Culture Journey Week #8

Week 8 – Leading by example – Gameday

It’s been a fun, challenging 8 weeks in our fall practices leading up to our tournament this weekend. But absolutely no regrets and we’re slowly turning the culture around for this team.

Last week I shared what the leadership team came up with for our in-game goals. So this year we practiced applying these goals within everything we do in practice. The biggest highlights were in communication and building a positive environment. A few of the leadership team members really took to heart the importance of calling their teammates by name throughout every drill in practice and this week it really became contagious. I saw juniors and seniors asking freshmen to remind them of their name and then calling them by name throughout practice. We coaches could probably have done some type of game of some reward to have made this happen earlier in the fall, we’ll think through that before the spring. I also saw more fist-bumps and smiling during practice this week than I had at any point previously.

The leadership meeting this week was pretty brief, and the emphasis was us as coaches letting the players know we were handing over the reigns to them. We let them know we were going to rely on them to be our leaders and primary communicators.

There are several things it seems we are repeatedly reminding the kids of during the game, and we asked the leadership team to take over that role and help keep themselves and teammates accountable for:

  • Run the slow break
  • Call out what offense we are running and the players on the bench and field ‘echo’ those calls
  • Communicate on who is onside when running clears
  • Keep the communication on defense high throughout the game

The last and most important thing we discussed was positive energy. We discussed catching each other, and especially the new kids, doing things right. We discussed how yelling ‘You gotta catch that pass’ in any circumstance doesn’t help the other kid. Rather give them a fist bump after setting a great pick or winning a groundball. If you see a new kid doing something wrong, quietly show him the right way to do it on the sideline.

Should be a fun weekend. We are done practicing until the end of January, but next week our coaching staff starts our 8-week training on the book Inside Out Coaching, so I’ll keep these posts coming with updates from that.

I am excited to walk this journey with you. I welcome any feedback, ideas, and suggestions you might have as you read through this. You are also welcome to share this with any other coaches you think could benefit from it, and please have them email me at [email protected] if they would like to be added to this email list.

If you are interested in diving deeper on building culture we have started a mastermind group that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 12:30 pm EST, see the details at: We recently had our first meetings this past Wednesday, and it was energizing and exciting to be with likeminded world-changers.

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