Yesterday, Grappy gave me a copy of the OSU grapplers end of season player evaluations. One of the questions asked of the athletes was to evaluate what they did as a team that was most impactful. There are 40 respondents and the melody line wasn’t hard to find. The athletes almost universally said that practice was most impactful. Some mentioned one on one time with their position coach. Some said it was practice related to a specific drill like shooting or defending a specific type of shot. Some said it was preseason strength and conditioning practice. The melody line was clear. Players value practice.
So, leaders, do your players. Your teammates don’t want to simply win more contracts, get more projects completed, and just get on with it. Your teammates want a leader to bring them together and teach them very specific, technical, job skills. Your teammates want to get better. Your job, if you’re a leader, is to bring them together and practice to improve performance, not to prove a point. Practice.
Oh, btw, the most frequent kinda practice the OSU grappling athlete shared as most impactful was none of the ones mentioned. Much to my surprise the most impactful practice, according to the athletes, was BTL practice. The athletes refer to the BTL practices as “Chet meetings.” Funny, huh. Here’s one athletes narrative. Extrapolate this to your team and your practices, please.
“The Chet meetings kept me in this season. First semester I missed all of them because of class and the difference between my mindset was noticeable. I was starting to let all the different frustrations get to me including injuries and money issues. But once I started to come back (BTL practices) I realized that even though I wasn’t getting the experience that I wished I could, I’m still grateful to be a part of this team.”
Your team is filled with teammates just like this athlete. Your job, leader, is to get the most you can out of everyone. Your job is to figure out how to keep them engaged this season even if the impact isn’t gonna happen until the next one. Practice has got to be the center of your plan. Practice and then practice, again. See you soon at practice, friend. Good…