Articles

Four Essentials Before Implementing A Leadership System

Implementing a leadership system is an intentional and valuable step in developing your program and the people in it. Systems help coaches who struggle to naturally be intentional about developing and passing on leadership responsibilities. Still, before you can...

The Four Keys to Effective Leadership Development

Why Leadership and Character Development Programs Fail 1. The program fails to provide relevant and useful process to implement values and principles in your context. In his article, “Why Leadership Training Fails—and What to Do About It”, consultant, researcher, and...

Leadership Development Starts with You

The Importance of Growing as a Leader Years ago, I made the decision that I wanted to become intentional in developing the leadership of the young men playing for our team. The growing selfishness and lack of leadership I witnessed in my players was not just...

One Athlete’s Perspective on Losing His Season to Coronavirus

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward Patrick Baldwin Class of 2021, Hamilton High School (Sussex, WIX) My Story with Covid-19 About thirteen months ago, I put out a tweet that read “365 days”, which marked the beginning of Hamilton's quest towards hoisting the coveted...

Three Ways I Will Fight Racism Moving Forward

One evening in the late 1960s, a few years into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career at UCLA, Kareem and Coach John Wooden had dinner together. Kareem was still wary of his white coach,  as it was still early in their nearly 50-year relationship. As they were leaving the...

How One Athletic Department Continued On During the Pandemic

Guest Article from Dave Miceli, Director of Athletics, Burr and Burton Academy Clarity of Purpose Knowing who you are makes it easy to know what to do when you are faced with a new situation. You simply do the things that are in line with your core values. A week...

Start with Death in Mind

The Way of the Warrior “Keep death in mind at all times.” —Code of Samurai The way of the warrior is the powerful code of the Japanese Samurai and was responsible for their ability to rule Japan for 700 years. It still provides the foundational principles that...

How Depression Became a Gift

Article from Shane Sowden “Why do I feel like this?” “When is this going to stop?” “What is wrong with me?” “I don’t know how long I can take it.” “I should be happy. Why aren’t I happy?” These were some of the questions I was constantly asking myself during the fall...

How and Why You Need to Sleep More to Achieve Peak Performance

The Foundation of Elite Performance As the buzzer signals the end of a game, Philadelphia 76ers star Tobias Harris also recognizes it as a signal for bedtime. Immediately after a game, he starts getting ready for bed—not exactly what you would expect from an NBA...

How to Support Injured Players and Keep Them Engaged

Think back to a few player injuries in your program. If your experience is anything like mine or the many coaches we support, then you might relate to the following: One of your key players takes a bad fall during the game. Oh, no! Is this serious? You and the trainer...

Culture is What You Do

The 64-Page Culture Manual to Fraud, Corruption, and Bankruptcy  In the early 2000s, one company was so intent on building the right type of culture that they decided to build a 64-page “culture manual”. The culture manual outlined their mission statement, core...

How Program Values Can Be Dangerous

Every day, coaches come up with grand visions and values for their programs but continuously fail to actualize them. The following article was inspired by a long message I received from a coaching friend, sports parent, and business consultant. It is meant to...

3 Ways to Turn Problems into Opportunities

The Problem with Your Problems Back in 1974, a young film director named Steven Spielberg had what he thought was a really big problem. He was making a shark movie, but he didn’t have a shark. He was over budget, past the deadline, and pouring more and more money into...

What Makes a Coach Tough?

As coaches, we love to talk about toughness. We want tough players. We probably have a good vision of what toughness looks like for our players, but do we know what toughness looks like for us coaches? When I reflect on my own coaching, or even when I turn on the...

How to Turn a Bad Season Around

How do I turn around a bad season? I’ve coached long enough and supported enough coaches to know the answer to that question is not just in their win-loss record. Now, if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have likely told you the solution is in the team’s...

Enduring the Pain, Doubt, and Criticism of Rebuilding a Program

Breaking the Curse In 2016, the Chicago Cubs finally broke the 108-year streak of not winning the World Series. Theo Epstein, the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs, was immediately seen as some sort of baseball god or superhero. One journalist called him...

Creating a Senior Night to Remember

21-5. That is Anson Dorrance’s record in the NCAA Division 1 Women’s National Championship Soccer Game. An incredible record to post in the biggest soccer game of the year. How did he do it? According to Dorrance, it had very little to do with tactics. While most...

How to Support Players Suffering from Trauma

It was one of the most heinous crimes. Leon, at only the age of 16, had brutally murdered and raped two 13-year-old girls in his apartment complex. How could such a horrible crime be committed by this young boy? It was an important question Leon’s defense team sought...

How to Coach Entitled Athletes

Entitlement. It’s a popular word to describe the newest generation of players and their parents. National Championship Coach Geno Auriemma believes players are more entitled than ever. Just listen to to his post-game press conference from back in 2017: I know the...

The Simplest Way to Check If Your Players Understand Their Roles

This college coach prided himself on communication. He was working to be transparent around playing time and roles this season. He was determined to lean into the hard conversations that he had avoided for so long. So, he implemented biweekly conversations with his...

Four Steps to Take Control of Your Anger

The Quickest Way to Drop 20 IQ Points Inside the lower part of your brain, located in the limbic system, is a little almond-sized thing called your “amygdala”. We’ve all got one, and it is one of the most significant parts of every human body. Research has shown that...

How to Get More from Your Reading

It’s been reported adults average 11 hours of media consumption a day. The research shows the majority of this consumption only adds to the stress and anxiety of our life. Does all this information provide any value in my life? What I’ve learned is the more access to...

One Special Way to Connect with Your Team

Something was still missing. He wanted something more for the upcoming season and for his players. Over the last fifteen years this coach had mastered the technical and tactical parts of his game, becoming one of the most well-respected coaches across the country. So...

How You Can Create More Leaders This Season

“Leaders create leaders by passing on responsibility, creating ownership, accountability, and trust.” —James Kerr, Legacy No More Team Talks Rugby coach Graham Henry had been coaching for 30 years, and every game, he gave a team talk. Then, one day in 2005—early on in...

Six Habits to Improve Your Athletes Sleep

The Cost of Wakefulness In 2003, researchers from Penn and Harvard Medical Schools wanted to see if people could avoid the “recommended” amount of sleep without suffering serious negative consequences. Over a two-week period, the researchers studied four groups of...

Why “Buy-In” Isn’t Always a Good Thing

The Fallacy of Buy-In Back in the 1960s, a researcher named Charles Hofling conducted an obedience study with a group of 22 nurses. A mystery doctor phoned in and asked them to see if they had the drug Astroten. When each nurse confirmed they had the drug, she could...

The Five Conversations I Want to Have with Parents

It’s Not About the Shark In 1974, the young film director, Steven Spielberg, faced a costly, growing problem. He was trying to make a movie about a shark, but he didn’t have a working shark. The mechanical sharks they had built for the movie Jaws wouldn’t stop...

Stop Talking About High Character, Start Doing High Character

Now the VP of Team Development at the Houston Texans, Jack Easterby—who was once labeled the Patriot’s Secret Weapon by USA Today—shared a story with me that blew me away. I asked him how he helped his players overcome the entitlement and other challenges that can so...

Why Sleeping More Will Make You A Better Coach

Some years ago, a group of researchers in Australia wanted to understand how dangerous driving a truck was while sleep deprived. So, they gathered a large group of truckers and ran two tests. For the first test, they got the truckers drunk. After each drink, they...

How to Be More Connected Than 99% of Teams After Day One

In 1997, the American Navy was facing a big problem. Less than 50% of their sailors were reenlisting after completing a tour of duty. Retraining new sailors cost the navy at least $100K, but they understood the real cost of losing sailors was not just financial; it...

The Naturalness Bias: Why Most Coaches Value Talent Over Character

Our Fascination with the Natural In the Academy Award winning film, Good Will Hunting, 20-year-old Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) is a genius, working as a lowly janitor at MIT. He gets the attention of math professor, Gerald Lambeau, after solving one of his...

The Top 5 Ways to Support Your Child in Athletics

“I’ve found that what makes children happy doesn’t always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.” –Brene Brown, Daring Greatly Promote good sleep and nutritional habits. Want to instantly improve their performance? Improve their sleep and nutritional habits....

If You Couldn’t Play at All…

“If you couldn’t play at all, would you be a valuable teammate every day?” –Brad Stevens Be honest: When you get injured; When you foul out of the game; When your coach pulls you out because of a mistake; When your teammate beats you out for playing time; When you...

Why You Are Failing to Motivate Your Players

“Motivation is overvalued. Environment often matters more.” - James Clear Why We Fail to Motivate I just had a well known college coach ask me to come in and give a motivational pep talk to his team. I declined. Not because I was too busy. Not because I was unwilling...

What One Organization Can Teach Us About Empowerment

Poverty by the Numbers 1 in 6: The consistent average number of Americans in poverty since 1970. 4 in 5: The number of Americans in poverty who will work their way out in less than three years. 3 in 10: Over 30% of Americans who have worked their way out of poverty...

The Discipline System That Will Transform Your Culture

How Building A New Courtroom Transformed A Community The neighborhood of Red Hook used to be one of the roughest, not just in all of Brooklyn, but in all of America. It was riddled with crime and drugs and supported one of the biggest public housing developments in...

Implementing the Commitment Tracking System

Listen to EVERY Article on the Audioblog Here 1% Better is Not A Mantra; It’s a System "Let’s get 1% better today!” Have you heard this? Maybe even said it? It’s a common mantra in sports today. This idea or mantra has been largely misinterpreted though—I’m guilty of...

Missed Opportunities to Develop Character

Typically, as a high-school coach, if you take your team of rowdy teenagers to dinner in a public restaurant, and the evening is forgettable, it was a success! As much as you want them to represent your program well, that often means, “Don’t be rude to the staff,...

5 Special Ways to Invest in Players After They Leave

A Lesson from Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Dean Smith 184. It’s the number of players Dean Smith coached in his time at UNC, it’s the number of calls he would make every year to former players on their birthday to talk to them, and after his death in 2015, it was the...

Train Character with the Commitment Tracking System

Moving from Values to Virtues The 64-Page Culture Manual to Fraud, Corruption, and Bankruptcy Research has shown culture is the driver of behavior in the workplace, in the classroom, and on the sports field. So, in the early 2000s, one company was so intent on...

10 Reasons We Shouldn’t Yell at Athletes

(From a Yell-aholic Coach) This March Madness, one the most talked about moments was this exchange between Michigan State Tom Izzo and Aaron Henry during a timeout in the first-round game. Thanks to CBS, ESPN, and social media, this exchange has become viral, with...

How to Never Have a Bad Practice

The Guaranteed Routine to a Good Practice I’d spent about 10 hours preparing for practice. I’d watched film of previous practices, scouted film of our next opponents, and met with my assistants regarding what we should do during the next practice. Every minute was...

Why You Shouldn’t Use Conditioning as a Consequence

The Problem with Extrinsically Motivated Competition Put me on a line and tell me to run 100 yards as fast as I can. I’ll run hard. Put me on a line next to another man, similar in age and athleticism, and then tell me to run 100 yards. I’ll run harder, and you won’t...

10 Reasons to Read Calling Up [From Readers]

BUY NOW 1. It will challenge you to face your struggles and think deeper. “As a coach, this is exactly what I needed this off-season! I was trying to find what was next in continuing to develop as a coach and continuing to grow my program. J.P. Nerbun nailed it here!...

5 Ways to Fight Through a Losing Season

You're Closer Than You Think Written by Shane Sowden “Most debilitating of all—devastating—was a gnawing fear that I didn’t have what it takes to be an NFL head coach. At one point, I actually decided to hand in my resignation the next morning, then I changed my...

My Greatest Day of Coaching

Guest Article by Jon Barth The day we beat one of the premier teams in our area for the first time in 11 years was NOT my greatest day of coaching. The day we completed our third upset in four days, after starting the season 0-8, to claim a 3rd place plaque in one of...

The Secret Habit of Great Leaders

Solitude is a subjective state in which your mind is free from input from other minds. [It] requires you to move past reacting to information created by other people and focus instead on your own thoughts and experiences—wherever you happen to be.” –Cal Newport,...

What to Do When Your Coach Stinks

The Worst Play Call of the Year On September 30, 2018, Penn State Head Football Coach James Franklin made a very questionable play call against Ohio State during their biggest game of the season. He made the call for a run on 4th and 5, down 1 point with a minute...

5 Ways to Stop Giving Bad Feedback

The Growth Mindset Research People Forget In 1998, Carol Dweck, a Stanford research psychologist and the author of the book Mindset, took over 400 fifth-grade students across the country and gave them all of them a very easy IQ test. After the test, she split the...

How to Work with Parents Complaining About Playing Time

We are just getting into the middle of basketball, hockey, and wrestling season in America. Over the last few weeks, nearly every high school and college coach in my mentorship program has faced texts or emails from parents, complaining about their child’s playing...

What to Do When You’re Not Getting Any Playing Time

Listen on iTunes Here Jordan Patterson’s Story Jordan spent her first two seasons as the backup catcher for the University of Alabama softball team. Coming to Alabama, she knew she’d have to pay her dues and earn a starting spot. So, she showed up everyday with a...

The Most Important Thing to Do with Your Team Today

3 Simple Ways to Put First Things First with Your Team Lost in Our Mission             In Mark Batterson’s book, Wild Goose Chase, he shares a study of some seminarians, where the researchers had the students prepare a sermon about the Good Samaritan. For those who’ve...

My Reading List

*I'll be updating this list and making various recommendations and rankings of types of books in the future! 2017 List Fearless- Eric Blehm 1776- David McCullough Steal Like an Artist- Austin Kleon Steve Jobs- Walter Isaacson The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch Chop Wood...

My Actions are Speaking So Loud My Players Can’t Hear Me!

Excerpt from my book Calling Up Embarrassed as ever, Daniel visited John after the game. John answered the door, and Daniel walked right into his living room and fell into the oversized armchair. “What a complete disaster! My team is so bad, and I was so blind to how...

How to Stop Getting Angry as a Coach

Unwilling to Change My high school basketball coach’s temper was legendary. He would pull players out of the game when they made a mistake, and then rip into them right in front of a packed gym. But, even more legendary to his players were the verbal barrages he would...

My #1 Coaching Takeaway from the 2018 College Football Season

Calling Up: Discovering Your Journey to Transformational Leadership Pre-Order Now: Click Here Get your free chapter of Calling Up here! Jalen Hurts’s Mental Toughness One of the biggest stories of this college football season was the story of Alabama quarterback,...

3 Simple Ways to Give Great Feedback

Radical Transparency “You sometimes say or do things to players which makes them feel incompetent, unnecessary, humiliated, overwhelmed, belittled, pressed, or otherwise bad. If you don’t start coaching people well, growth will be stunted, and the team will be...

4 Keys to Creating a Plan for Your Culture

Creating Culture “Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are. It’s something you do.” —Daniel Coyle, The Culture Code As I discussed in my article, “Why Sports Culture Doesn’t Need Any More Critics”, being a...

The Simplest Way to Get Follow-Through on Player Commitments

Calling Up: Discovering Your Journey to Transformational Leadership Pre-Order Now: Click Here Get your free chapter of Calling Up here! The Power of a Checklist The number of surgeries performed every year in the world is growing at a staggering rate, averaging now...

Why Great Coaches Are Valuable, Not Important

Being Important important: marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence valuable: of great use or service As a player, I always wanted to be “the man”. Every possession and every play—especially offensively—had to be big. As a coach, you already know...

How to Turn Your Team Values into Team Behaviors

Vague Expectations In his book, Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin tells a short story of a company that decided to start celebrating birthdays to improve morale. The manager told his administrative assistant to buy a cake for a woman in the office named Kate. Now,...

How One Coach Built the Most Competitive College Program Ever

It’s Not a Championship; It’s an Anniversary Anson Dorrance’s North Carolina Women’s Soccer Team had just won seven championships in a row and would go on to win 2 more, when a full page ad of the team was published hoisting the trophy would feature the caption, “It’s...

Be Who Your Team Needs You to Be

Calling Up: Discovering Your Journey to Transformational Leadership Pre-Order Now: Click Here If you want to listen to this blog or any other click here. The Version of Yourself They Need In the summer of 2018, I got to meet Jerry Lynch, who arguably is the most...

Connecting with Your Child in the Painful Sports Moments

Thrive On Challenge Guest Article from Shane Sowden “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat and go on to win...

5 Ways Align Your Behaviors with Your Values

Why do we need a system for personal improvement? Read more here! Listen to this blog and many others here. To Spank or Not to Spank “Your turn!” I said to my wife, Melissa, as my two-year-old daughter, Alena, had just defiantly thrown a toy across the room, shouted,...

Do Your Behaviors Align with Your Values?

5 Minute Listen A John Wooden Wannabe Early on, I had an obsession with Coach John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach. My obsession equated to me reading every book written both by him and about him. He was known for his “maxims”—witty sayings like: “Be...

Why Coaches Need to Define Their “Why”

4 Minute Read or Listen Why Do I Coach? Whether we are in our first year or our 30th year of coaching, we need to constantly ask ourselves this question, and we need to have a good answer for it. If we don’t keep our “why” at the forefront of our mind, we will forget...

How to Purposefully Define Your Coaching Core Values

Our Coaching Values Part 2 Read Part 1 Here 4 Minute Read or Listen Here Unintentional Consequences “Sports can team with ethics and character and spirituality; virtuous coaching can integrate the body with the heart, the mind, and the soul. But, as my first memory...

What do you value in sports?

Our Coaching Values Part 1 5 Minute Read or Listen Here When the Unthinkable Happens Just two days after Christmas, my team was boarding a bus as we headed for an eight-hour journey to a  basketball tournament in Florida. As players were loading the bus, I started to...

The Coaching Identity Crisis

My Coaching Crisis 4 Minute Read or Listen “I saw the transactional coaches: the kind of coaches who use players as tools to meet their personal needs for validation, status, and identity. They held their power over us to elicit the response they wanted.” –Joe...

Why Our Sports Culture Doesn’t Need Anymore Critics

The Sports Culture Critic 3 Minute Read or Listen Here Over a decade ago, on a typical rainy September day in Ireland, I walked into the local sports facility and asked if anybody needed a basketball coach. It was not planned, and it was not something I had given any...

8 Ways to Transform Player-Coach Relationships

Giving More to Our Players 7 Minute Read or Listen on Here “When you begin to see others as people you end up seeing people who have hopes, dreams, fears, and even justifications that resemble your own.” –The Arbinger Institute Years ago, a mentor asked me to write...

4 Steps of Transformational Discipline

Discipline That Builds (Not Breaks) Relationships 7 Minute Read or Listen to the AudioBlog Recently, I got an email from a coach with a question you may have pondered as well: “How can I build relationships with my players, but still maintain high standards in the...

6 Steps to a Transformational Culture

Part 3: Leadership and Character Development 3 Minute Read or Listen Part 1: 4 Keys to Curriculum Part 2: 4 Culture Essentials “If the system does not change, it will set people up to fail.” Michael Beer If you have read my previous two articles then you understand...

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Discipline

Rethinking Our Discipline Strategies 5 Minute Read or Listen  “Hit the line! If we are going to continue to walk through these drills, then we are going to spend the rest of this practice running!” I definitely used this strategy more times than I can count. Not only...

How to Coach the Entitled iGeneration Athlete

Adapting to the iGeneration 6 Minute Read or Listen Many coaches are  struggling with the growing sense of entitlement in the iGeneration. If you aren’t then you are ahead of the pack! Where do they get this sense of entitlement? Well, children aren’t being born...

The Hard Feedback Coaches Need

Avoiding the Truth 5 Minute Read or Listen     It was one of those coaching moments when you are so humiliated, you don’t want to speak to a soul. My team had just suffered a crushing defeat to our crosstown rivals at home on a Friday night in a packed gym. The...

How to Determine Playing Time for Your Team

Playing Time 12 Minute Read or Listen Unless you have been the coach responsible for who plays and who doesn’t, then you don’t understand the challenges and pressures of setting lineups and making substitutions. Coaches are faced with many conflicting feelings,...

Why We Shouldn’t Model Winning Coaches

2 Issues with Modeling a Winning Coach 8 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes If you followed this year’s college basketball March Madness Tournament, you were probably like me and were cheering for Loyola-Chicago, who was this year’s Cinderella story. Every year, there is...

How Coaches Kill Player Motivation

Fighting Fire with Fire 4 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes “How do I motivate people to learn? To work? To do their chores? Or to take their medicine?—are the wrong questions. They are wrong because they imply that motivation is something that gets done to people...

How to Build Meaningful Relationships with Players

2 Principles and a Bunch of Ways to Build Relationships! 7 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes You coach for the relationships. Whether you are an individual trainer or a team coach, relationships are at the core of what you do and your success. The challenge is that...

11 Things A Summer Job Teaches You That Sports and School Can’t

Summer Jobs versus Sports 6 Minute Read and Listen on iTunes I have had a lot of different summer jobs in my life, but the hardest I ever had was installing air conditioning systems in Columbia, South Carolina. 100-degree summer days only get worse when you are...

4 Ways to Coach Character

Why You Need Conviction to Put Character First in Sports 5 Minute Read or Listen in iTunes You don’t need convincing that exercising 30 minutes every day is good for your health. You don’t need convincing that reading 15 minutes every day is good for your mind. You...

7 Ways to Get Off-Season Player Buy-In

Standards to Control or Empower 8 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes Over the last month, one of the most dominant challenges and topics of conversations I have had with mentees and other coaches has been getting “player buy-in” to an off-season program. One feeling...

Why Your Team Needs a Hell Week

The Selection 10 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes You may be the coach who has 100 kids at a tryout for a roster of 12 or you may be the coach who struggles to get the numbers together to form a team. Regardless of your situation, a selection process can help lay a...

How to Develop a True Competitive Spirit in Athletes

You probably have had the realization that you want to win more than your players do; most young people today seem to lack the competitive fire that makes for a special athlete. And in the cases when they do have a strong competitive fire, it seems to burn out of...

5 Strategies to Lead Athletes in Emotional Moments

Athletes in Emotional and Challenging Moments 7 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes We all have experienced the hard, emotional losses both as a coach and as a player. Your team may get blown out. They may have been upset by a “weaker” team. Or you may have come so close...

7 Ways to Love Your Reserves

Why You Should Love Your Reserves 10 Minute Read or Listen Here You know most of your team’s success will come down to how you have prepared them, not your game time decisions. And regardless of your sport, on game day, playing time is the area in which you as the...

One Simple and Powerful Way to Finish the Season

What would you say to your younger self? 4 Minute Read or Listen We all have learned a great deal through our experiences in life, most of these being mistakes and failures! As coaches, we inevitably face the challenge of communicating these lessons to our players in...

The Single Most Important Standard of a Transformational Culture

You Can’t Not Become Better 3 Minute Read or Listen Recently, I interviewed a woman named Jordan Patterson on my podcast, Coaching Culture (click here to listen to Episodes 24 & 25). Jordan shared her story of playing softball at Alabama, when they won a National...

The Alternative to Setting Goals

Use Purpose to Guide Your Process 6 Minute Read or Listen Here “Real leadership is not about getting things done. Real leadership is about living a mission that others can follow.” –Jamie Gilbert Running My 1st Marathon In June of 2017, I registered to run my first...

3 Things to Remember About Making Plans

"You have to start with a plan, but the plan you start with will not be the plan that gets you there." -Jeff Olson 3 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes Nearly one year ago I started Thrive On Challenge with some big plans! During the last year some things have worked and...

The Problem with “Just Wanting Them to Be Happy”

The Pursuit of Happiness 5 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes “Hope is a function of struggle. If we want our children to develop high levels of hopefulness, we have to let them struggle. And let me tell you, next to love and belonging, I am not sure I want anything more...

3 Reasons Coaches Should Listen to Parents’ Concerns

Even About Things Parents Shouldn’t Be Concerned About 5 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes “I would like to meet with you to discuss my child.” Oh, the dreaded text a coach gets the evening after a hard practice or game! This text or email can lead to a few sleepless...

4 Questions to Help Athletes Take Responsibility After a Loss

“The Coach Cost Us the Game!” Under 5 Minute Read: Audio Blog on Anchor and iTunes “Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert...

How Rules Avoid the Real Issues

"Kids are always leaving a mess!" Without a doubt, nearly every teacher and coach can relate to this issue: Young people are always making a mess! They don’t clean up after themselves. They don’t respect the facilities. We feel like we are their parents, constantly...

The Best Books from My 2017 Reading List

The Top 5 Essentialism by Greg McKeown Required reading for Life Themes: The disciplined pursuit of less, essentialism Practical: Provides a process to eliminate the unessential and execute the essential. Summary: I read this book during a time in my life when I was...

How I Read 52 Books in a Year

Read More Books with These 5 Transformational Habits 6 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes “Reading is a form of mentorship where we can learn from the greats even if we can’t spend personal time with them. I’ve literally tricked hundreds of thousands of people into...

The Only 2 Words Parents Need to Say to Coaches After a Game

Win or lose, we don’t want much… just a “Thank You” 6 Minute Read or Listen on iTunes Surviving the Post Game Experience I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way. In fact, I wish it wasn’t this way. I hang back in the locker room with my assistant coaches. Part of...

How to Coach with High Standards and Love

Empowering Those We Lead “The way kids learn to make good decisions is by making decisions, not by following directions.” -Alfie Kohn One of the big themes in my writing and podcasts is the importance of empowering those we lead. We must empower them to be leaders and...

The Most Motivational Half-Time Speech You Can Give

And You Will Never See it in a Sports Film It’s halftime! But my team is losing. Maybe it’s because we didn’t execute the game plan properly. Maybe we lacked the hustle and effort. Or maybe the players didn’t believe they were good enough to win this game. Either way,...

What beliefs are holding you back?

What Elephants Can Teach Us About Limiting Beliefs Elephants are the strongest land animals in the world, with some possessing the strength to carry up to 9,000 KG, or 130 humans. So, how does the circus hold them back with a single rope? From the time they are...

Are You Willing to Challenge Your Beliefs?

Challenge Your Beliefs One of the books I am currently reading is Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. Out of the 45 books I have read this year it is probably one of the most challenging for me. It presents an argument contrary to how I was raised and many of my...

5 Commitments Coaches Can Make to Work with Parents

The New Challenge: Calling Parents Up, Not Out Years ago, when I was coaching in Ireland, I had a much different criticism of parents in sports. Generally, with some exceptions, the parents were uninvolved and uninterested in their son’s basketball games. Basketball...

Why We Need Leaders Who Call People Up Instead of Calling People Out

Young People Need Models, Not Critics A Model Leader  In 2015 Pope Francis visited Philadelphia and I spent those few days amazed at the extent of the coverage by the major news networks. Our main stream media was showing 24 hour coverage of the visit and this was...

How to Become a Transformational Coach on the Sidelines

The Crazed Sideline Coach “Simply put, we have to learn to become mindful of who we are and what we are doing. This development of mindfulness, the ability to perceive ourselves and others accurately, is the most profound journey a coach can take.” -Joe Ehrmann  Since...

10 Healthy Ways to Support Your Child’s Dreams

Supporting Your Child's Dream Doesn't Always Look Like You Think it Does Dreams are great! Right... I dreamt BIG all my life. And I hope my children have big dreams in life. Dreams fuel our passion to do great things and become greater versions of ourselves. But...

Serving Others Doesn’t Always Look the Way We Want It

What My Mother Has Taught Me About Servant Leadership  My mother is a breast cancer survivor. I was only 10 years old at the time that she went through chemotherapy and radiation. In an effort to keep me from worrying, she did her best to hide the pain, suffering, and...

The Most Powerful Message at Every Coach’s Disposal

Influence is earned through the story you are living. It comes from the life that you have lived to date, and what you are consistently modeling right now. It comes from the fortitude you show in the midst of resistance and struggle.” -Jamie Gilbert Moved to Action...

What Athletes are Really Looking for in a Team

Too Hot or Too Cold We are at a time when transfers in college athletics has reached an all time high and it is not uncommon for professional athletes to play for more than 5 teams in a career. I often join in the criticism and judgment of our athletes' Goldilocks and...

The Key to Building the Team Culture of Your Dreams

Your Dream Team We love movies like Remember the Titans, Hoosiers, and Miracle, because we see a group of individuals come together to become something special! Coaches dream of one day leading a selfless team, with a strong work ethic, and a relentless desire to be...

The 1st Step to Building a Selfless Culture

A Selfish Culture Stems from a Lack of Leadership Something I've noticed is most coaches at most levels aren't satisfied with their team's performance last season. They feel they are underachieving. And this is regardless of how many games they won or even if they...

The Two Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself Everyday

“There is something about experiencing repeated failure and lack of resources, that is a part of the formula for bringing out the deepest creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence needed to reach one’s personal greatness.” -Joshua Medcalf Our Fear of Mistakes “I...

The 10 Things I Will Do and Not Do as the Parent of an Athlete

My 10 Dos and Don’ts of Sports Parenting Anyone who knows me understands that I have a great passion for basketball. When the nurses at the hospital remarked upon how large my son’s feet were at birth, I admit my first thought was, “Maybe he has a future in the NBA.”...

The 1% Investment That Could’ve Made an NBA MVP

They are not not the chosen few, but the few that have chosen. The Story of Steve and John Steve has $1. John has $5. One day Steve and John decide to take that money and put it to work. At the end of the day, Steve has $1.01 and John has $5.05. Both experience 1%...

If Sports Don’t Build Character, What Does?

“Sports don’t build character; they reveal it.” —John Wooden One of the biggest misconceptions in sports today is that they build character. However, if they inherently built character, professional and collegiate athletes in America would be some our most model...

See the Person: The Key to Building Relationships with Athletes

Published April 2017 The Key to Building Meaningful Relationships in Coaching Years ago as I excitedly awaited the start of our season, three weeks into our pre-season training two of our starters chose to join the football team, and this meant they would miss the...

The End of the Year Highlight Film that Highlights the TEAM

Telling the Story of Our Season Below is the speech I gave to our parents and players before unveiling our highlight film at the end of the year team banquet. Thank you everyone for coming to celebrate a very special season for the Notre Dame Basketball program. The...

How Blaming the Coach Hurts Athletes

March 2017 Learn and Grow versus Name and Blame On Sunday, my nephew’s team lost in the New York State Basketball Tournament. I did not watch the game or any of his games this season, but I got quarterly updates via group text. As his team lost their halftime lead my...

How to Read More in the 21st Century

Initially Publish February, 2017 I recently read an article that calculated the average time an American spends on social media every year equals the time it would take to read 200 books. Books have so much to offer all of us and we should be seeking a better balance...

My Coach’s Guide to a Losing Season

Coaching through a Season of Valleys Most coaches wait until they win the “big one” to write their book or start a blog. Me… Not so. I have waited until I was 19 games into my most losing season in 10 years of coaching to start my blog. We are 4-15. So why would...

3 Strategies to Develop a Player Led Program

How a Sled Dog Team Works Sled Dog teams have been around since 1000 BC and are still used today; not just for racing, but in the place of snowmobiles and helicopters for rescue operations. They are even able to travel for 6-8 hours across the roughest arctic...

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