I. Understand that we coach people not sports – it is the quality of the person, not the
player that is the most significant outcome.
II. The value of a person’s life is the impact he or she has had on other people.
A. The purpose of life is to be successful and significant
- “Successful” = (a) determining the gifts God gave you; (b) which of them you are so passionate about you want to spend 8 – 10 hours a day doing; and (c) developing them to be better than anyone else you know
- “Significant” = using our gifts to help and serve others particularly the less fortunate and to make the world a better place.
- The goal is not to be a person of success, but rather to be a person of value, i.e., significant.
C. A team has two goals every day: (1) could we have defeated out toughest competition today? (2) Did our conduct inspire those who observed us to be better in their lives?
III. Good coaches are good teachers. Great Coaches are Mentors = Role models in everything we say and do + Teachers = Reliable and Credible Information + Connection (Can we see past the player to the athlete and past the athlete to the person? Do we know our athletes as people?) + Methodology (Building block progressions) and Modalities (Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic)
IV. This must be a part of your pre-season and pre-practice planning! Make a commitment to proactively design life lessons into practice plans and not wait for them to happen by experience or inference – practice plans are posted every day and players are expected to have sport and life-lesson quotes to discuss!
V. The sport and life lessons that can be taught are not a mystery – they have been the
same from the beginning of time:
A. Sport – injuries, bad weather, poor playing conditions, bad calls by officials, disputes about playing time, ineligibility of players by grades or conduct, bad language, bad attitudes, helicopter or unruly parents, disrespect from other teams, etc.
B. Self – attitude, work ethic, leadership, adversity, self-confidence, self-pity, self-esteem, self-advocacy, self- awareness, self-image, self-control
C. Relationships – peer pressure, bullying, envy, the media, supporting teammates;
D. Temptations – smoking, drugs, alcohol and sex.
E. Survey your team (coaches and players) at the beginning of the season anonymously to learn what they feel are the positives, negatives, securities and insecurities in their lives!
“Never assume self- contentment from athletic ability.”
VI. How to design them into a practice
A. They must be at the tip of your mind at all times – how can I relate what we are learning about our sport to the players so they will be better people, siblings, sons, daughters, spouses, students, employees, and community leaders?
B. Discuss quotes at the beginning of practice, during dynamic-warm-up (players must be able to think and do at the same time) and at the end of practice.
VII. Elite coaches design into every practice teaching Preparation, Reaction and Action –
the same is true when we teach life lessons – role play!
VIII. Example of Extrapolating a Sport Lesson to a Life Lesson – bad call by a game
official – unfair test by a teacher
A. Bad Call in Baseball Game
1. Preparation (Content and Context – when, where, and how does this occur and why is it important to deal with it properly?)
a. You are the clean-up hitter and you strike out with the bases loaded on a pitch that was clearly not a strike.
b. Your whole team and your fans are watching your reaction – if you stay positive, their negative reaction will be minimized and they will move on quickly and you will set a great example of how to deal with adversity in the future. If negative, they will be distracted and wallow in negativity which will likely lead to more poor results and more bad calls by the umpire in that game and future games.
c. Your reaction to the call will affect your focus and play on defense – ditto for your team.
2. Reaction (what should your verbal and non-verbal language be when the issue arises? a. any verbal comment or negative non-verbal reaction, e.g., slamming down of the helmet or bat, will have severe consequences including ejection from the game by your own coach or by the umpire
b. Must be role played during scrimmages and game-sims at the end of practice
c. Role play must include an individual and/or team “mistake ritual.”
3. Action (after the issue arises and your initial reaction, how are you going to deal with it before and after it occurs moving forward?)
a. When you get back to the dugout, discuss how hitters get three strikes and the hitter must take accountability for the swings and misses on the first two strikes.
b. Also discuss that with two strikes the hitters must adjust to the umpire’s zone.
c. The player and the team must immediately re-focus on supporting the next hitter and tracking along with the game situation or, if it was the third out, they must re-focus on playing great defense.
B. Unfair Test by a Teacher
a. You failed a “pop quiz” or did poorly on a midterm exam that included questions on material you barely discussed in class or did not discuss at all.
b. Both of these situations happen frequently in school. If you fail to anticipate them or if you react inappropriately to them, it could: 1) negatively affect not only how well you did on that test, but your grade in the class generally, (2) how your classmates react to the test and how your teacher acts toward your class moving forward, and (3) what your attitude is toward school generally.
a. As with the bad call in the baseball game, any verbal or non-verbal negative initial reaction could have serious bad consequences.
b. These test issues are very common and therefore, should be role played and designed into a life lesson discussion as a part of the practice plan early in a player’s career!
c. What will the student’s “mistake ritual” be when these types of things happen? e.g., visualization of something positive, positive self-talk about recommitting to better study habits and that the poor grade can be overcome, breathing techniques, etc. (just like the strike out can be overcome by playing great defense).
a. Make a habit to ask every teacher at the beginning of every term if they give pop quizzes and test on material not discussed in class.
b. Make a habit of reviewing subject on a regular basis not just when tests are scheduled. c. Make a habit of going to see the teacher during office hours days ahead of scheduled tests to discuss material that will be on the test.
d. Make a habit of asking other students who have taken the class from this teacher previously
about the teacher’s test philosophies – you might decide not to take the class from this teacher at all if possible!
e. Remind yourself that class grades are usually affected by many things including homework, class participation and multiple tests and that sometimes extra credit work is available to bolster poor results in other areas.
f. Also remind yourself that grading commonly has a subjective component that can be affected by a teacher’s view of your work ethic, attitude toward the subject, and respect for the teacher.
IX. Design Team Building Activities into the Program that Involve Service to the Community and the Less Fortunate with No Financial Reward
A. Miracle League – youth with disabilities
B. Children’s Hospitals
C. Community Work Projects
D. Gather Used BB Gear for Disadvantaged Youth – ABCA “Turn Two for Youth”
E. Volunteer at Elementary Schools
F. Host a “Parents Night Out” with players as babysitters
G. Canned Food Drives
H. Raise Awareness Campaigns
I. Clean up a city park or a local youth league’s baseball field
J. Help to promote and work at a school event
K. Read and discuss as a team “Chop Wood, Carry Water” by Joshua Medcalf