Tag Archives: change

What’s your perspective on Sport? Here’s mine.

Sport has the potential to develop character as well as reveal it.

A major focus of amateur sport should be on developing character rather than preventing it from being revealed. Adhering to this focus requires us to re-evaluate our perspective on success in sport.  I believe too often we allow the attainment of percieved worldly success; wins, championships, postional titles to hide the process used in their achievement.  The ends justifying the means seems too easy and contrite.  I believe the viewpoint of too many in sport is the end is all that matters as long as we can keep the means hidden.

Please hear me,  I am not saying there is anything wrong with pursuing and setting as goals wins, championships and titles. I am saying we need to constantly evaluate and take personal accountabilty of the path we choose to take in pursuing those goals.

It is time to recapture the right perspective on sport, where how you live daily on the journey is more important than reaching the destination.   To refocus our perspective.  To understand  and live out that it is acceptable and may be long-term beneficial to come up short trying to attain the public symbols of success; if we are meeting  the standards of character on the journey we are still successful.  A purpose of  sports is  to be a vehicle to teach life lessons, to use sport as a tool and metaphor to develop character and  reinforce healthy societal values.  Unfortunately, too many of us have to come to view and place the value of sport in obtaining wins, championships, and positional titles and fame.

Redefining the perspective on success in  sport is not going to be easy. It is going to take courage.  It is going to take a willingness to change;  a willingness by people to risk losing some revenue and/or some positional status. But most importantly it is going to take personal accountability. It is going to take all of us involved in sport in any fashion at any level, to be courageous enough to daily do the right things.  To be courageous enough to speak up;  to stand against the wrong pressures;  to walk away from the temptations and trappings;  to risk our own positions or career paths to do the right thing.

Doing the right thing is not someone else responsiblity.  It is not at a level above us. It is not something we have to wait for permission to do; and it may not be popular to all involved at the time. But it is what we all need to do.  Understand none of us willl ever be perfect we will all make mistakes on our journeys, but we need to and can  be a part of creating a sports system that helps us work through our errors rather than feeding a system that trys to cover them up.

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Creating change is coaching

Coaching is all about creating change.  As coaches we try to change skills, habits, behaviors, and mindsets to help players and teams achieve desired outcomes.

I have recently been reading the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath and highly recommend it http://www.heathbrothers.com/switch/ if you haven’t read it. 

Here are a few examples of concepts covered that are key for coaches:

  • “We need to switch from archaeological problem solving to bright-spot evangelizing.”  -From Switch
    As coaches we need to focus our attention on identifying what is working and how we can do more of it; this starts by not letting something done right go unnoticed.  We need to spend less time deconstructing with players what went wrong; as that approach is not as effective at getting players to change.
     
  • “To provide movement in a new direction, you need to provide crystal-clear guidance.  That’s why scripting is important — you’ve got to think about the specific behavior that you’d want to see in a tough moment” -From Switch
    Unless you have prepared players with a clear action plan for dealing with adversity don’t expect consistent and positive responses to tough times.
  • “If you are leading a change effort, you need to remove the ambiguity from your vision of change. Granted, this asking a lot.  It means that you’ll need to understand how to script the criticial moves, to translate apsirations into actions.”  – From Switch
    The following link is to a great story on how coach Andy Fleming scripted out the moves to change his program http://www.coachad.com/pages/October-2011-Blueprint-For-Turning-Around-A-Struggling-Program.php