Coaching & Leadership Blog

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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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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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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The Power of Practice

I just did my first Facebook Live recordings today. Okay, that’s not completely true. I did one about five years ago when I was at a coaches’ clinic in Chicago that I was speaking at. But I did that really quick just to learn how to do it.

Today, I did three of them. I was out on a walk with my dog and thought, “Hey, this would be a good time to try a Facebook Live again." Just like the one a few years ago, they were quick. I was doing them mainly to start to re-learn what I was doing. I will be doing a lot of them in the near future as I embark on my new Fast Track Lab for New Coaches program, so I wanted to get in a little practice.

The Most Important Time of Our Seasons

You know - PRACTICE. That thing that we coaches realize is the most important part of our seasons. Practice – that thing that we spend hours thinking about, planning, tweaking, revising, and then worrying about whether we created a good one to accomplish what we need to today. Practice...

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