Monday, January 25, 2016

High Fives by Steve Nash

You hear broadcasters talk about it as a big separator. You read about it in many articles and stories. You hear coaches talking about it all the time, working day and night to create that very thing and instill it in their teams. You see players in post game interviews either attribute their wins to it or blame their losses on the lack of it.

It’s a mysterious and elusive part of being a great team. Some have it right away, and some take a long time to develop it, but no matter what the case may be – no team can win without it.

In the 2011 NBA finals, the intriguing matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat brought together two essentially different teams in terms of the conceptual theories behind their building process, as well as two different styles of play. On the one hand, LeBron, Wade and Bosh, the big 3 are all stars in their own right. Wade is a former champion (2006), Bosh was a 20 points, 10 rebounds franchise player for his career, and LeBron was arguably the best player on the planet. Erik Spoelstra was a young coach with little playoff experience.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Accountability Systems

Accountability to team standards critically impacts all aspects of team performance.  If the coach is the only person holding members of a team accountable, adversarial relationships naturally form between members of the team.  Athletes eventually become uninspired or perhaps reluctant to perform their best.
team, sports, leadership, huddle
Conversely, having an Accountability System in place helps teams own their standards, improves communication, team involvement, and team success.

Start with four tiers to your Accountability System.

  • Personal Responsibility - Athletes must abide by the standards of the team -- the standards that s/he helped to create.  These are standards s/he must believe in.  They should have been created with the sincere belief that they will help their team achieve its very best.
  • Team Accountability - As mentioned above, when the team creates their own standards, personal and team accountability naturally become part of your team culture.
  • Team Involvement - If/ when a situation arises that threatens your team culture, the athletes on the team must be the first to step up to address it.  One athlete may address it on his/ her own, or a small group of athletes may join together to show their support.  Should this not be enough, then the whole team must join together to address the situation.
  • Coach Involvement - Only when a meeting of the whole team does not resolve the threat should the coach get involved. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Quote of the Week

Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Basketball, 1000 wins, NCAA Champion, Hug
Coach K, 2015 NCAA Champion
"Our goal is not to win.  It's to play together and play hard.  Then, winning takes care of itself."
-Coach Mike Krzyzewski