In watching the recent basketball games, especially the Duke/UCF one, it reminded me of this post from a year ago. I thought it well worth re-posting as it not only applies to coaching but to any one in a Leadership role.
Part of the excitement of March Madness is watching the athletes, fans, and coaches react spontaneously in intense situations. All coaches want control. They have a plan, they have plays, they require structure, yet in the end it is usually the unplanned and natural that creates and makes the play to win.
For a coach there are two challenges that must be met in order to win. First a coach must be demanding enough to have a disciplined team yet compassionate enough so his players know he cares. Secondly he has to have enough structure so his team functions as a cohesive unit, yet he must encourage individuality and spontaneity so his players play relaxed and in the moment.
Teaching players techniques, plays and discipline is incredibly important but not only allowing a player to be natural but creating an atmosphere encouraging him to do so may be the most important quality a coach can possess. Creating confidence in a player so he performs, not like a pre-programmed robot but as a gifted individual is an art only the great coaches possess.
As the final four weekend approaches enjoy watching the skills of the players and coaches but take special notice of how it is the naturalness of the players and their spontaneity that wins and not the plays the coaches call. All coaches realize it is great players and performances that win, not schemes or plays.
Let spontaneity be part of what and who you are in your everyday life and excitement will follow.