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Beating the Odds

Work Hard, Work Smart

In giving his excellent team-building sessions, my friend and fellow author Gary Pritchard always says that there are three things you can control: your effort, your attitude and your response to failure. He calls it EAR.

Now billionaire sports owner Mark Cuban is echoing Pritchard. In this article from Business Insider, Cuban, owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, discusses controlling your own effort.

What really caught my eye was the reference to fooling yourself. We can always fool ourselves about how hard we are working. I’m going to use Cuban’s article to push and motivate me in the New Year.

Here are three things that coaches can do to make sure they are working as hard as they can.

Plan practices. It’s often not easy. Tired after practice, you’re in no condition to plan the next one. Then, when you get home, you get bogged down by a variety of tasks and distractions. It’s best to get into a habit.

Measure. If your don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. The best coaches keep stats so they can learn more about their athletes and how the practice went. If you don’t like the normal stats in your sport, invent your own. Penn State volleyball coach Russ Rose, for example, doesn’t measure things that happen. He measures things that should have happened but didn’t.

Feedback. More and more athletes are telling me they can’t feel themselves doing the things I’m telling them they do. They don’t have body awareness. So you’ve got to give consistent, meaningful feedback. It can get boring saying the same things over and over, but your team needs it.

So if you plan your practices, measure what’s going on, and provide strong feedback, you will be working harder than ever, and your teams will improve. You’ll be working smart as well as hard.

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TotalGamePlan offers Winner’s Workshops for schools, sports teams and businesses. The emphasis is on motivation, skill-building and teamwork. To bring a Winner’s Workshop to your group, just email coachtully@totalgameplan.com or call (973) 800-5836.


4 comments for “Work Hard, Work Smart”

  1. Great post, Coach. We are always learning, aren’t we? Terrific message to launch the new year.

    Posted by Larry | January 3, 2012, 8:49 pm
  2. Larry, thanks for the comment. We can fool ourselves on how hard we are working.

    Posted by Coach Tully | January 4, 2012, 1:21 pm
  3. Nice post coach1 It reminds me of the things I need to do every day.

    Posted by Tony | January 5, 2012, 1:49 pm
  4. Tony, you already do those things well!

    Posted by Mike Tully | January 5, 2012, 2:01 pm

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