Living that office life isn't all glamour. This video by the talented young creatives who produce IZ.Media give a peek behind the curtain of the business world.
sally doesn’t like to put labels on her free and artistic spirit, but flourishes in the work place not only helping her crafting art, but her creative mind. oh, and the phone rings sometimes.
Video by Aizzy
It’s wild how often we fail to empathize with persons we should so readily be able to identify with. In the world of coaching youth sports, we adults often forget what it’s like to be a kid. Even though, like our students, adults spend most of our day locked in a prison like facility, being barked at by our superiors while we follow directives that may make little sense.
Kids come to practice wound up after being held captive for hours – aren’t we adults wound up after being mind numbingly sedentary in our work environment?
We show up at practice and the kids are out of control, is it because –
A) These kids just don’t comprehend the value of the skills you are imparting to them?
B) These kids have terrible parents who have no discipline and therefore have low thresholds for paying attention or valuing your unpaid investment in their futures?
C) The education system is failing these kids because…Obama or Bush or whomever you like to blame for our nations current conditions?
D) Your practice is boring…
Coaching kids is no easy assignment. But if you passed the rigorous requirements of being the only one brave enough to volunteer, you have committed yourself to doing your best with what you have to help these kids learn and enjoy the sport.
For every youth sport team there are 1) the kids that want to be there, 2) the kids that have a mild interest, and 3) the kids that their parents just signed him up for something to get them out of the house. Regardless of where they are coming from it’s your job as the coach to find creative ways to engage them to commit in some level to the team. Unfortunately the same approach won’t work for all kids.
A few tips we have learned through years of experience coaching youth of all ages and skills:
1) Get as much help as you can.
Draft other parents to assist with practice or even components in practice. Enlist their help and give them assignments, especially if they are vocal at games about what is going wrong. “Thank you for your passion and input, since you know so much about this sport why don’t you come and assist.”
Empower your stars to assist in teaching their teammates core skills.
Often kids that are the most challenging need to be challenged, give them opportunities to assist you with the team.
As you solicit assistants, keep control by giving helpers specific assignments or areas of oversight.
The kid has a mild interest your goal here is primarily to make it fun especially at the younger ages then they can fall in love with the sport or activity and see the value in what you are trying to do. These kids for the most part if you can show them how to win or score they will engage more fully in the process. Often you can make a challenge to get them engaged.
2) Have a plan.
Reading accounts from successful coaches they all come to practice prepared to maximize the time and efforts of all involved. We like to break our practices into 10 minute segments so that practice is structured and keeps a tempo.
When you have a plan as a coach you are mentally organized, you can enable people to assist you and the kids will better respond to the structure (See more on constructing a practice plan in our Dyojo Article – Yes, Practice).
An important aspect of the plan is to mix the fun of tea sport with the skills of the sport. As a youth coach your goal is to make the memory of your sport a good one, to progressively teach your team core skills (they won’t get them all at once) and to be a physical outlet for kids. If the kids are having fun and learning something, you are doing your job right.
3) Remember to have fun.
In most sports kids need to be fit enough to play, which usually involves running, find creative ways to get their lungs burning. For basketball and soccer, a simple running drill is to have two players on the line, throw a ball as far as you can and have them scrimmage 1 v 1 back to the starting point. Running + skills + competition = good drill.
For those kids that mom and dad just dropped them off and they want nothing to do with your activity, you are fighting an uphill battle. Find a means to challenge them to engage – for example some kids respond to pointing out that another kid is better than them and you want them to see if they can beat the one who is excelling. Some kids respond to challenges related to certain benchmarks, determine if you can help them set achievable goals that will boost their confidence in the sport. At some point if the kid is just relentless and will not listen you need to engage the support of the parents and or your activities supervisor because having them in that environment isn’t fair to you as a volunteer to the other kids who are working hard. This should be a last resort, not your first option.
Coaching, like many things in life, can be fun or frustrating. Much of your experience has to do with your perspective and how you approach the challenge. Start by setting aside some time to prepare yourself, get your bearings and stick to the plan. Get yourself some help and try to have fun. Remember that these kids, much like you, have been penned in for most of the day, your time at practice is an opportunity to get some of those physical and mental frustrations worked out in through a positive medium.
At the end of the season if each kid had fun and made some progress in their skills, your efforts were successful. Good job coach.
If you are an adult looking to burn off some steam from work or coaching, check out our article on adding competition to your fitness routine.
Our family fan faire video version of The Cookie Duck Dance song from The Truth Podcast - Songonauts Episode 2. Our video includes production and camera work by @iz_fnb, acting by @TheLegitAbbie and @caidenvents.
@TheTruthFiction Podcast is Movies for your ears. Part of @radiotopia from PRX. @Songonauts is a creation of The Truth Podcast. You can hear the original The Cookie Duck Dance in it's entirety on the bandcamp for Jonathan Mann http://jonathanmann.bandcamp.com/album/songonauts
@iz_fnb / izvents.weebly.com
@TheLegitAbbie / legitabbie.wordpress.com
Adventures of a Breach Millennial In A World Of Business Disruption
First off, I would like to start a designation of my own. If the term Millennial is going to be thrust upon me, I reserve the right to restore some ownership of the term by referring to myself as a Breach Millennial (BM). One thing about being a Millennial is that you don't get to choose whether you are or not, classification depends upon selection of arbitrarily fluctuating dates and the assertions of a secret society of generational dignitaries. So, Breach Millennial is one who teeters between generational markers, someone like myself who is Gen X and/or Gen Y depending of who is ordaining the categorization.
As a Breach Millennialist, I have some life experiences that are more in common with Gen X than I do with Pure Millennials and one hit me rather abruptly as I sat in front of a national chain of Orange Chicken producing fast food restaurants. As a sidenote, for the purposes of this collection of ramblings, the significant distinction between a Breach Millennialist and a Pure Millenialist would be whether one can quote Top Gun...if you don't know what Top Gun is - you are a Pure Millennial. No shame in that. Not having observed or knowing Top Gun, there is shame in that.
I grew up in a small town, going to the video store was one of few universe expanding escapes from our slow paced reality. All that separated me from other worlds were several miles which friends and I could usually traverse on bicycles or as we grew older and were allowed further from the bramble, rides with friends. As I entered neared closer to the finale of my primary education experience and teetered into adulthood the portal were non existent as I had my own video store membership and my own motor vehicle.
One experience these younger generations, my own four children included, will never have reference for is the trip to the video store where you spend over an hour reading the backs of VHS tapes to decide which 5 movies you will take home for The Weekend Special. These are foundational decision metrics and formative processes that Pure Millennials will have to develop through other mean as movies for them come from a brightly colored boxes stationed outside the Golden Arches or are viewed on their non-movie-screen-sized handheld devices.
Where is this story going? Probably nowhere, but you've come this far...let's see what we can do. Back to Orange Chicken...there I was, sitting in my badass minivan, staring at a building - THAT USED TO BE A BLOCKBUSTER (did you hear tones of a Jeff Foxworthy-esque delivery there too? Probably only if you are a BM) but is now a Rice-or-Noodles assembly line and a chain dental service provider. That building used to be filled with multiple copies of varying degrees of cinematic accomplishments, now it's Beef & Broccoli with a side of halitosis.
Why did Blockbuster die? Wait, did you just say, "What's Blockbuster?" Well, young PM, that used to be where you picked up your movies. It's hard to explain but they were HUUUUGE. They died because they couldn't see the future. Redbox popped up, and at first it was a luxury because movies were $1 instead of $5 (or more). Hollywood Video disappeared even before Redbox got popular, but there was no way that Blockbuster would falter, they were too big to fail, too entrenched in the culture.
And yet it happened, an un-manned video portal with only a few copies of each move played the role of David and shot a industry transforming rock right through the Blockbuster storefront with its thousands of copies of every movie known to humanty, and exploded the bearded head of the video rental giant. Supposedly Redbox and Blockbuster met at one point to discuss merging or working together...hindsight? The video renting Philistines were shocked, but the mediums through which we receive content are constantly changing, and mammoth corporations such as Blockbuster are being disrupted by innovation.
If conventional wisdom says, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it," those that live by that philosophy better hope their retirement success isn't anchored to the sinking ship they are toiling their productive years away in. The reality is that everything around us is changing, the only constant is that the rate of change is accelerating. There is a strong possibility that Redbox will face it's Blockbuster moment far sooner than Blockbuster did, not because they aren't smart people but because of acceleration.
So what do we do, whether you think you are in a progressive field or know you are in an industry prime for disruption, we all have to keep pace with the music. There are no safe bets, but the best practice is to be engaging in leading the disruption rather than waiting for the tsunami to rip through your efforts. How do we innovate, progress and even disrupt ourselves to keep our teams moving forward?
I wish I could take full credit for the next analogy, but I was listening to the Awesome Office Podcast with guest Andres Izquieta, CEO of Four Club and he shared a story about Steve Jobs. Izquieta noted that Steve Job's favorite invention was the Sony Walkman (Pure Millennials who are still reading - Google it) which lead Jobs into creating the iPod (originally released in 2001) and completely disrupted the medium through which the public listened to music while starting a ripple through the music industry itself (another industry that was too HUUUUUGE to be disrupted). Apple made significant waves with designs, marketing, capacity and the availability of a music library at your fingertips. Because of Jobs all those Sony Walkman's were rapidly being distributed to Goodwill or the dump along with the three ring binders full of thousands of dollars worth of compact discs (sorry PM's, I know, no reference).
So, on that seventh day, Steve Jobs rested and remained satisfied in his turtle neck perch for the rest of time - right? Nope. Six years later, Apple released the iPhone which now gave you calls, text, camera and music all in one handheld device. Steve Jobs didn't wait for disruption, he disrupted himself and in so doing made his prior success (the iPod) an obsolete vessel. Think of this, disrupt yourself while people are still trying to copy your original innovation and by so doing initiate your own prior success' death.
Not all changes and disruptions are as sexy or make as far reaching of an impact, but the acceleration of the system shows no signs of slowing. If you are near retirement, you may have been smart enough to save up and ride out your days enjoying the fruits of your labors with the ones you love most. If you are starting your career, are in its prime or in the post mid-life crisis phase, you have to stay on your toes. What shall we do?
I don't have the answer but a few thoughts.
1) Think about your people - what are you doing as an organization to engage the culture, the community and the system of commerce? Do you have people on your team that are ready to face the challenges of the new economy are you empowering them to help you identify and disrupt your organization? Is your team embracing cross generational integration of ideas and collectively working to recognize and battle against entrophy?
2) Think about your processes, what are you doing as an organization that doesn't make sense? Get to work on fixing your own solvable internal problems - don't procrastinate. Small problems can become big ones when thrown in with acceleration. Not all innovations and disruptions are about massive scale or having the greatest idea of all time, there are many thriving businesses who have made a good living with serving niche markets with quality.
3) Think about your position, what is your organization doing that is making a difference in the lives of your customers and the world as a connected system? Al Gore has literally brought the global economy to our fingertips through his invention, don't miss your opportunities to be an agent of the larger picture through engagement in your local communities. It's not always bigger is better, but acceleration requires attention to cultural and marketplace shifts and meeting those challenges.
4) Think about the public that you serve, are you getting feedback from those who are invested in your brand as well as those who are not customers? Both groups can provide you with important data to determine how your products and services are being translated to those who may be willing to spend their hard earned dollars with your organization.
5) Think about the person in the mirror, what are you doing as a leader to identify, embrace and battle the challenges of the marketplace that you compete in? Are you leading by example by developing your knowledge, skills and perspectives? As I was recently challenged by our local group of Young Professionals - Get #INformed. Get #INspired. Get #INvolved.
You don't have to start wearing a turtle neck and jeans, but if you think it will help...you're wrong. Reach out and connect with other professionals, together we are stronger. If you're ever in the Eugene, Oregon area - let's get some coffee.
Jon Isaacson. Green belt in the puzzle art of business. Helping people clarify their vision, optimize productivity & follow through w/ creative solutions #MTWSL
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