.

I spoke about the value of coaches making sure that they not get caught up in wanting and needing everything for themselves to happen right now. The things they seek take time, and they need to have patience to let the process of achieving their goals develop over time to become what they want to become and what they want their teams to become.

Today, I want you to focus on your athletes and helping them through this same dynamic of instant gratification vs. being patient and working to help them stay the course when things get tough.

In last week's post, I used my own personal situation of trying to lose weight as an example of the...

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I Want It Now!

I believe in the power of goal-setting and what it can do for you. For the last 10 years or so, I have set goals for the new year at the end of the previous year. I have read a lot on the subject, have taken a short online course on setting goals, and now have a presentation I do for middle school and high school kids on goal-setting.

I also know that when I set my goals, I am setting them for the year or the quarter, and then I will establish monthly, weekly, and daily commitments and habits to work to reach those goals. I know that the habits and actions I take each day are going to affect how things go that week, which will affect that month, quarter, and year.

And of course, while I set the goals for a year, I also know that on December 31st just before midnight, there is no magic scoreboard that pops up and says, “Congratulations! You have (or have not) made it. You are now done with your goals.” It’s just that the concept of January 1st to December 31st...

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Falling Short is Not Necessarily Failing

Uncategorized Jan 03, 2020

In last week’s post, I talked about your 2020 vision. I talked about the importance of setting goals and then working to achieve them. It is one of the most important steps you can take towards success every year.

However, let’s be real for a minute. There is a chance you aren’t going to achieve all of your goals. In fact, there is a good chance that you will fail at some and maybe even many of your goals if you have a lot of them, and you have made them stretch you and push you to places you have never been before.

Does not achieving your goals make you a failure? Does that make you a loser? I don’t think so.

I think there are only two ways you fail when it comes to goals and goal-setting: 1. You don’t set any. 2. You set goals, but then you don’t take action on them to achieve them. Each of these scenarios is a recipe for failure.

But if you actually set goals, write them down, work on them, review them regularly, and then keep working on them,...

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Your 2020 Vision

Uncategorized Dec 27, 2019

With the new year right around the corner, this is the time of year when we take a look at the upcoming year and decide what we want to achieve. We start to create our goals for the new year. I have written about this concept each of the last few years, offering ideas on goal-setting and ways to achieve the goals you create for yourself.

Usually in this final post of the year, I focus on two things – looking back and looking ahead. Looking back is our time for reflection. It is when we consider what we hoped to accomplish during that year and whether or not we did. We look at the goals we had for the year and see which ones of them we achieved.

Looking ahead is when we figure out our goals for the coming year. We determine the things that we want to accomplish, and we outline how we are going to accomplish them. And then we figure out the actions we need to take to accomplish them.

It Starts with a Vision

But notice in each of those end-of-year actions –...

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