The 12 Days of Christmas – 12 Truths about Athletes – Part 4 of 4 – The 1 Thing Every Athlete Needs

The emotional glue of any culture is its sense of identity and purpose – James Kerr quoting Owen Eastwood in Legacy
Merry Christmas! I hope you have enjoyed this 12 Days of Christmas series – as a reminder here is what we’ve covered in our 12 Truths about Athletes series:
3 Truths about players (from Ingle Martin):
  1. They want to contribute
  2. They want to belong
  3. They want to know they have what it takes
5 Things Athletes want from their Coaches (from John O’Sullivan):
  1. Respect & Encouragement
  2. A positive role model
  3. Clear, consistent communication
  4. Knowledge of the sport
  5. Someone who listens
3 Components of Effective Communication: (from TJ Rosene)
  1. Truth
  2. Love
  3. Transparency
This week we’ll wrap up the series with:
The 1 Thing Every Athlete Needs:
  1.  Purpose (from James Kerr in Legacy)
​​​​​​​More than encouragement.
More than positive reinforcement.
More than brilliant X’s and O’s.
While all of these are part of being a great coach, the ultimate goal is to create purpose for every member of the team. That is what makes a master coach. The ability to value every player and make them understand their importance to the team’s success.
In Kerr’s book written about the All Blacks rugby team, he uncovers that the team’s success comes down to the fact they are obsessed with ‘This connection of personal meaning to public purpose.’
Kerr goes on to quote:
  • Daniel Pink in his book Drive‘Humans, by their nature, seek purpose – a cause greater and more enduring than themselves.’
  • Victor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning‘What man actually needs, is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task.’
  • Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”
  • And for the All Blacks, their purpose is to “add to the legacy…to leave the jersey in a better place.”​​​​​​​
The most important goal for your team in 2017 should be for every player to know their role and clearly understand how they are contributing to the success of the team. It will be more fun for each player and it will make your team much more successful!

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