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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day Fast Five: Words Matter

Words matter. What we say, or don't say, changes lives. The Washington Post headline above shouts the contribution of peer pressure in our lives. 

1) Players don't always receive our intended messages; we don't know which they will hear and internalize. But take care about "throwaway" lines. Have you heard a coach tell a player or team that they're worthless? We can only be as good as we believe we are, as the voice inside us is the loudest we hear. 

2) Don't bury the lead. The core messages we deliver need to be correct, clear, direct, and simple. "We can't succeed without total effort." And as Jay Bilas reminds in Toughness, "It's not your shot, it's our shot." Or "the best way to sit down is to stand around on the floor." 

3) Get their attention. "This is on the test." The World Civilization teacher said, "To the Assyrians, life was war." I heard that about forty-eight years ago. Not a lot has changed in the valley near the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. This is on the test. "If we surrender more than three transition baskets, we will fail." Or "never allow a score directly off the opening tap." 

4) You matter. Yelling happens. Yelling means caring. "You cannot get minutes or stay on the floor if you do not know your assignment." Is it fair to your team if you don't? "If I stop yelling at you, it's over. I've given up hope for you as a player." 

5) "Never be a child's last coach." Kids play sports. Kids quit playing when we parents and coaches remove the joy from sports. 70 percent of children quit playing before age 13. The aches and pains we awake and retire with will never be part of their sports consciousness. 

Happy Father's Day

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