If you play a sport realize that the amount of commitment you make to yourself, your teammates, and your coaches will dictate the outcome of the practice, game, and ultimately the season. As coaches it is our obligation to work as efficiently as we can to create an environment that inspires and develops young people. As parents we need to look at the time we commit to our children being on a team as an investment in their development as future leaders.

The greatest coaches do not know all of the answers. They may not even run the best practices or know all there is to know about the game. But one thing that separate exceptional inspiration leaders in athletics, the workplace, and in life, is there ability to rally a group of people and get them to BELIEVE.

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In coaching this is called “buy in” and it is a quality in athletics, and the workforce in some instances, that has begun to become extinct. In this “entertain me” environment that practices have become, athletes at all levels are less committed to risking failure, risking a commitment of time, relationships, and an emotional attachment to winning. Now there has never been a post from STT that puts the end result over the process of becoming a champion. Quite the opposite will be seen as a consistent tone, direction, and message honestly. But can winning be redefined so we can experience it more regularly and consistently? If you are focused at practice, is that a win? If you are a good teammate, is that a win? If you work hard to become the best player for your team, is that a win? Are you a winner if you eat breakfast, hydrate often, sleep well, take care of academics, and remove unnecessary stress?

If you are not taking care of the little things, the big moments will pass you by before you even know they were even present. Student-athletes, coaches, and players that give more, will receive more. We will regain trust in our teammates and coaches. Parents can sit back, relax, and realize that their children are having fun regardless of the outcome, and that they are winners because they are controlling their controllables. Isn’t that what athletics really teaches us? To take care of our business and let the chips fall where they may because as a team we can handle anything?

Before you begin to point fingers in any other direction, PLEASE take a look at yourself first. Players… How many off-season workouts did you miss? How much time did you really invest in developing your skills or your relationships with those around you outside of practice? What commitment did you make at practice each and every day to challenge yourself to improve? Coaches… How have you developed as an effective communicator? How much time did you make away from practices or games to connect with your team, parents, and support staff? How often did you say “thank you” to those around you? Parents… How many times did you inject your opinion into a conversation about what the team should do and then not take action to help with the solution? Did you find reasons or excuses to help your child achieve their own greatness? Can you honestly say that after each practice and game that the ride home was enjoyable because you made it fun? How many times have you told your son/daughter, “I enjoyed watching you play. You make me proud.”

Buy in is contagious. It starts at the top, but it is met in the middle. Please consider the impact you are making on those around you and how you can help others become more as a unified group of people with a common goal, because Together Everyone Achieves More! Check out this quick message from the 2016 NSCA Coach of the Year, Ron McKeefery as he shares his thoughts on one of the most challenging aspect of coaching.

Learning what has worked for others is always invaluable. Seeing it first hand is priceless. Learn from incredible professionals from around the country at the professional development clinics and our annual conference on STTEvents.com.

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