Here are the three resources I recommend for this month with a little bit of insight from myself but first a quick coaching story.

Recently, in one of my high school classes, the athletes were merely going through the motions. Effort was down, talking was up and overall productivity was deteriorating. The athletes were not engaged and seemed more interested in socializing. During this session, I provided a technical breakdown for one of the skills and then set them to begin. I was promptly asked by an athlete: “What are we doing? How many sets and reps?!”

I was frustrated and disappointed. One of my volunteers called the class out and told them they were being disrespectful. The athletes were wide eyed and surprised.

The next day we had another session, and a very interesting conversation. I asked them for three things:

  1. Respect
  2. Full effort
  3. Fun

I told them if they show up, listen and work hard, everything else will take care of itself. I also explained I will not yell and understand their boredom. Likely, some of the programming felt stale. We had a conversation and communicated clearly.

All of the athletes responded by saying “Thank you” and that they appreciated that. The rest of our class was very productive and fun. The kids and I walked out of the door that evening with smiles and laughter.

These instances are littered throughout our sporting, professional, and personal lives. Having an open dialogue where you address the issues, and are open to criticism and expose shortcomings, shows the other party you are invested in their success and take responsibility for your role in the situation as well.

I’ve embraced these moments as I have gotten older and I hope you do too.

Now, onto this month’s resources.

  • 📚Read | Believing in the Team by Drew Ginn
    • A quick read but a very, very powerful one! Drew shares insight into the hard and honest but necessary conversations high performance sport demands. I really enjoyed this piece because in today’s world transparency and honesty are lost. I have found my best opportunities for growth, development and continuing to evolve have come from mistakes and lessons learned not wins or “getting it right”. This type of dialogue is something I try to instill in my athletes and in my relationships – it creates trust and allows for continued progress.
  • 📢Listen | The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • The audible version of this book was fantastic. My biggest takeaway (besides enjoying some unexpected laughter) was we only have so much energy to give each day. There is no point in getting caught up in the “small things” that in the long run, do not matter. Personally, along with daily meditation and journaling this has allowed me to prioritize better and just let go.
  • 🎥Watch | Six of June directed by Henry Roosevelt
    • My college teammate, Henry Roosevelt has put together an amazing short documentary film, “Six of June”. It’s a raw, unfiltered look at the small town of Saint-Marie-Eglise in France. There are more flags flown here, than any American town in the United States. It was a headquarters for the Allied invasion of Normandy, today known as D-Day. As the veterans of WWII age and many pass away it’s a stark reminder of our history and a day we all should remember.

Let me know if you have suggestions for specific types of resources you may be interested in.

Very Best Wishes,
Joe