Monthly Archives: May 2014

What is a Leader?

A LEADER, LEADS BY EXAMPLE: A leader must be a positive role model at all times. Every word spoken has to be a positive word. Every act he does must be a positive act. A leader can never be negative. He must be a shining example of what it takes to be great.

A LEADER BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN OTHERS: A leader must be the type of person that others want to be like. He has to inspire his teammates to be their very best.

A LEADER IS AN EXTENSION OF THE COACH: Most players are well behaved when the coach is around. However, when the coach is not around, negative things can occur. Any type of negative talk, about the team or another player, is detrimental to the team. A leader does not try to cut corners in any way. He knows what the team and school rules are and does not break them himself, or allow others to break them.

A LEADER IS A HARD WORKER: A leader must enjoy serving others. He must want to do the things that are necessary for a team to have success. A leader is always trying to think of ways he can help improve the team.

A LEADER PUTS THE TEAM FIRST: It is easy to come up with excuses why we can’t get a task done. I hear those excuses all the time. If you want to do something, you can almost always do it. If you don’t want to do something, you can almost always find an excuse so that you don’t have to do it. I want people who I can count on to be there. I want people who are committed to basketball all year – not just during the season.

A LEADER TRULY WANTS TO BE A SERVANT: You can’t fake it, you either want to be a positive servant to your team, or you don’t. The leaders of this team do not have to be the best players. In fact, I think it is neat when someone who isn’t a great player steps up and takes on a leadership role. Your job as a member of this team is to find some way to make a positive contribution to the team. For some that contribution may be providing leadership.

Leading by Helping Others:

If you think it ever was about you as a leader, you are wrong. Leadership is about others. Great leaders love and care about others more than themselves.

Here are four tips to help you love and care about those you lead. However, let me preface these tips by saying that the most important thing you need to do is not fake caring. Either you really love those you lead or you don’t. If don’t feel it, don’t fake it. Faking it will erode your trust as a leader very quickly. People know when leaders are genuine and when they are not.

1. Serve. There is a positive correlation between serving others and love. The more you serve others, the more you will care for and love them. The more you care and love, the greater desire you will have to serve. It can be as easy as sending a heartfelt card during a tender time in an employee’s life, or doing something nice for their family. There are many opportunities to serve those we lead, we just need to be aware and look for them.

2. Be empathetic. See those you lead as people with needs just like you. I was talking to a colleague of mine the other day who has an employee with a very sick father who lives clear across the country. She can’t afford an airline ticket to see him. This kind and generous leader is going to buy her a ticket so she can see her father, and he is doing it anonymously. He has truly seen those he leads as people just like him that he can reach out and serve.

3. See the positive. Everybody has good in them. The more you think and speak positively of others the more you will care. If you are always seeing the negative; it is difficult to care because those feelings are in direct conflict with caring. Some of you might be saying, “well, that is fine and dandy, but there is negative, and I have to address that too.” And I agree. But look for the positive first and then address the negative because you love that person, not because you are upset or angry.

4. Express it. Now, you don’t need to say “I love you.” That could be construed as something different than what you are trying convey. But telling those you lead that you really do care about them; that you appreciate them, and feeling it as you say it, will increase your love for them. There is a real connection that occurs when you express how you feel genuinely to others.



4 Critical Life Lessons Learned From Sports

“Changing Lives Through Basketball”

It’s been proven in research and many former athletes create lucrative careers writing and talking about what their sport experience taught them and how they apply that to their lives today.  Below are 4 of the most critical sport skills that athletes can transfer to life.

Understanding commitment:  No matter how much you love sports, if you play long enough there will inevitably be days that you’d rather not be there to train or practice.  Athletes learn how work through these days and perform despite low motivation.  One of the distinguishing factors between good athletes and great athletes is that great athletes can play through days of low motivation better than most.  Effort always trumps talent.

Defining Success:  Athletic success can be defined many ways, the most obvious is through wins and losses.  However, as most seasoned athletes can tell you, success is often defined by goals of personal performance standards or team performance standards.  Ask any experienced athlete, when do learn more?  During an easy win or a loss where you played well but were beat?  Success can be defined many ways, the longer you play sports, the more you come to understand this.

Setting and Achieving Goals:  There are the inherent goals within a competition, to win or do your best, but truly setting goals is much more complex than that.  Long-term goals, short-term goals, daily goals, performance goals, and outcome goals all need to be part of the plan.  Successful competitive athletes bring goals to the forefront of their attention.  Motivation research tells us over and over again that when kids understand why they are doing a drill and how it relates to their bigger goals, like winning a game, they are much more likely to buy-in and increase their work ethic.

Overcoming obstacles: Life will inevitably throw us some curve balls that we are expected to deal with.  Getting through the daily grind of training, competing and continually fine tuning skills and performance teaches athletes a great deal.  However, toss in some injuries, questionable coaching, difficult teammates, some bad calls by refs, getting cut from the team, low motivation and some exceedingly high expectations to fulfill, welcome to the lower half of the love/hate relationship with sports.  Overcoming obstacles is not easy, often not fun, but fortunately loaded with life lessons.

Competing in sports at any age can be very challenging.  It should also be fun.  Make the effort to help your kids get the most out of their sport experience by using adversity to learn skills to last a lifetime.