What Coaching Has Taught Me !

I don’t think anyone would be surprised that I personally feel akin to the Last Dance and Michael  Jordan, Infatuated with his extraordinary ability to lead, execute and win. No surprises that I feel connected to “Zen Master” Phil Jackson and his different approach toward coaching,  as one of my mantra is “Being Different is The Difference “ and I think my assistant ‘s and player’s  would say that” Coach McKenzie is a little different.

In sports and particularly basketball we have a saying that “pressure can burst pipes”. In my opinion this coronavirus has exposed that we have a major leadership issue locally, nationally and globally.  As I watched and reflected on what I’ve learned about my leadership,

I ‘ve been pleased on how much athletics and coaching has been an asset in my leadership development and my growth as a person.

At times I been befuddled watching how leaders’ trip over themselves regarding decision making  whether it’s been education, healthcare, economics or a  number of issues that have arisen in this moment of crisis, There decision making has more  often created  more fear and anxieties than provided answer for those they serve.

It made me think about coaching how every day I had to deal adversaries and had to adapt on the drop of time. It really made me think how sports prepare you for leadership. I most certainly know that a basketball is not a life and death matter, but the skills need to be an effective leader certainly come into play.

In a moment of crisis people look to leaders for guidance, they want to know what to do, what to expect and how to act.  They want a voice they can trust and someone with a plan, sounds like coaching to me.

I thought about some of things required as a coach and what I’ve learned over the years.   So, I kind of just put together a list of Coaches must:

  • Have short memories and be ready to bounce back regardless of wins or losses.
  • We must be effective communicators; in the heat of the moment one cannot afford. miscommunication.
  • Every practice and every game you require that you have a plan, you can’t be effective or affective and not knowing what you want to accomplish.
  • Your plan must be organized and must sense to those with whom you are communicating.
  • It requires innovation, you must be able to take something old and make it look and sound new.
  • You must be a facilitator and get a group of individuals to work as a team, The “We Over Me”
  • You must be a foundation of knowledge for all of those which you are leading.
  • You must know when to be a General and when to be an advisor
  • You must have the ability to stay calm during chaos.
  • People need to know that they can trust you.
  • You must a Real Model and a Role Model.
  • You must the source of stability and consistency.
  • You must have the ability to teach and instruct.
  • You must be able to be both friend and foe
  • You must be able to inspire and motivate

Ironic or Coincident ?

Somehow I got behind on my weekly blogs, gotta do a better job of staying current, but I thought I had to write this anyways.

A few weeks back, on March 23rd to be precise, the Powerball jackpot had grown to a whopping $358 million dollars and like lots of folks I stood in line to invest my two dollars on a chance to make my dreams come true, honestly in my head I had spent about a $100 million before I would drive over to St. Paul to collect my winnings. As I past grocery stores, gas stations, or any place with a lottery sign, many of them had long lines of people who had similar hopes of I did, some spending two dollars and some a whole lot more.

As I was driving home I thought about, what was really my odds of striking it rich overnight? I have to tell you it changed my mood, with a little bit of research I discovered that my odds of winning that jackpot were not good, my chance was about 1 in 176 million.

Further research on odds would tell me I had a better chance of being crushed by a vending machine at 1 in 112 million, or maybe being elected President of the United States at 1 in 10 million, even being struck by lightening at 1 in million.

Ironically or maybe just coincident on Sunday, March 24 many kids on their parents would flock to gyms as official try-outs would be held for spring and summer basketball. Attracted by the added incentives of Beat headphones, the 2013 version of the latest shoes , uniforms with either a swoosh, three stripes or perhaps under armour( the latest entry into the shoe wars). Promises of college and NBA type travel schedules (missing at least one day of class weekly I remind you),playing with the best or against the nation’s best competition or playing in the front of the likes of coaches like Pitinio, Izzo, Marshall, or even Coach K. Many parents would be investing much more than the two dollars I spent on the Powerball for chance for their son or daughter to get exposure or maybe exposed, but there was always the chance that he or she may earn that sometimes elusive Division I scholarship and even possibly position themselves for that future opportunity to play in either the NBA or WNBA.

Ironically this sounds a lot like playing the powerball or mega-million to me, so once again I decided to do a little research. In Minnesota, which is my home base, the local youth sports Organization reports that last spring there were 3,500 teams at various levels for Boy’s and Girl’s. This doesn’t include those programs that market themselves as only “Playing out of town competition….Because if you want to be the best you have to play against the best”

The Minnesota State High School league reports that on the boy’s side there are 467 participating schools playing basketball and 13, 481 participants. For Girl’s there are 456 participating schools with 11, 630 participants.

Nationally, for Boy’s there are 18,099 participating schools and 535,289 participants. Girl’s there are 17,768 participating schools and 435,885 participants

Stay tone for Part 2 as I break these numbers any further, remember in 2013 we are focusing on Choices or Chances and maybe on March 23rd and 24th , just maybe it was ironic or even a coincident that the Powerball and Spring- Summer created such a frenzy for those chasing their dreams.