Tag: core covenants

WYC 105 – Championship Culture Part 1 – Matt Lisle talks Core Covenants and The Hitting Vault

Coach Lisle currently works with numerous MLB, professional and college players and is a former collegiate hitting coach.

Lisle’s knowledge is deeply rooted in all aspects of the game, but his passion and knowledge for hitting has proven to be a game changer for all the hitters he works with. Many know of Coach Lisle through his large social media following where his followers get encouragement, instruction, tips and insights on the game. His positive coaching approach has been a great motivator for players, parents and his peers. Coach Lisle has instilled his philosophy of teaching and sharing in the creation of The Hitting Vault, where their goal is to help every baseball and softball hitter unlock their power.

Websites: TheHittingVault.com & coachlisle.com

Twitter: @CoachLisle

Facebook: /coachlisle

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‘Good is the enemy of great’

Coaching your own kids

  • Matt coached his son along with his Dad as the assistant. His dad is very laid back while Matt is very technical, so Matt enjoyed watching how hard the kids played for his dad because of how much he enjoyed them and kept things fun.

Cringe Moment

  • Matt began coaching at a very early age (23 years old as head coach), so initially he was trying too hard to be ‘cool’ and be friends with the coach. Then he swung to the opposite extreme and became too shut-off. Eventually he found the balance of caring for the kids while not trying to impress them.

Teaching Skills

  • The challenge is to take complicated actions and teach them in words they understand with as few words as possible. Feel it instead of think it.
  • Every kid should have a bat/ball so they are following along with you. Matt also uses a 120″ screen and shows what the pros look like so they can see more examples of what great looks like.
  • Good analogy – Cars –  Your body is the engine of the car, it’s where the power comes from, your bat is the steering wheel.

Self-confidence and peak mental performance

  • The parents and coaches influence confidence more than the kids themselves.
  • Allow the players to fail and let know it does not affect how you feel about them. When they make mistakes, instill trust in them. Give them permission to fail and encourage aggressive play and mistakes are OK.

Championship Culture – Core values

  • Core covenants – This is what we’re all about
  • 2 rules on this team:

1 – Don’t be late

2 – Don’t let your teammates down

  • Captain’s meetings every Friday morning to train their captains


  • Don’t reward average
  • Get excited and celebrate exceptional effort and performance

Best Teambuilder

  • Team Olympics – Team handball can be a great game

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Treat each athlete like one of your own kids and try to instill love and guidance in their lives

The One that got away

  • Matt’s team in 2012 coached a great team. They were undefeated going into the last game of the season, and the coach of the other team in the last game was Matt’s dad. They lost 2-1. Matt had not started his best pitcher because they had pretty easily beat this team earlier in the year.

Best borrowed/stolen idea

Favorite coaching book/quote

  • Quote: ‘Good is the enemy of great’

The Hitting Vault

Parting Advice

  • Love your athletes the way you love your children


Today’s Sponsors

Established in 1995, Upward Sports is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider. Approximately 100,000 leaders and coaches deliver Upward Sports programming to half a million young athletes around the country.

Upward Sports promotes the discovery of Jesus through sports, by providing a fun, encouraging environment in which young athletes can learn technical skills and a love of the game. We use sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer and flag football to help young athletes develop mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially. We are about the whole athlete—that’s our 360 Progression.

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Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch – Part 2: Who are we?

Who are we? Establishing Program & Team Cornerstones
10 years ago one of my good friends Byron shared something life-changing in our adult Sunday school class. He shared a family crest he had developed with his family. It was pretty simple artistically speaking, but eternally powerful. His family had brainstormed and created 4 or 5 values that represented ‘Who we are.’ This provided the foundation for making decisions in the future – they just bounced them against their cornerstones. My family has adopted this same philosophy. We have an annual session where we brainstorm about who we are. I’ve attached the latest rendition of what we came up with. We keep it fun and sometimes even silly, so please understand the ‘Dog-botherers’ comment is an inside family joke and we love animals. 🙂
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Now we all know that if you try to focus on 10 or 20 things you will focus on nothing. So we then decide as a group on 4 or 5 of these values that will be our cornerstones.
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The more I talk to great coaches, the more I see this same type of process happening in great programs and teams. It starts with the coaches establishing the cornerstones of the program. But equally important is getting the buy-in from the team, so doing this type of brainstorming session with your team captains every year will establish your identity as a team. Here are some of the great ways I’ve seen this implemented:
  • Andres Montana – Learned from Bruce Brown at Proactive Coaching – Gather the coaches and 3 captains in preseason and define your Core Covenants – who are you going to be that season. Brainstorm by throwing words up on a board, then narrow it down to 2 or 3 that are going to define your team. Then you can order the livestrong-type bracelets that have those words on it. Check out Proactive Coaching’s guide to creating Core Covanants: First Steps to Building Successful Teams
  • Ken Stuursma’s program core covenants – from Raising a modern day knight:
    1. Accept responsibility
    2. Lead courageously
    3. Reject passivity
    4. Expect a greater reward
  • Chris Stricker’s program core covenants: CALI – Commitment, Accountability, Love, Integrity
  • Drew Maddux has Manhood Mondays – every Monday during the season they have different coaches and players create a shield with 4 parts to share with the team
    1. Tell a childhood story that defined them
    2. Tell a recent story that defines them
    3. How does the public view them
    4. Who their private self is
  • Rob Elwood’s team have 2 cornerstones:
    1. Gratitude – We thank our parents, the referees, our coaches, our teammates
    2. Be organized, everything has a place
  • John O’Sullivan – Great teams don’t have rules – great teams have standards.  Rules are meant to be broken – standards are expectations that the team agrees upon and holds each other accountable to.
In his book Inside-out Coaching Joe Ehrmann shares the goal: ‘Be a transformational coach rather than a transactional coach.’ It starts with your cornerstones.
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