What is leadership?
Leadership is a set of behaviors used to help people align their collective direction, to execute strategic plans, and to continually renew an organization. All leaders, to a certain degree, do the same thing. Whether you’re talking about an executive, manager, coach, or teacher - leadership is about guiding and impacting outcomes, enabling groups of people to work together to accomplish what they couldn’t do working individually.
Effective leaders are great listeners. The focus is on how leaders can make the lives of their team members easier—physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Research suggests this mentality can enhance both team performance and satisfaction.
As Coaches, we are constantly watching film, analyzing the data that will ultimately make us a more effective team on the floor. Leadership goes beyond performance on the floor.
The 3 E's of Leadership
As Coaches our job includes three simple tasks:
We educate the members of the team about the possibilities of finding success. This includes strategies, assessing strengths and areas that need improvement, as well as helping each team member orchestrate strategies to be successful in the classroom, in the community and on the floor.
We engage members of the team to ensure they’re crafting their own goals, the team should always be in control of their own goals. This may include a collective 3.5 gpa, 20 wins, 80 ppg, conference championship, or even regional championship - to name a few. The goals are the team’s goals, not the coach’s goals. Engaging members of the team also includes team practices, team events and games to ensure each member is contributing to the overall team goal.
We empower team members to be the best they can be in their specific role. Each member is provided a role, and are encouraged to have freedom in their role to be the best possible piece of the puzzle they can possibly be.
As a leader selected by your peers, you are an extension of the coach and a crucial member of the team to help drive the team goals. Thus, your role becomes to educate, engage and empower your team members to be the greatest version of themselves they can possibly be.
The 4 C's of Captainship
Team Captain is a role that is earned and you should be proud of your ability to earn the trust of your teammates to be selected as team captain.
Great captains have an undeniable passion for the game, for competing, and for their teammates. They put the success of the team ahead of their own needs and are truly concerned with the well-being of all team members. As a caring captain, you should treat all teammates with respect and recognize the contributions made by all team members. If you have a problem with a teammate, you should approach that teammate in private and in a positive way to address the situation and find a solution. The captain should be the one to stop rumor spreading and gossiping. These kinds of behaviors destroy team chemistry.
Captains are willing to step up. As a courageous captain, you must “walk the walk” and you cannot be afraid to compete in the worst of situations. Courageous captains set the example for the rest of the team. Your actions must embody the core values of the team, especially during times of adversity. Be a model of courage and dedication to your teammates by setting lofty goals and working hard to reach them. Finally, as a courageous captain you must show that you trust your teammates and coaches, and are also willing to hold teammates accountable to working hard and being prepared.
Effective captains need to be the model of consistency. To be a consistent captain you need to hold yourself to a standard of giving 100% effort in every practice and game. You cannot cut corners and earn the respect from teammates and coaches that is necessary to lead the team effectively. Consistent captains also have an authentic style of communicating. Some lead by their actions, while others are more vocal. Importantly, to be a consistent captain you must remain true to your own style of communication and not try to be someone else.
Nothing is more important in leading your team into competition than being seen as an authentic, credible leader.
Captains are not born, they can be molded. Be willing to do what is right for the team even if it is “not cool”. Then, get out and do it. You will learn much more from practicing the 4Cs of Captainship, and the 3 Es of Leadership
The 3 Guiding Principles of Effective Teams
Every team has a set of guiding principles, whether they are delivered in a mission statement or statement of purpose and intent. The fact remains, each and every single team, group or organization operate on a single set of guiding principles. When recruiting, hiring, and building of your team, you want to find those who align with your guiding principles, as this removes the need to substantiate a timeline for "buy in" which can take anywhere between 36-40 months. Buy-in can be the most grueling part of developing a culture that can foster a successful team, group or organization.
1 - GIVING 100%
We want to ensure that each and ever member of the team is giving 100% in the classroom, in the community and on the floor. Giving 100% is the price of admission and is an expectation of our varsity team. Giving 100% allows each athlete to develop to their full potential, while also challenging others to compete at a high level. An athlete giving 60% each practice is only going to reach a maximum of 60% of potential development. If you look at the Pendulum Effect, the pendulum is swung in the direction of challenge, adversity and discomfort, will also swing back into the equal and opposite direction of fortune, favor and success. An athlete giving 100% opens up the possibility of reaching 100% of their potential developmental capacity. Giving 100% is also a culture principle that rewards members with more playing time, more freedom, and utlimately more opportunities within the team.
2 - ACTIVE LISTENING
I have always said this to 6 years olds and 16 year olds, “Listening is the easiest part of the game.” Coaches are always teaching, and have so much to teach in such a small window. When a coach is providing instruction to one athlete, it applies to all athletes. A pointer for one athlete is a pointer to all athletes. As a coach, we are providing guidance to each athlete to become the best possible version of themselves. Active listening allows athletes to soak up all of the information presented and put the pointers into practice. Active listening means listening to your teammates. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to participate both on and off the floor. Feedback is very important. Athletes on a team aren't just pawns on a chess board, they're real people with real goals, real concerns, and real feedback. As leaders, we should be listening to what the group-speak is including and why it is important to factor in the feedback from everyone.
3 - ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRAISE
Always look forward ways to give a high five, fist bump, chest bump, “Nice shot”, “Nice Pass” or other method to give praise and uplift one another. Recall, the study conducted by the UC Berkeley whereas they measured the number of touches that Hall of Fame Point Guard, Steve Nash, would provide to his teammates. Steve Nash provided 239 touches each game to his teammates. The study indicated that the NBA teams with the least touches and the least amount of interaction performed the worst - meanwhile, the teams with the most touches had the most successful seasons.
ADVANTAGE OF GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The biggest advantage of these three guiding principles is that is requires zero skill, ability or experience to follow the guiding principles. The playing field has been completely leveled for anyone that wants to be part of the team. There is no advantage to anyone that can shoot, rebound or score. The advantage goes to those who can put into practice the 3 guiding principles.
The 3 Levels of Team Success
There are three levels of team success. Each level will determine how successful you will be as a group, team or organization.
1- WORKING HARD
Working hard is a guiding principle for Winter Warriors Basketball. Most teams have to coach effort and energy. We build working hard into each practice, and each drill. There are a lot of teams across the country that will work hard, they'll give their 100% every single practice, every team event and ever game. They’ll hustle up and down the floor, they’ll dive on the floor for loose balls, they’ll fight for rebounds, and give every ounce of energy to play the game. However, working hard doesn’t guarantee success. Anyone can work hard. These teams will see as much as a 25% win percentage.
2 - WORKING TOGETHER
Working together takes a lot of selflessness and compromise. Working together requires team members to put their personal agendas aside to help achieve the team goals. As we say in our team practices, “We want the best not, not the first shot." While some coaches firmly believe the first shot is the best shot, it is very important to understand the strengths of the team. We want to use the team to find the best shot for us. When we’re working together, the ball always finds the best shot. When we’re working together, our defense works as a single unit to help achieve our team goal. When we’re going for steals or blocks, we put our teammates into a situation to make up for the individual’s mistake. Teams that work together can find their way into a 50% win percentage season
3 - WORKING SMART
Working smarter happens when teams identify advantages and expose those advantages. If an athlete has an advantage, the team works together to expose that advantage, whether it is height, speed, conditioning, shooting, or some other factor of the game. This is the stage of execution, whereas teams execute their game plan to the best of their ability. Basketball is a game of runs, your team will go on a run, and the opponent will go on a run. The best teams work smart to maximize their run and minimize the opponents run.
When a team is struggling, what do they do to get out of a rut? Do they force shots, try and play hero ball? Or, do they work together to find the advantage and expose it every time down the floor? Execution requires the team and its members to be selfless and put the team goals ahead of their personal goals. These teams will see upwards of 75% win percentages or greater. They'll experience conference titles, and regional titles along with possible runs to the state tournament.
Success leaves clues, and the best teams work hard, work together and work smart.
5 Levels of Leadership
To truly become a leader, it is important to understand that leadership comes in various stages. Each stage helps you identify where you sit on the spectrum, as well as how to best find strategies to get your team, organization or group to “buy in” to your goals.
1 - POSITION LEADERSHIP
Your team follows your lead because of your title or position, they don’t follow you because of your ability to lead, inspire or empower. This would be similar to a manager at work, they may not be good at their job, but they do hold the title of manager and it is your responsibility to listen to them.
2 - PERMISSION LEADERSHIP
This is a level that includes people following your lead because they are your friend. They join you because they want to be around you. You’re fun to be around, and people enjoy your company, not necessarily your ability to lead.
3 - PRODUCTION LEADERSHIP
Production leadership is entirely based on one’s ability to perform. A high achiever, a high producer is one people will follow because they’re doing something right, and others want to be part of that journey. A “Producer” is not always a great leader, but they have habits and routines that have helped them get to where they are today with their achievements.
4 - DEVELOPMENTAL LEADERSHIP
People will join you on your journey because of your abiilty to lead those around you, and develop them into high performers. People leave jobs to come work for these leaders becaues they will help develop their career. Athletes transfer schools to play for this coach because they’re able to develop the athlete into a collegiate athlete. You will accumulate friends and acquintances because you make their life better just by being around you and associating with you.
5 - MOUNTAINTOP LEADERSHIP
This is the level where you’re able to connect to people positively, develop your peers, inspire others, perform at a high level, and attract those that want to be part of your journey. Mountaintop Leadership is very difficult to achieve. Mountaintop Leaders are those others seek for guidance, advice and mentorship.
Lac Courte Oreilles
Rising Stars Basketball
Rising Stars Basketball
10767 Nyman Ave
Hayward WI 54843