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What kind of leader are you?

by Stacie ~ April 13th, 2016.
Filed under: Coach Softball, Sports Parenting | No Comments » |

leadership for softball

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior. You can either manipulate people or you can INSPIRE people.”

— Simon Sinek

What kind of leader are you?

What kind of coach?

What kind of parent?

Are you manipulating the behavior of your players, your children?

Or are you INSPIRING them to be their best?

It’s easy to use your position of authority to boss others around or to dangle rewards out in front of them or threaten them with punishments.

But INSPIRING people to bring the best out of them?

That’s a whole different level of leadership.

It takes time and energy and effort and getting to know your players, getting to know your children, understanding them at their level, meeting them where they’re at and guiding them from where they are to where they want to be.

It also involves helping THEM figure out where THEY WANT.

The fact is that manipulation “WORKS.”  Using punishment, rewards, fear, etc DOES produce desired behaviors and results.

But the problem is, it doesn’t breed loyalty or TRUST.

The problem is the gain is only short term.

The problem is that, over time, there is a higher price to pay for the results you want.

The problem is it increases STRESS between the parties involved.

If the long term is of no consequence, then manipulation (offering rewards, dishing out or simply using the threat of punishment, playing on fear, etc) is a true option.

Personally, I could care less about “loyalty” because the right people will stay and the ones that don’t belong will go. Whether you “stay loyal” to me is your choice and I am completely unattached to what you feel is best for you. You are 100% free to make whatever choice you want or need to make.

Aside from the loyalty issue, as both a coach and a parent, and just as a human being…

  1. I am not here just for short term gain. I am here to do what’s best for players/my kids long term.
  2. Being someone who is worthy of TRUST is a big deal to me. I want make decisions and coach and parent in a way that builds trust. Manipulation doesn’t do that. Inspiration does.
  3. Stress is absolutely NOT something I want to create between myself and my players, nor between myself and my family. No one wants to listen more if you make choices that cause stress and strain in your relationship (be it a parent/child relationship or a coach/player relationship).

What are some of the best ways to inspire others?

  • listen
  • meet them where they’re at
  • be of service to them
  • treat them with respect and earn, not demand, theirs
  • make them feel important in your presence

How can you do these things for your players today?

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Take your cleats to the street

Struggle, truth, and moving forward faster

by Stacie ~ January 25th, 2016.
Filed under: Softball Tips, Stacie's Thoughts, To: Softball Players | No Comments » |

Sometimes you come across an area that’s challenging for you. Often there’s a reason WHY you aren’t fabulous in that area right now. It’s very important that you recognize that there is a reason and accept the current reality vs turning your current “struggle” or challenge into your story or into the “truth” you believe about yourself.

Example: player reaches 10 or 12u and her friends have shot up and grown and she’s “behind the curve.” She is smaller than everyone and doesn’t hit the ball as hard. She begins thinking, “I’ll never hit the ball as hard as other players because I’m smaller than everyone else.”

This story can easily become a belief. Especially because the main parts of it ARE currently “true.”

This player IS currently smaller than other players and she DOESN’T currently hit the ball as hard as them.

Right now, at this time, those two things ARE “true.” But when you let them become your story and your belief about yourself, it very quickly and easily turns into …

“I’m smaller than everyone else so I can’t hit the ball as hard”

When that happens, guess what will always be true …

The story you tell yourself.

Or you can take a step back and look at the situation and see it for what it is …

“Yes, I am smaller and don’t hit as hard in THIS moment … “

Then recognize that that is not necessarily going to be true forever. And let your story be …

I’m still growing and I’m still learning and I’m still improving my swing and my speed and, one day, even if I’m never the same size as other players, I can develop in other areas that will allow me to hit the ball hard too. (Or allow me to be just as dangerous a bitter in my own way)

That’s very different from allowing, “I’m smaller than everyone so I can’t hit as hard as them” become your story, become your “truth,” and become the belief you have about yourself.

Your life and your sports experiences are not “snapshots,” frozen in time, staying the same forever. They are “movie reels,” constantly moving and changing. What is “true” right now doesn’t “always” have to be.

If you can acknowledge that possibility, that things CAN change, it will go a long way toward moving forward faster 😉

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Take your cleats to the street

No screaming in the car required

by Stacie ~ January 18th, 2016.
Filed under: Sports Parenting | No Comments » |

This article was SO difficult for me to read through. I almost didn’t make it past the very beginning because it absolutely broke my heart.

If you’re reading this post, you are probably NOT at this level of crazy sports parenting, but still, please “get” THIS message …

“Screaming at your kid in the car on the way to a hockey game isn’t going to get them to the next level. Having a 12-year-old kid run six miles after practice isn’t going to turn them into Jonathan Toews.

You know when you actually get good at sports? When you’re having fun and being creative. When you’re being a kid. When you don’t even realize you’re getting better, that’s when you’re getting better. If you’re not engaged in what you’re doing, it’s as helpful as taking the trash out. It’s just another chore.

But that’s not what some parents, even normal ones, want to hear…

When I was in the NHL, I’d be doing my off-season workouts at the gym with Daniel Carcillo and some other NHL buddies, and we’d look over and see 12-year-old kids doing the same two-hour workout we were doing, with a trainer screaming at them the whole time. Half the time their parents would be there, yelling at them, too.

And it’s absolutely comical. It’s doing nothing…

All this hardass training stuff is just fluff…

Let that be your guide.

Now if your child WANTS to train, that’s one thing. Making them train because you think it helps “guarantee” an outcome, is quite another.

Don’t fall for the BS of, “It doesn’t matter, as long as they are ‘successful,’ then I did my job.”

The ends do NOT justify the means.

You will not be happy with just “doing your job” as a parent when your child is out of school, out of sports, experiencing success, but doesn’t care to come home for Christmas or to talk to you regularly, if at all.

Remember to keep the BIGGER picture in mind. The one that surpasses college and includes the rest of their life and yours, not just what can or *might* be accomplished between now and the end of education and sports.

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Take your cleats to the street