While playing baseball at Baylor University, I can remember the last game I played in my college career against LSU in the Regional Championships. Unfortunately, we didn’t win and it was a tough way to go out as a senior losing my last game. However, after getting over that, I realized that there was something much more important. Over time, I began to realize that my identity had been “Brian the baseball player.” I had spent a lot of time & energy over my life into my sport and was identified as being a baseball player. Now, there is no problem with that and I’m proud of it, however, as life began to change without baseball, it was like I had to establish a whole new identity. I had to ask myself the question of who I am, where I want to go, and who do I want to be.
Have you ever thought about what sets you apart from everyone else in this world? What makes you stand out? What do people see in you that is different from all the others? This time of year, collegiate football is at it’s peak! Schools are being ranked upon their performance on the football field and to be in the Top 25 is a challenge this year, especially for those competing for one of the top 4 playoff positions. What is it that sets each team apart from the other? Why should one team be ranked ahead or behind someone else? What makes one team better than the other? Well, most focus on the win/loss column and base their decisions on that. However, others look at the overall balance of the team or the strength of schedule. I don’t think there is one right or wrong answer, but as a coach, I would want to be seen as a team that has created a sense of balance. I want a team that understands that it is not all about the physical, but the mental as well.
We always hear that athletes have what they call the “it factor.” There are those special few that are just naturally gifted and are heads above the rest. However, at some point and time during their career, everyone begins to have the “it factor”. As a coach, I’ve come up with 5 steps that you must communicate to athletes or teams in order for them to reach their full potential:
- Tell Them What You See.
Communicate to them how much potential you see in them. Share the vision you have for them so they may see how they can reach their full potential as they perform.
- Use The Word “Yet.”
Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford is currently doing research on the word “yet”. The experiments are showing that buy using the word “yet” will give the student-athlete hope that he or she will one day accomplish their goals.
- Hold Them Accountable.
Determine a set of standards and expectations and hold them to it. Talk is cheap, but action shows a message of commitment. That also means the athlete holding the coach accountable for what he or she said the plan and strategy would be to improving performance.
- Be Committed.
As a coach, you must be committed to the student-athlete you are working with. Don’t only challenge the athlete, but challenge yourself to grow with the athlete. It develops trust and shows you are all in! Don’t ever ask an athlete to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself.
- Set Expectations Up Front.
A student-athlete must understand that balance creates achievement. Not only is it the physical, but it is the mental as well. Dedication to academics along with the desire an athlete has to reach their full potential will set the standard you are looking for.
We always hear that athletes have what they call the “it factor.” There are those special few that are just naturally gifted and are heads above the rest. However, at some point and time during their career, everyone begins to have the “it factor”. Implement these 5 steps and see which athletes “show up” and “step up” to the plate as they set themselves apart from all the others!
Post another blog with different date closer to Halloween. Just say “HAPPY HALLOWEEN”. Nothing like a family trip to the pumpkin patch!!! (Work Your Magic with how it looks)