Bill Self, Walt Harris, BTL practice, and getting tired together…

Teams build deep trust when they are tired. Fact. Today, during practice 149 with kman’s krazies, we built a bit more of it. Good. Yes, it was another good practice. You see, BTL leaders understand trust is the glue of real community and purposely put their team in tiring, trust building practices. This is not some kinda ropes course team building bullshit we’ve become so enamored with either. I’m talking about the kinda practice where teammates bathe in hard truth, practice difficult conversations, and come together because some leader isn’t afraid to provide them with a common enemy…

The Kansas Jayhawks, under Bill Self, have become an example of this kinda disciplined team. “When our players have reached a point of exhaustion or deficit, I put them in tough situations where they have to band together and buy into a common goal. They have to trust and believe at these points, and they really have to concentrate to be able to make winning plays and decisions. We drill it.” Self said. He continues, “Players need to be put through it almost every day. How can we expect players to care or believe unless they have gone through tough times together? As coaches, we have to put them through those tough times so they will know what to do when they get there.”

They get tired together.

When I asked the Quarterbacks Coach of The OSU Buckeyes, Walt Harris, years ago how he gets the Buckeyes to become united when the players are from all corners of the country, all kinda cultures, some black, some white, some rich, some super poor, and somehow at the end of camp they’re all simply Buckeyes, his response was ccd magic. Walt looked me in the eye and said, “That’s really simple. We get them tired together. When they’re tired, they are no longer east coast edgy, west coast laid back, southern good ole boy, or north nasally; they’re just tired. We get them tired together.”

Want a tougher team? Lead practice after practice after practice with your team and get them tired together. They’ll come together. Oftentimes when you least expect it, community will come. The problem is this kinda discipline doesn’t have an instant reward or return on your investment. This kinda trust takes time and discipline. Few leaders have the patience to lead these kinda practices. Fear stops them short. You see, most are too afraid to push their prima donna’s to the point of exhaustion and panic.

Get your team tired together. And, remember, nothing gets your team more tired than making them think. I hope you’ve made it this far, kramer. I hope you’re thinking. You see, this is the answer to Kristina’s question. The only way you can create a sense of community with existing teams who haven’t grown up all BTL is to get them tired together. Community, most often, comes through a camaraderie of pain. Study history, you’ll see.  BTL practice builds bonds between all kinda brothers/sisters. And, not unlike Coach Bill & Walt, we aren’t afraid to build bonds through providing our teams with a common enemy either. Want a better team? Become a better leader. Get your team tired together. Hang in there. Community will come. Good…

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