Your Passion for the Battle is Losing the War

And how to fix it in 3 steps

Have Patience. Don't mistake actvity with achievement.

Most coaches have a big engine. You can probably get a lot done in a day, and this is why you feel frustrated when your energy isn’t matched by those around you.

Unfortunately those of us with big engines have a tendency to fool ourselves. We think because our minds are turning over and over constantly that we are actually achieving something. We feel because we are running around from one thing to the next that we are making progress. When in most cases, we’re just spinning our wheels.

I've found that sustainable success is the product of patient planning as opposed to frenetic activity. Here are three ways you can stop spinning your wheels and gain traction to crest the mountain you're climbing.

1. Don't Battle - Wage War

This will become obvious to you, and yet, the hardest to change. Many coaches are in every battle with their players.

  • Yelling out instructions to joystick them throughout the game

  • Correcting every rep in training

  • Treating every mistake as a flaw in character

  • Letting a single toxic parent distract your focus

  • Allowing a pet peeve to get an unjustified amount of time

When you put all your focus on the battle of the moment, you can't sit back and wage the war. You may dive in and help your team execute a baseline inbounds play, but each time you do that, you miss the opportunity to teach them to transition quickly in dead ball situations. So they will never level up as a team in that area, and you won't be able to move on and teach them more impactful lessons.

Don't win the battle at the expense of your distraction. Most coaches lose because of an enemy they never see coming. If you get so caught up in each battle you may end up getting blindsided by bigger problems that cost you the whole season.

2. Establsh Systems

Each time you feel the urgent need to fix a problem, be patient. Consider instead, what system could you establish that would eliminate this problem the next time? If you had no more one-off issues in your program, think of all the time and mental space you would gain in order to focus on coaching your team.

Here are just five questions for you to consider:

  1. Do you have a system for conflict resolution?

  2. Do you have a system for who gets to shoot the most shots?

  3. Do you have a system for how players can earn more playing time?

  4. Do you have a system for how parents can communicate with your coaching staff?

  5. Do you have a system by which you build and empower leaders?

If you don't have any of the systems above, you would be well served to stop what you are doing dreaming about your new 5 out offense? Stop and establish those systems first. Failure in any of the above will derail your season even if you have great spacing and an open rim.

We help coaches build these systems through our 1 on 1 SAVI Commit consulting. If you want help, just reply to this email, I'd love to assist you and build systems to eliminate the headaches that are completely avoidable.

3. Empower and Score

Here's a system you can put in to place right away. Empower each player and coach on your team to "own" something that's important to you program.

For example, we do celebrations after each practice and game, our younger players were having trouble speaking in a loud, leadership voice. So I assigned Myrical, a gregarious 10 year old, to be our captain of volume. Anytime someone spoke quietly, she let them know she couldn't hear them.

Three things happened:

  1. Everyone laughed and smiled when she called them out

  2. I didn't have to focus on that, and it was happening a LOT

  3. Myrical felt needed and valued so she became more invested

Now each week, I score her on how she is doing as the captain of volume. When I gave her a lower score, she asked why, and I told her she was speaking in a negative tone. She immidiately changed it and asked me if her score went up.

When you grade people, they want to score better. When you correct people, they often feel defensive and shut down.

If you can master empowering your staff, players and even parents by setting the expectation that they will be scored from the start, you'll be delighted at how easy it is to coach people and how quickly they improve.

For more practical systems like this, join one of our monthly cohorts around different aspects of coaching, we do cohorts with our SAVI Grow members, you can join for a month or the entire year.

I'm Tyler, this is SAVI Coaching and we're here to help you enjoy your coaching journey.