Eliminate the Negative

A couple of posts from eloit College Head Volleyball Coach Dawn Redd-Kelly for today.

Eliminate the Negative

You can see the original post here:  Don’t Just Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative.

Being a great head coach means success in competition.  I don’t know that we coaches can be successful if we don’t manage our team’s culture.  While we certainly have to guide them toward aspirational team goals and show them a template of what a winning culture looks like…we also have to limit the influence of our team Debbie Downer.

How successful leaders eliminate the negative:

  1. Bad practices.  Not like, our practices in preparation for a competition, but the things we do all the time…the things that eventually become our culture.  As Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do”, and if we have an athlete who repeatedly displays poor behavior (without correction), then it could become contagious.
  2. Stifling processes.  Do you have athletes who don’t buy fully into your vision for the team?  Those folks are stifling your ability to move the team forward.  Does your team have a history of hazing newbies?  That process will stifle your team’s ability to gel and compete in crunch time.
  3. Nasty people.  It’s easy to cut the athlete whose contribution your team won’t miss when they’re gone.  But what if your nasty player is your best player?  We’ve got to be willing to challenge that athlete’s view of how their teammates should be treated in order to save our team culture.
  4. Negative beliefs.  I think we all worry about the team cancer, the athlete who is killing your culture in the locker room and on the bus.  But I think the person who doesn’t believe in the team’s success is equally bad.  You know the one: “This team killed us last year”, “We don’t have a chance without our really good player who just got injured”, “There’s no way we can win playing this defense”.  *sigh*

A great post over at Leadership Freak was the jumping off point for this post…check it out!

Post #2

4 Ways to Inspire Trust from Your Athletes

You can see the original post at 4 Ways to Inspire Trust from Your Athletes

“If you want to lead others, you’ve got to have their trust, and you can’t have their trust without integrity.”
— How to Be a C.E.O., From a Decade’s Worth of Them

The above quotation could deal with us, as coaches, or help us guide our team leaders earn their teammate’s trust.  Let’s focus on the coaching perspective.

On having integrity:

  1. Set a vision. Know your philosophy.  Make sure your athletes know your philosophy. Recruit athletes based on your philosophy.
  2. Build cultural guardrails. Coaches are the culture protectors.  We need help with this, of course, and that’s where good team leaders come in…we’re only with our teams a few hours a day, after all.
  3. Foster a sense of teamwork. Creating a team first mindset on your team is hard work.  I’ve found that most of my athletes are generally team-minded people…until they’re negatively affected by it.  My solution?  Have your athletes brainstorm normal team problems before they’re a problem on the team.
  4. Make tough calls. If we’ve got athletes who aren’t living up to these previously mentioned standards, our team relies on us to step in.  They’re watching us to see if we’ll be who we said we were.  Tough moments on our teams and with our athletes are chances for us to earn our team’s trust.

Accomplishing these tasks with our teams should be an on-going effort, but well worth the energy!


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